Spicy Mushroom Miso Soup + My Thoughts on Plant-Based Eating

More soup… I know. I know. I need to get a grip, but I can’t. I keep coming across so many good recipes that I need to make and enjoy immediately.

I recently picked up Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Energy Cookbook and can’t wait to make all of the things. First up: spicy mushroom miso soup (vegan).

It’s the perfect balance of savory and spicy. I was pleasantly surprised how rich the broth was being all veggie-based, and the meaty mushrooms left me feeling very satisfied for several hours. Plus, any soup topped with scallions and bean sprouts has a very special place in my heart (cough, pho, cough). These aren’t the prettiest photos in the world, but I’m tellin’ ya it tastes so good.

Since it’s in a cookbook and I don’t see it anywhere online, I can’t post the recipe. But if you’re interested in incorporating more plant-based recipes into your diet, get this book. Not only are the recipes great, but there’s great educational information included as well.

I discovered Brendan about a year ago, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, Brendan is a former professional Ironman triathlete, a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, creator of Vega,and the bestselling author of the Thrive book series.

Basically, he’s an amazing athlete and does it all while eating a plant-based diet. He’s the man, and one of my idols. I recently bought the Thrive Fitness book and look forward to learning even more through that.

A year ago, I was pretty ignorant to the whole vegan thing. I knew a few people who followed a vegan diet and knew they didn’t eat any animal products, but I always wondered “why?” and “how?”

After reading some blogs and seeing mentions of Brendan’s online program, Thrive Forward, I decided to check it out for myself — and I’m so glad I did. The first thing Brendan says in the beginning of the series really resonated with me and is a positive message to people with all different diet types:

Upon signing up for the FREE program, you’re able to fill out information on your lifestyle. The Thrive Forward team then personalizes the chapters based on what you submitted. I chose to focus on “optimal weight,” “digestion” and “sport edition” for my endurance training. But the cool thing is, you have access to all of the other chapters, too, in case you want to read up on a number of things.

This series, as well as a number of vegan blogs and cookbooks, have really opened me up to the lifestyle and benefits of a plant-based diet. Since becoming more educated, I’ve proactively made some changes in my own diet that I believe have helped me a lot with my digestion.

Last year, my body was reacting very differently to food than it ever had before. I had no idea what was causing the issue, but after months of discomfort, I decided to eliminate dairy from my diet for two weeks to see how I reacted. I felt a lot better and knew that had something to do with it, so I took the next step and began to cut some things out.

As a former gallon-of-milk-a-week drinker (no joke) and greek yogurt lover, this was hard, but I’ve replaced dairy milk with almond and coconut milk and eliminated my daily greek yogurt intake. I do still eat cheese (goat, feta, mozz, and parm mostly) and ice cream from time to time because it doesn’t seem to bother me like milk and yogurt, (weird) although I try to cut back where I can.

I’ve also cut back on meat. To be honest, I could really take or leave meat and have felt this way for the last 5 years or so. Last year, I tried a pescatarian diet for a month and didn’t miss meat one bit, and it didn’t affect my energy or protein levels either. I started eating it again out of convenience, but I don’t know if I could take the stand to completely cut it out for good. We’ll see. Maybe 5 years from now I’ll be completely over it.

I read a lot of blogs with a lot of different options/stances on certain topics, and it’s hard not to get sucked in and question your own diet and health choices. But over the past few months I’ve learned to listen to my own body and give it what it needs/wants, which is usually lots of veggies and whole grains, so it works out nicely :)

For now, I’m going to continue to actively fuel with fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes as much as possible because it’s what I enjoy eating and it’s good for the body. If down the road I feel compelled to eliminate different things, then I will.

P.S. This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. I’m just a huge fan.

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