Plant Based Diet
I eat a Plant Based Diet and I’m Pescatarian. I realise that these are two opposing dietary choices, but I live by both mindsets. About 70% / 80% of my diet comes from plants but I eat fish and seafood on a regular basis. I also live under the non obsessive 80/20 rule. 80% on track, 20% eat anything that I like.
What Exactly are we Eating?
Since way ages ago, I began to wonder what was going into the food that I ate. Pretty much since it was stipulated on the packaging what ingredients were in the foods we buy, I started reading what those ingredients were. As I matured and my love of health deepened, I started favouring the foods that didn’t come in a packet. This is where I evolved towards a plant based diet.
Food must nurture our body and if there is little nutrient in that food, we are missing an opportunity to really Feed ourselves. Pleasure also nurturers us, so we must feel a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction from our food as well. This is what we call Soul Food. We need food that Feeds the body and food that Feeds the soul. Over the years this can evolve to a love of foods that are both tasty and nutritious at the same time.
Packing in the Vitamins & Minerals
Curious about what vitamins and minerals my body needs, the more I learned, the more confused I became. It wasn’t long before I realised that we need pretty much a bit of everything. I was discovering that certain vitamins inhibited or supported others. Some super healthy foods, if eaten in high doses could deplete vitamin or mineral levels, and some of the supplements I was taking were useless without another vitamin or mineral to support it. I began to wonder if nature was packing the perfect combination into her produce and if eating a wide variety of her bounty was the way forward. Plant based diet anyone?
So Many Options
Ayurveda says to cook your food in order to aid digestion. Raw enthusiasts encourage us of the opposite and say the raw enzymes will break down the food as we chew. Trying to then include lifestyle choices such as eating for your Dosha, or eating locally sourced, seasonal food and / or organic, as well as getting the specific vitamins and minerals that I needed, meant that this healthy eating thing was becoming pretty complicated.
In the end, I realised that the best thing I can do, is eat the largest variety of different colours and types of food, as close to its’ natural source as I can. Eat local, seasonal, organic & home grown sometimes, and other times go easy and stress free at the supermarket in order to get certain foods that my body needs on that particular day. That freshly caught snapper may not adhere to a plant based diet, but it is tasty, packed with protein & caught with love. Tomorrow the oily salmon that I buy at the supermarket is the better choice for my skin. On a rare occasion my body craves some red meat, I now have a tiny bit, protein levels satisfied for another month.
80% Plant Based Diet
Food is joy and variety is spice. Eat for love, eat to connect with those you love, and don’t be so strict on yourself that you feel deprived. I still love my plants though and a plant based diet comes in the form of veggies, fruits, nuts, pulses, grains & seeds. We can easily create a rich, abundanT and tasty eating regime of plants without feeling deprived, boxed in or that we can’t socialise for fear of falling over.
In a nutshell, here are my heathy eating tips.
- Eliminate what you are intolerant or allergic to. If you are having gut or health problems, then look deeper to ensure you are not poisoning or hurting your body with foods.
- If you aren’t intolerant or allergic, allow yourself the pleasures of the ‘naughty’ foods in moderation.
- Rather than telling yourself what you can’t have – know what foods are packed with the health benefits that you need. Include so many of them in your diet that there is no need for anything else.
- Make larger meals and have leftovers. These are much healthier to snack on than ‘snack foods’. Snack foods often come in a packet and have additives that we don’t need.
- Get pleasure from both taste and nutrition. Nutritious foods will end up tasting heaps better once you develop an appetite for them.
- Take joy from some select positive healthy choices. Consider budgeting for some organic fruit and veg once in a while (some of them taste heaps better as well). If that doesn’t excite you, perhaps chose to eat what is local and seasonal even if not organic.
Plant based foods are natures bounty and if we eat them in an abundance of colours, tastes, textures and food groups we cover so many of our health bases.
Happy and healthy eating. Love D