For the past two months, my family has been heavily flirting with a vegan lifestyle. I guess “vegan” oversimplifies it. It’d be more appropriate to call it a “whole foods, plant based diet”, as they do in the fascinating documentary, Forks Over Knives.
With the support of my husband and the approval of our family doctor, I’ve stopped cooking with meat and animal byproducts. I’ve eliminated processed sugars and artificial sweeteners and switched to whole grains exclusively. I’ve learned versatile ways to cook with quinoa, couscous, milled flax, and nutritional yeast. Though the changes are slow, the scales are certainly trending in the right direction, that “gut wad” feeling we used to have after meals is gone, and this girl that hates touching raw meat has never been so happy in the kitchen!
So, what now?
For the next 30 days, I’ll continue this diet, while consuming only what’s available at our local Aldi!
Here’s why: Every time I find myself in a conversation about healthy eating, somebody says it: “The only problem is, eating healthy is SO expensive!”
Sure, organic food is more expensive than regular food.
Sure, Kashi is more expensive than Bargain O’s.
Sure, Earth Fare costs more than Walmart.
But the fact is, you can still eat healthier than 90% of Americans while spending significantly less–perhaps even less than you’re currently spending! We’ve made “eating healthy” way too complicated. I want to experience the simplified version.
For this month long challenge (May 15 to June 15), I’ll be doing my best to feed myself and my family a low-oil, whole foods, plant based diet. I’m only allowed to serve and eat foods I purchase from my local Aldi (no shopping elsewhere or dining out), with the exception of fresh herbs, which I grow myself, from my windowsill. The all-or-nothing mentality is the enemy, so you WILL occasionally see me use a processed ingredient when a reasonable alternative is unavailable, but I’ll post the ingredient list from those items for full disclosure. We also have a personal rule that when we’re guests in someone’s home, we eat what we’re served–vegan or not.
My goal is to post menus and recipes that represent a way of eating that is vastly more healthy than the typical American diet. Cooking has never been my strong suit, so you won’t see anything complicated from me. Just simple, healthy meals, that don’t require a six figure income to purchase and prepare!
Day one starts tomorrow, and there are just three items left on my to-do list!
- Buy my groceries (at Aldi!)
- Take my starting weight.
- Enjoy my last chocolate chip cookie!
Wish me luck!