It is my hope that this site will have you feeling inspired, encouraged and well equipped to go beyond your comfort zone in the kitchen. Maybe that means picking up a new fruit or vegetable the next time you go grocery shopping. You may even take a trip to your local health food store for a peruse or to explore some of the unique and wonderful ingredients housed there, or possibly come up with a new way to use your favourite ingredient. Perhaps you will even start to notice how food affects the way you feel, the way your body functions and the way your appearance may change. You will soon notice that what we put into our bodies directly correlates with how we feel on all levels.
My goal is to inspire you to reconnect with real, wholesome food and with yourself. Step away from processed, nutritionally vacant foods and start incorporating rich, wholesome good-for-you ingredients that fuel your body. Observe how you feel as a result of these changes. Feel good about feeding your body well and for making the effort to take care of yourself from the inside. I truly believe that food is the key to overall wellbeing and health, and has the ability to heal or harm us.
Wherever you are in your own food journey, I am sure you will find something here you like.
Below are a few questions you may find yourself wondering as you explore and incorporate plant-based whole foods into your life.
What are whole foods?
The way I think about the term “whole foods”, is food that we consume as close as can be to the way which nature intended them. Confused? Don’t be. Think of how apples grow or how zucchini grows, or even almonds – these are whole foods. They are full of nutrition, flavour and are so good for you! We eat them just the way nature has provided them; as in, they still exist in their most natural state. Whole foods are minimally processed and certainly don’t contain artificial anything, additives or other scary-sounding ingredients. Which also means they are absolutely full of nutrition. So why are we eating food with long lists of ingredients we can’t pronounce and numbers instead of words we understand? It’s just not natural. In fact, it’s kind of scary.
What does plant-based mean?
Plant-based nutrition is a lifestyle choice that emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds, while steering away from a heavy reliance on animal products. I love to eat and I never deprive myself of that pure enjoyment, nor do I ever have to think about counting calories or feeling guilty for eating too much of the wrong thing. I eat as much as I want of the foods that I love – it’s the perfect balance. I eat eggs (the local, free range farm fresh variety) on a regular basis and very minimal amounts of dairy, but the term plant-based allows for flexibility. I choose a plant-based lifestyle because I know it makes me feel great both physically and emotionally by providing my body with healing, nutritious foods and making conscious, ethical decisions makes my soul feel happy!
What do you mean by conscious eating?
In my experience, there is a great disconnect between us and our food. It’s easy to lose sight of where food comes from, the resources that went into its production, the journey it has taken and how it arrives in local stores and on our plates. When I refer to making conscious or ethical decisions, I mean acknowledging and looking deeper into the source of my food. I feel very strongly about choosing to support local farmers as much as possible as well as those individuals who have worked hard to provide quality ingredients for me; the fruits of their labour, so to speak. I think it’s important if you choose to eat meat, to purchase it somewhere that the animal was respected and treated well and was able to enjoy all of the things animals should be able to enjoy in life – a chicken scratching at the ground and ruffling its feathers, a cow grazing in a pasture, a salmon swimming thousands of miles through our seas. It doesn’t have to be 100% of the time, but by bringing back our awareness even part of the time, we are connecting ourselves with our food and surely will feel good about spending our money where it counts.
Doesn’t it get boring?
Never. I think plant-based living inspires creativity and exploration of food. I love looking into my fridge and conjuring up ideas, daydreaming about possibilities, using other recipes for inspiration and finding new way to use ingredients. There are so many wonderful plant-based meals that I don’t think it will ever become boring. It may be challenging at first to try new recipes or switch up the routine, but once you start to feel more confident in your abilities, you will become a mad scientist in the kitchen, only much cooler.
Where do you get your protein? Iron? B12?
One of the many great things about a plant-based lifestyle is the increased level of awareness about the food I am consuming. I know to look at labels and nutritional info and am far more aware of the nutritional value of the foods I am eating and what my body needs. You can get all of the essential vitamins and minerals in a plant-based lifestyle, but it takes awareness and a more conscious effort. I take a multivitamin on occasion and bone strength as well, but do my best to get all of my requirements from food sources by eating a wide variety of foods. I believe that overall health and energy level is a wonderful way to gauge the balance of the body and to ensure you are receiving all of the requirements. It’s all individual and this site provides some ideas for incorporating wholesome, plant-based meals into your lifestyle, which anyone can benefit from.
Why should I care?
Food is a very large part of our lives. Assuming you consume three meals a day, that’s twenty-one meals a week, or one thousand ninety five meals a year. Times that by an average lifespan and you’ve got, well, a whole lot of choices and opportunities. And that doesn’t even include snacks! Our relationship with food begins at a very early age, and the patterns and habits we develop growing up often stick with us throughout our lives. Sometimes habits are very healthy and beneficial, while other times they may be doing a lot of harm without us even realizing it. All of these different aspects of living a plant-based whole foods lifestyle come together in the search for optimal health and enjoyment of life! And it can taste good along the way. And you don’t have to be a trained chef. And it won’t cost you more. And you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out. Your health, relationships, vitality and outlook on life are all directly affected by what you eat, and we have the power to change any or all of these outcomes based on what we put into our bodies.