My Diet

My diet and why I don’t eat certain foods but am open to them

After sharing on Instagram stories yesterday that I don’t eat dairy during the weeks (after...

My diet and why I don't eat certain foods but am open to them

After sharing on Instagram stories yesterday that I don’t eat dairy during the weeks (after freakishly getting a craving for Greek yogurt in the afternoon) and that I don’t eat beef, I got a lot of messages asking me, “Why don’t you?”

So, I figured I would explain my diet a bit and why I choose to eat the way I do!

But first, a What I Ate Today!

What I Ate Today, May 23, 2017



I started the day off with a Daily Harvest smoothie. They just came out with smoothies with oats in them, so I had the Overnight Oats – Pumpkin Chai – I’ve been meaning to try these varieties. It tastes like a subtle pumpkin pie smoothie, with a little chai note. Loved it! As always, you can enter code INSPIRALIZED to get three free smoothies.


I had a hard-boiled egg and then OF COURSE, my raw nuts! Same raw nut mixture I always have (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews) with raisins.


After trying these past few weeks to eat more ‘creatively’ for lunch, I have been craving my veggie sandwich, so I gave in. The usual: hummus, avocado, onion, cucumber, carrot, and spinach!


Literally the world’s most random (and sad-looking) snack, but it was SO good. Just a tablespoon of Wild Friends organic honey sunflower butter in a container of Fage nonfat plain Greek yogurt. I was craving something protein-packed and filling and I was too lazy to go to the store – there’s 18 grams of protein in that yogurt! If I had some raspberries or blueberries, I would’ve added those in, but my fridge was literally empty.


BBQ chicken bowls night! I made BBQ chicken, roasted chili sweet potatoes, sauteed kale, homemade pico de gallo, and of course, avocado. Perfect balanced meal!


More of my favorite dark chocolate! I ended up eating 3/4 of the bar (Lu had a few squares) while I signed some book plates (and as in some, I mean 1,000+) – I had a random sugar craving and I gave into it! #ithappens

My diet and why I don’t eat certain foods but am open to them

My diet is totally customized to what my body needs, wants, craves, and reacts to. At a specific time. There have been months where I don’t even recognize my appetite, because my body craves foods I wouldn’t normally eat. But guess what? I let myself have those foods.

So today, I’m talking about what my typical diet is like and why I never say never to any food groups.

When I eat & how I eat

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an intuitive eater, because I definitely eat at times when I’m not hungry. I’m a PROACTIVE eater. I know myself and I know that I get bad cases of hanger. If I’m ever hungry, I’m miserable to be around and I end up eating junk or gorging myself at my next chance to eat. SO, if I know I’m, for example, taking a long car ride, I’ll pack snacks or I’ll eat something right before I get in the car, even if I had breakfast an hour or two ago.

Intuitive eating is all about tuning into your body and when it’s hungry, you eat, instead of pre-arranged meal times. I do practice a bit of intuitive eating because even if it’s not one of my scheduled meal times (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner), I will have something to eat if my body is telling me its hungry. That usually means I didn’t feel myself properly.

Typically, I eat on this pattern Monday through Friday:

8/8:30am: Breakfast
10:30/11am: Snack (usually my raw nut mixture)
12:30/1:30pm: Lunch
3pm: Snack (usually fruit, a granola bar, a boiled egg and some grapes, etc)
6pm: I graze a bit as I’m cooking dinner
7:30/8pm: Dinner

Eating in these intervals helps me stay on top of my hunger. Eating JUST three meals a day does not work for me. I’ve tried it for years, and it results in over-eating and frequent hunger. It does work with a lot of people, but I’m not one of them.

What diet do I follow?

None! Well, I follow the Ali Maffucci diet. I eat the foods that I know make ME personally feel the best. The foods that make my skin glow, my energy levels high, my focus at work strong, and my general disposition happy and light.

The foods that DON’T make me feel these happy ways and therefore I avoid are:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods

The foods that I eat every single week:

  • Fruit – apples, green grapes, cantaloupe, banana, berries
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts – pecans, walnuts, cashews, almonds
  • Nut & seed butters – almond, peanut, sunflower
  • Quinoa, lentils & beans
  • Avocado
  • Greens – spinach and kale, mostly
  • Vegetables (ie zucchini, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, bell peppers)
  • Veggie burgers
  • Once a week: fish (usually wild caught salmon)
  • Once a week: chicken OR turkey (always organic!)
  • Once a week: eggs

My thoughts on dairy and eggs

Ahhh. The million dollar question.

Dairy is an easier one to address. I think dairy is the worst for you. HOWEVER, because I want to live a happy, unrestricted, somewhat indulgent life (aka enjoy the good things in life), I do eat dairy. As a personal rule, I abstain from dairy at LEAST 5 days a week. Typically, I’ll have dairy on the weekends, some fro-yo after dinner, those glorious nights when we go out for pizza, some manchego and crackers with friends.

I’m not a nutritionist, a doctor, or a registered dietician, so I won’t get all preachy, but if you want clear skin, high energy levels, better digestion, better calcium absorption and other marvelous benefits, ditch the dairy. OR, do what I do – limit it as best as you can.

I eat dairy when I’m absolutely craving it and I can’t resist. I’m a human! I think it’s ludicrous to deprive yourself of something every single day for the rest of your life, even if doing so makes you feel amazing 100% of the time. That’s my thought on that – some things supercede feeling your best. Sometimes, an experience is worth it. And you can enjoy it subtly, not in an out-of-control-stuff-your-face kind of way.

As for eggs, I eat them once a week, mainly because my doctor encourages it for the supposed benefits for pregnancy. So, I build it into my diet once a week. Otherwise, eggs make me farty, and I know my body doesn’t respond the best to them. And, they don’t have THAT great of a taste, so I can do without them. I don’t crave eggs.

My thoughts on meat

NOW, as for other animal protein. If you didn’t know, I was a vegan for almost 3 years. I read a lot about the dairy and meat industry, and sometimes, I just can’t bring myself to eat certain foods because of what I learned. The effects of dairy and meat consumption on the environment is horrific. Also, there’s something gross (to me, personally) about chewing on meat. It scheeves me out – seeing blood especially in a meat is enough to make me lose my entire appetite.

BUT, I do eat the occasional animal protein, so does that make me a hypocrite? Not at all. The reason I have a low animal-protein, mostly vegan diet is because of what I’ve learned. I’ve drastically changed the way I eat after being vegan and I’m so thankful for learning all that I did. Now, I apply those same principles and make it into a diet that works for me and my body.

When I was in college and my schedule was just class, homework, and party, it was easy to be a vegan. Now, with being married, living in the New York City area (aka having access to some of the world’s best chefs), being 30, working out much differently, and adulting, pure, strict veganism just does not work for me right now.

I eat organic chicken (or turkey) once a week and fish once a week (typically wild caught salmon). The rest of the time, it’s vegan. However, if it’s a week where I do intense cardio and lifting workouts and my body tells me I need something else, I may crave a turkey burger, so I’ll end up eating meat THREE times a week. Or, if I go to a restaurant and Lu orders a pork chop or a sausage dish that looks magnificent, I’ll have a bite of his. If it’s “worth it,” I’ll take a bite. Or if we find ourselves in Tuscany and I just HAVE to have this braised short rib because it is the best I’ll ever taste in my lifetime, OF COURSE I’ll have it.

However, I don’t ever eat beef. There’s just something about it – it really sits like a log in my stomach. I haven’t eaten a steak since my teenage years when I didn’t know any better and my parents made it for me. I just don’t like the taste and now knowing the negative effects it can have on my health (heart disease, blood pressure issues, etc) and the environment, I choose not to eat it.

Just think about this. It takes less than 500 gallons of water to produce a pound of chicken and just under 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef. Now, a pound of chickpeas (which will yield many more servings than a pound of meat) takes about 500 gallons of water. ALSO, farming animals ruins soil – raising crops of plants is much more sustainable and can feed more people.

Eating more plant-based makes my body and my conscious feel better, and that’s why I do it.

However, I know plenty of people (especially my Paleo friends), who don’t eat lentils, quinoa, etc because of how it makes THEM feel. And that’s totally cool. I’m just explaining how I eat, because I do get a lot of questions about my diet and I wanted to have a post to refer back to.

My thoughts on the ‘unhealthy’ stuff – processed foods

Everything in moderation, especially processed foods. I don’t keep processed foods in my home, so if I do have them, they’re a treat when I’m at someone else’s home, or I’m out and at a restaurant. We don’t keep pasta or white flour in the house, no sugars (other than honey and maple syrup), definitely no soft drinks, etc. I make my own dressings and marinades to avoid additives in the bottled versions – or, I buy clean-eating friendly products. So, it’s never in the house, so we won’t eat it at home. This eliminates 80% of the temptation (because after all, a roll of Oreos would be amazing – so I keep it out of reach.)

Of course, cheese is considered a processed food, and I enjoy that, like I said, as a treat. So. Everything in moderation works for me, but I know that some people prefer “all or nothing” and that’s okay too – whatever works for you, but most importantly, whatever works for you forever. Whatever’s is sustainable for the rest of your life, not just for a 30 day challenge or a 21 day cleanse. Forever.

And if I do crave something like chips or cookies, I’ll either make them myself or I’ll buy a clean-eating friendly version, with real ingredients I can pronounce. No added nasties.

My tips for someone trying to find a healthy diet that works for them

Listen to your body for a week or three. Notice how it reacts to certain foods. Decide which ones you can live without and which ones you just absolutely cannot. Decide which foods make you feel the absolute best. Write it all down and make yourself a mini you-diet. A diet (as in a lifestyle diet) that works for your individual body. And be sure to workout and make sure you listen to your body especially on those days so you don’t deprive yourself.

If you just NEED to have brie, reserve it for special occasions or Friday nights. If you MUST have cream in your coffee, halve the amount you use and limit yourself to only one cup a day or maybe really try to get into homemade almond milk (I say homemade because you can sweeten it yourself with vanilla extract or dates without relying on pre-made brands that have added sugars.)

But give plant-based eating a chance. If you feel like you’re never satisfied, you’re probably not eating enough fiber or protein. Vegetarians just don’t eat salads with shaved carrots and grape tomatoes. They eat lentils, beans, brown rice, avocado, sweet potatoes, and other things that are full of fiber and protein to keep you properly fueled. Don’t give up on vegetarian eating without properly eating vegetarian. I love Cookie+Kate and Minimalist Baker for vegetarian inspiration. And of COURSE, this blog (check out our recipes page.)

Hope this helps some of you! And no matter what you tell ME, I’m not going to change the way I eat, so keep the nasty comments to yourself. I’ve finally found a lifestyle diet that is sustainable, gives me the most energy, makes all of my blood levels and endocrine systems feel the best (tested by a doctor), and most importantly, tastes good and makes me glow from the inside out.

You do you and I’ll do me!


with love, Ali

leave a comment


  • I think it's great that you found your own "eating style" although I'm a vegetarian (eating vegan 90% of the time) I do feel like many people feel like they need to have an opinion on what I eat or don't eat - the key is respect! And I do feel like your blog teaches so many people to enjoy eating their veggies - which is SO awesome :) Congrats on your work and thank you for this post* P.S. I love those vegetarian blogs, but one of my favs has to be "The First Mess" <3
    • Ah I love The First Mess too!! She's such an amazing woman! Thanks for the kind comment :)
  • Hi Ali, Thanks for sharing what works for you. I'm 6 years into a similar journey and have the same issue w beef. But every great once in a while my body asks for it. I listen, do organic, and feel better after. This last time coincided w medical blood work. The lab results showed I was low in iron. My body informed me by craving the food that would fix it. How cool is that? We can't hear if we're wrapped in processed foods AND not being mindful. Thanks again and mazel tov on you pregnancy!
    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Natalie! Glad to hear you're listening to your body too! It's something I've learned to do especially in my pregnancy!
  • Great read! Thanks for sharing. You look fabulous so the diet is obviously working..!
  • I wish I could be as disciplined as you. I have a dairy allergy and I hate steak as well, so it's easy for me to cut that stuff out. But when it comes to sweets, I have no will power. How do you abstain from eating such yummy foods? I've been trying now and just cannot cut the sugary foods out of my diet.
    • Moderation! Allowing yourself a small portion every night (for me, it's a few squares of dark chocolate or a scoop of vegan ice cream) lets my body know that I can have it, so I don't crave it because of restriction. Also, the LESS you eat sugar, the LESS you crave it, because your tastebuds adjust. Now, when I'm craving sweet, usually some berries get the trick done, because my tastebuds recognize their sweetness!
    • Start with taking all the sugar foods out of your home and not purchasing. Then fill the frig with fresh grapes and strawberries and bananas. I promise you if you get rid of the sugar junk, you will really taste the sweetness of the earth's bounty. I am on a journey to cut sugar too and this tip has helped me.
  • Great advice Ali! I love that you keep recognizing what works for you may not work for other people. Taking time to listen to your body and what makes it feel good is so important! I generally eat similarly to you in terms of foods that don't make me feel good. After a while of not eating it, I didn't miss it at all. But at restaurants I will order it aka steak, cheese, ice cream if it's not the menu because I don't keep it in my house. I hope you post more recipes with lentils :)
  • Hi Ali, I'm new to your site and received the Inspiralizer for Mother's Day (as requested). I've tried two of your recipes so far (Zucchini Fettuccine Primavera & Apple Noodle and Tuna Salad) both delicious!! I am totally enjoying everything you have to offer, especially because you seem so open-minded and so willing to share what works for you. I think I will stick around for awhile :) thank you!
    • Thank you for the kind comment - and I'm so glad you're loving your Inspiralizer!!
  • It makes me so sad that you have to ask people to keep nasty comments to themselves. Grown adults who have a brain that they can use to filter out their harmful words. It is just dumbfounding to me. You do you, girl!
  • I'm just coming off of a puréed and super soft food diet (I had jaw surgery). I spent the first two weeks missing so many delicious kinds of food, mostly not great things like pizza. I finally decided to use the time to pay attention to my body and see how my forced diet changed how I felt. I learned that I am fine with dairy. I really needed that dairy, especially Greek yogurt, for the protein. I didn't eat meat or grains and my stomach and digestive system felt better than ever! Now that I can "eat" again I am slowly introducing various food items and so far meat and processed grains are not good and I'm having to reset after meals with those foods. Sadly I can't chew very well yet so spiralizing isn't an option right now but my plan going forward is less meat, whole grains only, and more veggies. I can't wait tot be able to really chew again and dive back into spiralizing!!!
    • Hope you feel better soon and congrats on figuring out what works best for you!!
    • Such smart advice. Every single person's body is unique, so every person needs a diet that works for them. This finally clicked for me when I was working with a neurologist on managing my MS, and I asked him what I should and shouldn't eat. Instead of denying that nutrition had any affect on the disease (which many docs do) he gave me the best advice: Eat what makes you feel good. Good as in, fueled, happy, balanced and satiated.
  • I sure wish that I had figured all of this out at your age instead of at my age (47). Your diet makes such a huge difference in how you live your life!!
    • Kim, I was thinking the same thing! I'm 48 and have spent all of my 40's trying to cleanup my body and feel as good as i can every day. I guess it's never too late! Marissa
    • Well I am just figuring it out now that I am retired!! Seems I have increased my veggies 100% One problem I am working on is the cost of fresh veggies but now I will have time to go to the farmer's market This will change my life Thank you all
  • Great post! Diet is totally something we all have to figure out for ourselves through experimentation. For me, doing my first Whole30 was HUGE and helped me see the effects gluten and dairy have on my body. I'm doing a Whole30 now (much needed after all the Easter candy my mom sent me... yikes) and I feel SO good. I'm curious to know if you've ever done a Whole30! My regular eating is along the lines of an 80/20 approach. I eat paleo 80% of the time and the other 20%, I'm more flexible. The one thing I will not consume is gluten. It's terrible for my gut and I feel awful after eating it. Thankfully we live in a time when gluten-free products are readily available, though I only consume them for special occasions. Dairy messes with my skin too, though I love cheese. If I do consume dairy, it's cheese, and I attempt to keep it in small amounts! Side note: did you know putting a pinch of salt in your coffee will cut its bitterness?! This is my biggest Whole30 revelation. I have been drinking coffee with a pinch of salt, almond milk, cocoa powder, and Great Lakes Gelatin. Delicious!
    • I have never done a Whole30 before, no! And I'm so glad to hear you're so intuitive with your body's needs! Keep it up, Laura!
  • Hi Ali, Thanks for providing the details, because after your Instagram stories yesterday I too had questions. I am all for whatever you can actually create as a lifestyle that you feel good about works as a "diet". I'm not a big milk person, but I was wondering what other sources do you get calcium from? Mostly nuts?
    • Actually milk doesn't help as much as you'd think - it actually works against your body in calcium absorption! For calcium, I get it from broccoli and dark leafy veggies, beans, almond milk, oats, etc!
  • Ali, Thank you so much for sharing this post. I really don't comment on things but I feel like I'm talking to my spirit animal here. People, my own family and boyfriend included, think I'm weird for cutting out red meat (and a horrible Italian might I add). I just can't stand the texture of beef, pork (although bacon bits and prosciutto are acceptable at times), and other red or game meats. Similar to you, I just can't fathom cooking or eating something bloody, it literally repulses me. You keep doing you girl and ignore the negative comments. Only you know what's best for you and your body. I avoid dairy too for the most part, it really bothers my stomach...but at the same time if I want to have that scoop of ice cream every now and then, so be it. Keep up the amazing work, I love your site and daily posts!
    • Love a good spirit animal! Thanks for sharing your story! And yes, we're still good Italian girls! :)
  • Just here to agree with everything you wrote! Vegetarian for 20+ years, currently somewhere in the middle of vegan and vegetarian (depends on the day). I freaking LOVE cheese but, as you said, I've learned so much in my years of research that I have a hard time not feeling guilty sometimes about some of my dairy consumption. I've also noticed my allergies are incredibly better when I'm not consuming dairy (hey look at that, paying attention to one's body works). I try not to get "preachy" about my eating habits, unless asked, but I also recognize that this is what works for ME (mentally, emotionally, and physically), and other lifestyles work for other people (my Mom is Celiac so guess what, she's gluten free). Pretty sure no one needs fewer veggies in their life, though, so keep on preaching about plant-based eating :)
  • Feeling inspired! Love this!! I wish I worked out and ate better throughout my pregnancy! You're doing great girl! ??
  • I've followed you for years(close to when you started inspiralized), and that's one thing I've felt like you've always been really good at! You always listen to YOU and it's really inspired me to listen to myself I have RA and used a paleo template a lot, but always felt hungry. I'm learning now how to mix them both to get what I NEED out of a diet. This post came at the perfect time!!! I'm finding freedom in not labeling myself so much more than saying I do "paleo" or "vegetarian" or anything like that. Life (and food) have to be sustainable, or you feel like your going crazy. Love this post!
  • I love that you are doing what works for you! There's evidence that the environmental effects of every single human going vegan or vegetarian wouldn't be good for the planet and on the other hand people eat wayyyy too much meat so I really dig this balance diet of meat a few times a week and the rest mostly plant based! I recently started doing it myself and feel amazing!
  • Other than chickpeas and other beans, what are your your go-to sources of protein for dinner? Thanks!
    • Colleen, as I mentioned: quinoa, lentils, chicken, fish!
  • What kind of bread did you se in your sandwich? It looks so good!
  • Hi there, I appreciate your rationale as to why you avoid certain foods. As a Registered Dietitian who promotes Intuitive Eating, there are no 'rules' when it comes to Intuitive Eating - such as "As a personal rule, I abstain from dairy at LEAST 5 days a week". When stated in that way, it actually sounds like a diet rule for you - and there truly are no rules when practicing true Intuitive Eating. I highly recommend reading 'Intuitive Eating' by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch if you haven't had a chance yet. I use it to guide my work with clients and is so helpful... and also so freeing for those who love food or have had strict 'food rules' in the past. Thank you for sharing!
    • I think you misread my post. I say that I DON'T practice intuitive eating!
  • Great post, thanks!
  • Thank you for sharing this. It was inspiring. Eating a primarily plant based diet with the occasional chicken or egg is fairly new for me. I recently had a incident of extreme fatigue. While my iron okay my b12 was not. I was wondering if you take any supplements other than collagen and if so if you wouldn't mind sharing. (Other than prenatal vitamins which you may be taking now)
  • Ali, I think your posts are great! I am inspired by your whole journey. I do have one suggestion -- I'm a wordsmith and I find the word "diet" well...what's the root word? Die. Right. So, since I fully agree that one's eating patterns should be something they can live with forever, I call it a 'live-it'! Eating is a life-giving, life-sustaining, life-enhancing activity, so why not call it a live-it? I've shared this particular post with my grown children who are all searching for their own live-its, and have been working with the Whole 30 concept. I often share your posts with them. Lovingly, Julia
  • I've been following you for some time and totally live & promote the inspiralized life. I totally appreciate your sharing your personal diet. No one should criticize it. However it sounds like someone is on your case about how you eat. Just sensing a little something in the the way you have written today. When I was pregnant everyone shared their unsolicited opinions about what to eat and it drove me crazy. You've got to tune them out and only listen to yourself & the doctor (they really have you & baby's best interests in mind).
    • No one has been on my case, I just want to preface these posts, so people know that the intentions of these kinds of posts aren't to preach, just to share. And when people share, others should be kind.
  • Hi Ali! I've followed you for quite a while but have never commented. Wanted to take a moment to tell you that this was by far your best post to date! I truly love how you look at what you eat in terms of the whole picture, how it makes you feel, how your skin and body react, how it impacts the environment, how each body is different, etc, not just for a number on the scale! Inspiralized blog is the only food blog that I take the time to read/apply to my life. Thank you for the wonderful words and recipes! Corinne
    • Corinne - this comment made my day!! Thank you so much!!
    • Just chiming in to say I recently unsubscribed from a whole lot of healthy eating blogs and stick with yours! Your posts are fun, informative and easy to relate to. This one was spot-on. I was vegetarian for 12 years and gave it up when I had kids- reading your post today brought me back to a time when I loved what I ate- veggies, legumes, brown rice, quinoa etc...and felt better than ever. I am slowly getting back into that happy eating groove with the help of your blog/recipes, thank you!
      • It's a journey and it's okay to adjust your diet based on your life changes (ie having kids!) -- you know that you can always go back, so just do what feels right for you! Thanks for sharing!
    • Thank you so much Corinne, what a kind comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!
  • Yes! So well said, girl! Love your approach! My hubby and I just embarked on a vegan route yesterday! He has heart issues in his family and I'm Type II. I was a vegan for three years in my twenties and have never felt as good or as vibrant since. However, my sis is totally different and feels very ungrounded without meat and feels grains really slow her down. When I see you in the city it reminds me of my days attending the Natural Gourmet Institute in Chelsea! Thanks for all you do to promote health and wellness! xx
    • Rachelle, goodluck in your vegan journey with your hubs! And thanks for sharing your journey! We're all so different, it helps to talk about it!
  • I LOVE what you said. It's so great knowing what you eat and don't eat is YOUR choice and what is best for YOUR body. My body dislikes dairy too but who wants to live without cheese? Thanks for putting yourself out there and risking the nasty comments.
  • Seriously, out of ALL of the foodie health blogs and people I follow - the best out there - I consider you to be the most healthy and balanced. If I could eat like any of them, I'd want it to be your way. Very inspiring, thanks!!
  • Love this! This is very similar to my diet and I'm glad you found a balance that works for you (I indulge a little more though!) I tell people that I'm not vegan or vegetarian but I definitely try to eat that way a majority of the time. It's surprising how much dairy and red meat people consume and don't realize its effect on their bodies!
  • Ali, wanted to thank you for the tip on Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides protein powder. It's a little pricey, but boy oh boy my nails are growing strong and long. Baby names for your little. Will you share or we will wait for his birth ?
    • Debbi, so happy you're liking the collagen! I'm keeping the baby name a secret :)
  • Hi Ali: This was a great post. It was really informative and interesting. I really enjoy following your blog and the recipes you share. Thanks for sharing!
  • I couldn't agree more with your "diet"! I eat very similarly, except that I only eat meat/fish one every other week, and I have one Greek yogurt every other day. I also eat eggs once per week! I have seen great results too-- without even trying have lost weight/toned up and have a much healthier view of food. Thank you for sharing this and I hope others are inspired too! Food is such a fun thing when you don't have to stress about weight gain, and you describe a great meal plan that I think many others would benefit from!
  • What an awesome blog post! You have a great philosophy! thanks for sharing :)
  • Hi there! I try to eat very similarly to you and find that it also makes me the most happy! However I find that I tend to overeat or eat mindlessly when I have processed or unhealthy foods in the house, particularly late at night. Does this mean I am not fueling myself properly? Or just simply find these foods addicting and dont have will power? Thanks for your help!
    • Listen to your body! If you're ACTUALLY hungry, then maybe you're not fueling yourself properly. Otherwise, it's mostly mindless eating and yes, there are ingredients in those processed foods (like sugar) that are proven scientifically to be addictive! You could also be bored, so perhaps find something to take up your time better at night time!
  • It was great hearing about your diet changes and what has been working for you! I currently follow a completely vegan plant-based diet and I've been feeling amazing! The veggie sandwich looks incredible. Also, I definitely want to try your dinner recipe and replace the chicken with BBQ tempeh!
    • Yes, you must! Or do a pulled jackfruit BBQ:
  • I like to use your website because I'm allergic to milk and am not particularly fond of meat, especially beef and pork. Though I have noticed that more than 2 servings a day of true grain tends to mess with my digestive tract. Quinoa and amaranth don't seem to cause that problem, though. One of the best things about the spiralizer is that I can have pasta without the grains. I've also gotten so used to having spiralized veggies that most pasta tastes too bland now
  • Ali, I LOVE this honest post. We tried a vegan diet for a 7 day challenge and in that 7 days started educating ourselves. That was the key for us. We can't go back, now that we know what we know! 5.5 months later we're still vegan and absolutely loving it. It has changed our lives and honestly, we feel like we're in on some sort of secret now. We love it. And also, we received the Inspiralizer this week and we're loving it!! it's going to really be a fun summer with our garden and CSA. We want to spiralize everything. Great post!! You be you. I'll be me. Love that too.
    • So happy to hear you found a great diet lifestyle for you! Thanks for sharing - and enjoy the Inspiralizer!
  • Ali, I've been curious... why do a lot of your recipes call for chicken broth if you limit your meat intake? I eat meat, but have a food intolerance to chicken, so I always sub in vegetable broth instead. Just curious why you often select chicken broth? Thanks! :) Morgan
    • I do eat chicken! It's all for flavor! And I make recipes on this blog that everyone can enjoy, so I try to take that into account. I don't want to just make food that I'll eat, I want to share flavors that others love too. For example, I hate eggplant, but I make eggplant recipes on this blog!
  • Thank you for this article! I had been a strict GF Vegan for a few years and recently began changing my diet because it wasn't sustainable for my lifestyle, but I've felt kind of lost trying to find a "new" way to eat that worked. Reading your experience has motivated me to become more mindful and less restrictive! I'm wondering, what type of bread do you use for your sandwiches? I feel like that's one product that can be hard to find a fairly pure version of!
  • Have you thought about your little ones diet? I don't do much dairy and I am about to transition away from breastfeeding (my girl is turning one soon and has only had breastmilk). I'm trying to decide if she should have cows milk? Of course, I've talked to my doctor and I know you are not a doctor :) but just curious if you've thought about this or done any research?
  • I just lost 30 lbs. with MyFitnessPal (free calorie counting app and website), so now that the weight is off and I am at the low end of my BMI, I have been reading more about nutrition. It all contradicts each other, some say no fat, (like olive oil), some say butter and olive oil are "healthy fats," etc., etc. etc. I am also confused on "processed' foods. I consider processed to mean, "made in a factory", i.e. "ran through a process" which would mean even healthy bars, smoothies or protein shakes that come out of a package, essentially anything that is not just the ingredient is "processed" to some degree, correct? I totally agree with knowing your body and the affect that food has on you, although my dh has a cast iron stomach and I don't know if that is a good thing. ;)
  • I absolutely loved reading this. You have to find what works for you. I used to drink like 6-8 glasses of milk a day and eat ice cream every night. That eventually caught up to me in high school and I think I am lactose intolerant now. After my denial phase, I finally switched to soy and then almond milk and for the most part am dairy free. I notice that dairy, lots of sugar and especially milk chocolate make my skin break out. I've learned more veggies and less carbs work for me to feel my best. I have been experimenting with making more vegan dishes and have loved them, even if some of my relatives give me strange looks. I have learned, like you, I have to do what is right for my body and digestion. I also feel like I finally figured out why I was always bloated as a child. Giving up milk was a big one for me, but I am thankful for alternatives like almond milk.
  • Thanks for all the sharing, love your insights and recipes. Look into responsibly pastured animal farming. From what I've read, it is a good thing for the planet to rotate animals and vegetables.
  • All sounds good, but I think you'd feel better if you went gluten- and oat-free (oats have its own bad proteins, and are never truly gluten free, even if labeled as such -- research shows). I know you were Paleo for a while too, so how did going gluten-free worked for you? As for eggs, I'm willing to bet you money that if you buy truly pastured eggs (hens that do forage and they aren't only eating soy/grains), you won't have a problem. In fact, it's known that people with an "egg allergy", are actually allergic to soy. These hens are only fed soy, and its proteins then are found in the eggs! I find truly pastured eggs on my CA super market, but Costco now has "pastured" eggs, that aren't truly pastured (the hens don't forage, they are fed 100%, they just happen to be outside, on a place that's full of stones with no grass ). So to check if truly pastured work better for you, you'd need to research first what you buy exactly, or visit a farmer's market and ask there exactly what their hens eat. I pay $8 a dozen for mine.
    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment!
  • Ali - do you think if you were still single you'd be a vegetarian? I wonder if the pressure of living with a meat eater has influenced you to eat meat?
  • I don't read your blog as often as I'd like to, so I'm often reading many posts at a time. I love how the majority of the "what I ate"s that I read say something about you trying to venture out for lunch, but returning to your veggie sandwich. I get a kick out of that every time.
  • I wanted to say thank you for your Inspiralizer, blog and amazing recipes. I am thinking much more creatively about veggies, increasing my veggie intake and trying new ones. I liked this post and your encouragement to do what works for each of us. You have a very approachable way of sharing information - not preachy at all. I've told so many people about your site - and the FB group which I really enjoy. Congrats on your pregnancy! I'm a mom, a parent educator and therapist and I can tell you it is a truly transformative experience to raise a human being. Best wishes!
  • Your approach to food is similar to mine and I have always had a challenging time explaining it to people. I am going to send them to this blog post whenever someone thinks I am breaking my own rules or doesn't understand why I choose to eat the way I do. I do eat more meat and eggs than you, but other than that, I am right there with you on most fronts. Lately, I have been craving carbs like a pretzel. I finally bought a bag that has about three ingredients. This is the first bag of pretzels I've bought in probably 10 years or more. But allowing myself to have something that normally bothers my stomach (gluten bloat) is normal. I had a serving size and closed the bag up. They'll be there if I want more and if I don't, oh well! :) Thank you for being so open and honest about your food choices.