5 Things Learned So Far With Plant-Based Eating

It has been three months since plants have officially took root in my life. Meat (except the occasional fish and egg) and dairy have moved out, and wouldn’t you know, I am still alive and happy.

Why plants are taking over my lifestyle?

Three years ago I had a kidney stone that was the most painful thing I ever experienced and resulted in two follow-on surgeries which absolutely $@!%ing sucked. HOWEVER….I am grateful for this stupid kidney stone.  Weird to actually say because that thing was evil and I thought I was going to die, but I realized that this horrible event served a purpose.

I am one of those people that believe things happen for a reason and the universe gives you little hints about things to come if you are paying attention.  This kidney stone was an inflection point for me.  I knew I never wanted to experience that again so the first questions I asked were…….why did it happen to me and what did I do to cause it?

This question naturally led to “what on earth causes kidney stones,”

which led to “how much water do I actually drink,”

which then led to “what is my eating lifestyle,”

then “what is my body’s pH balance,”

then “what is acidic vs alkaline foods, “

then “damn I eat a lot of meat,”

then “wow didn’t really know that about dairy but duh,”

then “I really need to pay attention to this stuff,”

then “things need to change,”

then “man I feel good but glad that cleanse is over,”

then “man I feel like crap again,”

then “I need a permanent lifestyle change,”

then “this vegan thing sounds interesting,”

then “Leah (my wife) lets try this, what is there to lose,”

then “these recipes are pretty good,”

then “I am feeling great,”

then finally this blog post.

Now this was not a quick process.  The last paragraph took place over a three-year period where I was thinking about eating healthier, trying new foods/recipes here and there, but not committing to a long-term change.   The important thing though is over that timeframe I was learning, introducing new foods, and my priorities were slowly changing.  Now that I am three-months into this long-term healthier lifestyle I thought it was a good time to share the top 5 things I have learned so far.

1) You become much more aware of what is going into your body. How and where the food was grown, what the ingredients are, and whether or not it was processed.

2) You discover foods and creative combinations you never knew existed which is awesome.  This book is amazing.  

3) Eating out is a challenge but not impossible. You do have to do some research ahead of time. Also you discover that if you ask the right questions, restaurants are actually pretty accommodating.

4) Sometimes you have to BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) and that is ok. Case in point, my Thanksgiving plate was different than everyone else’s.

5) Plant-based protein shakes are a life-saver.  My favorite is a vanilla and chocolate pea protein based shake. It helps you get the protein you need, can be used as a meal supplement, and genuinely tastes good.

It has definitely been fun experimenting with new foods in the kitchen, making plates that are much more colorful, and creating meals from scratch.  But what is most fun for us so far is the adventure of discovering new good food, and the positive energy our bodies are starting to feel.