To know me is to know two things:
I’m Italian and I love food.
Throughout my life, I’ve eaten meat (though it didn’t take me long to become grossed out once I started to think about what I was eating), transitioned into being a vegetarian in my early 20’s (I have the book Skinny Bitch to thank for that) and finally went completely vegan a few years ago.
I grew up like every other American kid in the 90’s, eating the Standard American Diet with things like Lunchables, Bagel Bites, broccoli with cheese sauce, Dunk-a-Roos, salads topped with Bac’n Bits, Bugles (did anyone else use them to make super long nails on their hands and then bite them off one by one? Just me?), Go-Gurt, Teddy Grahams, Taco Bell, Kid’s Cuisine or Kraft Mac & Cheese when I got to babysit my little sister for an evening…the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, my family was fortunate enough to eat healthy food the majority of the time (if you know my mom, you know that she’s an incredible cook!). The things mentioned above were “treats” in our household and quite honestly, that’s “just how everyone ate” back then. The problem? A lot of people still eat like that today and even worse, all of the aforementioned items are considered to be “food” in our society.
I hate to break it to you, but that’s not food.
It may be consumable, it may “taste good” but it’s not real food. Real food is vibrant, alive, nutritious, energizing. Real food is made from the earth and doesn’t come with a label of ingredients we can’t pronounce.
Here at That Wellthy Life, my food philosophy resides in a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. Notice how I didn’t say diet? I try not to include the word “diet” in my vocabulary as I think it stirs up a negative association with food for many people. And eating this way isn’t temporary as a diet would imply; it’s a way of life.
What does a WFPB lifestyle mean? The way in which I embody it, it means consuming lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes; foods that are whole and as minimally processed as possible — think foods without a food label! And the way that I live out a WFPB lifestyle also means that I do not consume meat, dairy or animal products.
So…you’re talking about being a vegan? 😳
Technically speaking, yes…but don’t write me off just yet; I’m not here to push veganism on you. Being “vegan” doesn’t mean being “healthy.” Oreos are vegan. Doritos, Fritos, potato chips, Ritz Crackers and Thin Mints are vegan. Hell, even Sour Patch Kids are vegan. Just because someone is living a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean they’re eating healthy! They could be having unfrosted Pop Tarts for breakfast, french fries and tater tots for lunch and a pizza with soy-based cheese for dinner and still call themselves vegan.
You’ve heard the saying you are what you eat, right? Think about it: you chew and swallow a piece of food, it goes into your stomach where it hangs out for a bit and is eventually broken down by stomach acid and enzymes. From your stomach, the broken down food moves into your small intestine where your liver and pancreas send over juices to help continue to break down food. Once your food is broken down more, it moves to the second part of the small intestine and is absorbed from the intestine and into our bodies through our blood. Any food that our body can't use / doesn't want is sent to the large intestine and then...well, you know the rest. 💩
Do you see how you literally are what you eat? Consuming a WFPB lifestyle means that you’re feeding your body the proper nutrients to thrive! When you’re thriving, you feel good and I truly believe that a WFPB lifestyle can make our bodies feel amazing (aka good mood food).
"But eating fresh fruits and vegetables is so expensive."
It doesn’t have to be.
"But eating fruits and vegetables is so time-consuming to prepare."
It doesn’t have to be.
"But I don’t want to be a vegan."
You don’t have to be.
I want you help you feel empowered to fuel your body with real food. I want to help you give your body a break from the Standard American Diet and feed it with nutrient-dense, energizing, living food. I want you to know that you’re worthy and deserving of eating real food no matter how you were raised. I want you to feel confident introducing new fruits and veggies into your diet and maybe even in ways you hadn’t thought of before…I want you to be the richest version of you.