Plant-Based Transition FAQ #1: Why I Became Plant-based.

While I try not to be obnoxious about my plant-based diet by unnecessarily proclaiming it every time I sit down at a dining table, people eventually notice that I always choose the vegan option, and 3 common questions ensue:

  1. Why?
  2. Was it hard?
  3. Do you feel better?

In this post I'll cover:

1. Why?

Short Answer:

Too many documentaries

Long Answer:

In high school, a friend sent me a short viral video called the Hidden Face of Food (WARNING: the video is graphic and gruesome). I told my mom that my little teenage heart could not take the guilt after learning about animal cruelty, and that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore. 

Her reply: You will eat what I cook.

Fair response at the time for a single mom raising 2 kids working 70+ hour weeks and trying to maintain her sanity. And hey, mom’s cooking is 🔥, so I got over it.

In college dining halls, I had a new flexibility to choose what I ate. Emory University had great options for vegans and vegetarians in my opinion, with a whole section of the cafe dedicated to plant-based meals. 

That’s not where I gravitated initially though. My Freshman year, I ate everything in sight.

Gradually, red meat started losing its appeal, and I got pretty tired of grilled chicken. So, I owned the “pescatarian” title for a while. It was a sweet spot for me, because while my meals were plant-based, I felt like I had options when eating out, and still enjoyed a lot of my mom’s cooking.

After college, the documentary that did it for me was Cowspiracy. After making delicious and muy cheesy zucchini noodles, my friend Nhi and I took the next proper step in a sleepover, which was choosing a movie on Netflix. 

Cowspriracy came up as one of the top Netflix films, so we watched. 

Throughout the process of becoming more “woke” in college, I learned a fair share about institutionalized structures of oppression, and the ways in which I as an individual could inform others about/fight those structures while advocating for marginalized communities. 

This movie reminded me that very similar structures surround food! I hadn’t realized growing up that Got Milk advertisements, public school food options- even the supposedly one-size-fits-all food pyramid didn’t necessarily have my health as a primary concern. 

I identify as a fairly gullible person, and I am working on it; but It tripped me out how much of my life, and the lives of so many people have been shaped by motives that are not as simple as I thought they should be when making large public health decisions. I thought the motive was always as straight forward as: optimizing people's wellbeing to live healthier and happier.

Cowspiracy explores how the interplay of government, nonprofits, and the private sector can, and have resulted in deviations from that motive. I also watched Forks Over Knives, Fed Up, and Soul Food Junkies- all of which I recommend, and which confirmed for me that I wanted to set upon a fully plant-based diet aka vegan, although I do have honey occasionally.

In my next posts, I’ll cover two more common FAQ’s:

  • Do you feel better?
  • Was it hard?

Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!

Mushroom and Herb Pasta with Cream Sauce

Alright- so let me tell y’all about this mushroom alfredo-like dish my sister and I cooked this weekend.


I say alfredo-like because instead of cheese, the base for the sauce was cashews- making the recipe 100% vegan. Stay with me here. The cream sauce was not only creamy indeed, but it was also savory, scrape-the-pot-and-lick-the-spoon delicious. Not to mention the dish was ridiculously easy and quick to make. Shout out to Nadia Lim for the incredible recipe.

Looking back on it now I can still honestly say- it was not lackin’ nothin’! Without the double negative, that translates to the dish being everything I could've asked for on a cool, cozy December night. 

In the picture, I poured the sauce over some spaghetti squash noodles for a crunchier, lower carb/calorie variation. The sauce is still plenty tasty, if not more so, on traditional pasta. My mom tasted the sauce with whole wheat pasta. As she devoured her noodles as they were, she kept jokingly asking if there was/could be chicken in the sauce. I didn't accommodate her request this time, but momma's taste buds are usually on point. Feel free to add chicken to the dish if that's part of your diet, and let me know what you think!

The sauce is very high in fat and calories overall for anyone who’s trying to keep those numbers in mind. But the cashew base also makes the sauce high in protein and "good" fats in particular.

I LITERALLY scraped the pot clean. Enjoy!

Current Food Obsession: Pure Bliss Organics

Y'all. I really think I'm about to find if it's really possible to have too much of a good thing. 


"Once you pop, you can't stop" is the tagline for Pringles, but it so accurately describes my relationship with these much healthier and addictive energy bites by Pure Bliss Organics- made right in my home state of Georgia. "Naughty but Nice" is my flavor of choice. They're made of simple, organic ingredients like oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter,  and sunflower seeds,  sweetened with agave nectar- aka some of my favorite things in a pop-pable little cube. I always interpret a mocha flavor when I'm munching on them even though Naughty but Nice features no coffee beans. However, there is a Mocha Cacao variety, along with others like Lemon Cranberry (my second favorite flavor), and Peanut Butter Hemp.

The combination complex carbs and protein make them a great pick-me-up snack during the day or post-workout treat before I make my drive home from the gym... Or when I'm studying... Or right before I go to sleep... Or first thing when I wake up.... They're really delicious. 

Despite roots in Georgia, they've expanded their distribution all over the US. So you can probably find them near you.  But don't say I didn't warn you: Given that they're delicious, organic, minimally processed, and a good balance of nutrients- you may find yourself in an addictive cycle of justifying eating "just one more."


Southern Vegan Necessities

Ya' girl loves her a good biscuit. They didn't come out looking like the pictures on Minimalist Baker, but this easy recipe was fluffy, southern satisfaction. 

The recipe calls for more than enough "buttermilk" mixture, so don't feel obligated to force it into the batter if you have a lot left over because you will not need anywhere near all of it.

Follow the directions and enjoy for a cute Sunday Brunch with your family.