When I first studied the science and decided to change to a plant-based diet, (because I wanted my father to get well, and prevent future disease in my family), I went all. out. Totally hard-core. Take no prisoners. I began every meal with a stack of fresh produce, a cutting board, and my knife. For those of you who are new to the plant-based thing, some of this may sound crazy to you. But there would be no plastic bags, toxin-containing canned goods, or frozen produce in my operation. Everything fresh from scratch. I felt like a pioneer woman, making bread, tortillas, salsa, marinara… and every. drop. of. salad dressing.
When I harvested my first batch of kale
from my new backyard organic garden,
I knew that I was a vegan ninja.
Plant-Based Mom Hits the Wall
A mere six weeks later, I stood just outside of my freshly cleaned kitchen. I looked at the clock and realized that the last meal from prep, cook, to cleanup, had taking me just over two hours. I looked out the window at the beautiful weather. When was the last time I had even been outside?
I wanted to go jump on the trampoline with the kids, but by the time I checked their school work, finished some laundry, and ran errands, I was going to have to start chopping 127 pounds of onions again and I swear, I had angina just thinking about it.
And that, people, is what I now refer to as my Plant-Based Wall. And in that moment, I hit that onion wall head on.
Plant-Based Perfectionism is bad for Plant-Based Progress
I knew that I had some choices. Either quit this whole plant-based drama, or figure out some way to save time and make it easier. If I didn’t change my ways, I was going to let perfectionism kill any progress.
So first, I called my husband and told him we were going out for Mexican food for dinner.
Second, I started making some compromises. And to help me decide which compromises to make, I turned back to the science about some of the hang ups I had:
Since my goal was to eat and feed
a completely whole-food, from-scratch, plant-based diet,
using any boxes, bags, or cans felt like cheating.
The Science on Canned Beans and Vegetables
Although it makes sense that we should avoid toxins in our food source when possible, studies seem to say that eating some of our fruits and veggies from cans and bags is STILL HEALTHIER than avoiding fruits and veggies altogether. (If you had NO IDEA plastic from bags and can lining may be bad for you, watch this video from Dr. Michael Greger).
Dr. Michael Greger’s summary can be, well, summed it u”p this way:
- BPA is used in the lining of food cans, but very little seems to leach into the food.
- There are BPA-free canned foods on the market now,…
- “The benefits of eating any kind of beans far, far outweigh any risks. Remember, bean consumption means reduced blood pressure, lower body weight, and a slimmer waist.”
In the next post I’ll share the three main steps I took to Prevent and Reverse Plant-Based Burnout.
What is your biggest struggle for getting healthy meals on the table for yourself or your family?
Share below in comments!