Living a balanced and healthy life to me has meant consuming products with as little ingredients, but still have a large impact. Living in this way has led me to a vegan and eco-friendly lifestyle, not quite there yet at zero-waste but, one day!
I first became vegan around 2014 and I have to say the lifestyle and all the yummy food has given me so much vibrant energy! I have loved food since I was a kid, literally my mom’s friends would call me, “Cookie,” so I truly enjoy all the delicious and seasoned foods as a vegan.
Here are my reasons for going vegan as well as some links to place I adore:
While you can definitely blow your bank account at Whole Foods, you can simplify the foods you eat and still save money. Consider the cost of a veggie bowl from Chipotle ($7.00) that includes guacamole, so no that sh*t aint extra! If you go the route of plant based, the cost of fresh fruits and veggies is typically cheaper than ready to-go food.
Eat all the food!
I eat so much more as a vegan just because everything is so much lighter and low in calories. Like I know I should be careful with the fat intake, but I can eat carrots and hummus for days (favorite snack ever!). And the most important thing I’ve learned in life, you gotta make a salad in a bigger bowl than you think. I just love adding different salad toppings, favorites include: chickpeas, avocado, sprouts, sunflower seeds, lemon, grape tomatoes…
Image from @sporteluxe
Plant power to feel light
When eating as a plant-based vegan, I feel so light and filled with energy. There’s something tiny differences I feel when skipping rope at the boxing gym and my belly is full of bread and cheese versus skipping rope after eating roasted veggies and steamed arugula. In times when boxers need to meet weigh-ins, you know they can count on a vegan diet to help them perform at optimum levels while still meeting the weight.
and lastly… finding vegan restaurants while traveling
A couple years ago, I went on my Euro trip and my first stop was in Paris, France. I never felt 100% comfortable in the city — I was frustrated that I had practiced my French before arriving and was still being teased when asking for vegetable sandwiches with no cheese. I finally felt at home when I visited Le Potager du Marais, a place where I could speak another language besides English and French to the owner and enjoy all the yummy vegan foods. I even had one of the locals ask me what my appetizer was and she finished hers before I finished my own – everything was so savory and had flavors of umami from the mushrooms.. I am drooling just thinking of that restaurant!
Bourginon de seitan
I also have to say that the owners of vegan shops / restaurants have always been so friendly and it’s not to say other businesses are evil, but it’s like catching up with a long lost cousin or sister. I remember my time in Malaga, Spain at Biocasa a health + food store outside of my hostel. My roommate and I passed by while the shop owner was opening up for the day and offered to make us breakfast. She considered what foods I typically liked to eat and made me a simple yet filling toast.
Toast from Biocasa
In no way do I ever feel that I am restricting myself, vegan food is delicious. It’s become more than a diet but a lifestyle change. Instead restricting myself, I think of all the food that I get to eat: avocado toast, acai bowls, pâté forestier, bourguignon de seitan, gazpacho andaluz… happy eating!