Want to eat a whole food plant-based diet but your social media feed is filled with superfood powders and complex #MealPrepGoals that make you feel like it's unattainable? Or maybe you're worried that your menu will be limited now that you've cut out meat, eggs, and dairy?
I want to tell you something I wish someone had told me when I was just starting my WFPB journey: eating this way doesn't have to be complicated and it never has to be boring. And perfection is way overrated.
I was talking with my MamaSezz coworkers to get their thoughts on the matter and it turns out, most of us are pretty darn busy — here at work and in our personal lives. We're parents, grandparents, friends, active community members, outdoor enthusiasts. We just don't always have time or energy for "gram-worthy" WFPB meals all the time. And that's fine!
But we all agreed just because our meals aren't always "gram-worthy," that doesn't mean they're a snooze. Hardly!
With that in mind, we're sharing what the MamaSezz team actually eats in a day. Not picture perfect, but this is real life, not the highlight reel. And real life's pretty darn great, too.
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This isn't ground-breaking stuff here, but I'm going to say it anyway: social media isn't real. I mean, sure —it exists, it's there, it's on your phone. In that context, yeah, it's real. But sometimes I need to remind myself that what I'm seeing is the highlight reel, not the everyday grind. So I thought maybe you could use the reminder, too.
Changing the way you eat can be hard (changing the way you do anything is hard, come to think of it). And while many of us turn to social media for inspiration, it can sometimes discourage us. When you're following big name influencers, whether they're in the wellness space or not, most of the time you're not even seeing their highlight reel; you're seeing a fantasy.
The perfect body, the perfect family, the perfect meal prep routine.
As you're scrolling through all the perfection, you may find yourself wondering how you'll ever measure up.
You won't. You'll never measure up. Not because you're a failure, but because what you're seeing is not real.
There's no such thing as perfect.
And if the unattainable goal of perfection is keeping you from your whole food plant-based life, or any goal, please stop scrolling and start living, friend.
Take it from someone who's been there, scrolling into the late hours of the night and driving herself half-mad in the process.
What I wish I'd known, and that I hope to help you understand along your plant-based journey, is that it's progress you want to celebrate, not perfection.
Progress is real. It's tangible. And it's wicked rewarding.
By the way, I'm not hating on influencers! Goodness knows I follow plenty of them — and we have even worked with some lovely ones here at MamaSezz over the years. But as we've spent more and more time online this past year, and less time interacting in person, it feels more important than ever to recognize that social media doesn't tell the whole story. It can be a great way to connect, to share cute pics of your dogs, to be inspired to meal prep this weekend...but it's a veil. I mean, there is an actual filter keeping you from seeing the truth.
That said, just because you're not eating a tropical smoothie bowl with 15 different add-ons every morning, doesn't mean you have to endure a boring WFPB diet.
When I first took the plunge into plant-based eating I honestly felt pretty lost. I had no concept of what a day in the life of a WFPB eater looked like. Now that bacon, egg, and cheese wasn't an option, I wasn't sure what to eat for breakfast. I always packed cold-cut sandwiches for lunch and now that was off the table, too. Dinner usually meant going out to eat with my then-boyfriend-now-husband — burgers, pizza, wings. I didn't know how to order plant-based meals at my favorite restaurants.
Luckily, I did have healthy meals delivered from MamaSezz to make the transition a whole lot easier. But still, it took me a while to realize that making plant-based meals at home didn't have to either be super intensive or super boring. Once I focused less on what I couldn't eat and instead celebrated all the variety in a WFPB diet, I found a whole lot of joy in eating again. And I got creative in the kitchen, without spending hours meal prepping.
We've written about this before — MamaSezz Chef Caroline recently published some of her top tips for avoiding boredom on your plant-based diet. I highly suggest you check it out if you're feeling like all you eat is rice and beans and oatmeal.
But sometimes, especially in the beginning, we just want to be told EXACTLY what to eat. So here's a day in the life of the MamaSezz team, in WFPB meals, if you need a little inspo that won't leave you feeling less than.
OK, so let's get down to it. I'll go first. And I took some very real pictures :)
MamaSezz Managing Editor, Ali Brown
I usually go with oatmeal and fruit or if I was ambitious over the weekend, a leftover home-baked muffin (here's the recipe for these oil-free banana bread muffins). And I always have a big cup of coffee with almond milk.
An apple with all-natural peanut butter.
MamaSezz Lazy Lasagna with a handful of kale and half an orange. (I pretty much only eat half of any given fruit because my toddler demands the other half...)
Celery with all-natural peanut butter and raisins. (Remember, I have a toddler...)
MamaSezz Chef and Recipe Creator, Caroline DiNicola Fawley
Tips for WFPB Beginners:
While my veggies are roasting at night, I prep my breakfast and lunch (chop and shred my veggies, mix my batter) so morning time is a breeze!
And a Quick Note on Perfection...
MamaSezz Co-Founder, Meg Donahue
Rolled oats with maple syrup, sometimes hemp seeds.
MamaSezz Millie's Chili with a side salad.
MamaSezz Breakfast Smoothie with banana, frozen strawberry, oat milk.
MamaSezz Lazy Lasagna with a huge amount of steamed spinach and side of broccoli.
Whole grain spelt bread toasted with peanut butter or avocado tomato and hummus.
MamaSezz Co-Founder, Lisa Lorimer
MamaSezz VP Customer Delight Specialist, Mindy Childs
Oatmeal with blueberries, cinnamon and a drizzle of Vermont maple syrup
Apple. I adore apples, sweet ones like Gala or Fuji!
MamaSezz Lazy Lasagna with veggies sauteed in veggie broth. Extra garlic please!
Rice cake with oil-free hummus and greens on top.
We hope so. But if not, that's OK, too. Sometimes, the fire needs to come from within, ya know? So when you're ready to take the plant-based plunge, we'll be here.
By Ali Brown
Ali is a mom, wife, and nutrition and lifestyle writer and editor. She has her Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.