Last year I had the idea to follow the journey of eight families who eat a plant-based diet. I thought reading stories of singles, married couples, working parents, homeschoolers and athletes would inspire you in your journey. Today we say farewell to the Extended Family.
Instead of formal questions the Extended Family will just give a little year-end summary. If you have enjoyed their journey please leave them a comment below.
Christopher & Kara
We have been eating plant-based for close to a year and a half. We became plant-based after viewing documentaries about what goes into our food and the overall health issues eating plant-based can prevent. We feel it is our responsibility to raise our kids with the best possible healthy start in life. We have a lot more energy and sleep better at night. We seem to bounce back quickly from colds. Our
digestion is much better and we really enjoy the taste of food now.
Emily & Tony
We started being plant-based a year ago (last November). We started the day after watching “Forks over Knives” for the first time. We changed our eating habits cold turkey/over night and did really well the first few months. My husband and I both lost 25 lbs each and were feeling great. In March I found out I was pregnant with our 4th child and life got really busy and hectic schedule-wise. We slowly began slipping back into old habits over time. We know being plant-based works and is probably best but have not been consistent like we should. I am so proud of all the families that can do it with no problems because today’s culture and stores are not on your side. We would like to and plan to get back to it here soon. Some weeks and days we do better than others. Overall, my kids do eat a better variety of vegetables…so besides the basics of corn, green beans, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower….they also enjoy asparagus, brussel sprouts, and kale (though my 5 yr old loves it best as kale chips)….still I can’t complain too much…better than potato chips from the store…lol. My best advice or encouragement would be to someone considering a plant-based diet is to just try it for yourself….what do you have to lose? You will definitely see a difference but my warning is to be careful of the slow fade that happens once you let one or two things back in. Hopefully, this is not the end for us…but just a beginning!
Erica & B
We’ve been plant based for almost two years now. I remember it seeming so overwhelming at first, but now it’s just our way of life and no big deal. My whole family feels so much better eating this way and we get the added bonus of health issues resolving and dropping a couple pounds (the adults/weight loss).
Kim & Family
I’ve been vegetarian for nearly 20 years and my 3-year-old has been veg since birth. We went fully vegan with my husband early this year while I was pregnant with our second child. Giving up cheese was really the last – and biggest – change we had to make, and once we learned how to make cashew cheeses, it’s been smooth sailing every since! We feel better, not only physically but also spiritually, knowing our choices are better for the planet and the lives of animals. For those thinking of embarking on a plant-based diet, you’ll never regret it! Try a new recipe every week, and you’ll slowly expand your palette as well as the ingredients in your pantry. There are so many wonderful plant-based dishes out there; you’ll never get bored if you put some effort into exploring new recipes and ingredients. Be sure to eat a variety of foods to ensure you are getting all the protein, vitamins and minerals you need. It is possible to raise a healthy, active family on a plant-based diet; all the families here are proof of that. Happy plant-based eating!
During the past four years, we have all remained pretty healthy, other than an occasional virus or the unavoidable San Antonio allergies! My children rarely miss school. My husbands athletic abilities have improved to the point that he travels internationally to compete in triathlons and duathlons! I am not competitive, but I am a gym rat, and I feel that my healthy diet keeps my going at the gym!
Sometimes, my friends ask me if I miss eating meat at all, or if I think I might go back to eating it one day in the future. I can honestly say with complete confidence that I do not miss it at all. There are so many vegetarian options (not necessarily at the local restaurants, but in cookbooks!) to choose from.
After watching every documentary we could find on food we started again, this time with virtually no fake food, just grains and beans and lots of veggies. My husband has noticed his tolerance of vegetables has gone up significantly. He still misses meat but is satisfied without it.
The biggest challenges have been being thinking differently and finding new “comfort” food. A go-to food prior to diet change for my husband was pizza and for me any thing “hardy” like chipped beef on toast or chicken and dumplings.
I have to search recipes constantly and stay planned or I have no idea what to make. It has only been about 14 months so I am very hopeful it will become automatic to think of plant based ideas for meals.
That leads me to my advice to new converts. PLAN. If you have been eating for 30-40 years a typical American diet you will need to plan your meals. The days where we are very busy or sick have been a challenge. Planning ahead these last couple of months has helped in those times tremendously.
I will also say, stay with it. When we have not followed plant based we have noticed we didn’t even enjoy the food. Our taste buds have definitely changed. It took time, but it did happen.