If you read this blog with any regularity, you probably know that I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram. I follow a steady stream of inspiring moms, chefs, writers, business leaders, interior designers and fashion bloggers. Recently, one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Lisa D Cahue (her blog Mind Body Swag is a great source of style inspiration!) did an Instagram story about how she maintains a healthy glow and lean body: a solely plant-based diet. Lisa seems to have endless energy and always looks like she is radiating sunshine, so, I decided to give it a try. I already eat a veggie-heavy diet so I figured it couldn't be that hard.
My Approach: I cut out all sugar, dairy, non-plant protein. No eggs, chicken, meat or fish. No carbs. No cheese. I loaded up on fruits, veggies and beans at the farmer's market and focused all my eating and cooking on making the most of what came from nature!
I feel amazing. I wake up feeling very light and ready to take on the day with boundless energy.
There is no mid-day slump that comes from eating something heavy at lunch or sugar in the afternoon.
I lost a few pounds instantly. I wasn't really looking to lose weight per se but I'm not complaining!
My digestion has improved. My stomach feels settled and not ever too full.
My skin looks less puffy and more dewy.
Cutting out cheese was probably the hardest part. I don't eat much other dairy but I usually sprinkle some light cheese in salads and I miss that.
It was harder than I imagined to avoid sugar. I had to cut out my usual Cafe Mocha at Starbucks on my way to class at night and really missed it.
Making veggies exciting can be time-consuming. I found myself having to read a lot of blogs and books to come up with recipes that I'd look forward to eating and I have very little free time so this was a bummer.
All-in-all, I loved the experience and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in trying something different. It's good for kids too (although I didn't cut out milk or eggs for Daisy). Here are a few of my favorite plant-based recipes:
Pink and Green Salad
I steamed asparagus and green beans then sliced fennel, watermelon radish and red onion on a mandolin and tossed them with pistachios and sesame seeds. Topped with a quick vinaigrette of agave, lemon juice, sunflower oil, S&P. Delish!
Avocado "Toast" Rice Cakes (good snack & for breakfast!)
I mashed avocado with cherry tomatoes, shallot and a sprinkle of salt and lime juice and spread over vegan rice cakes with a dollop of all-natural hot sauce - I look forward to this every morning! Flavorful and surprisingly filling.
Summer Glow Salad
from the Glowing Fridge
I love, love, love corn and I live for tomatoes so this is a slam dunk for me. Easy to prep ahead for the week too.
Buffalo Cauliflower Kale Salad
from Running on Real Food
I am a huge fan of anything with buffalo cauliflower and kale so naturally, this is a win.
Almost Raw Cookie Dough Balls
I can't not have chocolate. Can't do it. This dessert satisfies the hankering for something sweet without going overboard.
Have you ever tried going plant-based? Have any favorite recipes you'd recommend? Send them my way and try these - you won't be disappointed!