𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒎𝒆, 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒍𝒚 𝒏𝒆𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒏𝒖𝒕𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒊𝒔𝒕. 😉
I’m just here to bust up some myths that often come up when it comes to “healthy” or plant-based eating! Below you will also find my favorite vegan weightlifter, my guide to plant-based grocery shopping, 30-minute recipes, and photos of my favorite go-to meals.
Mʏᴛʜ #1: 𝑪𝒂𝒓𝒃𝒔 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒘𝒆𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕. Hi, so, I eat a high-carb diet. That’s right: HIGH, as in, 50-70% of my daily calorie intake. You may have heard me talk about carbs before, but I will say it again: Not all carbs are created equal!! Carbs and bread are not synonyms. Carbohydrates that come from fruits and vegetables, and carbohydrates from whole grains and beans, are essential parts of your diet. They give your body energy and come packaged with a plethora of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants).
Weight gain is (almost) always an imbalance between calories you take in and calories you burn. We tend to underestimate the amount we consume, and overestimate what we burn. Refined grains, like white pasta or cookies, tend to be “empty” calories that your body either burns up like sugar, or does not burn and stores as fat. This can leave you feeling still hungry, lacking nutrients, gaining weight, feeling uncomfortable… and this is where carbs get a bad wrap! Instead, choose whole grains over refined ones, and shoot to keep that carb:fiber ratio below 10:1.
Mʏᴛʜ #2: 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒊𝒏 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 meat. Our culture has a huge hype around protein. We buy the powders, look for “high protein” labels, and choose proteins as the center of a meal. In reality, protein needs depend on individual factors such as weight, activity level, and weight loss/fitness goals. It is extremely rare to be protein deficient in the United States, no matter what diet you consume! All plant foods have protein, in varying amounts and with varying amino acids, so consuming a variety of them throughout the day will give you all of the building blocks your body needs. Beans, nuts, and seeds are of course big sources of protein on a plant-based diet, but whole grains are also great sources. Vegetables such as broccoli and peas are high in protein, too. If you don’t believe that you can build muscle mass eating only or mainly plants, talk to an elephant or a gorilla…
Mʏᴛʜ #3: 𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒆𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒅. Supplements are expensive. Marketed health foods are expensive. Vegan junk food is expensive. When you compare a package of regular sausage to a package of vegan sausage, you will see the price increase. 𝐵𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑜𝑑𝑠. You can still eat them as a fun or special item, just like you would splurge on your other favorite foods, but those products aren’t going to be the basis of your balanced diet. When you eat food in it’s whole form, it is substantially cheaper! It costs me about $6-7 to feed myself each day at home, and as my mom would say, I’m a good eater.
Mʏᴛʜ #4: 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒉𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐𝒐 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒐𝒐𝒌. It may be that some meals are second nature for you to cook, or that you can do other things while you are making your favorite recipes, so it doesn’t feel like “work.” Learning new things can take a little time, and learning new recipes is no different. When you get to it, though, the funny part is that most whole foods need minimal cooking. Letting rice steam is the longest part of any meal I cook!
In addition, I am a big advocate for meal prepping or batch cooking. Taking a little time on one day to bake oatmeal for breakfasts, make a chickpea salad for lunches, and cut up vegetables for snacks makes every other day a grab-and-go scenario. When I take the time to cook a more complex dinner, I make sure there is enough for more than one meal, either later that week or to be frozen.
Can I do any more myth busting for you?! Any topics you would like to learn more about related to nutrition and health? Please leave me a comment! 💚