Plant Based Family

Tyler and I recently made the decision to become plant based vegans. We are super stoked to be on this health journey together! We made this decision after a lot of research, experimentation, thought, and consideration so it was definitely not on a whim. We are feeling better than ever and it’s only been a week so far! We have been eating in abundance and are having so much fun in the kitchen cooking plant based meals. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

We are adopting this lifestyle primarily for health reasons. We both want to live long healthy lives full of vitality and free of health issues. We are so fortunate that we are both healthy young adults without any health problems but we want to ensure that for our future so that we can thrive, not just survive. Our bodies are temples so we should power them with the best possible fuel, which are plants. Plants are the most nutrient dense food on the planet and our bodies are biologically designed to eat them. Plants are also wondrously not calorie dense so there are no caloric restrictions when eating a plant based diet because there’s no way you can get fat by eating plants. That’s pretty cool if you ask me! Some people think being a vegan is extreme but it has been truly freeing to eat until completely satisfied without feeling guilty.

A plant based vegan diet has proven in many studies to prevent, and even reverse, cancer and disease, the two things that are killing our population more than anything else. Processed meat is classified as a group 1 carcinogen, just as smoking cigarettes are. That’s crazy!! Most people probably don’t realize that their diet is doing the most damage to their bodies. There is truly no reason to consume animal products and there is nothing that you need from them that you can’t get from plants, even adequate protein!

Another reason to go vegan is for ethical reasons. I’m not going to dive into this too much but we want to be socially and environmentally responsible. I personally do not want to promote animal cruelty or industrial agriculture. One of my favorite quotes is, “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian” by Paul McCartney. It’s very hard to watch but educating yourself will make you realize there is an awful lot of suffering that occurs to produce food products that we are really not meant to eat. It’s actually making our population fat and sick. Voting with your dollar is the most effective way to make a change and promote what you stand for.

We initially took steps towards clean eating back at the beginning of 2016 by adapting the paleo diet, which I shared here on the blog. We both lost weight/toned up however, we didn’t feel better on the inside and didn’t feel truly nourished. It was really not sustainable eating a very high protein and low carbohydrate diet. You don’t feel well. The carb flu is real and not fun. We are enjoying eating a diet rich in plant based carbohydrates! We also realistically do not need nearly that much protein, no one does. Bottom line, paleo may work for some people but it did not work for us and we knew it was not a healthy long term lifestyle for us. The health of internal organs is much more important than the size of your waist. However, loosing weight on a vegan diet is just an added bonus! I’ve actually read about many former paleo people going vegan because of similar reasons to what I stated. It’s always good to become an expert on yourself and learn what works best for you and try things out for yourself because everyone is different.

Check out What The Health and Forks Over Knives on Netflix, The China Study book, and of course there is a ton of great information on the word wide web. A few of my favorite vegan bloggers Ellen Fisher, Earthy Andy, and Oh She Glows. Serious Eats also has a really awesome vegan recipes section. There are so many resources out there to educate yourself on why a plant based diet is truly optimal for health and wellness!

We will definitely be posting some of our favorite vegan recipes on the blog, and maybe even some cooking videos! Here are a few photos of some vegan dinners we have enjoyed.

vegan sushi
vegan vermicelli with a side of kimchi
local pawpaws- they’re like a mango, banana, and citrus had a baby DELICIOUS
vegan ramen

Paleo Lifestyle

I don’t like the word diet or even the concept of it really. However, at the start of 2016, Tyler and I both made a serious commitment to our health. That meant cleaning up our diet, purging our kitchen, and working out more. Plus, we are going to the beach at the end of March so we wanted to drop some lbs and get fit. We set our own personal health & fitness goals and started with a super low carb diet, high in fat & protein. Initially, we cut out the hard stuff, all sugars (aka crack cocaine) & grains. We both lost weight and decided after about one month to transition to a paleo lifestyle, further cutting out dairy & soy. We realized that by going paleo we would actually diversify our diet and feel less deprived by making a lifestyle change, even though there are seemingly more limitations. I’m big on eating our ancestral diet and consuming local, heirloom foods. Our bodies have not adapted at the rate of modern technology and food production so it’s important to feed ourselves real, whole foods. We are both thriving and feel more energized than ever eating paleo!!
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homemade vanilla bean almond milk
We homemake almost everything we consume because we can truly make it the best!! Everything tastes better homemade and that’s no lie. It’s more time consuming but eating clean and delicious food is a priority so we make time. When people say they don’t have enough time, they really mean it’s not a priority. We are extremely lucky to have access to so much wonderful, local food here in Boulder. We get tons of fresh, local produce seasonally. Almost all of our meats that we consume are local grass-fed (beef & lamb) and local berkshire pork. I’m SOO grateful for the availability & abundance of local food. I just can’t wait until we can have our own chickens one day! Personally, derailing is not worth it to me at all when there are so many great paleo options. If I am really craving a chocolate chip cookie or brownie, I can make an equally, if not more, delicious paleo treat. Below are pictures of some of our homemade paleo creations and meals! Feel free to drop a comment or reach out if you want a recipe.
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homemade paleo siracha aka nectar of the gods
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our beloved cast iron collection of some lodges & antique wagner’s
kitchen items we could not live without:

  • food processor
  • instant pot
  • nut bags for making nut milks
  • mason jars of all sizes
  • cast iron skillets & dutch ovens
  • meat smoker
  • tea kettle
  • spiralizer
  • blender

paleo staples:

  • coconut everything! coconut milk, cream, oil, vinegar, aminos, flour, etc.
  • homemade nut milks (vanilla almond is my favorite)
  • ghee (clarified grass-fed butter)
  • cashew & nutritional yeast based ‘cheese’ sauce & ‘parmesan’ (Tyler makes the best)
  • pink himalayan salt (it’s basically my sugar now)
  • red & black hawaiian sea salts
  • fresh herbs
  • pressure cooked bone broth
  • coffee & loose teas
  • berkshire lard & grass-fed tallow
  • avocados & avocado oil
  • homemade paleo siracha
  • cracklins/pork rinds (homemade are the best as always)
  • berkshire pork
  • grass-fed, local beef & lamb
  • nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, pistachio, etc.)
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hawaiian handrolls: pressure cooked pulled kalua pork, coconut cauliflower rice, cilantro, avocado, pineapple, red hawaiian sea salt & black hawaiian sea salt wrapped in nori w/ paleo siracha (side of braised cabbage not pictured)

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