Here is what I expected to happen:
- Feeling deprived
- Craving meat
- Not having enough variety
- Not being able to enjoy food at restaurants
- Having crappy workouts
- Losing my “gainz” if not having the perfect pre- or post-workout meal
- Not getting enough protein
And, if you read my last post about going wfpb, then you know that none of that even happened. BUT, I have an unexpected benefit that I am just dying to scream about.
Plant Based Surprises!
First, I have to say that I’m already pretty vocal about my disdain for the vilifying of carbs in the internet fitness world. I do eat a ton of carbs, in the form of sweet potatoes, protein shakes and other sources. But, I have been caught up in worrying about carb and sugar intake and have limited certain foods like rice, fruit and beans, more for their caloric value than carb value. I would say that my behavior around them was more like making sure I measured my portions when I ate them, and/or made sure I always ate them with a protein to help slow the absorption of them (I guess?).
So, as I went into this wfpb lifestyle, I still had some hesitancy around those foods. Even though they are foods in their purest form AND beans are one of the best things for you to eat, I was still being cautious.
1. Plant Based Freedom
Now that we are a few weeks in, I’ve been able to relax around food – ALL FOOD. If it is a whole food – veggie/fruit/root/bean/leaf/berry/legume/etc – I EAT IT. NO JUDGEMENT.
I can’t tell you how free this makes me feel! I’m not concerned about sugar, because whatever sugar I am eating is from fruit. Not concerned with carbs, because they are coming from fruits and veggies. OMG, this was just so enlightening for me. To be able to eat food without judging it, or worrying if it is the right thing to eat right now. As an athlete, I think I took this wayyyyy too seriously, thinking I was going pro at any second. But, alas, that is not in my future, so I probably don’t need to time my carbs to only before or after meals, and I probably don’t need to not have fats with my carbs, and I probably don’t need the perfect mix of carbs and protein after a workout.
But now, I just have a strong belief that wfpb is the way for me, that I am eating the best foods on the planet, that I am making my insides healthier and that I have a ton of energy. Win after win after win!
2. Plant Based Savings!
Another bonus is that I don’t have to “add chicken” to everything. I was OBSESSED with getting enough protein before I started this lifestyle. I literally thought my muscles would just whittle away if I didn’t eat enough protein. And I am probably getting less than 50% of what I used to eat and I have not seen any negative impacts. Not to mention, I’m saving a few bucks every time we go out to eat because I don’t have to add chicken to every salad I order LOL. #winning
3. Plant Based Enjoyment, Pure and Simple
Lastly – Avocado!! I would always limit my intake due to calories. I would maybe eat ¼ of an avocado at a sitting (and then just eat something else to fill that hole LOL… sigh). And now, I’m adding ½ of one on a slice of avocado toast LOL! This is huge 🙂 especially if you love avocados.
I love that I have had these unexpected benefits from what I thought would leave me feeling totally deprived and starving. I am neither of those things, and even though some would consider this lifestyle “restrictive,” I’ve found myself eating a wider variety of foods, I’m not bored with the foods that we cook at home every night. I’m not afraid to eat foods that have a bad rap in the media. I’m not lacking any nutrients, and I can tell because I don’t have any cravings at all.
I actually just realized that before wfpb, I was actually probably restricting more foods– like bananas, beans, rice, quinoa, lentils – all whole foods 🙁 that I should have been eating all along! Craziness.
Plant Based Summary 🙂
This goes back to my feelings about the basics – the basics will always work – in the gym (squat/bench/deadlift), on your plate (eat foods in their purest form), in your life (be kind to others). Nothing fancy. In fact, the fancier we get, the further we get from what actually works, even though we believe otherwise. #truth