10 Reasons ‘Plant Based’ is here to stay in my family!
Why does the term ‘Plant Based’ sit well for me? I counted over 165 diets listed on Wikipedia from belief based diets, calorie and weight loss diets, crash diets, detox diets, medical diets, fad diets and food specific diets, fasting diets. Look, I’m sure every single one of them has some scientific backing and has benefitted someone at some stage of their health journey (ok maybe not the Cotton Ball diet)! But honestly - I'm over diets, yet I still want to be healthy, fabulous and hot mumma! So this is my solution!
1. Plant based is not a label. The idea of simply eating ‘more plants’ is not ‘loaded’. When my Vegan friends say to me ‘so you are like 80% Vegan’ - I flinch. What so the 20% of me that is not Vegan is somehow a failure? I don’t do second place - so no i’m not losing at being Vegan, i’m winning at eating more veggies and being more conscious of what I eat. The term Vegan (along with many other labels) seems like a loaded label to me. I see pickets marching the streets, I see blaming and hate against meat eating humans, I see the bullying and abuse I've received on Social Media when I’ve posted a picture of my breakfast in bed - abuse for eating the bacon my children lovingly cooked for me. WTF!
2. There is no failure, guilt or shame about eating a more ‘Plant based’ diet. If I eat McDonalds the only negative consequence i’m going to feel is a bit of bloating, and feeling sluggish for a while. The guilt and shame is not there - however I do have ‘Plant Based Tools’ to get me back on track. Enter DigestZen (One of my fave Essential Oils) and a fully loaded Green Smoothie!
3. There has been no resistance from my family - There is no Can’t or Should/ Should not around food in our family - I’ve simply offered healthier and more life sustaining alternatives! Ordering the Kai Box each week has been a wonderful way of introducing plant based protein sources (alternatives to meat) into our diet with delicious recipes. I have learnt how to cook things like tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, root veggies in so many tasty ways I could never dream up myself. The box turns up on a Sunday, saves me time, decision making brain space and importantly Money as its only $125 to feed the family for four nights (and there is usually plenty for Ron and I to have for our lunches throughout the week).
4. Because there is no Label/ Guilt/ Resistance to deal with we sometimes add some non plant protein to our meals and it is not a problem. If a meal arrives and is not ‘Proteiney’ enough for my fast growing children or Crusader (body type) husband we have a little joke in our family where we have Vegan and ‘________’ insert meat here. Being a Connector body type my digestion is slower and I get bloated, don’t sleep well and wake up groggy if I eat meat in the evening - so I won’t eat my portion for dinner but may save it for lunch the next day if I feel like i’m missing out.
5. ‘Plant-based’ for me simply means getting more plants in! Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables can hugely impact the biodiversity of your gut microbiome. Your gut microbiome is a vast community of trillions of bacteria and fungi that inhabit every nook and cranny of your gastrointestinal tract. The microbiome has a major influence on your metabolism, body weight, susceptibility to illness, immune system, appetite and mood. The happier your guts the happier you will be!
6. Eating ‘Plant- based’ means you will poo better! The more fiber from natural sources like fruits, veggies, and grains means that fiber will help in making your bowel movements very regular. Over the years I have seen hundreds of clients; there is a staggering number of women that indicate one of their top three wellness concerns is ‘digestive health’. What it usually boils down to is that they basically are not pooing regularly (constantly feeling bloated and constipated) or are having sporadic (and often embarrassing) dashes to the toilet - this often has a negative impact on their mood, their sex life and ultimately their self esteem.
Now - if I ever feel bloated, blocked up or the opposite I have the Plant Based Tools to sort myself out (my fave Essential Oil) Digest Zen in some warm water or rubbed on my belly with coconut oil, a jam packed with fruit and vegetable fiber Smoothie and the knowledge that I need to cut back on the meat and junk i’ve let creep back in.
7. ‘Plant-based’ for me means better skin - I have suffered for many many years from terrible eczema (patchy, rough, itchy skin). My skin is a direct reflection of my gut health. When my digestive health is bad, my skin breaks out. Bringing more fruit in has really helped with clearing and beautifying my skin. I used to avoid fruit (too much sugar they say), but reintroducing a variety of whole unprocessed fruit has been so liberating to my eating and I've fallen back in love with all of the fruits I grew up eating as a child. Sure, eating copious amounts of dried or processed foods will not be beneficial but you can’t easily over consume whole, seasonal fruit and it will give you all of the goodness and your digestive health will show its glory on your now glowing skin. Replacing dairy with plant based alternatives has reduced inflammation in my body immensely and is easy and delicious!
8. Let's talk about Weight Loss - Being plant based as opposed to Vegan / Gluten Free / Vegetarian / Paleo / Keto has released me from the feeling of lack, dieting or deprivation - therefore I have no need to have ‘cheat days’, ‘Vegan, Keto, Paleo’ treats that you get sucked into when you are following a ‘diet’. I now have the freedom to eat such a wide variety of foods. I don’t have the starve and binge cycle I have had for so many years. Food has become a non-issue for me, i’ve built in some strong healthy habits, but most importantly for me i’ve now got a lovely relationship with myself, my body and food. I now enjoy cooking again, eating out and nourishing my family without the fights and food battles.
9. Since leaning into the ‘Plant-based’ life, my children have been exposed to such a wide variety of veggies, fruit, nuts, legumes and fermented foods. I used to be a broccoli, kumara and meat mum and thought I was doing well. I don’t force the kids to eat anything but I offer them everything we eat and praise them for trying everything. I get such joy when they request green smoothies for breakfast, or I see them tucking into a second or third helping of their nutrient dense Kai Box dinner. I’ve noticed a real change in their spirit more than anything and it creates a greater sense of joyfulness and fun in our household. Their behaviour at school has notably improved.
10. The Environment will thank you when you eat a Plant Based diet. I know there's much feeling of hopelessness that we can’t do much to make a marked improvement on the environment. I’m telling you now if you just change a few meals a week to plant based your family will not only be saving over 925kg of CO2e per year but also supporting a local business, local farmers, saving the waterways, reducing supermarket time, and most importantly you will be glowing and fabulous and ready to do what your heart loves doing!
Remember you are so valuable, the world needs you to show up as your best self. xx
chop up and freeze seasonal fruit
fresh greens and herbs
2 drops citrus
plant based milk
Oat, coconut or almond
Cut up seasonal fruit
Cut up vegetable
Left over from dinner or sandwich/wrap
Snack (corn chips, muesli bar, crackers or bliss balls)
Photo Eleanor Ozich
Kai Box - Vegan box for family for four nights, other nights we will have a left over night a take-out/ eat-out night and Sundays is usually a Roast Vegetable dinner.