Lifestyle

Why I Have Transitioned to a Plant-Based Diet

chopped vegetables

In fact, after having already reduced my meat consumption to almost zero and having dairy mostly destroy my stomach, I’ve decided to give the vegan lifestyle a go. I have a few posts scheduled for upcoming weeks that involve recipes with eggs or dairy but after that my recipes will mostly be vegan. For as long as it lasts anyway.

It isn’t a “clean-eating” thing or a “wellness” thing (two words I hate and will continue to hate). But it is something that I think that I can do to give back to the planet in some small way by reducing my carbon footprint. With massive super-storms and tragedies striking every corner of the globe, global warming is undeniable. And if I can do a tiny bit to give back to the environment by reducing my meat and dairy consumption, I will. (I blogged before about the environmental benefits.) But at the same time, I’m trying not to increase my intake of soy – as soy is a large cause of Amazonian deforestation – though the vast majority of soy is grown to feed the animals in our ever-increasing levels of meat consumption. They are similar reasons to why I’m trying to get all my vegetables as locally as possible, as well as eating seasonally.  

Plus, every time I look in Harold’s eyes it destroys me and I think “he’s so human-like and full of personality”.

If I can give that respect to a tiny, naughty sausage dog, surely other creatures deserve a similar amount of respect. I’ve long donated to the RSPCA and I’ve found that my empathy has just continued to deepen over the years. (If you want to continue to eat and enjoy eggs, never research egg farming. Even organic free-range egg farming. Beware, there be monsters there!)

It’s a change that I’ve been contemplating for awhile. But there is sometimes a very cult-esque vibe to veganism. Lots of online forums seem to exist to shame or guilt people into changing their eating habits. It’s something that I found to be a massive turn-off. “Holier than thou” attitudes about pretty much anything induce massive eye-rolls from me.

So whilst in practicality, I’ve been eating a vegan diet, I’m not going to call it such. Instead I prefer to say that I have a “plant-based diet”. 

I’m not going to be too hard on myself. If I eat a block of halloumi one day, it’s not the end of the world. (Or even an excellent slice or three of pizza sometimes). It doesn’t make me a bad person or even a bad vegan/vegetarian. For me it isn’t about a moral high-ground or having purity (yuck!) in my diet, it’s about helping out the earth and off-setting some of my own impact. 

If you are looking for any seasonal eating tips, make sure to sign up for my newsletter, as I send out a special edition every month of seasonal eating suggestions to my subscribers. 

Anna wrote a really interesting post last month about “Confessions of a Part-Time Vegan” that really resonated with me.

What are your thoughts? Would you ever transition to a plant-based diet?

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  • Good for you Amanda, this is the most sensible and well thought out approach to veganism I’ve seen in a long time. If we all cut down even a couple of meals on meat eggs and dairy consumption it would make a hell of a difference globally, but what you’re doing is really admirable! Alice xxxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • If everyone just cut down a bit, the results would be astronomical! I know we’ve briefly chatted about it before, but if I had my own chickens (or my family did πŸ˜‰ ) I’d still eat eggs as it bypasses the part of the egg industry that I don’t want to support xx

  • We actually have a lot of vegetarian meals, I’d say we are meatless twice a week at the very least, so while I don’t think I could go full on vegan (it’s cheese, we put it on like everything) I feel like it’s small steps. This is probably helped by the fact that red meat doesn’t agree with my stomach so that’s been cut out completely for a very long time!

    • It’s totally the small steps that help in the long run, really! And I’ll definitely still eat cheese in the future. Just as more of a treat rather than a staple. (I think the way you are with red meat is how I am with dairy – but I’m willing to suffer through it on occasion because of cheese and gelato πŸ˜‰ )

  • Soy is not only bad for the rainforests, it can also have a major impact on hormones. I’m currently on levothyroxin (thyroid hormone) and the instructions literally say not to consume a lot of soy while on that medication! If you ever want to get pregnant I advise continuing to stay away from soy!

    While I would never become vegan (it’s actually really not a particularly healthy diet for humans and I don’t believe we should put our own health at risk or have to carefully plan out every single meal to make sure we’re not missing out on any nutrients), I do believe that most people today eat too much meat and try to limit my intake to a couple of times a week. When my mum was young, meat was really expensive so they rarely had it. With cheap meat readily available it’s no wonder people consume so much of it, but I honestly don’t believe we need to all go full-on vegan – if everybody just reduced their meat consumption down to 2-3 times a week it would already go a long way towards helping the environment! Plus, I live in Switzerland… the land of cheese and chocolate! I just can’t imagine sitting with my salad while everyone else tucks into delicious cheese fondue.

    Also, I agree with you about the “holier-than-thou” attitude. I often find it difficult to have conversations about going vegetarian/vegan or not because a lot of vegans go into the conversation with the attitude that if you are willing to eat an animal you are just plain evil and therefore none of your arguments could possibly be valid, which is annoying because I’m sure I would agree with a lot of what they think if they would only give me a chance. Your post is one of the most sensible discussions on the topic that I’ve seen for a long time!

    • For sure, you can be a vegan and have a terrible diet because you are just eating junk food all day long (like Oreos or crisps that are incidentally vegan). But the thing is that being plant-based is no more or less healthy than any other kind of diet. And you do have to give some thought to your nutrients but once you know what works for you to get a proper nutritional balance it comes fairly second nature and you don’t have to carefully plan out every meal. Or you can be vegan and have a really balanced nutritional diet. So you really don’t need to put your own health at risk. Balance is key everywhere. (Though granted balance has been far easier for me to balance than it would be for some people, for medical reasons I’ve taken B12 for years as my body doesn’t absorb it like everyone else’s – it’s easy for me from fortified foods than meat/poultry)

      I think sadly that most people aren’t going to dramatically reduce their meat consumption. Nor do I think someone is evil for eating an animal. That’s ridiculous. That’s the kind of thinking that I 100% can’t get behind. But I do think it’s good for everyone to know more about what happens in the meat and dairy industry so that we can continue to increase standards of care. Because you can be a perfectly kind, healthy animal lover and still eat meat.

      If there was ever a situation -and there probably won’t be- where I raised my own chickens, I would still eat eggs.

      My stomach doesn’t handle dairy well but sometimes I sacrifice it for a really good gelato. And I 100% won’t say I’ll banning cheese for my entire life. For me, I just want it to be more of a special treat than a daily occurrence.

      It’s all about finding whatever diet and balance works well for you that is sustainable for both your body and the environment x

      • Oh yes, you definitely can have a vegan diet and be healthy, I just think it’s that much harder to get the right nutrients – especially when it comes to things like iron. I know vegans who take iron supplements and I just think if you’re having to supplement surely that should tell you that what you’re doing isn’t working somewhere along the line? Unless you actually have a problem absorbing nutrients, in which case it wouldn’t matter what you eat, but if you’re having to take supplements because something is lacking in your diet then I feel like you’re probably eating the wrong foods! I definitely don’t think you will have any issues there though – you’re already so clued up different foods and eating properly!

        I agree, sadly the majority of people are not going to reduce their meat consumption any time soon, even though a lot should – if not for the environment then at least for their own health!

        • Totally!

          People can be weirdly reticent about admitting when they are doing something that is bad for their health. We all have something that we can do better for our health by eating less of, but if you’re open and honest about it than it’s easier to work on. (Mine is sugar. I know I eat too much of it).

    • Ciara Foster

      I’m definitely not the kind of vegan with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude & respect everyone’s right to make their own dietary decisions but I do find it somewhat hypocritical when non-vegans claim that a vegan diet isn’t healthy for humans, from my own personal experience, I’ve found it really easy to stay healthy as a vegan but I recognise that you can also be an unhealthy vegan, just like you have healthy and unhealthy omnivores! Everyone can eat what they want based on their own beliefs but it does seem a little silly to condemn vegans as being preachy and judgemental and in the same sentence judge the vegan diet to be unhealthy for humans!

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong – as I said to Amanda below you definitely CAN have a healthy vegan diet with lots of planning and foresight, but I don’t feel like it’s inherently healthy. With my current diet, if I just avoid junk and processed foods, limit red meat to once every couple of weeks, eat fish at least twice a week and on the days I eat meat make sure my plate contains more vegetables than meat I can have a relatively healthy diet that gives me all the nutrients I need. If I were to switch to veganism I would have to spend a lot of time thinking about what I would have to eat in which amounts to cover all the nutrients I would be missing out on. And, as previously mentioned, soy is unhealthy, at the very least for people with thyroid issues or those who want to get pregnant (that came from a fertility doctor, not me). So while a vegan diet can, of course, be made healthy I don’t believe it is inherently healthy for humans in the way a meat and plant based diet is – we’re omnivores for a reason. I do apologise for being preachy and judgemental though – it honestly wasn’t meant that way.

        • Ciara Foster

          No worries, I just often find that people complain about vegans preaching and don’t realise how judgemental their own comments are! My personal view is that it’s important for everyone to make their own decisions about what is a healthy and sustainable diet for them! For me, that means being vegan, but it’s fine that that’s not everyone’s choice!

  • This is a very balanced statement on veganism. I like it. A few friends of mine are vegans and sometimes the problem is their sheer contempt for people who aren’t. Which is a turn off. I’ve been cooking vegan more, but I find the alternative sometimes not very good. Like soy and almond milk are actually pretty bad for the environment. But regardless I think everyone could benefit from a little less meat in their diet. We eat mostly pescatarian – I love seafood too much – and I find it quite balanced.

    • It’s the contempt that I really don’t get. There are pros and cons to every diet and it’s just about finding a balance that you feel works for you, and that you feel comfortable with (and not guilty about).

  • This is really interesting to read as I feel like I have been coming across so many vegans lately!! And have had my own bad experiences with dairy and am considering a switch to veganism. But I totally agree with your point on the “cult like vibe”… that has mostly been what has made me not want to become vegan (that, and already having a restriction in terms of being gluten free). I really think you have the right outlook in terms of having it be a loose descriptor rather than categorically being Vegan. I already love your recipe posts and have tried quite a few but will look forward to your plant based ones in the future!!

    • Thank you so much Sarah! I’m trying to used a plant-based approach to eating as a loose guideline and not a strict moral adherence. I’ll try my best to plan my meals that way, but if I’m in Italy I’m going to try some parmesan or gelato. Or even have meat on a special occasion. (So I know most vegan forums would be absolutely horrified and disgusted by that logic.) I’m going to try not to consume or purchase it on an daily or weekly basis and just do my best to try to give back to the planet! x

  • I find this so interesting to read Amanda, like you over the past year I’ve cut out meat as I’ve gone completely off it, but I don’t eat necessarily vegan as I do need dairy still in my diet for medical reasons. I think I would struggle very much to eat meat now as I really relate it to animals and that way of thought xx

    http://www.natalieleanne.com

    • I know it’s odd but I never eat seafood because I had a bunch of pet fish growing up. (That all died tragically) so I’ve always been fairly swayed by my conscious when it comes to food.

      My mom actually grew up on a ranch so she has a really healthy respect for animals and meat. She grew up making sure that they were treated well and with dignity and that no one ever was a meat gluten and truly appreciated what the animals were giving and sacrificing to her and her family.

      She told me that the first time she ate meat that she had bought at a shop after she went to university and had moved away from home that she felt sick and couldn’t eat it and ended up binning it- she said she could taste that it was all chemically and unhealthy and that the cow hadn’t had a very nice or natural life. That’s always stuck with me. x

  • I am actually going on a plant-based diet now too so this post came with perfect timing! I was so hyped how well it worked to eat zero or much less meat and be more conscious and healthy and eat more plant-based meals to lose weight and now I want to stick to it to keep my weight as it is <3 I used to think it's just plain and boring and not very tasteful BUT there's so much tasty stuff out there it's awesome x

    Arden | HELLO ARDEN

  • Laura Emilia

    Another part-time vegan here! I eat a plant based diet (mostly) at home, but if I go to a restaurant I’ll probably have something vegetarian, unless they have a good vegan option on the menu. I do feel really guilty about it sometimes, but I think, like you said, placing blame on others, or, in this case, myself, is never gonna help. After all, I never really decided to be vegetarian either – I just wanted to reduce my meat consumption and at some point just realised I’d been accidentally vegetarian for over a month and just decided to go from there!

    I’m really excited to see your new vegan recipes! I also really enjoy getting your newsletter with tips on how to eat seasonally – I actually just made your courgette pad thai this week and loved it so much. xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • I’m so glad that you liked the courgette pad thai – it’s one of my favourites. I think we have a really similar approach to it. If we are out at a restaurant, I’ll have whatever takes my fancy but at home try to keep animal products out. xx

  • I used to work with a guy who was vegan. Really, really into being vegan. He eventually told me he first got into it as a young man, when he was trying to impress a girl he liked. She was vegan, so he went along with it, dove right into the lifestyle. It wasn’t until they were serious/married/kids etc that he realised the vegan thing for her was actually a ruse to hide her eating disorder. Like, a massive fuck off eating disorder. So, telling groups of friends “hey, I’m vegan, I can’t eat that” was a great excuse for her not to eat. Ever. Without raising eyebrows. Anyway, I’m pretty sure she went on to get help, live a good life etc, even though they were divorced by the time I met him.

    I’ve been around the block a few more times since then, and I really think I see a lot of disordered eating in this “clean eating” / “wellness” movement that you mention. There’s so much bullshit hiding behind “it’s good for you” and “I just care about the planet”.

    Basically, I am not a fan of dieting or “rules for eating”. At. All. I am into having an ethos about what you eat and making good decisions for good reasons. But it’s not the end of the world if you have some pizza or a bit of chicken. So I salute your decision to eat occasional pizza.

    Be healthy, girl. And that means being healthy emotionally and mentally as well xx

    • So he stuck with being vegan even after he got divorced? That’s interesting. I wonder if they had an amicable divorce. I feel like I know some divorced people who would eat a massive steak the next day covered in cheese and then send the partner a picture of it just as a massive eff you. (Though now that I say it, a steak covered in cheese donesn’t sound very good.)

      I just really dislike when people are like “you once ate a piece of chicken? How could you”. Because I put it in my mouth, ate it and enjoyed it. I had dinner with a friend this week and she made a super tasty moussaka which I happily ate. I know some people would be disgusted that I had some tasty lamb whilst saying I care about animals, but screw ’em.

      Since dairy gives me a dodgy tum, I just want to give some animals and the environment a bit of a break. I’m trying to used a plant-based approach to eating as a loose guideline and not a strict moral adherence/diet. I also hate clean eating and wellness. (Gluten is not evil and just because you spend an extra Β£10 getting agave nectar doesnt mean that your body processes it any different than sugar – this is one of my pet peeves). xx

      • Yeah, so by the time they split up he was actually really into veganism and it was his thing. It wasn’t just a thing he was doing for her anymore and he’d found his own rhythm with it. He told me that the first year of veganism is always really disturbing because it’s just a process of giving everything up, like everything you know. Eventually he started adding things back to the level where he felt comfortable. For example, he would eat honey. And he’d wear leather and wool where he felt it was necessary – better to do that than contribute to a sweat shop etc, you know?

        I personally don’t really know any bad divorce situations – everyone I know has always ended up in a “best friend I should never have married” situation. Like Mark’s ex-wife. I love her. She’s so cool, and so is the rest of her fam. Unfortunately that’s not the case with everyone I guess, which sucks when there’s kids involved.

        • I can tell you some excellent bad divorce stories. They are not appropriate for a public forum but next time we meet up, remind me.

          I interestingly read a really good argument about why honey should be considered vegan the other day – but have completely forgotten where I read it.

          • Now in the cold hard sober light of day I can think of two bad divorce stories. They’re not actually that bad though in the greater scheme of things. Definitely no vegans involved, viscious carnivores, the lot of them. lol.

            Also, there’s a quite good article floating arond about eggs and vegans and if vegans could ever eat them if the chickens were well treated etc. No, I don’t have a link coz I’m a mess.

          • I’d totally welcome eggs back with open arms if the industry stopped automatically killing all the male chicks by throwing them into a chicken meat grinder (though they say the macerator kills them instantly and it’s the most humane way to batch kill). But it’s that coupled with burning off beaks (that even happens in organic egg farming) that I really don’t want to support. Basically, i just need to get my own chicken.

            Though I’m 99% sure Harold would try to kill the chicken.

            For some reason, Sam and I both come from families with loads of divorced people and both have an alarming number of badly divorced friends! x

  • Ohhh very intersting. I am not a vegan, very far from it, BUT the topic of veganism seemingly fascinates me. I have a couple of customers who are vegan (our cafe doesn’t really cater for vegans but we try our best) and I’m always bombarding with questions as I’m so curious.
    Personally, I just couldn’t think of a life without eggs… or butter, or cheese. However, I get your reasons.
    haha and you’re right about the cult-like thing! We kept getting some d**k trolling our cafe FB page about vegan options and THAT was a huge turn off!
    Holly xxx /// http://www.mrshollycrocker.com
    https://www.mrshollycrocker.com/blog/2017/9/14/im-at-the-halfway-point-in-my-project-september

    • See that’s exactly the attitude that I cannot handle and one of the reasons that I’d never call myself a “vegan”.

      So I’m trying to used a plant-based approach to eating as a loose guideline and not a strict moral adherence/diet. If I’m eating vegan at home when I cook for myself then I wouldn’t really bat an eye at having a nice vegetarian dish that wasn’t vegan on one of the rare times we eat out. Even if I eat plant-based 99% of the time, the odd occurrences when I didn’t would really drive some people mad (like your troll). Laura above said she was a “part-time vegan” and I quite like that!

  • Ciara Foster

    Really interesting read! When I went vegan, finding my ‘why’ was how I managed to totally make the transition because once I made an ethical connection, it was no longer just a diet or a fad! But I definitely agree, that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself, making a big change to your diet still helps the environment even If you slip up in the beginning! Ciara – http://www.ciarascorner.co.uk xx

    • I think there’s slightly the difference between us – I wouldn’t think of it as a “slip”. If I ate a buttery croissant it would be reasonably deliberate (which is why I’m calling it plant-based not vegan. Also I’m still eating honey).

      I have my ethical reasons why and have made that connection but I’m also not going to deny myself a birthday Ben&Jerrys if that’s what I really wanted after eating vegan for months. (That’s by no means what I’d pick for a birthday treat but it was the first thing that popped into my head for some reason.)

      For me it’s all about off-setting my environmental impact as much as possible, if that makes sense. πŸ™‚ xx

      • Ciara Foster

        That definitely makes sense, as I said, it’s all about having your reason for eating the way you do! And regardless of whether you’re fully vegan or just mainly plant based, your diet is making a great impact which is always a win in my books! πŸ™‚ xx

        • I wish everyone would ideally decrease their meat consumption by a lot (even if they didn’t want to give it up entirely) but sadly that seems so far away! x

          • Ciara Foster

            Yeah, unfortunately it does seem a little unreachable, but every little helps & plant based eating is definitely gaining more and more momentum!x

  • I’ve been doing the exact same thing especially for the past three years or so. I’ve never been one to label myself with *anything* (or deny myself cheese!) and of course I think veganism is great and all, and even though there’s strings of days where we happen to eat a vegan diet, it’s just not a title that belongs with me. “Plant based” definitely resonates so much more, and sounds like it does with you as well! Interesting about soy – I would really like to not be buying soy milk so much but I often can’t be bothered to make almond milk and alternative milks are so much more $$ here. womp

    • You really hit the nail on the head with how I feel as well. I’d never call myself a vegan because a)I’d be a shitty part-time vegan (though most weeks I eat vegan, if I’m in Paris I am having a buttery croissant) and b) I also don’t like labels. That’s why I’ve appropriated the term plant-based for my way of thinking.

      I wish I could share some of our milk alternatives with you! Milk gives me a terrible stomach so we’ve used alternatives for the past few years, but I recently discovered oat milk and I’m in love with it! x

  • I wish I could give plant-based a go! I don’t eat any dairy or eggs, but without meat, I might starve. I’m fructose intolerant which forces me to follow the FODMAP diet (aka what I’m sure everyone must be forced to follow in hell) and there are so few grains and fruits and veggies I can safely eat that meat has, unfortunately, become my safest food. I think your reasons for wanting to eat a plant-based diet are wonderful, though.

    • Oof. That sounds like such a hard life. Veg and grain has always been the basis of most of my meals for as long as I could remember. Do you have to stay away from things like honey as well? x

      • It is pretty miserable considering how much I love food, but I’m even more miserable when I eat things I’m not supposed to, so I just deal with it. :/ I do have to stay away from honey…a piece of wheat bread with butter and honey used to be one of my favorite indulgences and now I can’t have any of those things! Such a shame!

  • It’s really interesting to see why you’re doing this – and it’s a great idea! I was a vegetarian as a student (there were a few different factors) and we could definitely make a few quick changes to our own diet…

  • NicΓ΄le

    I love hearing that more & more people are trying to go plant based! I have been a veggie for 10+ years & I have never really been a fan of eggs or milk but the hardest thing for me is chocolate & cheese! I know there are substitutions nowadays but I still find it so hard! I have tried to be a full time vegan for so long but I do sneak in some cheese & even fish every now & then! I love salmon so much! I am also engaged to a french sous-chef so life at home is hard! Especially when he makes moules et frites & macaroons! He had no sympathy for me being a veggie but I have actually turned him part time veggie the other day after making him watch Gary Youroufskys speech on youtube. It was so educational & eyeopening! I also love Ellen Fisher on youtube her life is my goal haha! Being self sufficient in Hawaii? Sign me up! I don’t agree with everything they say, like you said “clean eating”, “wellness journey” etc. makes me cringe to! I’m doing this for me & it makes me feel good!

    Hope you enjoy it!

    Nicole x

    http://www.trouvailleco.co.uk

    • I actually posted a recipe for vegan macarons last week! Maybe your fiance could give it a go for you? (Btw, so jealous of his occupation – you must eat so well at home!)

      I could never give up chocolate either! A lot of dark chocolate is vegan (you just have to make sure to give the ingredients list a good scan. Including Cadbury bourneville (for a cheaper alternative) and Green & Black’s or Lindt for a pricier bar.

      I’ll have to add Ellen Fisher to my watch list! x

  • This is something I’d love to try too.

  • if it were up to me, I would cook/eat vegan with only 2 exceptions: hard cheeses and bacon. [ok and occasional pizza.] unfortunately, with my stomach issues I can’t tolerate eggs, nuts, soy, legumes or lentils right now… so meat is my only real source of protein. we were pretty plant-based before the summer and I’m hoping my body will let me go that way again. not sure if you get earth balance in the UK but their soy free “butter” is amazing! I’ll be curious to see the new recipes πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the suggestion Jamie – I’ll have to look up Earth Balance immediately! Fingers crossed that your body starts healing not for your plant-based eating but just for your general health and so food excitement. Yours is one of the most stressful food intolerance stories that I’d ever heard. (I think it was the lack of diagnosis/reasoning that made it so scary!) I think you are such a strong person! x

  • Good luck Amanda! It’s so great how you have decided not to comply to certain standards – you’re going to eat for you own reasons and your choices are totally up to you! I approach it pretty much in the exact same way. For me, the decision to go vegetarian was solely because I don’t like the taste and texture of meat, and it now aligns with my growing desire to help the planet and animals, no matter how small my contribution. I don’t ever want to be that person, however, who is invited to dinner and refuses to eat a lovingly cooked meal because it has animal products in it. I have seen it first hand and really don’t think it is appropriate. As you say, the cult like vibe of veganism is really off putting. I simply don’t like to get dogmatic about it, it just makes life unnecessarily hard, and eating should not be a chore or something to worry about, ever.

    If you’re after some recipes, I cannot recommend Avant Garde Vegan on Youtube enough – he is one of the few vegans who isn’t preachy, just has a love of good food and making veganism accessible to everyday life and taste preferences. Honestly, his recipes look restaurant quality and every video blows me away!

    I can’t wait to see some vegan friendly recipes from Rhyme and Ribbons!

    • Thank you so much lovely! (And thank you so much for the YouTube suggestion! I’ll be heading over there immediately to check his recipes out!)

      I had a few recipes up that were incidentally vegan already (you can find them under the recipes tab at the top, but I’m quite excited to explore a new way/style of cooking.

      And I’d be exactly the same way, I don’t want to refuse something in someone’s home as a guest! x

  • Such a timely post, I was literally having a discussion about trying to have one week each month meat free as my start point. It’s so great that you are doing this. Also the restaurant and food scene has changed so much that a cheese sandwich isn’t the only vegetarian option.

    • Completely! Or the times when it was maybe just a salad. Last year Sam and I started doing vegetarian during the week/eat meat on the weekends and it was actually really useful and we started to notice that even on the weekends we ate meat less and less. x

  • Georgina Cowling

    Great post! I have been a pescetarian for almost ten years now, and recently I tried a plant based diet. I was determined to make it work but it just so happened I was eating out a lot at the time and the vegan options in some restaurants are appalling! For now, I’ve returned to being a pescetarian (because I was worried about having a B12 deficiency) but I am eating plant based when I can. I don’t drink milk anyway, but cheese is so hard to give up!

    It’s great to hear that so many people are reducing their meat consumption! Then there are those who think that if you are a vegetarian, or vegan, you must be crazy for not wanting to eat meat and look at you as though you are stupid. It’s disrespectful and everyone has the right to choose what they eat. Good luck, and have fun experimenting with new recipes! x

    http://www.love-georgie.co.uk

    • Thanks so much Georgie! We are really lucky because we have some really excellent vegan/vegetarian options in a lot of the restaurants and cafes around us.

      I’m completely with you – I don’t understand ever judging anyone for their food choices! Everyone makes the personal decision for their lives and even if I don’t agree with it or think it’s healthy it’s their choice and I’ll respect it. xx

  • The North Left Blog

    I call myself ‘flexitarian’ haha! I haven’t eaten red meat in about 20 years, and I’m pretty much plant-based, but I don’t berate myself for what I do eat.
    Interesting read, Amanda, thank you!

  • I love this post. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 10, and have always been passionate about animal welfare. There seems to be such a disconnect in life between where food comes from and what people are eating. If people had to kill the animals themselves, or if they saw the sort of inhumane life some animals are forced to have, then I’m sure they would think twice. I would love to be a vegan and admire those who are.

    Your post has made me feel better about fluctuating between vegan and vegetarian life. I love cheese, but when I think about the dairy industry, suddenly the thought of eating it doesn’t appeal to me.. but then there’s pizza. Although I did see the Pizza Hut are bringing out a new pizza with vegan cheese.. so I’m hoping that will be tremendous! Have you tried it? But then, I expect the meat Pizza Hut use isn’t free range or very ethically sourced… so maybe it isn’t good to support them? Sigh…

    Izzy x
    http://www.izzydabbles.co.uk

    • It’s such a minefield out there isn’t it?!

      I haven’t tried the Pizza Hut vegan cheese pizza, but I’d consider it. I feel like you’re trying your best so there’s no need to put too much pressure on yourself! You’re already doing phenomenal things for the environment! xx

  • Miu

    I subscribed to your newsletter because I am always on the hunt for new recipe ideas. I recently downloaded a season calendar because I want to start buying vegetables and fruits a bit more ecologically, although winter time is quite depressing to look at in our latitudes :/

    Miu

    • Winter can be tough – that’s the time to especially learn to love your root vegetables and things like cabbage and sprouts! x

  • I never really liked eating meat very much, so it was natural for me to have a mostly vegetarian diet once I had more control over what I ate. I would like to be more plant based (more vegan), and am already pretty close to it most of the time, but would require getting yogurt and cheese out of my regular diet. Looking forward to reading more about your food choices!

    • I was a regular yogurt eater too. Luckily, my local shop sells really tasty coconut milk yogurt so I haven’t had to worry too much about its loss. xx

  • Personally I wouldn’t be able to follow a plant-based diet, for a few reasons.

    I’m already researching different diets to help with my Crohn’s, and if I were to eliminate animal products in addition to the strict diet I’m putting together, I wouldn’t have many food options left! The Crohn’s diet will just be temporary, something I try for 30-90 days. Even if it ends up effective enough to implement full-time, after 90 days I’ll give myself “cheat days.”

    The greater challenge is Dan. He’s an incredibly picky eater who doesn’t eat much food period. Now that I’m not as sick as I used to be, I eat more than he does. That should give you an idea of how little he eats, though. I’m 7 inches shorter than he is, and we still ate the same amount of food when my Crohn’s was really bad. He wouldn’t get enough calories cutting out animal products.

    I try to buy as much Georgia-grown food as possible, although I’m struggling to find out which Georgia animal farms treat their animals well. I also stock up on organic meat (not local) when it’s on Manager’s Special at Kroger and freeze it.

    • Have you been to the Morningside Farmer’s market in Atlanta? It’s a bit of a drive for you because it’s near the Botanical Gardens (morningside/Lenox Park)for a Saturday morning but it’s good!

      EatWild is a great resource for finding sustainable farms in your area for both produce and meat/dairy : http://www.eatwild.com/products/georgia.html It might be worth looking at Agrilicious too.

      Man – I don’t know how Dan does it! Is it especially a problem when you travel abroad? x

      • Ha, that’s a really long drive for us. We only make it into Atlanta maybe once per month, if even! And when we do, we spend at least half the day there! There is sort of a co-op in Cumming where you pre-order what you want and pick it up at a local farmer’s market. I’ve looked into it, but the handful of times they had what I wanted and we were in town on Saturday, I forgot to place an order by the deadline.

        Thanks for sharing EatWild! There are a few farms in north GA. I’ll have to see if they supply anything close to us because they’re all still far away from us.

        So far Dan has only been to Canada, France, and England, all of which have delicious meat, bread, and cheese! We’re going to Japan next year, though, so we’ll see how that goes. He likes even more fish than I do, though, so he should be fine.