I do not eat meat, but I do have the occasional egg, aged cheese and rarely, certain seafoods. I eat 90% vegan. At home, that number is close to 99% and when I’m in a social setting it may drop a bit. That is when the flexible part of my plant-based diet kicks into gear. I love to eat and I no longer have any shame in that. I also have a soft spot for animals; that is the main reason that I stopped eating meat and started eating predominantly plant-based back in 2011.
Along this four year journey of predominantly plant-based eating, I’ve allowed myself room for flexibility. With the New Year here, I figured it’s a better time than ever to provide insight into my current eating habits and to stress that it’s not all or nothing when it comes to making positive change; one bite at a time. There are times when I eat solely vegan; and for long stretches of time. I enjoy it, but I like to have that 10% margin for exploration.
See, I had a life-threatening eating disorder in my teens and early twenties. When I start to get to super rigid with my diet, that sends red flags all over the place; it simply cannot happen. I spent a good 5 years diligently reading labels on the back of food packages and let me tell you, it’s exhausting! If there was a PHD offered for knowing nutritional facts on almost every grocery item, I would be Dr. Ashley Gilday. With that said, today, I do not scrutinize labels when I know something is almost entirely vegan or plant-based; I just roll with it – especially if I am out for dinner or at a friends house who tried their best to accommodate my flexible plant-based diet; let’s call it “Flexi Plant-Based”.
My goal with this post is to let my readers, you, know that it’s not all or nothing in life. You can try your best to eat a plant-based or vegan diet for your body, for the animals, the environment, or whatever your main motivation is, but remember, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you love cheese, fine, eat cheese every now and again, you don’t have to give it up completely. Just do your best. If everyone in North America chose to eat more consciously, the world would be a lot better. There would be more agricultural space to grow hearty plant-based crops to feed more people, greenhouse gas emissions would be severely reduced and billions of innocent animals would forgo slaughter each year. It really does make sense. This post explains more about how what we eat affects all beings on Earth.
This blog will remain a place for me to share my love for the greener things in life. Creating new and delicious recipes using solely plants has become a challenge I welcome and enjoy. I plan to continue sharing those recipes with you. It also helps keep me in line with my plant-based eating at home.
I’m looking forward to a healthy and prosperous 2016. If you want to take the challenge and eat predominantly plant-based with me in 2016, drop me a line, we can support each other in our journey!