This video is an EXCELLENT introduction to what I’m talking about (Thanks Abbie for suggesting it!). Short and to the point, Essyleten shows you what you eat on a plant based diet. And that lasagna, omigoodness, looks sooo good!
A few other things. A few posts back Deja asked what I did when I go to restaurants, parties, ect. I should post more on this later, but to keep it short, there has only been one time since I have been vegan where I had to “break code.” It was Christmas day, I was pregnant, we were staying at a fancy hotel, there was nothing open except for a gas station and the only place that was open was the restaurant which was super fancy and only serving 2 options: steak or salmon. So I chose salmon. It wasn’t a big deal, and I didn’t feel bad about it.
You have to decide what your limits are. Some people make a rule that if they are at a friend’s house or a party they will eat what’s served. I say, what a perfect opportunity to share with others how you eat. Most people don’t care, they are just curious. In addition, parties/special events can become an everyday occurrence, or at least often enough that you are making “exceptions” for every other meal and your diet soon begins to not even remotely resemble a healthy vegan diet. I find it much easier to just avoid all “naughty” things. I’ve found through trial and error there’s no regret this way and it actually becomes so much easier.
If you’re going to a party or friends house, take a dish that you would eat or offer to bring a dish. If nothing else you can eat that. Also, a lot of restaurants will be very accommodating. I usually end up creating my own dish. Olive Garden and P.F. Changs have been so great at allowing me to create my own dish. My husband has now grown used to me pretty much politely bossing the waiter around, asking a dozen questions, and then me getting a beautiful, colorful and tasty dish that wasn’t even on the menu. I really should just do a whole post on my experiences because I have quite a few good ones.
Abbie you mentioned eating too much peanut butter. Funny you should say that. I’ve noticed that peanut butter becomes the first thing that many people use as a sort of crutch when they transition to a more whole foods diet. I think there are a couple of things at play here. First, you’re probably eating the same portion size as you were before so you end up just a little hungry after meals or get snacky sooner (remember you have to eat more because the foods that you are eating are as a general rule, portion for portion lower in calories, unless you are using a lot of avacados, olives, nuts, ect.). So the quickest fix: eat peanut butter, which is high in calories and really quite tasty and addictive too. The solution: eat more at meals and/or eat snacks in between meals. Don’t be afraid to go back for seconds or even thirds. Trust me, it’s nearly impossible to eat too much (as long as you’re eating low-fat plant foods) because you will get really full and either will eat less or next meal or maybe skip the next meal because you aren’t hungry at all. There’s really no way to overeat on a low-fat whole foods diet because the fiber protects you from doing so (consider this nature’s way of keeping us thin and trim). And I have nothing against peanut butter, but for most adults, we should use this and other nut-butters sparingly and in moderation. Hope this makes sense.