If you’ve been around the blog for the last year or so you’d have noticed that I share almost exclusively vegan recipes these days. While I don’t consider myself to be fully vegan I have been following a mostly plant-based diet for about 4 months now. And recently I started getting questions from friends, family and even some of you about why.
So today I thought I’d do my first WIAW in forever and chat about why I eat mostly plant-based…out loud.
This may be an unpopular statement, but I actually didn’t start eating plant-based for the animals. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and I think the meat industry can be pretty horrific. But that wasn’t the driving force behind my decision to eschew meat.
For me, it all started when I was forced to go dairy-free. Somehow my journey to figuring out how to enjoy food again without cheese and dairy in general, ended up taking me away from meat.
At first it was just Meatless Mondays here and there and then I started taking entire weeklong breaks from eating meat. And I continued like that until one day I realised that I just wasn’t missing it anymore.
And I wasn’t that surprised.
Why I didn’t mind cutting out meat
1. I wasn’t a huge meat lover to begin with
I’ve never been one of those people who can’t fathom going a day without eating meat. In fact, I can trace my first attempt at becoming a vegetarian back to secondary school when I was about 15 or 16. Unfortunately, I used to hate veggies, beans and tofu and barely got any nutrients during that time. So that was short lived.
Obviously, my tastes matured as I got older and my current foray into plant-based eating was a bit more
2. I suck at cooking meat
Although I ate meat for most of my life, I never really mastered the art of cooking it. Cleaning meat kind of skeeves me out and I could never get it to taste as good as when other people cooked it. So when I started cooking more and buying food less I realised I was better off just not cooking meat because I rarely enjoyed it when I did.
3. It makes me more adventurous in the kitchen
Cutting down on my meat consumption forced me outside of my food comfort zone. In the last couple months of plant based eating I’ve tried so many new-to-me foods that I never would have attempted otherwise. Not only has it been amazing for my general health but my overall enjoyment of food has increased. Goodbye food ruts.
And aside from all that, I just feel so much better now that I don’t eat meat. My food doesn’t sit in my stomach for hours on end and I no longer need to take naps after every meal. My body, my stomach especially, is a million times happier on a plant-based diet.
Oh and to answer another question I get asked often: I don’t think everyone needs to go plant-based. While I do believe many people can benefit from at least a few meat-free days a week, going completely plant-based is a personal decision and not one that I can make for you.
But I will say, that although plant-based eating is something I fell into, I don’t see myself going back to eating meat anytime soon.
More insight into my meatless journey:
What about you?
- Are you plant-based? If so, why?
- Would you ever consider going plant-based or having a few meat-free days a week?
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Casey the College Celiac says
I eat a mostly plant-based diet myself (no egg or dairy, just fish or meat here and there) and I can definitely relate to dairy free being a gateway to plant-based eating! It definitely helps that I’ve come to love veggies, fruits and whole grains. Now, meat is more like a small side while plant-based goodies are the (very delicious) stars of my meals!
Casey the College Celiac recently posted…A Gluten Free Celiac’s First Trip to LA
rachel @ athleticavocado.com says
I do eat meat ( chicken and seafood) almost every day because that’s what my body thrives off of but I think it’s awesome that your body is loving a plant based diet. We are all different and it’s great to see that!
rachel @ athleticavocado.com recently posted…Vegan Lemon Blueberry Crumb Cake In A Mug + 6 More Sweet Summer Blueberry Recipes
I go through phases with my meat. I definitely eat more plant-based than I do meat-based [except for eggs which I eat daily!] but I can go weeks without any meat and not even miss it. Then summer rolls around and I crave all things BBQ, including burgers and BBQ chicken 😉 I am in a phase right now though where I really want to experiement and play with my diet to see what my body thrives on, so I am always changing it up!
Kat recently posted…WIAW 7.20.16
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I have always not eaten meat once a week for religious reasons, but as I started living on my own and realized I hate touching meat and cooking it, I started eating a heck of a lot less of it. When I am home I’ll eat it, but when I am at my apartment cooking for myself, I like eating plant based. I find that I feel better in my workouts when I limit it and I have found that I really like plant based protein options, like black beans especially!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Honey Peanut Butter Protein Bars
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub says
Good for you! I like to eat more vegetarian food but I haven’t committed to a full vegetarian lifestyle yet.
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Why I’m Breaking up with Running
Emily Swanson says
This is really matter of fact, and I love it Giselle. I do agree with you that I’m not a huge meat person, and I’m terrible at cooking especially the really nice cuts of steak and such. I could imagine myself being a vegetarian some day, but right now my family still eats meat about once a day, and I definitely do still like it occasionally.
And it is so much simpler not to cook it, because it takes longer to cook than most veggies. (sometimes)
Emily Swanson recently posted…WIAW: A Cry of Despair and Hope
I never liked meat–texture, taste, everything about it. As a kid, I’d eat any vegetable my mom put in front of me, but meat (and pretty much anything cooked with it) was a battle. I just stopped eating it in undergrad and don’t miss it at all. I will occasionally eat sashimi, but I try to keep that to minimum, and no dairy. Other than that, my diet is totally plant-based (other than probably some random stuff I buy at the store like white chocolate chips that obviously are not vegan).
I was vegetarian for years, but about 2 years ago, I made the decision to stop dairy as well. I did it for ethical reasons, but I have to say I love the weight loss that came with giving up dairy cheese and ice cream!
Evangeline Kennedy says
I am plant-based too! I made the switch because I believe eating plants is better for the environment, and they make me feel awesome 😀
Sarah @ BucketListTummy says
I would say I’ve definitely started eating more plant based this year, but I still eat meat occasionally. With all of my training and running, sometimes it’s just what my body wants. But I totally agree with you about becoming more adventurous in the kitchen with plant based recipes – most of my recipes on the blog are vegetarian.
Sarah @ BucketListTummy recently posted…Day in the Life
amanda- runtothefinish says
I did a vegan challenge a few years ago and it really opened my eyes to more ways to eat veggies and different foods!
amanda- runtothefinish recently posted…Copycat Vegan Flourless Whole Foods Tahini Cookie
Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen says
Glad you’ve found what works for you!I was probably 80 or 90% vegetarian in university and a while afterwards, but when I moved in with my boyfriend I had to compromise and cook meat more often because I’m not willing to cook 2 separate meals every night. So we do about 2 meatless dinners per week and the rest with meat. I would still probably prefer to eat less, but maybe we’ll get there eventually. 😛
Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…Dairy Free Chocolate Tofu Pudding
masala girl says
love this giselle! in high school i began to eat less meat, we’d have it at home *maybe * every other day or so, just once a day (at least i would), but i made sure it was always sustainably sourced. when i started college, i ate (or tried to) one meal with chicken (abut a week in) and it was gross, and didn’t live up to my standards, and i went plant based and havent looked back. at school, i’m mostly vegan., but i do eat yogurt, and after aout a year and a half, i occcasionally now have chicken or broth (could be 1x a month or 1x in 6 months)
ALSOOO… those noodles. do you have a recipe for lo mein or was it take out? haha
masala girl recently posted…Tagliatelle with Vegetables & Tempeh
Plant Based Lei says
I really wouldn’t feel bad that you didn’t go plant-based for the animals initially. I find people who adopt a plant-based lifestyle do so for health reasons mainly. Helping animals and the environment are just two awesome bonuses of living a lifestyle that offers so many health benefits!
Plant Based Lei recently posted…Whole Food Plant Based-Diet Food List
Jessica Bailey says
I didn’t go plant based for the animals either! This diet helped me get healthy and have energy after my last pregnancy. After being vegan for a while I realized it’s beneficial for the planet as well. But I’m not perfect about it either.
Jessica Bailey recently posted…30 Easy Vegan Recipes Kids Will Love
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Love the post … 10 year vegan here! … and yes, I did do it for the animals.
That’s interesting it was your quitting the dairy which set you on the path to meat-free. Often it’s the other way round. People give up meat because of the obvious cruelty involved but maybe are not aware of the cruelty behind dairy … only realising later on and then they will be vegan.
Why did you have to cut out the dairy? An intolerance?
Rohan recently posted…“Why Veganism Is Bad For Animals” – Bad Actors & Dodgy Algos