Vegan Whole30 // Day 2: For The Love of Grains

Grains have a pretty bad rap in the Paleo/Whole30 community, mainly because of the dangers of gluten, the overproduction of corn, and how essentially all grains today have been pounded into a nutrition-less flour and might still be labeled "whole grain". 

All of above, I totally agree with.

But then sometimes, I go into my super-deep-thinking mode and I wonder about all of the ancient civilizations that were founded on grain and how they thrived to become the great nations they are today. Did civilizations back then worry about being gluten-free? If grain and breads are all that bad, how did they survive?

Let's face it: times have changed, and unfortunately so has a lot of our grains. While our attitudes and traditions of eating grains haven't quite changed, our activity levels are dramatically sedentary compared to those past civilizations. Basically, we're not moving like we used to. In addition, we're eating a bunch of stuff in addition to all that grain. We've spiraled into a society of overeating food that's most likely been stripped of all of its nutrients, ergo: empty calories galore. And then we top it off by not doing anything to burn up those calories.

So, do you eat grains? Do you avoid them?

Especially when you're starting on a healthier lifestyle, it's hard for you to want to live in the grey areas of healthy eating. Most people just want: DON'T eat this. DO eat this, because life is stressful enough and you want one less thing to think about.

Grain is in this grey area of healthy eating. It can be great just as much as it can be terrible, both mentally and to your physical health. If you find yourself overeating on pastas, breads and rice, you have an unhealthy mental relationship with grain. If you find yourself getting bloated after eating something containing gluten, you have an unhealthy physical relationship with grain. If you're starting out on the Whole30, and you're not vegan, I'd say go ahead and go through the 30 days without grain because it is a very good experience that will teach you SO MANY THINGS.

But, if you're more experienced like me in this realm, or if you're vegan, I invite you to keep grain in your diet, but be wise about it. For this round of vegan Whole30, I'm choosing to eat barley, farro, and rice if absolutely necessary. Why am I not including oats? Well, I admit, I have an unhealthy mental relationship with oats, in particular, granola. :D And that's gotta end.

So that's my 2 cents about incorporating grains! I chose to avoid discussing too much about the nutritional contents of grain, because I'm not a certified dietitian or nutritionist, but feel free to do more research on the subject yourself!

Here's my lunch for today: Salad Greens with Portabello Mushroom, Spinach, Leek, and Farro Saute, with Cherry Tomatoes, Sprouts, Avocado, and Tahini.

Vegan Whole30 // Day 1

Happy DAY ONE!

Fun fact: the Whole30 is what I originally based my entire diet on. It helped me find a diet perfectly tailored and suited for me.

Here's an intro as to why I personally endorse the Whole30:

From being on the SAD (Standard American Diet), to bulimic, to Paleo, to raw vegan, to 80/10/10, to rawtilfour, I was obviously COMPLETELY CONFUSED about what is truly good for me to eat.

Then I completed the Whole30. During that time, you're encouraged to do research, ask questions, and learn about why you're doing what you're doing. This was the most valuable part for me. While you can easily be drowned in the noise that is the Internet and all of its opinions of what the best diet is, there is truth in whole foods. Because the foods are simply that: whole and untouched. 

This is the only thing that made sense to me. Foods made in nature are complete with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even the right amount of water content to digest those nutrients. Foods found in nature, especially plants, are the closest to the sun when absorbing energy, ergo, you too will receive the most energy from them. This concept is so beautiful to me. Which is why I fell in love with "eating Whole" in the first place.

"Now Mickey, you're vegan. So what do you eat for protein?"

Ah yes, this is where I talk about how I adapted the Whole30 to fit my lifestyle. To be honest, I didn't agree with the Whole30 100%. For me, I felt good eating grains, legumes, and soy, BUT the arguments I kept hearing convinced me to do my own research about it and make my own conscious decision.

Having weighed out the fact that I'm vegan, and that legumes and grains are where I find my most significant sources of protein, I chose to keep them in my diet. I did adjust my mentality towards grains, however. Rice is typically THEE STAPLE FOOD. Same with oats. Same with any other major grain. Instead of relying on those grains as the base of my meals,  I'm now treating them as if they were more complementary to the meal, rather then the staple. Thus, I'm keeping my portions of grain reasonable, and still filling up on the necessary veggies.

THERE'S SO MUCH I CAN TALK ABOUT. But luckily, I've got 30 days (or more) of this, so I'll rant more tomorrow. :D

Here's my breakfast for my VEGAN WHOLE 30 // DAY 1!

Banana & Chopped Apple with Korintje Cinnamon and Almond Butter

Until tomorrow!