I’m still a beginner on this whole foods plant based diet journey and I’m not perfect.  Far from it.  Although I know all the facts, benefits & rules, it is still hard to make all the right choices sometimes. This is still a transition and my motivation to keep going is knowing this is a lifestyle and not a diet.  Progress not perfection!  Never give up! Check out my Week 15 on the Eat to Live diet and grab a free grocery shopping list to help get you started. #progressnotperfection #nevergiveup #plantbaseddiet #forksoverknives #wfpb #wholefoodsplantbased #vegan

I almost didn’t write this post. I could have quietly just skipped over this week and pretended it didn’t happen. But it did. The truth is I’m still early in my journey. I’m less than 5 months in. I was starting to get comfortable and confident with eating well. It was getting easier, but then life happens.

The truth is this is still hard. I rock at eating plant-based when I’m at home and in my routine and cooking. But when I’m out of town and out of my element and stuck at place that has no good options, it gets hard.

I almost didn’t write about this week because of course I want people to think I have this thing figured out. I don’t want to disappoint others. But I saw some things this week that made me want to be honest. Brutally honest.

Plant-based Facebook Groups

I’m a part of several different vegan and/or plant based Facebook Groups and while most are very supportive and helpful, I’ve started noticing a trend in a few that is distressing. This week, I saw a woman post about her store bought vegan burgers in a WFPB Facebook Group and I saw her get absolutely LAMBASTED about it. Like, it was rude yall. I was in shock. She tried to defend herself and they only attacked more.

I almost quit the group right there and there were others who made the same comment about being disgusted by the meanness. But so many were rude and hateful about the fact that she shouldn’t post her processed vegan burgers because they aren’t 100% whole food plant based.

Ok. I get it. A lot of store bought vegan burgers are processed and not technically whole food plant based, but we have NO idea where that person was in her journey of learning to be whole food plant based. She could have been only a few days or weeks in and is still learning about what is wfpb. And besides the fact, at least she was eating VEGAN burgers, those are SIGNIFICANTLY better choice that beef, turkey, or chicken.

All those people had to say was “Hey, those aren’t technically whole food plant based, but good job on eating plant-based. That’s a step in the right direction.” But no. They attacked her and threatened to get her banned.

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Trying to be perfect makes people give up

This makes me angry because trying to be perfect and not living up to that “perfect” WFPB expectation is what caused me to give it up several years ago. I felt like if I ate a vegan burger I was wrong and a failure. I REALLY needed someone to tell me it was ok and that I didn’t have to be perfect.

We need to be more open-minded and supportive of people no matter where they are in their WFPB journey and help EDUCATE them, not embarrass them or be judgmental. I’m not only concerned about the lady being attacked, but also others watching who read those comments. Maybe there was someone who was CONSIDERING going whole food plant based and is now like no way, these people are crazy and rude. How sad.

How you deliver the message matters

I wonder if those people attacking her are perfect? I’ll bet not. We shouldn’t judge others, lest we be judged. I don’t know I guess this just comes from my year of teaching. The message can be the same, but how you deliver that message is more important.

We should be open and inviting and helping others from a place of compassion so that we can spread the healthy plant-based message. We aren’t going to convince the majority of meat eaters to try this lifestyle if they are going to be attacked for eating a vegan burger. If all the meat eaters decided to eat plant burgers instead of meat burgers we would save millions of lives – both human and animals and do tremendous good to protect our planet. Let’s look at the bigger picture and not get hung up in the details.

Besides the fact that SO many of the doctors who promote the whole food plant based lifestyle ENCOURAGE those transition foods for those who need it – Dr. Barnard and Dr. Ornish especially have sections in their books about these vegan transition foods as a great option. Even Dr. Fuhrman has store bought convenience food options.

The truth is I’m still not perfect

So, because of what I saw, I felt like I needed to be honest that I’m STILL not perfect (and I never will be) and I hope that it helps others not feel like they have to be as well. This week (which was actually a couple weeks ago, because I’m behind on posts) I went on a school trip out-of-state with my husband, our 2 kids, and 40 other high school students. My husband’s band, Centennial HS Winds (and the Drumline on a separate bus) were attending the Winterguard International World Championship in Dayton, OH at the Dayton Arena. (By the way our kids did awesome! – the Indoor Winds placed 5th in Scholastic World Class and the Indoor Drumline placed 6th placed in Scholastic World Class – that’s highest high school class in the world in WGI).

On this trip, we road a charter bus from Burleson, TX all the way to Dayton, OH which was about a 16 hour drive overnight. We had to sleep on the bus and we stopped at fast food restaurants to eat. Not ideal for eating healthy. While I did pack many healthy snacks (beet chips, oil-free hummus, kale chips, nuts, & trail mix), I didn’t have a way to keep anything refrigerated so that was about all I could bring. I was stuck having to make choices based on what was available, and I’m sorry I can’t fast for 4 days.

Lack of sleep = bad choices

Plus, toward the end of the trip, I was exhausted and my decision making does not do well when I’m running on lack of sleep. I think most people can relate to that.

So what follows is the truth. While I love comments, I would appreciate if they were kept supportive. Not for me, but the other people who read this post and will be influenced by the things we say. We need to support our fellow tribe members who are on their journey to going plant-based. We are all in a different places on the journey and there is no perfect, end destination when you have “arrived”. It will always be a journey. The journey IS the destination.

Want to check out my Eat to Live journey from the beginning? Click here for Week 1.

Eat to Live Food Journal Week 15

Day 99: 147.4 pounds to start

We left for Dayton, OH at 7PM….Fun times on a Charter Bus!

Day 100:

Stopped in Nashville, TN for breakfast, rehearsal, & lunch then hit the road and stopped for dinner in Dayton, Ohio.

  • Breakfast – McDonald’s – 2 Oatmeals & a coffee
  • Lunch – Mini turkey & cheese sandwiches that were provided, kale chips I brought, & fruit
  • Dinner – Panera Bread – Tomato Soup in a bread bowl, Modern Greek Salad w/ Quinoa, fruit cup, & unsweet tea

Day 101:

Breakfast was at hotel, lunch was provided, and dinner was at the Dayton Arena Concession… ug concessions choices….

  • Breakfast – Fruit & hash browns; coffee
  • Lunch – PB & J sandwiches on white bread, broccoli, clementines
  • Dinner – Hot dog, pretzel w/cheese, and Cheetos from the concessions…I feel sick just typing this.

Day 102:

Breakfast at hotel and lunch at the Arena concessions….wheels really started to fall off today….

  • Breakfast – Fruit & hash browns; coffee
  • Lunch – Cheeseburger, fries, Diet Dr. Pepper – SAD to the T
  • Dinner – PB & J on white bread, Cliff Bar (Brownie), Chili Cheese Fritos (provided to us before we hit the road home)
  • Snack – rest area stop – at this point I was exhausted – Cheddar Sour Cream Ruffles, Twix, & Diet Dr. Pepper…yeah…..

Day 103:

We traveled through the night and stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s. I didn’t sleep much on the bus ride home and fell back into old habits when we went into McDonald’s…We finally got back home before lunch time.

  • Breakfast – McDonald’s Sausage Egg McMuffin, 2 Hash browns, & coffee
  • Lunch – Home finally!!! Avocado Toast w/Arugula – oh greens how I missed you!
  • Dinner – On the Border (celebratory staff dinner…like we hadn’t had enough junk food…) Spinach enchiladas, cilantro lime rice, beans, & 2 margaritas

Day 104:

Time to RESTART!

  • Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie & Coffee w/unsweetened almond milk
  • Lunch – Salad from Kroger! Spring mix, spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, carrots, black beans, black olives, sesame seeds, red pepper, balsamic vinaigrette
  • Dinner – Tofu tacos, whole grain tortilla, avocado, spinach, corn, black beans, Spanish rice & quinoa

Day 105:

  • Breakfast – Fruit & Greens Smoothie & whole grain vegan pancakes (Birch Benders Brand I found at Walmart)
  • Lunch – Salad from Kroger again!! Spring mix, spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, carrots, black beans, black olives, sesame seeds, red pepper, balsamic vinaigrette
  • Dinner – Tofu Marinara over whole wheat spaghetti, watermelon chunks for dessert

My weight loss on the nutritarian diet this week:

  • Starting weight this week – 147.4 lbs
  • Ending weight this week – 151 lbs
  • Weight loss this week – 3.6 lbs gained
  • Total weight loss so far – 13 lbs

Eating whole food plant based is hard, especially in the beginning and we SHOULD NOT beat ourselves up when we fall short of our goals. It happened, now I move on. Every day and every meal is a chance to start over. Progress not perfection!

Continue following my journey and see if I lost the weight I gained – Weeks 16 & 17 of my Eat to Live Journey