My mom was a vegetarian while I was growing up. I was used to having tofu, tempeh, fresh veg, lots of legumes, fruits and homemade foods. Bc I grew up with it, it never occurred to me that other kids didn’t live that way. My father was always a healthy eater and great cook, but he ate meat. As I see it, I had the best of both worlds.
When I met my husband, he was vegetarian and had been on and off for most of his life. I ate meat then, but I never had any issues eating less or no meat during our meals together. Eating less meat made me realize that when I did eat meat, I didn’t feel as good as when I ate more fruits and veggies.
By the time we moved to New Jersey, we were eating fish, but little to no land meat. We wavered back and forth some (my husband even ate chicken for a while) but it was mostly ovo lacto vegetarian for us. Some events in the Summer of 2018 lead us both to come to the conclusion that we would give up all meat, from land and sea, in a serious manner.
Personally, I think humans are supposed to eat animals. We, ourselves, are animals and omnivores as far as I can tell from the evidence I know. But I think the way most people currently eat animals is unsustainable and inhumane, wasteful and unnecessary. In an attempt to lead a more sustainable and less wasteful life, eating plant based is an easy and obvious choice.
Now we eat what I like to call a vegetarian, plant based, whole food diet. That’s a mouth full and what does it even mean? We stopped eating any fish and sea creatures. We do eat dairy like cheese and butter and sour cream. We try to eat mostly fruits and veggies and eat whole foods that have not been overly processed. We eat fermented foods like miso, pickles and vinegar.
We try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Some with every meal! The term Plant Based really refers to a diet that is only plants but I use it to mean a diet that is based on plants, which we definitely do.
We also try to keep local stores, growers, producers in mind when we eat. This year was the first one where we grew our some of our own food and it was a game changer. It’s important to us to eat this way so that we are conscious of the environment, animals, our home and our health.
There are, of course, some ways we could improve our current diet. An example would be to make our own cheeses, sour cream, and yogurt, or only buy local cheese and dairy. But right now this diet works for us.
Some of our typical and most eaten meals are:
Quesadillas with black beans, corn, olives, fresh veggies, sour cream and hot sauce.
Cheese, crackers, veggies, mustard, pickles, olives, and mustard.
Miso soup with veggies and noodles.
Pasta with red sauce or pesto or cheese or garlic oil.
Sides meal with potatoes, veggies, grains, and various other “sides”.
Salads with home made croutons, veggies, sometimes we add fake chicken patties, and dressings.
Tofu, rice and broccoli with soy sauce, peanuts and chili garlic sauce.
Peanut butter and jelly (and sometimes hot sauce) sandwiches.
Bean and rice bowls.
Grilled cheese sandwiches with red onions and hot sauce.
Pierogies with onions, sour cream and veggies.
Smoothie bowls with various toppings.
Oatmeal with fruits, nuts and nut milks.
Beans on toast.
Chickpea salad sandwiches with carrots, onions, celery, and mayo.
Let me know in the comments if you also eat meals like this! Or if you would like recipes or more info on any of the meals listed above. What kind of diet do you eat? What role does your diet play in your lifestyle?