Plant Based

Plant Based Diet

I’ve never been a big meat-eater. Even as a baby and small child I refused meat when it was put in front of me. I like fish, but I never really crave meat the way a lot of people do. And red meat? Forget it. Unless it’s a burger at a summer BBQ, it’s pretty much not even on my radar. I literally couldn’t tell you the last time I ordered a steak. Is it possible that it’s never? But I’ve also never been on a fully plant based diet.

My husband, however, is a major carnivore, so when we started dating, I taught myself to cook with chicken, turkey, and ground beef more often. I used to hate handling raw meat. Everything from the texture to the smell set me off, but after 10 years I’m finally used to it and actually enjoy cooking and eating it… Just not too often.

The way we usually eat, as I’ve mentioned before, is an anti-inflammatory diet 80% of the time and eating whatever we want the other 20%. I’m a big believer in not restraining yourself too much. Whenever I try to do that, I end up going slightly crazy and it backfires in a big way.

But, I’ve had a tough time recovering from my sinus surgery, including an infection, a new polyp, and a clogged ear.  Because of that, I wanted to turn things up a notch with healing from the inside out. While taking medicine to work that angle, Anel and I decided to try a plant based diet for two weeks to see if that would help with my recovery. It did, in a way, but we also felt really good doing it! I had more energy and just felt really clean.

It’s definitely not sustainable for us long term, but it was a nice change and we’re now committed to doing at least two meat-free dinners every week. Although we felt great doing it full time, we were both always slightly hungry and never fully satiated which was fine because I had a goal in mind, but I know that would not feel great for me personally in the long run.

Here are some of the resources that I used that might be helpful if you’re looking to go plant based forever or even a short period like we did!

Plant Based Recipe Blogs:
Oh She Glows
Deliciously Ella
101 Cookbooks
If you have any other favorites, please share them as I’m always looking for good recipes for those two dinners each week.

Meal Delivery:
For one of the weeks, Anel and I did an organic plant-based meal plan from Sakara. I absolutely loved it because I knew everything I was eating was super clean. I was shocked that it also tasted delicious. There was one meal that I didn’t like, but the rest were all hits!

It’s definitely on the pricey side, but they also have a more affordable 10 day reset where they send you their detox water and tea along with recipes for a week of clean eating.

The Sakara team actually reached out and gave me a discount code to share with you guys too! If you buy anything on their site, use code REF_LEMONSTRIPES15 for 15% off. I recommend it highly!

There were no real rules to us going plant based but this is what we lived by: If you feel hungry, eat. If you’re craving meat, eat it! Anel and I are both busy and can’t afford to be going around hungry or tired all day so we gave ourselves this out if we needed it. Luckily we never felt like we did but it was nice to feel like everything wasn’t so strict.

So what are your thoughts on plant based diets? Have you tried one? If so, how did you feel?

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  1. Allie said:

    I try to limit our meat consumption, especially red meat. We eat a lot of fish, but I want to start doing some plant only meals too, to balance everything out for health reasons, but also because of reading about the environmental effects of large scale meat production. Thanks for the tips and Sakara idea, it sounds like the perfect place to start!

    6.19.18 · Reply
  2. Elle said:

    Looks delish! Can’t wait to try. Love the blog!

    6.19.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oooh that looks great, thank you for sharing!

      6.20.18 · Reply
  3. Danielle said:

    Check out Cookie & Kate! Her blog is really good and I am OBSESSED with her cookbook too. I’ve LOVED everything I have made so far!

    6.19.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh right. I forgot about her, thank you! I didn’t realize she had a book too, so cool.

      6.20.18 · Reply
  4. Kelsey said:

    I applaud you both on your goal of going plant-based for a few weeks! Every little bit helps, even if you can’t commit full-time. My favorite food/nutrition blog is Nutrition Stripped. McKel is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and in addition to a ton of amazing nutrition and health advice, her blog is overflowing with plant-based recipes.
    I personally am a vegetarian and have been for years now. It takes adjusting for sure and it took me years to fully transition to a full vegetarian diet. But it can be extremely filling and satisfying once you get the hang of it! What motivates me is the environmental impact of the meat industry. Commercial animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation combined. And scientists predict there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the oceans in the coming years due to overfishing and pollution. I highly recommend the documentary Cowspriacy available on Netflix and encourage you to keep up with your 2 plant-based meals a week! Good luck!

    6.19.18 · Reply
  5. Lindsay Latimer said:

    I feel the same way about meat as you do – I rarely (if ever!) crave it and used to hate cooking it. I’ve had to adapt as my significant other is also a carnivore, but I’d love to incorporate some plant-based meals throughout our week. I am also in need of sinus surgery and would like to start the anti-inflammatory diet before I commit. Can’t wait to check out these other blogs!

    6.19.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I’m so sorry to hear you need the surgery too but it’s so worth it I promise. Try the diet and see if that helps. It really did help me. Just not enough!

      6.20.18 · Reply
  6. Betsie said:

    Strive to eat clean and would love to try Sakara, but so pricey and out of reach for my budget. A month of meals would exceed the cost of my mortgage. It’s unfortunate that it’s not more attainable. I’d love for you to share more plant based recipes that I can make at home. Thanks.

    6.20.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I know, it’s crazy expensive. I will definitely share more plant based recipes. Check out the blogs I shared in this post too. They have a TON of amazing recipes for you to try.

      6.20.18 · Reply
  7. Julia Gibney said:

    I am vegetarian and eat mainly plant-based, too, and post partum tried Purple Carrot, another plant-based food delivery service – it has more fake products than I would like (vegan butter, cheese, etc.), but the recipe ideas were fantastic and I still check them out. We liked it, but it’s more for people who aren’t used to eating plant-based with items like seitan chorizo.

    Another great recipe source is Kim Snyder, the author of Beauty Detox Diet. She is plant-based and mainly gluten-free and has great recipes!

    6.22.18 · Reply
  8. Liz said:

    I have chronic sinus problems as well. My ENT said to stay away from gluten, and I recently found out that dairy causes mucus and is inflammatory, which isn’t good for our sinuses. I call ourselves a flexitarian. LOL We cut down on our meat usage not just for the environmental and health effects, but also for the cost. After researching for quite a few years in to how our food is made and keeping up with what is going on with it, buying more sustainable meat is healthier, but unfortunately more expensive. So we eat meat/fish maybe 3 times a week now. I alternate the days so we don’t feel like we are depriving ourselves, and I found quite a lot of plant based recipes that are filling and mimic our favorite foods! In doing this, I also learned how to make alternatives for things such as parmesan and alfredo sauce, so if I don’t have it on hand, I can easily make the vegan version in a blender in a few minutes.

    6.22.18 · Reply
  9. Laura Petersen said:

    I have been vegan for almost 5 years. Have you seen thug kitchen cook books? There are 3 and my husband and I love plus google best damn vegan biscuits and try them!

    6.23.18 · Reply
  10. L G. said:

    How much packaging was Sakara using? I’m tempted by the concept and their quality, but I just can’t bring myself to justify 8 blueberries showing up in their own tiny plastic container.

    6.23.18 · Reply
  11. Marisa said:

    I am a vegetarian and my husband is not, but when we cook at home it’s mostly vegetarian (though not totally plant-based – this girl loves her cheese!). I have a lot of luck doing soups and subbing vegetable stock for chicken stock – this opens up a whole world of options. For meal kits, we have tried and enjoyed Purple Carrot. Online, check out Cookie and Kate!

    6.23.18 · Reply