A Simple Way to Eat Whole Food Plant Based

When my husband and I decided to move to Asia, we hoped it would open our minds and give us a new outlook on life. Well, it definitely did, especially in our approach to plant-based eating.

In Taipei, our new home, foods we learned to rely on for our recipes, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds and nutritional yeast, were now unavailable or difficult to access. How would we make vegan cheese for our lasagna? How would we get our protein? Then on our travels, we found that in many countries offer mostly rice and veggies.  What were we going to eat?  What was going to happen to our muscle without protein? How were going to survive?

These changes to our diet became a big deal and we had to learn a new approach quickly.

What Did We Eat?

We began eating a much truer version of a whole foods, plant based diet. Learning to rely on local resources that were available and doing more research. And what were we surviving on?

  • Vegetables, and very few selections of them, mostly greens
  • Fruit, such as bananas and mangoes
  • Grains, mostly rice and oats
  • Legumes, limited in quantity and mostly beans, lentils and peanuts
  • Tree Nuts, such as cashews, almonds and walnuts
  • Seeds

The simple stuff.  Straight forward, no frills. No hemp or chia seed smoothies, no healthy vegan burritos from the store, no fancy vegan cheeses. It seems we’d fallen into a fluffier, admittedly self-imposed, food trap in America. A newbie to the world of plant-based eating, I realize I made cooking too complicated. I was focusing on the wrong things.

I was focusing too much on protein. In addition, protein comes in many sources. I became so fixated on tempeh, tofu, hemp seeds and quinoa as my main sources. I forgot about everything else that is less expensive and more available. Many western cities and countries are very fortunate for the endless options of ingredients and foods in every store, however in hindsight made it things too complicated and wasteful.

How Did It Impact Us?

Over time, our health and energy started to go up. We’ve learned a combination of the above plants are all that are needed to be healthy and strong.  Ingredients can be more straight-forward, while still delicious. There are still many recipes to make using basic plant-based ingredients. The focus becomes trying new flavors with spices and herbs, rather than relying on expensive, store-bought ingredients. So, we’ve been taking it back to basics and it’s been making a world of difference in our lives.

Our relationship with food is constantly changing. Our taste buds change and adjust, our shopping habits change, our body is always learning how to react to new foods. Within this ever changing landscape, taking it back a few steps with a simpler approach to eating and cooking makes our lives easier.

I’m not saying we’ll never having any of those fancy items again, however we started Veggie Campus as a place to make life simpler in the world of plant-based eating. We are just getting back to our roots.  I look forward to sharing our approach with you, based on some key principles.  Awesome recipes and sources are coming your way to hopefully make your lives easier, too!