What is a sustainable diet? I’ve teamed up with other members of Ethical Writers & Creatives to share what we eat in a typical day and why.
The video above ^ shows what I ate on a day of healthy, home-cooked meals.
My day started as it always does with a cup of tea. Tea is a must-have for me and I drink at least one cup a day.
For breakfast most days I’ll have oats or muesli with fruit. I usually use oat milk but our grocery store was unfortunately out of stock, so this week we had rice milk (I always make sure the milk has added calcium though). This muesli has dried fruits but I added a banana as well.
Later in the morning I’ll have a light snack, and we had some delicious clementines which make a perfect snack.
For lunch I’ll often have leftovers from the night before – I like to cook extras so we have enough for lunch the next day. If there aren’t leftovers, this simple sweet potato and crispy kale dish is something I really enjoy in the winter – it’s warm and comforting plus includes seasonal veggies! It’s also really easy to make and just involves roasting sweet potatoes and making kale chips close to when the potatoes are done. You cut the potatoes open, add hummus and top with the baked kale. The potato and hummus are super creamy and the kale chips adds a great texture.
Later in the afternoon I’ll usually have a snack. This might be some nuts, or hummus with veggies or chips (if I didn’t already have hummus for lunch). Sometimes I want something sweet and will have chocolate or if I’m out with friends we’ll usually go for coffee and cake in the afternoon. On this day I had some homemade “peanut butter bites”. These ones are just peanut butter, puffed amaranth, and maple syrup – you can find tons of different recipes for things like this on Pinterest and they can be a great snack, but I wish I had also added chocolate. 😉
For dinner I usually make a big curry, stew, stir-fry, pasta dish, or “Buddha bowl” like this day. I’ll try to use up what veggies we have around and for this bowl I wanted to use leftover kale (and actually should have made an extra sweet potato for it too). I also added cooked mushrooms to the rice, chopped tomato and red pepper, steamed broccoli, and chickpeas. For a sauce I made a quick sesame sauce based on Minimalist Baker’s tahini dressing.
Finally I’ll often end the day with another cup of tea, I love a peppermint or a herbal blend at night. 🍵
I enjoy cooking but often don’t want to spend too much time, so I try to make more simple, healthy dishes. Usually quick and simple for me means pasta and sauce, packaged foods, or going out, but I’m finding more and more delicious healthy dishes that are also easy to make!
How is my diet sustainable?
I’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years now and follow a mainly plant-based diet which is a big part of sustainable and ethical eating for me. Food was actually where I began my journey (after learning about the cruelty behind factory farming) and made me think more about what I consumed, where it came from, and the greater impact it had.
We are very lucky to have good organic stores in my city (that aren’t crazy expensive) and I buy a lot of our groceries organic, especially produce that uses the most pesticides like the “dirty dozen”. Most people assume I buy organic for health reasons, but I’m actually more concerned about the affects of pesticides on biodiversity and especially how they harm bees, which are so important as pollinators in our food system.
When planning meals I try to incorporate seasonal produce and buy locally-grown when possible. Eating seasonally is not only more sustainable but also more affordable and I enjoy trying new recipes and ways to eat seasonal fruits and veggies.
Some things I’m currently working on are reducing plastic packaging by buying what I can in bulk and I’m also trying to buy fewer pre-made, packaged foods – this not only reduces plastic waste but they’re generally not very healthy, plus a lot of them contain palm oil which I like to avoid due to the deforestation issues caused by palm plantations.
Another important aspect of a sustainable diet to me is food waste and I try to only buy what I know will get used/eaten. Something that I’ve found incredibly helpful is having a small fridge which seems common in Europe but not what I’m used to in North America. With a small fridge you can see everything and remember to use it, plus you can’t over-buy because there isn’t space for it. We almost never have to throw any food out which I’m really happy about.
With any diet changes and shifting to more conscious eating, I think it’s really important to take it in small steps and not worry about being “perfect”. Food is such a huge part of our daily lives and I’ve found focusing on one thing at a time and slowly building on that to be really helpful.
So that’s how I eat, but there are many different approaches to a sustainable diet. See what these other eco bloggers and content creators eat:
Alden from EcoCult
Kathryn from Going Zero Waste
Jen from Honestly Modern
Leah from StyleWise
Florine from The Wasted Blog
Cait from World Threads Traveler
Chloé from Conscious by Chloé
Holly from Leotie Lovely
Renee from Model4GreenLiving
Faye of Sustaining Life