Minimalism + Veganism

How a plant-based (Vegan) diet can bring value & savings to everyday life.

Words by Dann Alexander

In what is becoming a global epidemic of obesity, eating less unhealthy food is a step toward living a longer and better life.

In my youth I was accustomed to a diet with meat as the meal’s main focus. In my teens I became aware of vegetarianism and the ethical questions raised in eating animal-based products. I felt I was invisible and did not care about how poor my eating had become. It was too easy to go for the fast options. It never crossed my mind that eating healthier would be an investment that could pay valuable dividends.

Now in my late thirties, I’ve moved to consuming a plant-based diet, commonly known as a vegan diet. For years I’ve looked at taking the direction toward vegetarianism. Going one step further and becoming a vegan was another freeing action toward a better life. The first and foremost reason I wanted to adopt vegan living is part of my ethical agenda in connection to animals. How could I continually use my platforms to voice concern and care for animals and still be okay with consuming them? I could no longer reconcile the differences. It was time to absolutely practice what I preached with full commitment of mind.

My spouse has helped lead the way for us into this kind of life. Through her inventive cooking and research, we have found recipes and foods that have given us even more of a variety than I ever thought possible. My initial hesitation was short-lived. We easily made adjustments with some of our favorite foods in order to make them vegan. We already ate well to begin with. There were just some minor changes needed in some of what we put together as part of regular meal plans. The difference now is that there are many different things we keep adding to the regular rotation.

The health benefits of plant-based diets are becoming even more well-known thanks to filmmakers that are giving larger platforms for advocacy. More viewers are taking notes as to how beneficial this kind of life can potentially be.

A common misconception about plant-based diets is that they can be too costly. In the current age however, it is actually becoming easier to consume a vegan diet as the popularity continues to increase. We have personally noticed that our grocery bill has continued to decrease over time. We are getting far more in spending less. We prepare several healthy meals well in advance such as soups and grain-based dishes. We freeze enough to take us through lunches and the occasional supper as needed. This is all balanced out with our own freshly made preparations and standard things which were already incorporated into our evolving meal plans.

In addition to the ethical value discovered in plant-based eating, the health benefits are starting to emerge. My energy levels are increasing. There is just a feeling of overall better well-being that I find difficult to describe. I’m seeing a bigger value to my life when the time is invested into a healthier way of eating.

Prepping meals in advance is saving time. Not investing money into animal products is saving a contribution to the environmental problems of the planet. Eating meaningfully can transpose into a more valuable increase in how you view your own life.

As a Canadian I understand that there are places where eating plant-based would be next to impossible. Many people in our remote Northern communities depend upon the land for their food. Having fresh fruits and vegetables flown into these communities makes buying them very difficult. So despite my beliefs, I accept that it is just not practical to adopt a vegan diet in many of these places. However, some people are working on adopting vegetarian and vegan diets into their lives by using frozen or canned fruits and vegetables and easily transportable products such as rice and beans.

Please note: If you have any questions about diet, it is important to raise those questions with your doctor. The experiences discussed here are personal and not meant to act as medical advice.

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