A Plant-Based Diet
What is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is a way of eating that focuses on foods predominantly from the plant kingdom. This means that I do not eat the flesh of other beings. I no longer classify myself as a complete "vegan" because I have grown to love organic and local raw honey when I can get my hands on a good supply. A plant-based diet has been proven to benefit health in hundreds of ways.
Where do you get your protein?
Contrary to popular belief, protein comes from plants! The protein humans get from eating animals is recycled protein from the plants that the animal ate before it was killed. The protein is in a more concentrated, more bioavailable form when in animal flesh but eating lots of plants can still supply you with your recommended daily value.
The largest study in history of those eating plant-based diets recently compared the nutrient profiles of about 30,000 non-vegetarians to 20,000 vegetarians and about 5,000 vegans. The study found that all three groups got more than enough protein, with the vegetarians/vegans getting 70% more than the daily recommended value. My favorite, and most potent forms of protein I consume in my diet are currently raw honey, quinoa, kale, and select legumes.
In order to guarantee that I receive enough protein daily that is bioavailable and can be readily absorbed by my body, I take an amino acid supplement daily; like this one. I highly recommend it.
How do you eat a plant-based diet on a budget?
Buy whole & buy in bulk! Eating plant-based gets expensive, the more you opt for convenience. Instead of buying pre-chopped vegetables & fruits, opt for the whole versions! It's much cheaper and can be stored for longer. Not to mention the pleasure of preparing one of Mother Earth's gifts by hand. The only thing better is getting it directly from the land in which it grew! Cherish the connection.
Most large grocery stores have a section where you can buy dry goods like nuts/seeds, dried fruit, oats, pasta, & grains in bulk. When you buy these things pre-boxed, you're usually just paying extra for the pretty packaging. Filling up your own bag of dried goods can definitely save you some coin. Try to stay in the produce & bulk sections when shopping. Anything you can buy in the frozen & pre-packaged aisles, you can create with produce & bulk goods (in most cases).
Living a plant-based, compassionate lifestyle takes work. The more work you do, the more money you will save. I make my own cheeses, milks, veggie patties, desserts, crackers/breads, smoothies, juices & kombucha. This way, I know exactly what ingredients are going in them; no preservatives necessary when it's already right at home!
Prepping my meals beforehand also helps me save money and helps me resist the temptation to eat out.