This is a question I get almost daily. Once I start to discuss with people matters of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, they always ask me what I do to be healthy, which I respond, “I’m a vegan and try to eat as many whole foods as I can a day.”
That usually sparks their interest (or disgust). They will usually ask me about not eating meat, to which I simply state, “I try to live a lifestyle that is as cruelty-free as possible, meaning no animal and no animal by-products.” This really blows their mind. You can’t have meat? You can’t have cheese? You can’t have fast food? What’s left then? This is when I really hit them hard with the good stuff.
There is a countless variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds that I get to enjoy every single day. It is not that I can’t have meat, I could eat it right now if I truly wanted to, it is that I have chosen not to eat meat because I know the harm it can do to my body, my environment, and my overall journey of compassion. I eat a rainbow of foods all of which I know are what my body will thrive on.
This is when people usually say, “I could never eat just salads, that would be horrible!” Which I often smile at and say neither could I, in fact at one point in my life that is all I ate and yes it was horrible, but now I eat anything as long as it’s vegan. Vegan cookies? You bet. Vegan pizza? Sure, I had it the other night and it was great! Vegan sandwich with “mayo” and “cheese”? All the time. This is often when they are really puzzled. “So wait, vegan pizza and cookies? How do you make those?” This is when I get giddy with delight because I get to explain to them about the bounty that veganism.
Rather than listing of a bunch off different vegan recipes, I refer them to here and then go into what I usually eat in a typical day. This way they can see everything I get to eat.
Typical Soul Searching breakfast: 1 giant green smoothie – 1 bunch of kale, 1 c. almond milk, 2 pieces of fruit (one always being a banana), and 1 heaping scoop of vegan protein powder. Sometimes I’ll add Maca powder or coconut oil to boost the nutritional value that much more, but every day is different.
Typical Soul Searching Lunch: I do love a good toasted almond-butter and banana sandwich, a veggie sandwich on Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain bread with Vegenaise, or maybe even a big bowl of Vegan Chili.
Typical Soul Searching Snack: My addiction to a homemade almond milk chai tea latte keeps me centered around these and usually some piece of fruit or a vegan chocolate goodie.
Typical Soul Searching Dinner: A heaping bowl of nutrient rich salad is often my go-to, but this is rotated between an array of vegan options like Quinoa Salads, vegan pizza (recipe to come), roasted vegetables with curried rice, and there is always room for hummus in there too.
They often hear the excitement in my voice over discussing delicious vegan food that they begin to get a little excited about it too. I tell them to try it for a day to see if they like it – I’ll even help if they want -, or maybe make a commitment to try it 2 days a week. They’re often surprised how easy – and delicious – vegan food can be. All it takes is a little imagination and enthusiasm for your health and you could be eating your way to a better life.