Has the past week been the week of celebrations around here or what?! Last weekend was our 11 year wedding anniversary, Wednesday was the 1 year birthday of Better With Veggies, and tomorrow (September 1) marks 1 year that I have been eating a plant-based diet!
In case you’re new here, there are a few posts that help explain how I got here you might be interested in:
- My initial post on transitioning to a plant-based diet. I wrote this one before I had decided if I was even going to stick with a meat, dairy, and egg-free diet. The reasons for my decision are explained very well in the original post, however.
- I also wrote a guest poston Amanda’s blog yesterday about why I stopped eating all animals and animal products (except honey).
- When I hit the 6-month mark (in March), I reflected on my experience being a plant-based athlete.
After a year, I don’t have much to add to the 6-month post, except:
- I still haven’t gotten sick!Eating a plant-based diet removes many of the products that can cause problems, which has helped me stay healthy all year. Even through a 50K, marathon, and international travel!
- My running results have improved!! After completing my first 50K run, I PRd (personal record) in the marathon! A plant-based diet supports my training and racing.
In preparing for today’s post, I asked you for your questions about a plant-based diet on facebook and twitter. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here – let me know and I’ll answer it in a future post!
Why don’t you call yourself vegan? There’s a lot more to being vegan than just avoiding animal products in your food. It also includes removing all animal products from your clothing, beauty products, and anything else you might use.
While I do try to avoid these items as much as possible, it’s not something I do 100%. I have replaced all my purses with vegan selection (and they are awesome), most of my beauty products have been switched out, and we are transitioning our cleaning supplies (although we don’t have many anyway). BUT, I’ll admit that I was given boots at a company party recently that are leather – something that I really agonized over, but decided to accept and I enjoy wearing them now.
I also consume honey, which is a controversial topic in the vegan world, but for me it is gathered in a humane way and I am comfortable with it.
That’s the long way of explaining that vegan is not really the right label for me, a plant-based diet is a better explanation. Who likes labels anyway?
How do you get enough protein – especially for running? This is one of those questions that comes up over and over again. Do you know how much protein you really need? According to this article from the CDC, 10-35% of your daily calories should come from protein (1g of protein has 4 calories in it). If you’re eating a 2000 calorie diet, that’s 50-175 g of protein.
Some of my favorite sources of protein? Tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, cannellini beans, almond butter, cashews, peas, lentils, & quinoa.
What has been your experience eating out…really? I have had really good experiences eating out – seriously! I have had a personal challenge for myself since the beginning, I wanted to be able to eat anywhere. And I really have been able to accomplish that without a problem. If it’s a very meat-centric restaurant, I typically call ahead so they have time to prepare. Usually, I just look at the menu and ask for customizations. Take a look at my restaurant reviews and you’ll see that most restaurants I enjoy are NOT vegetarian or vegan restaurants. It is fun trying out veggie restaurants when we travel, but that’s really because they are delicious!
Now for the exception…breakfast. This is the toughest meal of the day to enjoy out on a plant-based diet. There are tons of vegetarian options available, but those are very egg-centric typically. I’ve noticed that this is changing slowly, but this one can be a challenge.
What do you think is the hardest part? Eating at friend’s houses and catered events. When I’m at a restaurant, I can be creative and enjoy something tasty. When you are supposed to eat what someone has made you…it’s another story. Even after my post to help everyone invite me to dinner, I know it can be intimidating for others. Usually, we have people to dinner at our house or eat out. For catered events, I bring my own.
Anything you miss? Two things: sushi & eggs benedict. Veggie sushi can be really good, but I do miss fish sushi sometimes. And eggs benedict (poached and soft-boiled eggs were my favorite) is something I’ve never replicated.
Finally, I participated in a different foodie swap this month – the Vegan Food Swap! This swap is hosted by The Verdant Life and is open to anyone who wants to send and receive an box of vegan treats each month. I decided to give this a try and was thrilled with the goodies I received from Andi (who is not a blogger).
Check out all these goodies – it may have been the best box I’ve received!
The sunflower twigs are one thing I’ve managed self-control and haven’t opened yet, but they sound great. I think these are for our upcoming airplane trip. The ginger snaps super cookies were gone the first night. They are raw and amazing! And dangerous. ;)
Gone Nuts is a mix of nuts tossed in a pesto seasoning that I enjoy (in a weird way), but isn’t Kirk’s favorite. The Wasabi Miso sauce is fantastic mixed into Israeli Couscous! It’s creamy and flavorful and I think will make its way into many meals in the future.
The Primal Strip (beef jerky, without the beef, and very tasty!) – which didn’t make it 5 minutes out of the box. And finally dried persimmons! I have never seen these before, but they are soft, chewy, and fantastic snacks. I think they would be good baked into granola bars too – but haven’t tried that yet.
Thank you to Andi for this awesome box of goodies! And you should check out what I sent to Michelle over at “A Bit Addicted to Cookbooks”.
And with that, it’s time to close this very long post! :) I hope you have enjoyed this fun week of celebrations! You have until the end of the day to enter all the giveaways, before the winners are announced on Monday.