So here it is: What I ate for Thanksgiving!
Mom made a delicious raw vegan dish, from Simply Raw Natasha’s recipe “Celebration Loaf.”
There were TWO quinoa dishes, because really, one is just not enough!
There was a giant green salad, basmati rice, broccoli and cauliflower as usual.
I made gravy, but ran out of time and just used the packaged stuff (if using, make sure you check the ingredients, meat and dairy can sneak in there!)
I must admit that dessert consisted of an apple pie that I didn’t ask the ingredients for. But that’s why I call my diet plant-based and not vegan right now. Which brings me to today’s topic: the plant-based spectrum.
This is the way I have eaten in the past:
Omnivore (well, my mother might argue that point considering my picky tastes as a child, but I wasn’t discriminating on what my food was, just what it tasted like).
Vegetarian (junk food variety – cheese, bread, sugar, white pasta, lots of bagels and cream cheese)
Raw Vegan (I was eating high raw, so I would only eat something cooked once or twice a week, and it was usually whole grains to quiet a craving).
Vegan, interspersed with junk food binging (like a poutine after a late night)
Vegetarian, whole foods
So why do I say Plant-Based diet and not vegan? Because while I don’t cook with animal products, or stock my fridge with animal products, sometimes when I’m out for dinner with friends, I might accept a slice of pizza with goat’s cheese say, or I might take a bite of my husband’s chocolate cheese cake. Why am I not so strict when I go out? Because as you can see from the long list above, labels can be crazy-making, and putting myself into a specific category can make me feel like a failure if I fall out of it. When you fall down the health food rabbit hole, you can easily forget how other people eat, and that you’re probably still eating a million times better than the average North American. We’re so busy having compassion for animals, that we often forget to have compassion for ourselves.
A few months ago I was attempting a cleanse, and I wasn’t doing too well (I realized after, I was cleansing too fast. If you cleanse, please work up to it, even if your body can handle it, your mind might have some issues!) and my husband told me how he had been talking to one of his hockey buddies who was also doing a cleanse. My husband said his friend explained the cleanse: “No meat or dairy, lots of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and lots of water.” My husband said he laughed because that’s what my diet was normally. This made me realize that while green juice and constant ingredient checking and a high raw percentage are probably optimal ways of eating, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the time I’m eating badly. I’ve learned my lesson with poutine and pizza, they make me feel like crap the next day, but a slice of apple pie on Thanksgiving that might have some butter in it? I’ll survive. Being vegan is something I strive for, but I am on the plant-based spectrum. The more that I read, the more that I learn, the easier it becomes to turn down certain food, or to choose to ask what the ingredients are. But I am also on a mission to prove how easy eating a plant-based diet is. And I think that this Thanksgiving gave me another opportunity to do just that.
Anyone have thoughts on this? Do you feel like you land on the plant-based spectrum, or is it all or nothing?
Since it’s a yoga weekend coming up, look for a yoga post tomorrow!