Ah, The Vitamix. This little puppy is what made going plant based EASY. I used to make smoothies, pesto, soup, etc. in a food processor or a little hand blender. It was fine, but I'd have to chop everything up ahead of time, add things little by little, go in batches and have a huge mess to clean up at the end. You can put a ton of ingredients in the Vitamix and just press start! Here's a great video from Rich Roll about making a post-run smoothie - check out how many things he puts in there!
One of my favorite things about the Vitamix is the cleaning. All you have to do is rinse it out, fill the carafe half way with hot water, add a drop of liquid soap, attach the lid and start the smoothie setting. Once the cycle is done running, rinse with cold and let air dry. Ta-Dah!
Click here for a link to Vitamix's reconditioned products. We have a refurbished one and it works great! And comes with a five year warranty.
Also, here's a link to all of my Vitamix Recipes.
WHAT DO YOU EAT?
I get that question A LOT when people find out I'm plant based. Think about it this way - there are four or five main animal proteins humans eat, but there are hundreds of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes you can eat. Hundreds. I bet you could eat a different fruit or vegetable every day of the year and not eat the same one twice.
Here's a staple grocery list I like to keep on hand (it also may seem like a lot, but once you get some of these things you don't need to buy them every week):
- Brown Rice
- Lentils (red, yellow, green)
- Black Beans
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
- Canned Coconut Milk (light versions)
- Canned Diced Tomatoes
- Canned Tomato Sauce
- Tomato Paste
- Vegetable Broth
- Miso Broth
- Whole grain pasta or rice pasta (all shapes and sizes)
- Arborio Rice (I make a lot of beet risotto)
- Coconut Water
- Nutritional Yeast
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Raw Almonds
- Raw Cashews
- Dried Cranberries
- Vegan Bread
- Sprouted Whole Wheat Wraps
CSA & FARM BOXES
I am spoiled living in California. We are so lucky to be able to have fresh produce year round. If you live in California I highly recommend looking into getting an Organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or Farm Box. If you do live in a climate that has winters, you can still look into Farm Boxes seasonally for the summer and fall months, or you can just look for your local Farmer's Market.
Farm-to-Table isn't a recent invention. Having local organic farmers sell their crop to customers directly has been around since the dawn of agriculture - but we've grown used to convenience and an abundance of choices. When we want watermelon and tomatoes in winter we go to the grocery store and buy them. But I promise you, a tomato you get from your local farmer tastes completely different from a tomato purchased from your grocer, grown overseas, picked, packed and shipped several weeks before you actually eat it.
Local Harvest is a great website to find CSAs, Farmers Markets, Farms, and Grocery Stores and Restaurants that support their local farmers near you.
My local CSA comes from Riverdog Farm. Each week I get a seasonal box of delicious and nutritious produce, some things I've never heard of before. A year ago I had no idea what a kabocha squash was, I had never seen black radishes, nor had I ever purchased collard greens or celeriac. Its an adventure in food and always exciting.
The most important thing I can recommend about going plant based is to eat a large variety of foods. If you only ate steak you'd probably be a pretty unhealthy person.The same thing with plant based diets - if you only ate kale you'd also be pretty unhealthy because kale cannot provide all the nutrients your body needs. You also don't have to eat salads for every meal. While salads are a great way to get a variety of foods, there are many other great foods to eat to get that variety and nutritional punch that a salad has.
READ: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell - every beginning plant-baser needs to read this book. This book talks a lot about the science behind eating a plant-based diet and how important it is to preventing and reversing many diseases.
WATCH: Forks Over Knives - the recent documentary behind The China Study.