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!