Today I wanted to spill my daily confession to all those who believe that I am a vegan. It is true that I eat for my best possible health and that for the planet and for the animals around me. I have just decided that I DON’T BELIEVE IN LABELS. I believe that our bodies are complex, beautiful masterpieces that all have metabolically different needs and requests.
Once you eliminate processed foods, refined carbs and sugars from your diet – a holistic lifestyle emerges. But this also comes with its challenges. The health food world is FULL of labels – paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free – and I want to get one thing straight – I am a qualitarian (yes another label, but a MUCH BROADER meaning).
I have journeyed from being an unhealthy vegetarian to a plant-based vegetarian to a vegan to experimenting with raw veganism to low-carb and high-fat to high-carb and low-fat to finally finding what my body thrives on.
When I was a vegan, I knew I was missing something from my diet – as I went to see a naturopath and I had some low nutrient levels – I couldn’t understand how this could be when I was eating so clean but not truly LISTENING. So now, through this long journey I have finally found what works for me through many different attempts at different philosophies and through my exploration of Greece.
Here’s what I learned:
QUALITY is everything.
As long as you are having the best possible and purest sources of something (usually raw, organic or wild) it is worth trying to incorporate into your daily routine and see how your body responds. Yes, I have incorporated eggs back into my daily life as I feel I need extra protein sources to feel satisfied and full of energy. I also think this has to do with your blood type (Eat Right for Your Type) – but I will ONLY eat free-range, organic eggs from a local organic farmer.
These egg shells are all different colours and the yolks are orange – In Greece they still had FEATHERS on them!! I also experimented with organic goat’s cheese because my body was craving good healthy fats and something salty in Greece – could also be the 3 pounds of olives I ate while I was in there (Again RIGHT from the trees!) Always go for organic and ask where your food comes from and what happened to it from the garden to your fork! If your food isn’t pretty and full of life – you won’t be.
BALANCE is a priority.
I have found that balancing my fats, carbs and proteins has been a challenge. I have discovered that by incorporating good healthy fats into each meal – avocado (my GO-to), coconut, cacao and seeds. I have also discovered that I am sensitive to nuts as I don’t properly digest them and avoid them when I can. At this moment, I believe peanuts are okay since they are a legume (organic).
I also have a love for pseudo grains like buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth because they don’t affect me the way that grains do. I always feel sluggish and not as mentally clear when consuming grains. See this article for some great info on grains. I have also come to love incorporating beans and eggs as my main protein sources – along with veggies and superfoods! I have fruit in between my meals to keep my blood sugar stable and to keep my digestion at its optimum.
EAT YOUR GREENS!!
I have found that I have healed my body through green juices, smoothies and huge salads! Making the majority of your plate filled with greens (Or in my case – a giant salad bowl) you will feel energized and satisfied with all those enzymes and nutrients from the raw goodness! Also, having the majority of your meals raw with provide you with the enzymes you need to be glowing from the INSIDE OUT! Sprouts are POWERHOUSES of nutrition, along with the ever popular kale, spinach, and collard greens (make awesome wraps!)
Incorporate SUPERFOODS (Named so for good reason!)
Spirulina (DENSE protein and nutrient source), Chlorella (high in B12), Medicinal mushrooms (all with AMAZING properties), Maca (hormone balance and good for athletic performance), Bee pollen (helps allergies) – all with incredible benefits – when you can afford these powerhouses of nutrition you can boost your overall health and heal yourself from the inside out.
My digestion has been healed by the power of fermented foods. Don’t overdo it – but definitely incorporate a daily high-quality probotic supplement, raw sauerkraut, water kefir or kombucha into your diet – or I mean some organic grass fed milk kefir or yogurt could work if you are not sensitive to dairy
SPICE IT UP!!
My tastebuds have evolved through my journey and I have fallen in love with spices and fresh herbs! I put parsley and lemon on EVERYTHING – along with turmeric and pink Himalayan salt for anti-inflammatory properties and added minerals. But the spice list goes on – find your favourite! I love adding cumin, rosemary, garlic cloves, fresh ginger to salads and making the flavours come even more alive! Herbs like parsley and cilantro remove heavy metals and toxins from your body – so stock up and detoxify!
So … what are you craving? Something salty or sweet? What are you attracted to in the produce aisle? Is your body screaming for some ridiculously red peppers or a bunch of gorgeous purple beets?
Journal through your journey and find what works for you but remember – don’t be scared to fall out of a label if you feel something is missing or you are having a craving (replace those cravings for refined sugar for NATURAL healthy options – dates are my go to!)
We just need to be humble, open minded, and listen to our bodies. Your body knows exactly what you need – don’t let your mind get in the way from reaching your true health potential! Love yourself and find your true beauty inside and out.
Peace & Love,
Jill – your veggie villager xx