A couple of days ago, Roman came home and told me that he wanted to go plant based. Not forever, he said, but for a little while to test it out. Can you imagine the look on my face?!
You have to know that Roman works as a butcher. Well, not really anymore, he is more in a managing position. But still, his business revolves around meat.
He also comes from a butcher family. So, meat is and always has been a stable in his diet. I, on the other hand, have never been a big meat-eater and even went vegetarian for approximately 7 years.
When we first met, God was clearly on a funny streak. I couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that I of all persons would once date a butcher. So yes, you can understand that I was a little bit surprised.
I asked him why and he replied that he had seen the documentary ‘Game Changers’ on Netflix where they claim that eating animal products affects your physical performance and that vegan athletes would perform much better. Now it dawned on me.
I had also watched the documentary and had been naturally triggered by it. If you followed my story for a while, you know that I was a sucker for fad diets and eating styles for a long time. I literally tried everything under the moon and back with the result of developing severe gut issues, anxiety, and depression.
Intuitive Eating is better than any diet
Thankfully with the help of intuitive eating, I’ve slowly found my way back to normalizing my eating habits. Now I’m not as easily thrown out of the ring by a new well-marketed eating style anymore.
I explained to him that this documentary was shot from one perspective, only shedding light on a couple of carefully selected athletes, not taking into account the diets of other well performing ones.
I also told him that the best and healthies eating style was the 80/20 approach (something we are already doing), meaning 80 percent of your diet should consist of fruit and veggies, and the other 20 percent can be whatever you like, whether that’s animal protein, chocolate, or pizza.
I have to admit, though, I was kind of glad that he watched the doc. Even though I don’t support their message, rooting towards a more plant-based diet is always a good idea. We mostly eat that way at home, but I know that he still eats a lot of crap at work. So, I told him that I would love to go entirely plant based with him for 2 weeks to see how we felt.
I could see the excitement in his eyes as he immediately began to search for plant based recipe inspo on Pinterest. Something that was totally welcomed by me. Since I’m working from home, I’m the one who mostly takes care of the cooking. But every now and then I just don’t know what to cook anymore. I’m sure many stay-at-home-moms or fellow home-office-entrepreneurs can relate
We experimented with many new recipes
So far, he created 3 new dishes that are crazy delicious! I will soon share them with you on the blog. We already tested one recipe at our recent Mindful Sunday event and people just drooled over it.
We are now one week in of eating plant based (except the occasional egg white and feta cheese). Yesterday, we said to each other that we can’t really tell a difference, neither in our energy nor performance levels. My body still hurts when I overdo it with exercise and I’m still incredibly tired throughout the day (this may also come from our weird weather conditions at the moment, it’s rainy and windy).
My cardio performance has also stayed the same. I feel a little bit more bloated because of the increase of beans, something my gut has a hard time digesting. I also have a dry feeling in my mouth and feel thirsty all the time.
To be honest, my body feels the best on lean animal protein such as chicken breast or salmon and less starchy veggies such as zucchini, tomatoes or asparagus. During the winter months, I eat more sweet potatoes as I just need the energy to stay warm. Beans, on the other hand, I always feel heavy after.
I know it’s not always easy to listen to your body’s signs as we are constantly bombarded with new information and tips or tricks on how to live our healthiest life. Every corner you turn, there is a new expert wanting to tell you that their findings are the universal truth.
There is only one truth and it’s already inside of you.
For me, I’ve come to a point in my life where I like to learn about and try new things. I then just take what resonates with me and my body. Luckily, I’m now able to catch myself before I run the risk of going down the food dogma rabbit hole. But let me tell you, it has been a long road!
Even now with our little experiment, I was tempted to adapt very restrictive eating habits again. But God always has my back. As I was scrolling through Cassey Ho’s blog Blogilates the other day, I saw that she and her husband had taken on a similar experiment after having watched the documentary.
And her results resembled ours. She reported no real difference in her ability to lift weights or do cardio and had not more or less energy. She said she even felt a little less toned in her midsection as she was eating more carbs and less protein.
I think we are all so unique that not one style of eating fits all. I may do best on lean animal protein while another person does best on plant-based protein. Some people need a protein dominant diet while others need more carbs to function best.
There is no quick fix other than to test it out for yourself. You are the only one who knows best. As long as you eat real food (mainly fruit and vegetables) and keep processed food to a minimum, you are good to go!
Once you take the restriction out of eating, an entire new world opens up to you. A world where you can enjoy food and socialize over it.