Why We’re Switching to a Plant-Based Lifestyle

A Whole Foods Diet


“How do you feel, your body, on your current diet?” A friend of mine asked me that question during the 40-minute ferry ride from our slice of heaven in Gibsons, BC to Vancouver.

That was the moment when I realized something had to change.

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad
Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

Work schedules and a lack of activity was producing less than satisfactory results for me. Our meals were based upon what was convenient, in the shape of wraps and sammies. While I am on my feet all day at the grocery store, I don’t feel I am making huge strides in the fitness area.

I want more energy. I want better dinners for Mike and me.

The Whole Food Diet
“Sounds like more salads and less fewer steaks,” was my husband’s first response when I proposed a shift in our eating lifestyle.

Well, sort of.

According to Forks Over Knives website, this lifestyle is “a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.”

In short — nature made over factory made.

It’s learning how to maximize our calorie count with nutrient-rich food and not refined or overly processed products. It’s learning how to cook flavourful food without excess packaging.

Reduce Single Use
And that, my friend, was the main motivation. I’m obsessed with “reduce single-use” packaging items in our home. We don’t use plastic bags or take out containers. We take coffee cups and water bottles every where to avoid “to go” cups.

Vegan Queso
Vegan Queso

Making more at home reduces single-use packaging. Making our own marinara from fresh tomatoes and garlic means we aren’t purchasing a jar of sauce. I mix together oatmeal, peanut butter and honey into balls and these replace the protein bars.

The Forks Over Knives website has an app for purchase to help with menu planning. I receive a weekly menu that includes a shopping list. I can change out meals, make substitutions and it updates the shopping list. It has made the switch to a plant-based diet easier.

This past week, we have had Cajun cauliflower bowls with quinoa, penne pasta with Tex-Mex flair and tofu pudding cups with strawberry compote.

To be honest, it hasn’t been all peaches and dates. For one, I have a hard time chopping up the sticky, gummy dates fine enough to be used for baking (anyone have tips on this? Love to hear them).

For two, this lifestyle takes planning and prep. A lot. I feel like I’m always thinking about dinner — two days out. What needs to be chopped, minced, juiced or chilled. Tip: make extra and freeze.

Our shift to a plant-based diet has motivated the two of us to live a healthier lifestyle all around. We are walking more. We are eating less. And we are feeling fuller — at the table and in life.

A small step outside my comfort zone . . . Another big step in my XL life.

It’s Pumpkin Time!

I don’t think there is a single thing about fall that I dislike. Cooler temperatures? Bring out the colourful scarves. The shorter days? More reasons to cuddle on the couch. The rain? I thrive on the pitter patter sound of falling rain drops.

But what I love most about fall is the flavour. When pumpkin becomes the main focus of scones, beer, bread and coffee drinks. When cinnamon and nutmeg spices lace candles, baked goods and air freshners.


I love fall.

Today was the day I popped open a can of pumpkin and started the fall onslought of yummy goodness.

Pumpkin Bread - Weegee SachtjenThe first recipe was strategically picked to coincide with a new food lifestyle (details coming soon!): 1 Bowl Pumpkin Bread. I used a recipe from the Minimalist Baker — the blog edition of my new favourite cookbook – EVERYDAY COOKING (plant-based & mostly gluten-free recipes).

Our home was flooded with the sweet smell of fall as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin aromas escaped the oven. The hearty loaf, once cooled, didn’t disappoint.

It’s pumpkin season. I’m ecstatic.