Embracing a wholefoods plant-based diet has many health, ethical, and environmental benefits. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. A plant-based diet is abundant in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can thus contribute to your overall well-being, enhanced immune function, and sustained energy levels.
Secondly, choosing a plant-based diet is a powerful way to reduce your ecological footprint. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Choosing plant-based alternatives promotes a more humane approach to food consumption, reducing the demand for animal exploitation. This ethical shift towards plant-based living supports a vision of a more compassionate and sustainable food system.
While some of our team members were doing reSET, others embarked on a vegan challenge. Three of our team members went completely vegan this week, and reflected their journey.
Here is how it went!
It's been way easier than I thought it would be! I was surprised to see that we already eat many close-to-vegan meals so we didn't need to make super huge changes, which made it a lot easier on my kids. My approach was to stick close to their favorites, but just slightly tweak them to remove the meat or dairy. As an example last night I made our much-loved gochugang stir fry, but just without the chicken and with extra broccoli (their favorite vegetable) instead - easy! My kids have learned a lot about the impact of meats on the environment at school, so they've loved finding ways to add other sources of protein like tofu and beans to our standard meals.
Avoiding dairy has taken a bit more work as I've found myself turning to grab a piece of cheese as an easy snack! The trick to solving for this was making sure that I proactively stocked enough snacking alternatives like nuts to pick up instead. All in all, I think I've found a few swaps that will stick long-term (like oat milk in my coffee), and I'm going to aim to keep introducing more and more plant-based alternatives to the family. Now that my kids are on board, the next target is my husband!
I am a vegetarian who often eats vegan, so this was not such a big change for me. I did have to take more time on Sunday to plan my meals, as any convenient last minute option that you find around Zürich is often not vegan. I appreciated this extra planning though, it is something I need to get better at doing every week! To gain inspiration for my dinners, I used our Eat by Alex online recipes, and the Deliciously Ella cookbook. I think eating vegan at home can be a really fun challenge to push the creativity in your diet! I find it easier when my go to snacks and meals are vegan. Some of my favourite yummy vegan snacks are frozen grapes, Medjool dates with dark chocolate, and wasabi nuts. I totally understand it sounds impossible to cut out both meat and dairy (I personally can’t quite give up cheese) but I encourage everyone to try some vegan recipes when they can! It is a great way to support your health, help the environment, and try something new.
I have actually been eating wholefoods vegan for over 2 weeks now. I did this to get back on track after Christmas, and improve my digestive health. So far, it went smoothly. Because I am eating wholefoods that are high in fiber, I am fuller for longer, despite eating less calories and less saturated fats. I definitely notice that I have more energy throughout the day, which enables me to work harder. My focus is better and longer. I also noticed improvement in my cognitive health, I can think more clearly and I am generally more alert.
We encourage you to do a vegan challenge or add more plant-based meals to your diet, and see how you feel!
Curious to learn more about plant-based nutrition?
Here are some links to educational blog posts on a wholefoods and plant-based diet