Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My Plant Based Lifestyle

As most of you probably know by now, I recently made the transition to a plant-based diet, which I’m following about 90% of the time. So I want to go over what exactly that is, how I “discovered it,” and also how it’s changed my eating habits!

Engine 2 Diet


I want to go over a few definitions. I posted about this on my like page, but I recently went to a concert and went to a food truck that was advertising vegan bowls.


 

 Obviously I was super pumped about that and although it wasn’t the best situation, if you are advertising something as “vegan,” that means it should not have any meat, dairy, eggs, or animal products in it. I get my order, and it not only has sour cream drizzed on top, but shredded cheese.

Vegetarian vs Vegan



Due to this experience (which has happened an innumerable amount of times), I want to clarify that I’m not a perfect vegan. I actually love cheese and it’s my weakness. However, dairy really hurts my stomach and I strive not to consume it--for nutritional and moral reasons as well. There are many levels of veganism, but from a nutrition stand point, that means strictly no meat, dairy, eggs, or animal products in food. A vegetarian, on the other hand, does not consume meat but can consume animal products such as dairy.


Vegetarian Grocery List


No, a vegetarian does not eat fish. That would be a pescatarian, even though sometimes people confuse the two. I know some might disagree, but that is my definition and a pretty well-known one as well. ;)



 Regarding a plant-based diet, my experience started several months ago when I watched the Forks Over Knives documentary on Netflix, followed by the Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue. I then ordered the Engine 2  Diet book, and I became obsessed with learning all about a purely plant-based diet. The Engine 2 Diet is basically just ridding your body of junk, to be honest. It is all whole foods, with no meat, dairy, refined, and processed foods. I see it as putting more fruits, veggies, and whole grains into your diet rather than just taking things out.

vegan grocery haul



According to the Engine 2 Diet, adhere to these healthy guidelines: zero animal products, no added oils (ever), 100% whole grains, and minimal added sugar.

This is straight from the website and book. I have found that following this diet has significantly increased my energy, reduced any and all bloating, I’ve felt lighter, my attitude has changed to more positive, and overall I felt myself really changing.

PiYo


After discovering this and trying a lot of the amazing recipes, I did a 21 day cleanse called the Ultimate Reset.  For more information on that and to view every single day of my journey, you can search for it on youtube or check out older blogs :)

But basically, the Ultimate Reset is a 3 week vegan cleanse—no dairy, no sugar, and minimal oils. I lost 12 pounds with it and it was by far the hardest cleanse I’ve ever had to do. I only consumed distilled water, ate mininmal carbs, and did yoga daily—no intense exercise!

Ultimate Reset Results


This was a wakeup call for me, seeing as I felt amazing just from plants! My nutrition drastically changed, and after the cleanse I wanted to implement this into my daily lifestyle. Obviously, this is easier said than done, and no one is perfect, but I find that I am much healthier when I follow a completely plant-based style at least 90% of the time.



I don’t like to categorize myself as either a vegetarian or a vegan because I feel like those terms get thrown around too much and people don’t really understand what they mean. Like that food truck, I think the terms confuse people or it might just seem like a new fad. In reality, if you are plant-based or not, your way of eating is your lifestyle. How you choose to eat, what you call yourself, that’s all up to you. However, I do think it’s important to educate ourselves on these labels because it can be really difficult to eat places that aren’t specifically for that lifestyle. For example, labeling a vegetarian stirfy as such but putting chicken broth in it does NOT make it vegetarian. Labeling a vegan bowl as such and putting cheese in it actualy makes it vegetarian. I mean, it’s pretty simple really.

LuLu Lemon


I always get asked if it’s difficult to go out to eat, and sometimes it is—when they label foods wrong. I’ve found that even at steak houses I can find something to eat. Actually you can EAT anywhere, just order off the menu!


If you have any other questions about what I eat, I have a ton of recipes on my pinterest and my blog. Feel free to email me if you would like to talk about it, or know any more information regarding the ultimate reset, engine 2 diet, living a plant-based lifestyle, or if you have any awesome recipes and tips! I’d love to hear them :)


LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com 

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