Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved to cook. When I was little, my cooking consisted mostly of ramen noodles and baking pre-made cookies. I’ve come a long way since those days. A year or so ago, I was having a lot of digestion problems and my doctor recommended that I eliminate dairy, gluten, etc. and keep a food journal to write down how I felt after eating certain foods. The food journal lasted all of a day, but I did notice a huge difference in how I felt when I decided to follow a vegan diet.
I was strictly vegan for about 9 months and I absolutely loved it! Now, I would consider myself a flexitarian. My husband and I try to eat vegan at home, but recently we have been eating more vegetarian meals. Becoming vegan truly changed how I cook. Due to the restrictiveness of a vegan diet, I learned how to become extremely creative in the kitchen. Many of the cooking swaps I learned while being vegan I still use today.
Being vegan also helped me really think about the food I was putting into my body. As they say, “Your body’s a temple” and you SHOULD treat it that way. Focusing more on a whole foods, plant-based diet keeps my skin clear, maintains my weight, and all around gives me more energy.
I would highly recommend a vegan diet for anyone who is experiencing digestive problems because it truly gets you back to basics. Being vegan helped me learn that I have a slight dairy intolerance. Yes, I do still have an occasional sundae from Elliston Soda Shop, but trust me, I hate myself afterwards. Banana ice cream has become my new favorite ice cream to experiment with at home and definitely satisfies my sweet tooth.
For those considering going vegan or just trying it out for Meatless Mondays, I would highly recommend the following sites to get you started:
If you don’t feel like cooking vegan at home there a few great vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Nashville that are worth a try! I would highly recommend Avo, Coco Greens, and Wild Cow. And if you need some more inspiration to get cooking, check out my Pinterest boards: Vegan Breakfast, Vegan Lunch, and Vegan Dinner.
What are your favorite vegan/vegetarian spots in Nashville?