Our New Plant-Based Diet

I come from a country where, like America, eating red meat is the way to go. A few years back before Penny arrived we decided to try to go vegetarian. At that time we were worried about Leslie’s cholesterol, which was pretty high. Leslie has a family history of heart disease, and despite the fact that she and I eat the same things and exercise about the same amount, her lipid panel was significantly worse than mine. So we started a vegetarian diet at the beginning of 2016 but…it didn’t last long. Two weeks into it we found out Leslie was pregnant, and she almost immediately developed a strong aversion to vegetables. Just the thought of something uncooked or green made her hug our toilet. 

Vengo de un pais donde, como en Estados Unidos, comer carne es parte de la cultura. Un par de anos atras, antes de que llegara Penny, decidimos convertirnos en vegetarianos. En ese entonces estabamos preocupados por el alto nivel de colesterol de Leslie. Ella tiene historia familiar de enfermedad al corazon y a pesar de que ella y yo comemos lo mismo y ejercitamos casi lo mismo, sus niveles de lipidos eran mucho peores que los mios. Asi que comenzamos una dieta vegetariana a principios del 2016 pero…no duro mucho. Dos semanas con nuestra nueva dieta Leslie descubre que esta embarazada y de inmediato crea un asco terrible a los vegetales. Solo pensar en ello la hacia abrazar la taza del bano.

Did we mention we loved meat? I mean, this was at our wedding in Chile. We actually took a photo with the food!

Fast forward a couple of years and we decided to try a plant-based diet again. We watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix back in November that pushed us over the edge: Forks Over Knives, What the Health, and The Game Changers (we recommend these to everyone – you can come up with your own conclusions). To us it made sense to try something that would improve our health, reduce our carbon footprint, and respect animals. Our goal is to consume the least amount of animal products as possible, but going completely vegan definitely isn’t in the cards.

Nos adelantamos un par de anos y hemos decidido adoptar una dieta basada en plantas. Vimos un par de documentales en Noviembre que nos motivaron a tomas la decision: Forks Over Knives, What the Health, and The Game Changers (No estoy seguro como se traducen los nombres al Espanol – recomendamos las dos peliculas a todos, pueden tomar sus propias conclusiones). para nosotros tiene sentido tratar algo que mejora nuestra salud, reduce nuestra contaminacion ambiental, y respeta a los animales. Nuestra meta es consumir la menos cantidad posible de productos animales, eso si, volvernos veganos no es parte de nuestra meta final.

a friend of Leslie’s brought this to a potluck over the holidays and she was so obsessed she had to get the recipe the next day. Now we eat tempeh all the time.

This diet change has come with a learning curve. We have to make sure that we’re getting all the nutrients that we need, and that comes with consuming a variety of foods. We have been experimenting with eating different types of legumes, vegetables, nuts, and products like tofu and tempeh. Overall it has not been as hard as we thought to give up meat, since there are plenty of delicious vegetable based options and there are many products that cater to the vegetarian population. Honestly, the vegetarian lifestyle has opened us up to all kinds of new flavors and textures that we weren’t ever experiencing with our routine diet of chicken, salmon, and occasional steak / sausage. We used to rely on the meat to provide the flavor, and now we are cooking with a variety of delicious spices and sauces that are making our meals so much more interesting.

Este cambio de dieta viene con una curva de aprendizaje. Tenemos que asegurarnos que consumimos los nutrientes que necesitamos, y eso se logra a travez de la variedad. Hemos experimentado comiendo diferentes legumbres, vegetales, frutos secos, y productos como el tofu y el tempeh. En general no ha sido tan dificil como pensabamos, ya que hay muchas opciones vegetarianas deliciosas y una gran variedad de productos vegetarianos. La verdad es que la vida vegetariana ha abierto nuestro paladar a un sin numero de sabores y texturas nuevas que no conociamos con nuestra dieta de pollo, salmon, y carne roja. Antes basabamos nuestro deseo de sabor en la carne, y ahora cocinamos con variedad de especias y salsas que hacen nuestra comida mas interesante.

We both have noticed significant improvements in our health. We have more energy, feel less tired after meals, and our digestion is better. Last week I had my yearly physical; my blood pressure improved and my cholesterol is incredibly low. I have no doubt that the change in diet is helping my health.

Ambos hemos notado mejorar significativas en nuestra salud. Tenemos mas energia, nos sentimos menos cansados despues de comer, y nuestra digestion es mejor. La semana pasada en mi control anual mi presion mejoro y mi colesterol es increiblemente bajo. No tengo duda que la dieta me ha ayudado.

This topic can be a little controversial; people love their meat, dairy products, and processed foods (we do / did!). We want to share our experiences, including the benefits that we have experienced and maybe exchange some recipes for those interested in a plant based diet. You don’t have to completely cut out meat or dairy to make a difference in your health and the health of the environment. Simply lowering your meat and dairy intake can make a huge difference – try cutting back to only eating meat on the weekends and see how that goes. Small steps can make a giant improvement!

Este tema puede ser un poco controversial, mucho aman su carnes, sus productos lacteos, y comidas procesadas (nosotros tambien!). Queremos compartir nuestras experiencias, incluidos los beneficios que hemos descubierto y tal vez intercambiar recetas con quienes esten interesados en una dieta basada en vegetales. No hay que cortas toda la carne o los lacteos para mejorar la salud y el ambiente. Simplemente reduciendo el consumo puede hacer una gran diferencia – intenten comer carne solo los fines de semana y vean que pasa. Pasos pequenos puede sumarse y crear mejorar enormes!

11 responses to “Our New Plant-Based Diet”

  1. Gary and I have been making small steps to eat less meat…we’ve nearly cut out all red meat this year. Our youngest is pescatarian, so we eat mostly a veggie or seafood based diet during the week, and meat on weekends when she’s at her mom’s. I would like to reduce our meat intake even more, but it’s hard. why is bacon so delicious?? kudos to you guys for making this change, its inspiring!

    • Good job on making those changes. I know…bacon…no plant based substitute to that one unfortunately hahaha. Small changes become a habit overtime allowing you to make more changes later on, keep up the good work

  2. Wonderful! Kevin and I have been eating whole food planted based no oil for over a year now. Feeling better than ever. The cooking learning curve is steep, though. Would love it if you’d share some of your tempeh recipes. Have just started working with it this week!

    • Oh wow, that is amazing! You don’t use any oil? Olive, avocado, coconut? We will be sharing tempeh recipes, we are pretty new at it but have tried a couple of them that are tasty and easy to make.

    • There are a lot of documentaries that can be eye opening. We do believe that sometimes the information can be “adjusted” to fit a particular goal by the film maker. That’s why getting information from various sources is key to make a decision about your diet

      • Absolutely! And most of the information they talk about is available online which makes the whole thing so frustrating. You don’t hear about much of this on the nightly news, and there is a lot of denial even when folks get the information. My own doctor strongly recommends a plant-based diet and backs up her advice with tons of websites and scientific reports that are easily found. I know I am lucky in that regard, but I guess the point is that the information is there for us all.

      • That’s a good doctor. To many easily available drugs to mask symptoms instead of treating problems. Glad to hear you have a good person watching over your health.

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