When my husband takes me to a vegan restaurant he’s really so amused by how much I enjoy my meal. I didn’t actually notice until he smiled and said “I wish I got that excited about eating”! And I really do. I love everything about plant based food. Trying new seasonings. Pairing different grains and veggies. A sweet or savory sauce that is unexpectedly delicious. I take my time savoring and taking it all in. Before becoming vegan I liked food. I thought Dominos Hawaiian style pizza at a sleepover was good. I remember my Mom making tuna stuffed croissants sometimes and I liked eating those on the patio in the summer. Wendy’s junior bacon cheeseburger with fries dipped in a frosty seemed tasty after a basketball game back in high school. I didn’t love feeling like a bloated slug after the fact. I mean, I guess I liked food, but I was never IN LOVE with a great meal like I am now! It wasn’t until I chose to base my whole diet on plants that a beautiful new concept of nourishment came into my life.
As I thought more about my husband’s cute comment it became clear that every vegan I personally know and also those I follow on Instagram and Facebook really are foodies! We love to share photos of vibrantly colorful food. We give descriptions of the amazing flavors and textures. We enjoy every bite and are not sorry that we had dessert. Of course, you can be a junk food vegan, though it’s not necessary with fruits and nut butters that are so flavorful and nutrient dense. My first thought is always ‘is there nutritional value in this’ before I eat anything. When it’s plant based food the answer is overwhelmingly ‘YES’! I feel like eating vegan has given me the healthiest relationship with food. I look forward to being in the kitchen and making a mess chopping, sautéing, baking, mixing and blending. The colors are gorgeous. I can almost be overwhelmed by my enjoyment of the many tastes and textures.
Like many people I used to exercise so that I could eat and not gain weight. That messed up mindset had me stressed about going out to eat because I was trying to calculate in my head how long I would need to do cardio to burn it off if I had bread AND wine AND dessert. That resulted in me hating exercise because it felt like punishment for eating too much junk and I was also hating food because eating made me stress about when I was going to ‘burn it off’. So, I was just cranky and miserable all around. Eventually, I decided to just eat as if I wasn’t going to exercise. I wanted to just eat healthy and not worry about calories or creating a caloric deficit. I hoped that if I were nourishing my body and fueling my brain everything would balance out. Did it ever! Just erasing that worry of punishing yourself helps your mind and body heal and thrive. I don’t ‘reward’ myself with food. I certainly do get ‘excited’ to eat food that heals my body and doesn’t inflict pain and suffering or harm our delicate planet. That makes me feel so good! Vegan food is worth getting excited about. I’m thankful everyday to have the choice to eat like I give a damn. And my husband enjoys the show.
*Tell me about the foods that make you happy. firstname.lastname@example.org