It’s hard to imagine that we can change the world through the food that we’re eating. What if I told you it’s really that simple? By making small changes during one meal a day we can impact our own well-being and the health of the planet.
Before I jump into the reasons why plant-based eating makes sense I need you to know that I’m not strictly plant-based and don’t think I ever will be. I’ve tried but it just doesn’t work for me. Over the years my diet has morphed into something of my own which doesn’t really fall under any particular label. I’m part vegan, part vegetarian, part pescetarian-a way of eating with no real name but it works for me.
When I was in law school I was constantly tired and stressed. I was dealing with acne and skin breakouts like never before. Healthy meals weren’t a priority and my days were packed which didn’t allow time for meal prep and cooking. My body began to send signals that it was in distress. When the warnings became louder and louder they were harder to ignore. I knew it was time to take control of my health.
I started to gradually make the shift away from red meat and I’ve never turned back. I’m not sure why, but this wasn’t very difficult for me. Around the same time, I stopped eating dairy (an occasional ice cream cone is the exception). That dietary shift wasn’t as easy. I was eating my fair share of cheese and milk. Thankfully there are plenty of dairy-free options out there.
Here’s what happened to me when I made the switch to plant-based eating one meal a day
On Earth Day I kicked off a One Meal A Day Challenge to eat one plant-based meal a day and leave meat and dairy off my plate for 21 days. I had already cut out red meat and dairy but now it was time to really focus on plant-based eating. I’m about 2 weeks in and the results have been incredible.
Here’s what I noticed almost immediately.
If I’m stressed my stomach speaks to me and not in a very kind way. It usually involves running – no sprinting- to the nearest bathroom. By eating less animal meat, our bodies don’t have to use as much energy to digest food. Plant-based proteins from leafy greens, legumes, and seeds are easily digestible and I’ve noticed a big digestion improvement after making the switch.
Not only has my energy level improved but I’m also feeling calm and well rested.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with a powerful vitamin punch. They also provide us with antioxidants and phytochemicals or plant nutrients that have been shown to benefit skin health.
Sleep is something we all appreciate and need. When we don’t get enough our entire day could spiral into a complete disaster. When I made the switch to plant-based eating at least one meal a day I noticed a shift in my sleep almost immediately. There’s no denying that our diet directly affects how well we sleep.
Added bonus: Healing the Planet
Every time you eat plant-based, you cut your carbon “foodprint” in half. Did you know that beef generates 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions than beans, per gram of protein.? OMD is not only about supporting people to eat more plant-based food, it’s also changing the food system to improve access to healthy food options across the country.
A tip for adding veggies to every meal
My fridge is always filled with spinach and other greens. When it’s meal time I swap out the meat or carbs for spinach or another green vegetable If you don’t have fresh greens try adding frozen.Ready to make the shift to plant-based eating one meal a day? So many benefits! Join me and @OMD4thPlanet #OMD4thePlanet #ad Click To Tweet
Ready to join me? Can you commit to going plant-based for just one meal a day? Join the movement and sign up for OMD’s newsletter for recipes, tips and more by clicking HERE. You can find out more here and here.
If you’re looking for meal inspiration take a look at this 7-day meal planner HERE.
Disclosure: I received a copy of OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet and compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. Also, some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!