I Eat Plants... What do you eat?
When I tell people that I don’t eat animal products, their first question is, “How do you get your protein?” After that, they ask, “What do you eat?” It’s as if there’s no food left to choose from if you don’t eat animals or animal products. It’s not true.
I’ve designed this post to familiarize you with a hierarchy of some of the most commonly known diets. There are so many ways to choose what you eat, it can be confusing. Eventually, you must devise your own style -- a style that will fill you up and give you energy and health, and one that suits your lifestyle too.
I’ve experimented with umpteen different ways to eat. Recently, after considering my health, lifestyle, and goals, I settled on a whole-foods/plant-based diet with minimal salt, oil, and sugar. It's a simple way to eat and works for me. Here are a few of your choices and, of course, you are perfectly welcome to invent your own diet.
Carnivores are meat eaters. Technically, a carnivore has those long fang teeth that tear the meat apart. Many humans refer to themselves as carnivores because they love meat so much and consider it the mainstay of their diet, but very few eat only meat.
An omnivore eats meat and plants. I was an omnivore most of my life and somehow, I just took it for granted that it's the way humans are supposed to eat.
I don't consider this a real classification used by humans. It identifies those animals whose digestive systems are very different from ours and are specifically designed to manage grasses and leaves.
A pescatarian is someone who doesn't eat meat but does eat fish and plants.
A nutritarian is someone who eats a diet mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. A nutritarian avoids processed foods and eats a diet rich in nutrients. The nutritarian diet is not necessarily free of animal products but only uses a minimal amount a couple times per week.
A lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat but does eat eggs and dairy.
A lacto vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat nor eggs but eats dairy.
An ovo vegetarian is a person who doesn't eat meat nor dairy but eats eggs.
The term vegan defines a person who generally eats plants but no animal products. Some vegans eat processed food products as long as they don't contain animal products.
A person who eats a whole-food plant-based diet is a vegan who does not eat animal products and who does not eat processed food but eats a diet that is filled with plant-based whole foods (vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and legumes).
Whole-food plant-based no SOS
This group takes the whole-food plant-based diet one step further. They also don't eat sugar, oil, and salt.
I have started The Helpful Blogger to share the information I’m learning on my plant-based journey. I hope you'll find this information helpful as you develop a nutrition plan to meet your health and lifestyle needs.
One thing to keep in mind as you implement your own way of eating is that it's easy enough to slip and eat something you said you were never going to eat again. Slips will happen. Accept that and nudge yourself back to where you want to be.