What's the difference? What does being "plant-based" even mean? Sounds like a rabbit to me!
This is pretty much the reaction I get on a daily basis from extended family and friends who are either new to the health world or are new, to me, in sum. However, there is a HUGE difference in being "vegan" and being "plant-based."
OREOS are vegan. Just let that sink in for a second.
Do you know what is plant-based? A plate of whole food, natural (unprocessed, unrefined, chemical-free) ingredients. Some of you might be thinking, "that sounds boring AF." Is it though? Let's take a peak.
Above 3 photos by Brooke Lark
All the above photos feature plant-based ingredients. This is what a plant-based lifestyle looks like. Is it also a vegan lifestyle? Maybe.
The difference is that being "vegan" doesn't always mean healthy. Trust me, I started there.
Once you switch over to a plant-based lifestyle, everything changes. You look at meals differently, you crave real food, and your health falls into place. A vegan might order refined white pasta with marinara and a spinach leaf at dinner, but a plant-based person (a rabbit, some might call it. That's fine, own it) will order baked falafel and coconut tzatziki. Fricken yum.
That being said, a plant-based diet isn't for everyone and that is totally ok. I choose to be a rabbit because I personally have a hard time digesting meat. Figuratively and literally. However, some individuals thrive their best on a high animal protein diet, and that's ok. The underlying importance is understanding where your food comes from and how it is made. Eat whole foods with real ingredients. If animal products are necessary for your body to function optimally, then just make sure to get grass-fed, pasture raised, humane certified products. If being "vegan" is your forte, make sure you are eating plants. No oreos. No "vegan" Ben & Jerry's. Cut that ish out of your life. It's remarkable how great you will feel.