There are so many terms meanwhile when it comes to nutrition diets - vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, gluten-free, that at some point it is getting complicated. I personally don't like putting these kind of labels when it comes to my diet. There are a few reasons for that. One is the fact that I like to listen to my body. This allows me to figure out what makes me feel at my best, what gives me most energy, what boost my metabolism, and of course what food allows me to get a good night sleep!
In the search of healthy nutrition lifestyle, a few years ago I came across a book called "The Beauty Detox Foods" by Kimberly Snyder (for more information www.slowolution.com ). I started adapting my diet accordingly, and very soon I could feel a huge difference in my overall wellbeing. So, what did I exactly do? I changed the following in my diet:
- gave up breakfast, and instead started drinking The Glowing Green Smoothie® (for more information www.slowolution.com )
- gave up dairy products
- gave up meat and fish products
- increased the intake on vegetables (especially greens)
- increase my intake of healthy grains - e.g. quinoa, brown rice, amaranth
- started eating fruits only on an empty stomach
- increase the intake on water
- decreased the intake on sweets and chocolates
I know it seems like I adapted quite a bit, but the interesting part is that I didn't feel like I was depriving myself from anything, or that I had to make a huge effort for these changes. The truth is I witnessed how great I was feeling - never felt tired after a meal, the GGS was giving me so much energy each morning, I never had this bloated feeling after a meal.......and my skin felt amazing!
To some I might be a typical vegan, but the truth is that despite all the changes I made to my diet, I still would not like to give that label to myself! Another reason for that is very simple. Sometimes I feel like having a "normal" pizza when I am with friends, or enjoying an ice cream with the kids on a hot summer day, and when I feel that way, then I will simply get it. I don't feel guilty, or I don't feel like I am not fitting the vegan label......I simply enjoy and know that it is ok as it happens once every six months or so! Another plus of course I don't have to explain why am I ordering this when I am actually a vegan or vegetarian:)
I believe that just like with anything else in life, it is all about smart choices. For example, I have a huge sweet tooth (more like "chocolate tooth" really). Ever since I was a little girl, I love chocolates and anything with chocolate. At the same time I see what all the sugar and fat does to my skin and energy levels. So at the end of the day, it is not very difficult to motivate myself to look for a healthier options, rather than just grab the chocolate bar next to me.
I also don't believe that just because something is labelled vegan or vegetarian is necessarily healthy or good! For me it comes down to educating myself, so I know what is the product that I want to buy made of. For example, there are plenty of vegan chocolates, but then again there is sugar in them, which in turn, I know how it affects my skin. The same goes for cooking - for example we substitute olive (or any other) oil with coconut oil, just because it is a much healthier version.
For me it is all about listening to my body, and constantly educating myself - this allows me to make the best nutrition choices for me.
Photo by: Luciana Meister