One of the questions I always get from non-vegans is
“So… What do you eat?!”
This blog post is for you all who are curious about what are some of the things I eat on a daily basis. My food isn’t always the same, and I sometimes buy more junk than other days. Nonetheless, if you’re as nosy as I am, you’re sure to enjoy this post. Can you spot a few things you think you could swap for today?
My relationship with a plant based diet started back in my second year of uni (2015). I transitioned from being vegetarian to vegan (or, at least a very aspiring one) after watching a compilation of the controversial Freelee The Banana girl videos, in which she critiqued YouTube personalities and celebrities. Not only were they shocking, but simultaneously educating and informative. I then tried out veganism on and off for months until I finally took control over my diet completely and took it seriously in August of 2017. And, here I am, months earlier, with no cravings for my beloved cottage cheese and liver (which I absolutely used to love).
The cupboard. It’s important to always have some sort of canned ingredients and don’t always rely on having them fresh – I, too many times have ran out of food and regretted not stocking up on what I call ‘emergency rations’, don’t make that mistake! Or you will quickly turn back and claim this lifestyle is IMPOSSIBLE… and, a little spoiler, it isn’t.
First of all, carbs and starches, but better. I still sometimes end up buying white potatoes, for the sole reason of variety, but I always make sure to have sweet potatoes on hand. They are a lot better for you in terms of the amount of vitamin A, along the fact white potatoes contain less fibre and potassium (for more tips and food comparisons, follow @fritzness_ Instagram!).
I try to cut out on bread and tortillas completely, but for now I am reducing the amount I eat and sticking to the wholemeal versions (so I feel a little bit better about eating them…).
Butternut squash, onion and parsnip. I use butternut squash for my vegan pizza bases, and parsnips totally taste like carrots but better, I dare you to try them raw.
Bananas, mangoes and oranges all serve for handbag snacks, alongside the graze flapjacks filled with amazing ingredients.
Next up is my little corner of sweetness, condiments and natural remedies. Lemons, ginger, garlic and cinnamon are natural antioxidants and help reduce inflammation, so I try to eat them in my breakfast, drinks and meals whenever I can.
I don’t fear the good fats on a plant based diet, so I make sure I’m stocked up with nut butters, tahini and seeds which keep you satiated for longer and help absorb nutrients into your body, besides tasting freaking delicious. Wondering what in the heck are Blackstrap Molasses? Molasses = dark brown juice obtained from raw sugar during the refining process which are high in iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6. I eat a spoonful now and again, but it can also be used in baking instead of sugar. The Agave Nectar is also a healthy alternative to sugar, which I also use in baking.
P.S. keep a bag of brazil nuts in your cupboard and eat one a day to maintain your intake on selenium (which is essential for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and so much more!).
Above, my baking slash random stuff I use occasionally section. Pretty self-explanatory.
Lentils, nutritional yeast and raw virgin coconut oil are a vegan’s good buds. Check out the many benefits of coconut oil >here<. Lentils are a great source of protein and the nutritional yeast is amazing for vegan macaroni and cheese (+ contains b12!). In regards to the coconut oil however, I have recently read up about the health benefits of cooking with it and why we should think twice when reaching out for it – so I might soon make a change to a healthier alternative e.g. flaxseed oil once I run out. I also take a Vitamin D supplement, not because I am on a plant-based diet but because I live in the UK (fun) and it’s recommended for every member of the population to supplement it due to the lack of sun (cries).
Coconut milk, chickpeas and quinoa – all perfect for a) curries and salads, and b) source of protein. I also sometimes buy random things like the chestnuts (I never tasted them before), when I feel a little experimental/something is on offer.
Let’s move on to the fun part, the fridge. A place many cannot imagine without ‘good old stinky cheese’. Well, not this time. You will hardly ever see my fridge without the following: Alpro yoghurts, hummus and almond/hazelnut/oat milk. Quote me on that. The dairy butter is a must when whipping up some (tofu) ‘scrambled-eggs’ and usually costs no more than traditional butter (approx. £1.20) so it’s an easy switch. As for the yoghurts and nut milks, you have to try them yourself, trust me, you will love them.
P.S. when buying the spread, be aware of the brands claiming they’re ‘made with plants’ as some still contain buttermilk, hence dairy (e.g. Flora Light).
Avos and tofu. Pretty standard. A great source of healthy fats and calories. For the tofu, I prefer it firm as it’s easier to work with. As for the avos, if you want to keep them for longer without rotting (we all know what avocados can be like… </3) keep them in the fridge for a few days. To prevent them from going black when cut give them a dazzle of lemon juice.
Continuing on with the veggies, these usually change with my mood but my staples include tomatoes and peppers. Correct me on that, did you know that tomatoes are actually fruits because they have seeds? (let that sink in).
This time I went for green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radish and carrots. It’s important to eat your greens, people! Another reason I chose broccoli and cauliflower, is because they are a part of the cruciferous vegetable which reduce the activity of thyroid, which I currently struggle with. I use kale to make kale chips and sometimes add them into smoothies when I feel like it (spinach is usually a tastier choice).
I have also started to keep my cashew nuts in the fridge as I read the cool temperatures slow down staling and prevent rancidity while the dark space further protects them from light damage. How interesting?! It’s also recommended we should do so with flaxseed.
…and here it is! A tour of my cupboard and fridge, up close and personal!
I hope you enjoyed checking out how easy it is to switch a few things up, towards a more healthy and wholesome life, with just a little trial and error and getting to know your taste buds on a whole new level. Let me know if you’d like to hear more on the topic of a plant based diet and veganism, it’s something I’m getting more and more passionate each and every day!
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