Whole plant-based eating refers to a diet centered around whole (i.e. unprocessed) plant foods. Sometimes confused with veganism (which is a lifestyle not a diet), whole plant-based eating is generally adopted by people because they believe that it is healthier and not primarily because it benefits animals or the environment. This is why you may see honey used in plant-based recipes, but not in vegan ones. Another difference is the emphasis on “whole” foods. While it’s possible to be vegan by subsisting on fries and soy ice cream, a person eating a whole plant-based diet will avoid or minimize refined sugar and processed foods, such as ready meals or supermarket cookies.
For the past few months I have been eating this way and loving the way it makes me feel. Knowing that I’m nourishing my body with good foods full of nutrients that won’t spike my blood sugar or deposit lots of cholesterol in my arteries gives me a deep sense of satisfaction from my food, that lasts even after the pleasure from actually eating it has subsided. By eating this way I’m also discovering new and exciting foods (purple sweet potato, maca, tempeh and almond butter, to name a few) and incorporating more of some familiar foods (e.g. oats, beans, broccoli, flaxseeds, turmeric), bringing more variety to my diet than before.
Eating food that is not only good for you, but also delicious is in my eyes the ultimate win-win situation (what’s not to like about having chocolate pancakes for breakfast while providing your body with proper nourishment?!). To me, whole plant-based eating is a celebration of tastes and textures, flavors and flavonoids, abundance and anthocyanins and no compromise indulgence. All this can also be a wonderful creative outlet, as it has become for me – experimenting with new foods, finding ever more interesting recipes and creating own ones.
I have also found that a passion for delicious and nutritious food can be incredibly social. Since starting this blog and my Instagram back in the summer of 2016, I have connected with so many wonderful people – both through social media and in real life. My move to London in September of the same year enabled me to (finally!) attend events by bloggers and brands I had previously been following from afar and I have been lucky enough to make amazing friends who share my passion in this area. Plant-based eating and health and wellbeing in general are something more and more people care about and therefore have the potential of bringing people together.
Let me, however, add a disclaimer to this seemingly unquestioningly pro plant-based lifestyle. What we eat and don’t eat is very personal and, of course, highly individual. I don’t believe a fully plant-based lifestyle is right for everyone, and it may not even be unconditionally right for me either. While I do believe that the more plant-based and homemade meals the better, we should all eat in a way that makes us feel our best – physically and emotionally. Food should be a source of enjoyment – not something to beat ourselves up about or to impose strict and miserable standards on. Right now, a fully plant-based diet makes me happy and I will continue eating this way for as long as feels right, without feeling bound by any labels.
Finally, let me end this by saying: Whoever you are and however you eat (vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, ovolactovegetarian, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, plant-based or, as my Mom likes to say, simply “normally”), I hope this blog inspires you to eat some delicious, nourishing food and maybe try out something new.
Reading Tip: If you’re interested in reading about the benefits of eating lots of yummy plant food, check out How Not To Die, by Dr. Michael Greger (it’s what kick-started my journey to plant-based eating).