Today marks week 3.  Yup I did it – made a drastic change because I had to. But who decides to make such a change, going plant based, on the brink of a lockdown, during quarantine an chill?  Strictly fruits and veggies while on COVID_19 house arrest? No snacks to enjoy while binge watching shows on Netflix? The worry of being ‘limited and restricted’ definitely crossed my mind, but I have way more options than I thought I would, tasty ones at that.

I had been thinking about changing my diet for some time, so that wasn’t new, doing it during this time however – I didn’t plan for.  What prompted the desire to change? Well, my health and wellness journey started a few years ago. I made considerable changes to my diet and fitness.  A good 80% of the time I was doing what I thought was remotely healthy. On the eve of my birthday in 2018 however, in the ER due to insane stomach pain, nothing like I’ve ever felt before, I started to think otherwise.  After dealing with that for months – and though as of late the intensity of that issue has subsided – due to an occasional revisist of the discomfort I’m inclined to believe that it has to do with what I was eating.

And so I decided to give plant-based a try.  I wanted to focus on an anti-inflammatory diet, since my stomach issues were related to inflammation and acidity.  I decided to put an emphasis on the alkaline regimen. I originally said that I wouldn’t really go that route, because that diet is really limiting, yet I’m learning otherwise and have found myself following that model about 98%.

I was worried about what I’d be able to eat with this lifestyle shift, and how to eat it.  A lot of what I’m used to eating, some of which I’ve shared here on the blog, I’m not having currently. Some of the ingredients that I used in my one-a-day smoothies and day to day things that I typically have aren’t part of my current regimen.

It’s a change for sure, but it’s proven not to be as difficult as I’d imagined. Luckily before the COVID lockdown was enforced, the first week of my plant based journey I had already started freezer prepping my new meals.  Ya’ll know I love me some freezer prepping, because I don’t have time to cook everyday – well I kinda do now, but the old normal I didn’t. Freezer prepping definitely works just the same with this diet too.  

So, though I’m just two weeks in, I must say that I feel good.  I was scurred but no regrets (so far). I’ve been having fun with the recipes and dishes that I’ve found and creating my own. 

This is still really new and I will continue to research and pay attention to how my body reacts to what I’m putting in it, and make adjustments based on that; I’m committed.  

Some of what I’ve learned so far about how to make this lifestyle sustainable, considering the pros and challenges, I list below.

What success will look like for me – what will make this sustainable? 

Making this Sustainable:

  • Stock up on pantry items – have on hand the food items on your approved food list
  • Research recipes in advance – start to explore what your meals might look like, what you’ll be having for breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc. (great resource for recipes: Ty’s Conscious Kitchen)
  • Variety – making sure you have options so you won’t get bored of eating the same thing all the time.
  • Freeze what you can – limits the stress of deciding what to eat, you’ll always have something ready to go.
  • Pay attention to nutrition – just because you’re eating certain “healthy” foods doesn’t eliminate the need to know the nutritional value of what you’re eating and whether it’s providing a balanced diet or not.
  • Education and research – the more information the better.  Don’t just take for face value what you see others doing or even what you find online, dig a little deeper. 
  • Fitness is just as important – a change in diet doesn’t lessen the value of physical fitness.
  • Creating an experience – maintaining the dining experience is really important for me.  I appreciate plating and cutlery, sitting down to enjoy my meals. Some people call this mindful eating.  
  • Support – visit blogs, and websites to learn more; follow people on social media who are on a similar journey as you, ask questions. 
  • Mindset shift – when it seems challenging think back to why you embarked on this journey in the first place.

Some Challenges…

  • Constantly food shopping – I’m finding that I’m visiting the market way more than I have before, for produce.  So the greens for my salads, the tomatoes, avocados, etc. I’m needing to buy, in order to eat fresh. I’m learning how to navigate this better.
  • Dining out – a foreseeable issue.  I haven’t had to deal with this just yet, but it will require some thought.  How likely is the menu to have something on it that I can eat… Do I eat before I go?  Do I bring my own meals? …
  • Getting used to it – giving up a lot of what I’m used to eating and enjoying, it’s a big shift.
    *Re: the avocados, I just saw a post on IG about freezing them, super excited.  I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Overall, so far, it’s been interesting for sure.  It’s new so of course it takes some getting used to.  I’m all in, so we’ll see. Much more to come. I’ll expand more on all of the above in future posts.  Follow my journey.