Recently I’ve been looking into a lot of plant-based recipes. Personally, I don’t really love meat all that much so its not a crazy leap for me to have meals where meat is not the star of the show. When I do eat meat however, I buy it from local butchers who can tell me where exactly it came from. I’m the annoying customer in front of you that’s asking about the farm the cows were raised on, what the animals were fed, do they have a humane slaughter method and so on and so forth. It sounds like a lot, I know but you should try asking these question the next time you buy meat. But I digress…back to the plant-based foods.
I say plant-based because I feel like vegan has got a bad rap lately. I’m not by any means a vegan but I totally get where they are coming from. I used to think that if you were vegan you wore patchouli and danced around a big pot of lentils while singing about the benefits of wheat grass and Mother Earth. I now know that while I’m sure that those people exist, the majority of vegans are regular folk like you and I – they just choose to eat a little differently. And I think that the ‘differently” part might be throwing people off.
I decided to delve into this world a bit when many of my textbooks for school (holistic nutrition) starting spouting the benefits of eating wholesome, plant-based foods. So, I went to old dependable Chapters and got me some cookbooks. At first, I’m going to be honest. It was a little overwhelming.”WTF is seitan and do I really want to eat that? Why do I have to make my own vegan sausage and can you really even call it sausage?” I closed the cookbook and backed away slowly…”This food is not for me. I like cheese! And the only time I eat tofu is when I’m forced to in my sushi!”
But then I had an aha moment in my kitchen.
I was probably in high school the first time I tried hummus, I kid you not. And if you had asked me 10 years ago what an heirloom tomato was I would have said “a fruit that was left to you in someone’s will.” Now, these are foods that I buy regularly. As it turns out, foods that seem so “different” or exotic are really not that scary at all.We grow up eating certain dishes and become comfortable with them. To this day nothing makes me happier than a gooey, cheesy tuna melt. But as I get older, I realize that I need to stop eating with only flavour in mind and start making choices for my health and longevity. I need t try different kinds of foods and discover that they can be just as delicious as the foods I’m comfortable with.
And maybe, I should just suck it up and try this crazy seitan stuff before I decide that I don’t like it. Also, maybe I should stop looking at plant-based in terms of what I CAN’T eat and instead start thinking about what I CAN. Because the options are astounding, really.
That’s about it. So, the next time you’re thinking about what to eat for dinner, try coming up with some recipes that don’t involve animal products. Or, if you do choose to eat meat and animal products make sure you know where they come from.Remember – we get to make choices with our dollars so put them somewhere positive!
And the next time you’re grocery shopping try picking up that dragon fruit or the spelt pasta. Who knows? You might just discover a new favourite! There is also the possibility that you will eat something new and think “Dear God, No! Why? Why did I just put that in my mouth? Oh, the humanity!!!” If that happens, well, at least you’ll know to never buy that particular food again. Lesson learned! 😉
As always, high-five like you mean it. Do good things today.