Happy Plant-Power day everyone! By now, you’ve probably all heard about the benefits of eating more plants and less animals. Our aim with The Plantifull Food Co. is to make plant-based eating accessible to everyone, even if it’s just for one meal a month, because we believe that every little bit counts. There are some of you who will find, as you dabble in plant-based eating, that it’s not only delicious and filling, it’s also not as difficult as you might have thought in the beginning. So as you transition more and more to a plant-based diet, here are some unexpected side effects you might experience that you may not have thought about before:
1. You SEE veggies everywhere
Before we went plant-based in 2016, we had never met anyone who ate vegan and only one or two vegetarians. Ever. In fact, if we went out for dinner with our friends, someone had to be having a stomach bug or feeling nauseous to not order a meat or cheese dish, preferably both. And to be honest, we were probably the first of our close set of friends to start eating plant-based, but once we did, we saw veggies everywhere! How did we not notice that non-dairy milks take up more space in the grocery store than dairy milks? And how did we not notice all of the vegan protein shakes at Barry’s Bootcamp? Were those vegan options on the menu at Tramshed (a restaurant that serves exclusively steak + chicken) always there? And how come, all of a sudden, we were meeting tons of people interested in plant-based eating? It seemed to us as if new products were being launched daily, and even now, it’s hard to tell how much of this is due to the actual landscape of the food chain changing versus our own perceptions changing.
2. You TALK about veggies to everyone:
I know, I know, you never thought you were going to be THAT person at a dinner, talking about your eating habits in depth, but somehow, it just becomes the topic of conversation. You’ll get some varied responses: some are supportive, and others take a little while to warm to the idea of eating more plant-based, but either way, more often than not, people are genuinely interested. Recently, we’ve found it entertaining to go to restaurants and listen to other people having conversations about their diets, because veggie or not, people talk about what they eat all the time, especially while eating.
3. Your taste buds and cravings change
If you’ve never craved veggies and fruit before (like Adam), you’ll be surprised when you start yearning for some greens after a weekend of indulgence. Or for those of you chocolate-lovers out there (like Becca), you may find that your chocolate cravings decrease from 3 times a day to once a day, or even less! Also, once you start cooking in different ways with plants, you’ll find that vegetables can be vividly flavourful. In fact, a well-roasted cauliflower or miso-glazed aubergine can be abundantly satisfying, especially when you’ve made it.
4. You start getting weirder
If, like us, you spent the majority of your life not thinking too much about animals, or environmental sustainability, or your place on this planet, you might find that once you start reading and thinking more about eating plant-based, you do start caring about things you hadn’t before. As an example, Adam is an avid lover of cars – from the time he was 5, he could identify most car makes by their headlights alone. Since becoming plant-based, his dream car has changed from a Lamborghini to a little electric Tesla, with a vegan interior.
5. You no longer take animal products for granted
Whether or not you eat plant-based 100% of the time, you may start to notice that there are some dishes in which animal products are put in as an after thought, rather than to impart any flavour or depth, and that the dish is perfectly good without meat or dairy. We first discovered this in a restaurant to one of our favourite Thai restaurants in London, Isarn. While we had always previously ordered their Thai green curry with chicken, we left it out this time and discovered that we could neither remember what it had tasted like with chicken nor missed it when it was gone.
6. Guacamole + Hummus + Peanut Butter take over your life
If you (like us) thought that you could never give up cheese, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not only are many vegan cheese fantastic, guacamole, hummus, and nut butters will be your new life-long loves. So much so, in fact, that you’ll add one of the above to pretty much all of your meals, and you’ll also start shopping for all kinds of kitchen vessels to serve them in.
7. You start ordering a lot of food items in bulk from Amazon
When you’re at the stage that you’re ready to try your first cashew cheese, or to make your own seaweed salad, you’ll find that stocking up on bulk ingredients from Amazon is much cheaper and much easier than buying 100g bags of cashews from your local store every week. Things that we are constantly buying: maple syrup, dates, cashews, nutritional yeast, almond flour, seaweed of all varieties, grains of all varieties, cacao, and Rebel Kitchen chocolate milks.
8. You start caring about your body a lot more
If you don’t already care about your health, going plant-based will force you to cook more and be more thoughtful about what you’re putting into your body. We’re all for indulgence, and in fact, we have dessert every night, but it’s almost impossible to care about the source of your food and not care about your body more. In fact, just by trying a different way of eating, you’ll be paying more attention to how you feel after eating different types of food. It’s an ongoing journey, one that we’re both still on, but hopefully you’ll start to understand when you’re really hungry, what you’re craving, and how to best fuel yourself.
If you have any thoughts or experiences on going plant-based, either partially or fully, we’d love to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.