Go Vegan: Think Whole Foods
by Tina C.
(Quincy, IL USA)
My most healthful tip for someone who wants to go vegan is to concentrate on whole foods, prepared as closely to the way they are found in nature as possible.
To me, that means steering clear of vegan junk food or processed foods, like fake meats, fake cheese, chips, cakes, etc.
Food, real food, is truly amazing! If you aren't familiar with whole foods, one of the best things you can do is create a little garden from any outdoor space you have available. Planting a seed, caring for it by watering it and keeping it weed free, then watching it grow, change, flower, fruit, and mature will cause anyone to fall in love with it. You can't nurture something and not become attached to it. When you become familiar with its life cycle, you can't help but take on a new attitude of gratitude toward the thing that so completely nourishes you. You can't help but become excited about something whose whole purpose is to give you life and health.
Explore how wonderfully flavorful any whole grain can be when simply steamed or simmered to tenderness. Take yourself on a culinary adventure by trying every variety of dried bean known to man. Just as everyone has their own personality, every bean brings its own subtleties to the table.
Let the colorful beauty of fresh veggies sing to all your senses: sight, smell, taste, texture, even the sound of them conversing with your tongue on the way down the hatch.
Dwell on the sweetness of perfectly ripe fruit, void of added sugar or sweetener. It doesn't need any help from added processed ingredients.
Enjoy the crunch of nuts and seeds in their natural state, or lightly toasted to enhance their already complex flavors. Seek out old fashioned varieties that still have their seeds of life, instead of newly hybridized seedless varieties that are sterile.
Take time to enjoy your food, making yourself aware of where it came from, and cultivate gratefulness and thankfulness for the earth that gives itself up to feed you perfectly.
Of course there is always a little wiggle room for those convenience foods you like, but I have found that if I keep to a very high percentage of whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods, I completely lose my taste for junk foods. They taste like the chemicals they are made of and I much prefer clean, healthy, hearty, real food.
Instead of spending extra money on convenience foods, spend a little more up front on convenience appliances, such as a pressure cooker, VitaMix, and other devices that allow quick cooking of real foods while maintaining the integrity of those foods. You can have convenience without sacrificing nutrition.
Once you have set your taste preferences for whole foods, you are set for life, and a long, healthy, vibrant life at that!
Contributed By: Tina C