By now, you've probably realised that Brandon and I are in the process of switching to a plant-based diet. I've tried and failed many times in the past to be a vegetarian. In hindsight, there was a lack of planning, support and conviction behind it, and that was the reason for my failure.
One morning, a few weeks ago, I said to Brandon, "I wish you and I could be vegans, but that will never happen." And Brandon, very surprisingly, replied, "I'm willing to be a vegan, as long as we figure out how to have variety [in our menu]." That was a turning point for us, because Brandon has always been a proud carnivore who could "never" live without meat.
I have to tell you something. It's been unbelievably easy this time around. With the support of my husband and our shared efforts with meal planning, our diet has become almost completely vegan in the space of a few short weeks.
A few things to note (aka "Ways we've made veganism more difficult for ourselves"):
- We avoid "fake meats." If you're less fussy than us, you can almost directly switch your menu by replacing meat with these. Our reason for avoiding them is that we are aiming to have a wholefood, healthy diet and we feel that those "meats" are very processed.
- We avoid canned and bottled foods and sauces, because we are concerned about the leached chemicals from cans, and the high amounts of sodium and sugar in canned and bottled foods and sauces. That being said, it's still better than takeaways, so having a few quick and easy options in the cupboard will help when you're too tired or too busy to cook a meal from scratch. We all need to do what we feel is doable for ourselves.
- We have been aiming for a lower carb, gluten free menu. We're not 100% gluten-free and low carb, but we aim for healthier alternatives to bread, pasta, potatoes and white rice. As far as possible, we use quinoa, long grain brown rice, green pea pasta, oats, and root vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut and beetroot.
This is what we've done to make the switch:
Our next challenge is to cut out cheese and eggs. We've already started trying out some vegan cheeses, but so far, we haven't found our happy place with that. I strongly believe that in order to make this a full and permanent lifestyle change, we need to actually enjoy what we eat and drink, so I will keep looking for a cheese alternative/replacement that I can get excited about!
Now, I need to tell you something. Vegans can be a bit hectic. I avoid following their pages on social media, because a lot of vegans like to use the shock factor to convince you to stop eating meat. I will never be like that. I cant stomach those images and haven't watched any of those vegan documentaries.
This is a video that has inspired me, and reminded me that we have made the right decision. I promise, it is just informative, and contains no sensitive images. You can even watch it with your children, if you want.
Click here to learn more about how we can save the planet by switching to a plant-based diet.
This post contains affiliate links.
We've had dairy-free milk alternatives in our fridge for many years, but they can get expensive. One benefit of home made milk is that you can decide how creamy you'd like it to be, which is much more delicious. You can also skip the additives. Just a tip though, because there are no preservatives in your home made milk, make smaller batches to avoid sour milk in your tea!
I've made almond milk and oat milk. Oat milk is cheaper and quicker to make than almond milk, but the process is the same. You'll need a blender or Nutribullet.
1 cup of uncooked oats
2 cups of filtered water
1. Soak the oats in water for about an hour.
2. Drain, and put the soaked oats in the blender.
3. Top up with 2 cups of fresh filtered water and blend.
4. Using a clean tea towel or cheese cloth, pour the blended mixture into the cloth over a jug.
5. Squeeze the mixture through the cloth, to get as much of the milk out as possible.
6. Dilute with filtered water to taste.
Pour into a bottle and store in the fridge. Use within a few days.
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Have you thought of selecting your very own 2018 word?
I have never picked a word of the year before, so the concept is still a bit new to me. The idea is to choose a word that resonates with you, something that perhaps depicts your goal for the new year or the direction that you are planning on taking.
Choosing a word might be really easy for you! Some of my friends picked their words quickly and easily - I suppose they were fully organised with their New Year's Resolutions, too, and the word just tied in perfectly. For those of us who need a bit of help, I've got a free worksheet to help you choose the perfect word, which will be your special reminder throughout 2018 to stay on track and maintain focus on your goals!
My word for 2018 is DREAM. It may seem like a cliche choice, but the word resonates with me on many levels. As you know, I started my home-based business this year so that I could change the direction that my life was heading. I realised that I had dreams and goals, but that my daily actions (including my career) were not taking me on that path.
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headed." - Lao Tzu
This has become my mantra. I have very specific goals, and it's time that my actions lined up with my dreams. So, my husband and I have made a DREAM BOARD for 2018, and my word for the year ties in with that. I will dare to DREAM, and I will be brave enough to act on those dreams, so that they can and will come true!
If you would like to pick your word for 2018, join our Facebook Group - you can find the worksheet in the files, and I would love to hear what word you choose!