So, what do you eat?

On those occasions when my plant-based eating habits are observed, the persons enquiring usually seek consolation for the elimination of meat from my diet, by asking, “But, you eat fish, right?!” The expressions of horror that usually follow my denial often accompany the exclamation, “So, what do you eat?”

I have found it strange that so many persons believe the only food options available to us are: chicken, fish, pork, beef, mutton and fish, with the ever-faithful ‘side’ dishes of rice, ground provisions, bread and vegetables. Capitalist-driven affluence and the misguided pursuit of it, has resulted in voluntary amnesia for many persons. I say this because many people fail to remember that in our traditional diet, chicken was the Sunday dinner ‘main dish’, fish may have been a treat on Friday, and a little salt meat (beef or pork) would have accented the Saturday Pumpkin or Red Peas soup. Very few persons want to be reminded that most of our ‘back-in-the-day’ dishes were plant-based and things like (the choice cuts of) pork, beef and mutton, were reserved for family events such as weddings, funerals, and birthday parties. Instead, they wrongly associate meat-consumption with wealth and vegetable-consumption with poverty. (There is so much more that I could say about that… but, that will be addressed at another time.) However, in the interest of our health and the sustenance of our economy, we may all want to consider returning to the ‘country-style’ eating habits by increasing our consumption of the treasures we reap from soil and decreasing, if not eliminating, our consumption of animal foods.

Below you will find a sample menu of what I may eat on an average day:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast Oats Porridge with Raisins Steamed Callaloo with baked beans Cornmeal Porridge
  Toasted bread with peanut butter Boiled bananas, yam and potatoes Fried Plantain with bread
  Orange and banana Melon and banana Mango and Pineapple
 
Lunch Sweet n Sour Veggie Chunks Soy patty with lettuce and tomato Vegetable Chow Mein
  Rice and Peas Meatless Red Peas Soup Arranged Vegetable Salad
  Tossed Vegetable Salad
 
Dinner Curried Ackee Cabbage and Veggie Mince Barbecued Tofu
  Roasted Breadfruit Spaghetti Brown Rice
  Avocado Pear Slices Arranged Vegetable Salad Steamed Carrots & String Beans
 
Snack Sugarcane June Plum Coconut Drops
 
Dessert Pineaple Upside Down Cake Sweet Potato Pudding Soy Ice Cream
These items were not selected with any particular dietary needs in mind. They are simply delicious, easy to prepare and readily available. If you have never prepared any of the meat substitutes e.g. veggie chunks, veggie mince, or tofu before, there are many easy tutorials and recipes available online. Or you may pick up these dishes from a vegetarian restaurant nearby.
Therefore, you have no reason to limit yourself. Try to eat something more traditional and plant-based today.
Stay Earth Strong!

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