In late 2007, I removed all meat from my diet, and in 2008 I removed all dairy, eggs, and processed sugars from my diet. Since 2009 I have been eating a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet based on the Healthytarian principles, which take into account optimal health, along with fresh thinking and mindful living. My diet is made up of real, whole, natural food, with an emphasis on organic, fresh, seasonal, local, and raw foods. Thanks to its wholesome plant-based nature, it is an acid-alkaline balanced diet that promotes optimal health, healing, and protection. In practical terms, I eat a wide variety of wholesome plant foods, namely *fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, as well as fungi foods like mushrooms and sea vegetables, all in their natural, unprocessed forms. I never worry about counting calories or nutrients. There is no shortage of protein or any other nutrients when we eat enough food for our daily needs from a variety of these foods. All of my dietary choices are approached with conscious awareness, mindfulness, respect, love, and compassion for myself, our Earth, and all living beings.
Grocery Shopping: Most commonly, I go grocery shopping once a week for fresh fruits and vegetables and any other necessary plant foods at the time. Depending on the time of year and my location in the world, I also rely heavily on home-grown foods and foods from local farmer’s markets. I have a zero-food waste lifestyle, which means that everything is mindfully used and eaten before it spoils, and the emptiness of my fridge dictates when it is time to go shopping again. Dried foods, like beans, grains, nuts, seeds, and spices are typically bought in bulk quantities once or twice per year unless I am traveling, at which time I buy them regularly in small amounts as needed. It is rare for my fridge to contain any condiments or leftovers; fresh and wholesome meals are my priority.
High-Quality Food: I make sure that wherever I live or travel to, I have easy access to whole, natural, fresh, and high-quality foods. For a few years in the past, during the months of May through October, I enjoyed an abundant variety of fresh vegetables and herbs, and some fruits from a local, organic CSA program. From 2013 to 2019, I grew many vegetables, some herbs, and a few fruits in my own garden and also had access to food from local farmers. Growing my own food was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life! From 2010 through 2019, I also relied on many wild foods that I harvested around my natural wilderness area, namely numerous wild mushrooms, leafy greens, and fruits.
Real, Whole Plant Food: Animal foods, refined sugar products, refined grain products, ultra-processed food, fast food, oils, coffee, alcohol, soda and all other processed drinks, chewing gum, and candy are non-existent in my household and in my diet. Aside from sporadic use of canned coconut milk, my household and diet are also free of all canned foods. Minimally processed food items that I may have at rare times include things like organic brown rice pasta and organic tofu.
Raw Plant Food: About three-quarters of my daily food is consumed in its natural raw and uncooked forms, which provides me with a high-raw diet. Any cooking I subject my food to uses minimal heat for the least amount of time required. It is rare for me to consume anything baked, and I never eat any fried, grilled, or heavily roasted foods. All of my fruits are eaten in their fully raw forms, and any nuts and seeds I eat are always raw, not roasted.
Homemade Food: I prepare all of my meals and snacks at home, with an average meal taking me 15 minutes. I almost never follow any recipes because I enjoy and much prefer the spontaneous, creative, and natural meal-creation process. Every meal is created with unique ingredients and amounts, with no two meals ever being completely the same. When traveling, I stay very close to this eating lifestyle, but at times I will purchase some store-bought versions of whole, plant foods that I would normally make at home, like hummus, as long as they are pure and wholesome. For many years I barely ever visited any restaurants; the meal choices, the food quality, and the overall experience was just not satisfactory or ever worth it. In the last couple of years, as more high-quality whole plant food restaurants became available, I have enjoyed a few meals out, especially when I travel outside of North America where food is much more reasonably priced. Regardless, I can say with certainty after all of these years that nothing for me beats or compares to the quality, wholesomeness, and enjoyment of food that I make and eat at home. It is one of my greatest joys and priorities to be fully responsible for my own meal preparation.
Kitchen Tools: The main tools in my kitchen that I use regularly for meal preparation are a Vitamix Blender, which gets used on average twice each day, a Cuisinart Food Processor, which gets used several times per month, and an Excalibur Dehydrator, which gets used several times per year. I used to have a juicer for a few years but discontinued using this tool as juices, even when homemade, were not a necessary or desired part of my whole-food, plant-based diet. I do not own or ever use a microwave, coffee maker, dishwasher, crockpot, or similar appliances.
Since 2008, most days have started for me with a green smoothie, which provides me with several servings of fruits and leafy greens, along with omega-3 rich seeds to start the day with. My usual serving size of this breakfast meal is 500mls or 16oz. Green smoothies are by far one of the most enjoyable, delicious, fastest, easiest, and best acid-alkaline balanced meals.
My next, most common, favorite breakfast meal consists of fresh, seasonal, and local fruit. I particularly do this during the months of the year that I live in warm countries. This usually means eating a filling portion of one type of fruit, such as watermelon or papaya.
During any cooler times of the year or if I need to be extra active, my breakfast may consist of an oatmeal bowl with some fresh or dried fruits and nuts or seeds. In the midst of some travel, and when available, I rely on sprouted Ezekiel Bread topped with wither a pure nut or seed butter and fresh bananas or topped with avocado and other ingredients like tomatoes and leafy greens.
Lunch or Dinner
My most common lunch for years has been a whole-meal salad, which is based on leafy greens and beans, along with various raw vegetables.
My most common dinner for years has been a STAR meal, which is based on a starchy vegetable or a cooked grain, along with gently cooked (steamed) vegetables, mushrooms, and topped with a nut or seed creamy sauce. These can take the form of various coconut curries that resemble numerous Thai and Indian dishes.
Other, common lunch or dinner meals that I enjoy include soups, chili, wraps, veggie platters with hummus, raw or cooked homemade pizzas, raw zucchini noodles, raw or cooked homemade lasagnas, bean patties, and other similar specialty meals.
At times, and specifically, if I have a heavier breakfast or prefer a light lunch or dinner, I will simply opt for a plate of fruit.
Snacks & Treats
If I didn’t have much fruit during the day, I would have some as a snack between lunch and dinner. During warmer times of the year, I will sometimes make a frozen fruit treat in the form of non-dairy ice-cream, using pure fruit, along with other possible whole plant food additions in my Vitamix Blender.
In recent years, I have moved away from snacking between the main meals and predominantly rely on my three main meals of the day as my nourishment for the day.
I do not eat anything after dinner and in the past have maintained at minimum a 12-hour window between my last meal of the day and my first meal of the next day. In recent times, I have extended that fasting period to be between 14 to 16 hours by postponing my breakfast to around 10 am.
High-quality water that is from a wild spring or a clean well or is adequately filtered is my only fluid of choice each day. Although I drink between 1 to 2 liters (32 to 64oz) of water per day, I don’t count or aim for any specific amount to drink. I just take regular sips throughout the day, as needed, and never with any meals. The water is always at room temperature and is never refrigerated or with ice cubes. In the past, I enjoyed some homemade vegetable juices. On rare occasions, and only during cold periods, I have herbal tea or a warm cup of a cacao or carob drink. I never consume any coffee, soda, regular tea, dairy milk, alcohol, or any processed juices or beverages.