If you don’t already know, I am a vegan. This means I don’t eat meat, fish, dairy products or honey. I am also gluten intolerant which means I can’t have any food that has flour in (i.e. bread, cakes, biscuits, pastry and a whole host of other things that just happen to have wheat in for a bizarre reason). This makes it quite difficult to eat processed food and yet I still manage it! I eat a lot of gluten free bread which is my guilty food really as some of it contains egg. I also eat cheezely (a vegan cheese made from soya) and drink a lot of soya milk. At the moment I’m eating boxes and boxes of vegan, gluten free mince pies and I love gluten free biscuits too.
I’ve had a few accidents when it comes to eating gluten free and vegan. Many gluten free products have honey or eggs inside and I’ve also slipped up and eaten things I’ve thought were gluten free which weren’t. It hasn’t escaped my attention that if I stopped eating processed food I wouldn’t slip up as much. I also find that eating fresh fruit and vegetables and less processed food just makes me feel healthier. I’ve therefore decided to try a whole foods, plant based diet.
Basically this means I will cut out all processed food and everything is going to be handmade from scratch. Hopefully it shouldn’t be too much of a transition for me as I’m already vegan. I’m hoping that with this new diet I’ll feel healthier and have read a lot of accounts by people who are on this diet who say they feel full of energy, much healthier in themselves and feel like they are being much more environmentally friendly.
So here goes… the rules I have decided to follow from the 1st of January 2013.
1) Base all of my meals on fruit and vegetables (organic if possible).
This is something that I already do to a point. However I have often based food around bread (such as at breakfast time) or processed food such as gluten free pies, vegan sausages and burgers etc. Breakfast is a big one because I often have sugary cereals or just toast. I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks looking at other foods I can have.
2) No soft drinks
Only drink water, dairy free milks (hazelnut/almond – try to cut back on soya milk), natural fruit juices, tea (without sugar). I want to try drinking more fruit/herbal tea than normal tea.
3) Healthy snacks
I like to eat small meals and end up snacking quite a lot throughout the day. At the moment I eat a lot of crisps and although I’m not going to give them up completely I want to focus more on healthy snacks. I’ve signed up to start receiving Graze boxes which are natural snacks of fruit, nuts and seeds. I’d also like to eat more fruit and vegetables as snacks.
4) No refined sugar
Only natural sweeteners from fruit and maple syrup.
5) No deep fried or fast foods
I already do this as I can’t usually eat them!
6) Spend one day a week prepping food
I’m only going to eat homemade bread and other baked goods. I’m going to do some research and find bread recipes that I can use. I’m therefore going to do cooking/baking on a Sunday to make sure that I have enough healthy food to get me through the week (especially the days when I come home from work late!).
7) Eat more raw food
I love the raw recipes I find on raw vegan blogs and they have a lot of health benefits. However I wouldn’t want to commit to a raw diet. These foods would be a brilliant way of sticking to my whole foods challenge.
8) No more than 5 ingredients
I won’t be eating anything bought from a shop that has more than five ingredients in the list. Especially if they are ingredients that aren’t natural!
9) Try more new recipes
This is always the key to not getting stuck in a food rut and keeping eating exciting!
And that’s it! I’m going to start this now so that I can get my head around all the different bits. Wish me luck…