My Journey with Veganism + My Thoughts on the What The Health Documentary

My Journey with Veganism

My Journey with Veganism + My Thoughts on the What The Health Documentary

After sharing on Instagram that I was watching the What The Health documentary on Netflix, I was inundated with messages asking me a variety of questions, but mostly, “What did you think?”

Since it’s such a hot topic right now and one that I do have strong opinions on, I figured I’d write about my thoughts on this documentary and at the same time, share more about my experiences with veganism.

Now, if you’re not familiar with the What The Health documentary, it’s a documentary meant to “[expose] the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick.” How is the government and big business doing that? Through the promotion of animal products.

Thus, this documentary is pro-plant based and anti the consumption of animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc), due to the positive health benefits of plant-based eating and the supposed negative effects of consuming animal protein. There are many other documentaries like this one out there, such as Forks Over Knives.

My journey with veganism

Now, before I get into what I think about these claims, let me share my journey with a plant-based diet. Many of you already know that I eat 80% plant-based and 20% omnivorously (aka most of the time, I eat vegan/vegetarian and the other 20% of the time, I eat animal protein.)

Turn the clock back to the summer before my senior year of college, in 2008. I had just gotten back from studying abroad in Europe and I was pushing the scale at 190 (I remember hopping on a scale at my then-boyfriend’s house and weighing in at 189 and gasping.) What caused that weight gain? A lack of self control. I ate everything – in large portions. Sure, I ate vegetables, but I also ate pizza, pasta, ice cream, cookies, and lots of bread.

I spent that entire summer trying to lose weight. I was interning and living in New York City and found myself eating under 1,000 calories Monday through Thursday and then consuming 2,500+ calories on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was totally unhealthy and this was the first time in my life that I felt out of control of my health.

My friend Sarah shared a book with me on veganism (Skinny Bitch.) She had read it and said, “Read it and let’s go vegan together!” I spent one Saturday afternoon in the summer by my parents’ pool reading it from front to cover. I put the book down and remember thinking, “How did I NOT know about all of this?!” From that exact moment on, for the next 2 years, I ate a 100% vegan diet. I took it a step further and eliminated all processed sugar, foods, and caffeine.

What did I read that caused this decision?

  • Eating plant-based is epically better for the environment (no matter how organically you feed your cattle, their farts and burps release methane which is really damaging to the ozone layer)
  • Even if you’re eating organically and ethically raised animals, you’re still contributing to the grander ‘demand’ for animal protein and thus, continuing the vicious cycle of environmental damage
  • Plants don’t clog arteries or cause heart disease – they do the exact opposite, it’s possible to cure debilitating ailments through a plant-based diet.
  • The role of big corporations and the government in promoting the consumption of animal protein is terrifyingly corrupt

Since then, my body has never felt better than I did back then, when I first started eating vegan. I felt like I was always walking on clouds – so energized, so focused, and my digestive systems worked so well. I was tired when I was supposed to be tired and I had so much energy, I worked out 7 days a week, just because I needed a way to spend that energy. My skin was gorgeous and glowing and I went from weighing in the 170s to my lowest weight at 128 pounds.

Why did I stop eating vegan?

I graduated college and life changed. I moved into my first apartment and lived alone. I had my first job (a very time-consuming, taxing job working for the Trump organization) and no longer had the luxury of time on my hands, like I did in college. I worked weekends, long houred events, and lived in Hoboken, NJ, right near New York City, with all the great culinary experiences of that city at my fingertips. I was going out to bars with friends, and living the life of a woman in her early 20s.

My health took a backseat to my social life and I was finding that while, yes, I was eating vegan, I was no longer doing the diet in a healthful manner. Since I wanted to go to all these amazing restaurants in NYC with my friends, I would go and have to eat a side order of steamed broccoli and a baked potato for dinner – or, worse, if there was really nothing on the menu to eat, I’d just raid the bread basket to fill myself up and soak up the bottle of wine I was drinking with my friend at dinner.

Needless to say, I was no longer cooking for myself every night in my college apartment and since I was living near New York City and not a town in North Carolina, the temptation was just too great. I wanted to live my life, and although there were vegan restaurants available (and I went to ALL of them), NY wasn’t in a point at that time where there was an abundance of vegan options on the menus (this was back in 2009/10.)

I wasn’t doing veganism right and I found myself eating lots of sugar and processed foods and saying, “Well, they’re still vegan!” I found myself sticking to veganism just to be a vegan. I was being a vegan for the wrong reasons and at that point in my life, veganism wasn’t the right choice for my lifestyle. I needed something less restrictive. If only I knew that 80/20 was an option.

I moved on to a ‘pescatarian diet,’ where I ate fish and dairy, but no meat or poultry. This was my middle ground and I started to feel better. It felt more sustainable. I was a pescatarian from about 2010 to 2013, when I started Inspiralized. I wanted to create a blog that promoted a balanced way of eating and fueling yourself. I didn’t want someone who enjoyed meat to feel excluded. I wanted vegans and meat-eaters to be able to find something at Inspiralized. Basically, I didn’t want Inspiralized to have any labels but ‘healthy.’ I was sick of diet labels. So, I started experimenting with animal proteins, like ground turkey, chicken, and pork. I started teaching myself how to cook these meats, and I incorporated them back into my diet, slowly.

I think I’ve only had steak once or twice since going vegan (I’ll cook it for someone else and for this blog, but I can’t bring myself to eat it.) If there’s a beef meatball, I will enjoy it, but there’s something about a slab of steak that makes me nauseous, so I can’t get myself there.

I’ve just found what works best for me, in the sense of a balanced, sustainable lifestyle for this stage of my life. I’ll be honest, I’ve been getting random meat cravings in this pregnancy, so I’ve had lamb chops randomly and beef meatballs more in the past 5 months than I have in the past 5 years.

It’s all about listening to your body and figuring out what fuels you best for now. If it’s an indulgence, learning how to give into the indulgence without overdoing it is important (ie having one chocolate chip cookie instead of a full bag or going out for ice cream once a week instead of every night.) Nothing is forever! And one bite of cheesecake isn’t going to shave a year off your life.

For example, I know that veganism makes me feel the best, but only when I have the conviction to follow that ‘diet’ properly. Thus, I try to eat vegan as much as possible and, when I need a reset, I go 100% vegan for a few days or a week.

I know that eating dairy or any animal protein before 6pm does not sit well with me. Thus, I tend to eat vegan for breakfast, lunch and all snacks in between. Dinner is sometimes vegan, but this is when I’ll cook an animal protein like a salmon or make a lean turkey meat sauce. I’d say 2-3 weekly dinners are vegan and the rest are not. However, I don’t hold myself to any metrics (ie I must eat a certain number of vegan meals a week), I just do what works for my schedule/my cravings/my well-being.

I hate feeling bloated. I hate feeling tired. I hate it when my skin breaks out. And these symptoms are always caused (for me, at least) by animal protein, whether it’s a bowl of sugary ice cream or a lean, ‘healthy’ turkey burger. I just know that’s how my body reacts to it. So why do I eat foods that give me these symptoms? Because I’m human – and they taste good! And life is short and there are some seriously talented chefs out there and I love nothing more than a culinary experience!

And as I’ll discuss in a moment, even swapping out one meal a day for a vegan one can have profound effects on your health and the environment, so me eating an 80/20 vegan ‘diet’ makes me feel good about my decisions both personally and globally.

Finally, My Thoughts on the What The Health Documentary

Now that you know my back story on veganism and that I already lean towards the ideals that the What The Health (let’s call it WTH) doc was promoting, here are my thoughts.

If you know nothing about veganism or it’s purported health benefits, don’t let the What The Health documentary scare you into becoming a vegan

Right after I read Skinny Bitch, yes, I started eating vegan, but while I started, I began reading more into veganism. I wanted to really make sure what I had read was true. Sure enough, it was, but there were definitely some ‘scare tactics’ used in the Skinny Bitch book, just like there were in the WTH documentary.

The documentary definitely omits any information about eating ethically and responsibly grown animal proteins, so yes, there are ways to limit the nasty effects of consuming meat and dairy by consuming products that aren’t made in unethical slaughterhouses and full of disgusting (and scary!) diseases and bacteria.

This would be like the equivalent of an anti-vegan documentary saying, “Vegetables are full of GMOs, they are so bad for you and result in reproductive issues!” without mentioning that if you purchase non-GMO vegetables, all of those concerns go away.

What to do? If you think veganism is too strict for you, read more about the benefits of moving over to organic meat and dairy products.

Having said that, I think these documentaries are great as conversation starters

Health is like religion. More specifically, diet is like religion. Some people swear by Paleo diets, which, in general, are more dependent on animal proteins (since you eliminate many vegan proteins like lentils, tofu, and beans.) Some people swear by veganism. There are so many diets out there, because there are so many unique individuals – there’s not one diet that fits all.

I think it’s definitely an eye-opener about the government and the big businesses that are fueling the consumption of animal protein. The whole “Got Milk?” campaign is truly deceptive and if you don’t know that by now, perhaps you learned it in the documentary. Dairy milk is the last thing we need for healthy bones – it’s bad for our bones (did you know that Asian countries have the lowest rate of osteoporosis and consume the LEAST amount of dairy milk, while the US consumes the most dairy milk and has the highest rate of osteoporosis?)

At the end of the day, I think it’s great that these documentaries start the conversation, especially for people who had NO idea that animal protein can have negative effects on your body. People have no idea that medicinal properties of plants – there are people out there curing their ailments through vegan diets! Type 2 diabetes can literally be reversed on a plant-based diet – now that’s incredible. There’s something there.

The documentary made it seem like diabetes is caused solely by meat consumption

I think this was the biggest scare tactic of the film that was misleading. Personally, I know several diabetics that have diabetes, unrelated from diet. For example, my mother got diabetes while pregnant (called gestational diabetes.) This is something that develops in the placenta and is actually not diet related. If not treated, it can turn into full-blown Type 2 (or even Type 1) diabetes, but at first, it’s not related to diet at all.

If you get one thing from the documentary, stop eating processed foods (like sugar) and lower your intake of meat and dairy

First and foremost, eat real food. Cut out the processed foods (especially sugar) as best you can. Shop mostly from the produce section and eat mostly plants. Cut out as much dairy and meat as you can and see the effects it has on your body.

Here’s a personal example. In my second trimester, I was eating a lot more dairy and meat than I had ever before (thanks to crazy pregnancy cravings) and I was getting bad back pain. I blamed it on my growing belly, but as it worsened, I told myself to go back to basics and rely on my diet as the medicine. Sure enough, the lower back pain I was riddled with in my second trimester has nearly disappeared, despite an even BIGGER belly. I cut out the nightly frozen yogurt and Friday night sausage pizza, and sure enough, I felt a million times better.

I wholeheartedly believe that a plant-based diet is the best way to eat, if you can maintain it, but if not, just making small changes in your diet can be immensely helpful in your short and long term health.

How can you start?

  • If you have eggs for breakfast or yogurt, try swapping in with something vegan instead, like some avocado toast, a vegan protein smoothie, oatmeal and berries, or toast with nut butter and banana.
  • Replace one meal a day with something completely vegan. Try to increase that to two meals a day, a few days a week.
  • Always order the side salad (not fries) when you’re out to lunch – use every meal/moment as an opportunity to cram in veggies.
  • Cooking veggies with butter, processed oils or cheese doesn’t count – season your vegetables with spices, seasonings, and healthy fats (like olive oil) to give them flavor and eat them in their true state, not melted in cheese or doused in butter
  • If you’re busy and on-the-go, green juices can be an easy and quick way to guarantee you get a serving of veggies in your day.
  • Don’t look at processed foods differently just because they’re vegan – a bag of potato chips might be potatoes, but when they’re fried in GMO-ridden canola oil, the nutritional integrity of the potato is no longer there. Eat real, whole food.

For those of you who watched the documentary, what do you think?


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Amanda says:
Havent watched it but am mostly vegetarian and love to have vegan meals as well and yes i have the odd meal with meat. We have as a society become so obsessed with seeing our diets as sources of stress and anxiety when all we really need to do is fuel, satiate and above all enjoy our daily plates - match that up with daily exercise and we have the balance. I probably won't watch it based on your review which was great. THANKS
Elyse says:
Hi Ali, A co-worker gave me one of your cookbooks almost two years ago and I've loved following you! Congrats on your pregnancy! I haven't seen the documentary so I can't comment on that, but I do have two questions for you. 1) Do you have any tips or hints for staying in budget? We try to buy organic and local when we can but it gets so expensive so quickly. I feel like our grocery budget is fairly large but I still end up over ??‍♀️ 2) Winter! We live in Wisconsin, so we have some great farmer's markers in the summer, but the winter is a different story. We don't have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's in my city, and while our grocery stores do offer some organic meats and produce, it isn't everything. A little background - I've been gluten-free for six years and mostly dairy-free and sugar-free for over a year. I tent to eliminate, not substitute. My husband does eat a lot of meat, but mostly lean proteins (turkey, chicken, fish). We have made the commitment to eating well and fueling our bodies in a way that leads to long-term health (we haven't been to the doctor in over four years!). Any tips or suggestions you have would be great! Thanks so much! ~Elyse
Maryweather says:
I'm so glad you posted about this - I was going to ask if you watched it. I watched it a few weeks ago, and the night I watched it was the last time I've eaten meat and most animal products. There have been a couple times (4th of July, mostly) that I wanted to and did indulge in treats, but I've been really good about it 95% of the time. It's surprisingly easier than I ever thought it could be since I loved meat and previously ate it every day. I haven't craved it at all since I gave it up, and it feels so good!
I've made it through half of What the Health so far after my friend who recently got diagnosed with breast cancer told me to watch it. I really do feel like it is one sided. For me, personally, I used to eat a lot of beans and carbs growing up. I was bloated and constipated frequently. Towards the end of high school, I became lactose intolerant, which wasn't too hard to imagine considering my milk intake. It has taken me years of experimenting with different foods and cooking on my own, but I have found that eating pretty close to paleo makes me feel best. I should cut back on my meat consumption, but I do find I feel best with low carb, high fat diet which What the Health is obviously against. I love experimenting with vegan recipes though and don't consume much dairy or eggs. My mom is highly allergic to eggs and diary and since becoming lactose intolerant, it was just easier to cut those things out most of the time. If I am craving them, I will honor my craving. Thank you for starting this interesting conversation though. I am enjoying reading everyone's comments.
Lisa Nicklow says:
This an excellent commentary on the vegan lifestyle. My son has recently joined his girlfriend in the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, which has pushed me in that direction in order to cook meals agreeable to all. It was a surprise to find out how many things I already cooked that way, and how many things I could adapt (soy/meatless crumbles...a Godsend). I already owned a spiralizer, and that has worked well in my efforts, and like you, I couldn't do "veg" 100%, so I am about 80/20. I can already tell the difference in my weight and energy just by making a few changes! Keep up the good work, and I look forward to more "inspirilization" from you!
Lisa says:
This an excellent commentary on the vegan lifestyle. My son has recently joined his girlfriend in the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, which has pushed me in that direction in order to cook meals agreeable to all. It was a surprise to find out how many things I already cooked that way, and how many things I could adapt (soy/meatless crumbles...a Godsend). I already owned a spiralizer, and that has worked well in my efforts, and like you, I couldn't do "veg" 100%, so I am about 80/20. I can already tell the difference in my weight and energy just by making a few changes! Keep up the good work, and I look forward to more "inspirilization" from you!
Laura says:
Love this post. I've watched many of the popular documentaries about food and health but not this one yet - out of fear that it would indeed be pushing an agenda (and not being in the mindset to absorb that). I think anybody opportunity to talk about our health more and how food is tied to it is great though, so I will have to watch it soon! I've been vegetarian off and on for close to 20 years but only truly committed and more importantly, educated, for the last 7. Diet is so personal, and you have to figure out what's best for you. I realized that consuming meat made eating a burden for me and cut that out slowly. Several books I read about veganism didn't actually affect me like I thought they would (though I love Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals); I found greater insight in The Omnivore's Dilemma, perhaps because at the time it felt like a more balanced look at eating. Consuming a variety of whole, real foods and eating less meat (the most humane you can access) still makes a more positive impact than following the more traditional American diet.
Christina George says:
So I just watched this film. Im a sucker for a Netflix documentary and when I saw you watched this recently, I made sure to put it on my list! I've been following you for a while, and even downloaded one of your cookbooks. I love seeing your story every day and it's mainly because I don't feel like you ever push people into thinking or feeling a certain way about a specific 'diet'. Recently I've been dealing with a lot of digestational issues including severe stomach pain, nausea, and even acid reflux or heart burn pretty much after every single meal?! Some kind of burning sensation in my chest. I was beginning to think I had a gluten problem, or a sensitivity to alcohol. I've gained a lot of weight in the last year and I've felt very unmotivated, which has been hard for me to mentally deal with as I was a competitor dancer for 20 years. I have hypothyroidism and asthma, both of which I have prescriptions for. Given my recent issues, I've started to question my medication and wonder if it's had anything to do with my recent health. This documentary and your post have completely opened my eyes to a new perspective. I know tomorrow I couldn't cold turkey go 100% plant based, but I am very interested in trying it for 2 weeks to flush my system, and then find a balance like your 80/20. I feel like I found this information at such a perfect time! Thanks for sharing!
I continue to have stomach aches and feel a lack of energy, especially after eating. I wonder if this is my answer?! I'm going to work on incorporating more plant based meals into my diet. We have a giant summer garden right now which will make it much easier ? I'll definitely be watching that documentary too. Thanks for your perspective and advice!
Barbara says:
Thank you for your post. I thought "What The Health" was an eye-opener, but like so many things on the internet, we need to be aware of their agenda. This should prompt us to learn more and find what is actual truth. I failed miserably when I tried the Whole30 diet - it was too difficult to maintain as a pescatarian, but the book "It Starts With Food" contained very good info on how our bodies process food. I also lost the last 10 pounds I had struggled with for years, so that was good. I've finally settled with the decision to listen to my body and I'm now reading "The Yoga of Eating" which basically teaches what you mentioned in your blog. You have to know what's right for you. I'm tired of feeling like a failure - it's OK to splurge a little here and there, but just be aware of what my body is telling me. I'm 63 and want to be healthy and happy until I'm 100 so I can enjoy my grandchildren!
Sue Anna says:
What a great and enlightening article. I have not eaten meat in probably 10 years and truly never crave it. I am basically plant based and use some veggie burgers and Quorn meat substitute products occasionally. I do enjoy Greek yogurt and I use almond milk. I rely on the yogurt as protein source. My question is how to reduce dairy and which Vegan protein powder do you use? I have had breast cancer so I stay away from processed soy and just use tofu etc. I know the protein helps my hunger so need to get it from other sources. Thanks!
Ali Maffucci says:
I love ALOHA's plant-based protein powder!
Lou says:
Beans!!! I used to think I needed yogurt for protein as well, but beans (and grains and veggies) will provide you with all of the protein you need.
Kim Clason says:
I found it to be great and right down my first class for my masters degree in nutrition. But I, like you, caught the diabetes statement which was misleading. Now diabetes will be helped with more of a plant based diet for sure. I was actually ready in one day to begin the body redesigning - anti cancer diet / life style. This helped me get back on track and kick me down the motivation road
Sanda says:
Great post!! I'm trying VERY hard to follow an anti inflammatory diet, which is basically plant based, Whole Foods, no animal protein except high quality cheeses (in moderation), yogurt and seafood (for inflammation purposes).... I'm following this diet for RA, but also for weight loss. Did you have a lot of success with weight loss when you were Vegan?? I've seen so many you tube Vegans also restrict fat?? Even healthy fats....? This seems nuts... (they also cut out nuts!!). Just curious if you also restricted fat??
Patti says:
Ali, I started following you right when you started your blog and have bought both your books and your Inspiralizer. I enjoy everything that you write and love your recipes. (I also lived in Jersey City for a year after college as I did a year of volunteer work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp. so I love that connection) This article has touched me and I am going to be mindful of eating more vegan and your 80/20 rule sounds doable. I have also been a fan of the Peloton bike before I read that you incorporated it into your exercise routine, so that was another strong connection for me too! Well, today my Peloton bike is being delivered and I look forward to incorporating your food habits, insights, and exercise with my new Peloton in hopes to feel better and lose the weight that I need to lose! Thank you for all of your inspiration and for sharing from your heart.
Fiona McGregor says:
Please stop calling yourself vegan, you are mostly plant based, as veganism isn't a diet, it is a belief. Vegans try to cause the least amount of harm to animals and the planet by not using any animal products, so is so much more than a diet, food is only a small part of it. You can't be a part time vegan. I enjoy some of your recipes, but would much prefer you to call them plant based meals please.
Adrienne says:
I made your veggie sandwich last night and it was Ah-mazing! Who knew some veggies on wheat bread could be so good! I made another one for lunch today and a friend saw it and she is going to the store after work to get ingredients to make one too!
T Smith says:
I love this post... My husband works on programs that promote behavior change specifically related to climate change (and the environment) - and one program is incorporating more plant based meals into your diet (not necessarily going fully vegan or vegetarian because as you mention some people find that impossible). We've been eating plant based about 80% of the time - I just got your cook books and the inspiralizer and can't wait to incorporate them!
Ashley Messer says:
This was so great and well written! I wish there were more articles like this about vegan/veg lifestyles. I read skinny bitch in college and went pescatarian for a year and so many people gave me SO much crap for it but after being fed information (like the "Got Milk" campaign) for so long, it's all they know and it's hard for them to accept anything else. More conversations like this about meat in moderation and the 80/20 rule are a great start and so awesome for moving away from the classic "meat with every meal" mindset that so many Americans live by. Thanks, Ali!
lauren says:
I LOVE this post! my husband and I just watched this which I was grateful for since I already know all this (read the china study years ago)... he's finally starting to pay attention to why I'm a vegetarian :) that being said I need to cut down on cheese for real. thanks for sharing your story!
Jillian says:
I went vegan after reading Skinny Bitch too! I lasted about six months and weighed the lowest I have since fifth grade - around 108 lbs. My favorite cookbook was Veganomicon. For the most part, I ate health food, but the diet wreaked havoc on my digestive system. Several years later I went Primal/Paleo and felt a lot better. I think the balance you describe in your own diet is great. I would love to revisit some of my favorite vegan recipes but without the gluten. I'm not sure I will check out the documentary, but I really appreciate your analysis.
Kristin says:
Hi Jillian, I have been vegan for almost 3 years and it seems my digestive system keeps going up and down. I saw you had issues when you were vegan, what was it do you think that was causing these issues?
Bryan Clifford says:
I'm a type 2 diabetic ,I recently started a plant based whole food life style and I have cut my meds in half and I hopefully I will be off all meds in a few months !!! I love this life style it is working for me . Thank you for sharing your story !! I look forward to your blog thank you !!!
Grace Merchlinski says:
Yes yes yes!!! Love this!
Jennifer says:
The documentary left me feeling like I really did need to make a lifestyle change. I was only ever eating chicken & turkey, as beef and pork, seafood, other animal products, didn't appeal to my tastebuds, I never liked them, and spent my entire life only eating poultry. I am also lactose intolerant, but am able to eat cheese for some reason, without problems, except in large quantities. I was eating 2 eggs for breakfast every day also - and love eggs and cheese, love love them. After having watched this doc I decided, I will need to cut down on my eggs and dairy, but do not ever think I could eliminate them altogether, so in return - I will cut out meat entirely, since I was only ever eating poultry - this was not going to be hard to do - subtracting meats from my home meals would not be an issue for me. I am not naive enough to think that I have to go full vegan and all these terrible things will happen to me if I do not - but it definitely did leave me feeling like my overall health and footprint on the world would improve should I cut back on eggs and cheese, and eliminate meat altogether. I would say this documentary has changed my life - positively, and I hope it continues to make positive changes on others in the future.
I needed to send you one tiny word to be able to give many thanks once again for the stunning pointers you have contributed in this article. It is quite surprisingly open-handed with people like you to deliver openly all that many of us could possibly have sold for an electronic book to help with making some profit for their own end, particularly considering that you could possibly have done it if you ever decided. Those tactics as well served as a good way to comprehend most people have a similar dreams like my own to know a good deal more on the subject of this condition. I am certain there are several more enjoyable sessions ahead for folks who browse through your site.
Gen Edenfield says:
Hi Ali! I just watched WTH and would like to start eating more of a plant based diet. I have a 10 month old baby boy and he is exclusively breastfed. However I’m planning to introduce milk at 1 year. I’m curious about your thoughts and what you plan to give Luca after breastfeeding? Will you give cows milk? Or would you consider an alternative like almond milk? Thanks!!

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air fried shrimp tacos with pineapple mango salsa and guacamole, another meal made fully from a @wholefoods shop! 🌮🍍🥑🍤⁣

~ corn tortillas⁣
~ guacamole⁣
~ pineapple & mango salsa (fresh prepared foods)⁣
~ sliced red cabbage (pre-sliced container)⁣
~ @sirkensingtons chile lime crema⁣
~ cleaned & deveined shrimp ⁣
~ panko breadcrumbs ⁣

preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. dredge the shrimp in egg and dip in panko (toss the panko with paprika, onion, chili, & garlic powder, salt, and cumin.) add in a single layer to the air fryer and cook for 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway through (they’re done when golden brown and C-shaped.) spread some guacamole on the tortillas and top with shrimp, cabbage tossed with juiced lime, pineapple mango salsa, and drizzle with the bottled crema. easy peasy! 👏🏼 ⁣

what’s your favorite easy weeknight taco combo? 🌮 #inspiralizedwholefoodsmealideas

super easy lunch idea, made (almost) entirely from the freezer and 100% from @wholefoodsmarket, so next time you go there to shop, grab the following items and make this Teriyaki Tofu and Pepper Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry👇🏼👇🏼

~ frozen riced cauliflower, stir fry style⁣
~ frozen three pepper blend (sliced bell peppers)⁣
~ organic teriyaki sauce⁣
~ @wildwoodfoods teriyaki baked tofu⁣
~ for garnish: white sesame seeds, red pepper flakes⁣

heat a tablespoon of neutral oil in a medium skillet. add the bag of riced cauliflower and sauté until softened to your preference (about 5 minutes for rice-like, IMHO.) set the cauliflower aside in a bowl. add a couple handfuls of bell pepper strips and half the package of tofu, cubed. pour over some teriyaki sauce (I use about 1/3 cup), stir, and let cook until peppers are totally soft, another 3 to 5 minutes. top the riced cauliflower with the teriyaki tofu and peppers. garnish with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. enjoy!⁣ 🥡

do you like easy meal ideas like this from specific grocery stores? 🤔 I'll start a hashtag for them - this one will be #inspiralizedwholefoodsmealideas

probably my favorite part of parenthood is seeing life through my children’s’ eyes. everything is new and they live a life of exciting discovery. and nothing beats the merriment of Christmastime! 🎄🎅🏻 luca and roma had a blast ice skating today in NYC - luca got the hang of it quickly and he loved pushing roma on the little plastic bear seats they had at @rinkatbrookfieldplacenyc. ⛸❄️ the twins were angels and slept the whole time, so I could be present with my older kids. 👼🏻👼🏻

and we’re building a holiday bucket list calendar, what should we add to it (aside from meeting santa? 😉)

cauliflower and carrot masala, totally normal meal on thanksgiving eve, right? 😅🥄

tomorrow we’re going to my BIL’s to hang out with Lu’s side of the family, and I’m excited to see everyone (it’s been YEARS!) and have the kids spend time with their cousins, aunts and uncles 🙏🏼

for the curry, simmer cauliflower, carrots, a jar of @mayakaimalfoods, and 2 cups of @bonafideprovisions veggie broth in a large pot for 20 minutes or until thickened to your preference. add cooked lentils, stir, and serve with jasmine rice, chutney and toasted naan. easy 30 minute meal 👏🏼 not exactly thanksgiving-friendly, but worth a share!

safe travels today and tomorrow and wishing everyone a safe and happy thanksgiving 🦃 I’m so grateful for you