food,  health,  vegan

What’s the difference between plant-based and vegan?

Plant-based sweet potato avocado bowlI’ve been getting a lot of questions about the difference between plant-based and vegan eating, so I wanted to write a quick little post to explain it all!

The easiest way to understand how the two connect, yet differ, is to picture a Venn diagram. In one circle you have veganism, which eschews any and all animal products. In another you have plant-based eating, which is very similar to veganism in that it avoids meat and dairy. Where they meet in the middle circle is in certain dishes that are meatless, dairy-free, and comprised of natural ingredients.

However, not all vegan food is suitable on a plant-based diet, and not all plant-based folks follow a vegan lifestyle. For example, a vegan diet can still include items like soda, candy, or veg burgers chock full of artificial ingredients. (Which means veganism isn’t necessarily a “healthy” way of eating!) As for plant-based folks, they may still use beauty products that contain animal-sourced ingredients like honey or beeswax.

I’ve gone through various phases of vegetarian and vegan eating as well as plant-based eating since I was in high school. So, how am I currently combining veganism with plant-based eating?

As much as I do feel I’ve benefited from veganism, I know that it’s time to kick it up a notch with my eating habits. I got in a bad rut last year of eating sandwiches, white flour pasta, and more that wasn’t healthy. Now, I’m trying to eat primarily plant-based, which means less Boca burgers, pizzas, and the like.

I do try to follow an 80/20 rule, because I don’t believe in labeling foods “bad”. That just sets you up for guilt if you eat them! This is where intentional eating comes into play. I know how my body feels when I’m eating lots of artificial or heavily processed foods, versus how I feel on a mostly natural diet. (I’m going to be talking more about intentional eating next week!) So for the most part, I eat as green and minimally processed as possible, with a little room left for some mainstream veg-friendly indulgences like tacos!

Now that I’m refining my eating habits, I’m going to try to start posting some vegan, mostly plant-based recipes here and on Instagram to show you exactly how I’m combining veganism, plant-based eating, and intentional eating. Don’t worry, there will still be snacks and desserts, they’ll just be a little healthier than before!

What are some plant-based recipes you’d like to see? Any suggestions for me to try? Right now I’m really obsessed with sweet potato and avocado toast! I also want to try some baked squash recipes (perfect for this chilly February weather)!

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