The Daily Beet

30 Jul Adventures with Ami: The Food is Boring (plus a giveaway!)

Share this story

This week we are introducing you to one of our star E2-ers, Ami. Ami has had great success on Engine 2 and has a passion for being plant-strong. She loves writing about how being plant-strong is an adventure.

Let’s hear what Ami has to say when people say “The food is boring.”

An athlete friend of mine recently announced to the world at large via Facebook that he had chosen a whole foods plant-based lifestyle as part of his rigorous training regimen.  He received a few positive responses, but the majority of them were not.  From jokes about ordering broccoli at a pancake house, to the inevitable: “Where will you get your protein”? The consensus was that he’d be giving up a lot and getting nothing but boring cuisine in return.

For those still eating the standard American diet and those making strides toward a 100% Plant-Strong way of life, know this…it can be as interesting and adventurous as you make it! When my husband and I began the Engine 2 – 28 Day Challenge, I did a little research.  I bought a few books and bookmarked a few web sites.  I was building a knowledge base to ensure success and prevent boredom with our food. I started pinning recipes on Pinterest and following bloggers who were plant-based as well.  Inspiration in the kitchen is what I was seeking.  I was really excited by the incredible options I had found.

There are a lot of recipes out there to keep your plant-based way of life interesting.  Whether you are a pro in the kitchen or you have only heated up processed packaged food before, there are recipes out there for every skill level.  Start simple. For fast and easy, we really like Jeff Novick’s 5 ingredient one pot meals.  They include a grain, a tomato, a bean, a vegetable and a spice. There are hundreds of possible combinations!

I use several salt-free spice blends and other seasonings that help keep things diverse without making them complicated. A simple baked potato can change drastically by changing the spice. A few ideas to try include: curry, Italian seasoning, southwest blend, lemon pepper or Caribbean Jerk seasoning.  How would the flavor change if it were a baked sweet potato instead? Maybe try pumpkin pie spice or cayenne pepper?  The same idea holds true for vegetables. Instead of using oils and butter, we use a squeeze of lemon on steamed kale or a touch of hot sauce in yellow split peas for a spicy twist.

We have a few simple dishes that we eat all the time, like quinoa with black beans and kale. Having a few go-to meals that can also do double duty for a packed lunch the next day is a great idea.  Find a few favorites that work well for your family to get you started. Later, try new things along the way. Don’t be afraid to experiment now and then.  If I see a vegetable or fruit I have never had before in the produce section, I may buy one, just to try.  I also try new flavor combinations.  Some work really well and others, well…let’s just say were more on the adventurous end of the spectrum!

I’ve had a lot of fun in the kitchen since starting Engine 2.  I think you will as well!

My favorite online resources:

https://www.facebook.com/Engine2Diet

http://pinterest.com/engine2diet

Http://www.happyherbivore.com

http://www.straightupfood.com

https://www.facebook.com/JeffNovickRD

By Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is a graduate of eCornell’s Plant-Based Nutrition program and is currently studying Fitness Nutrition at the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
@amiannmackey
Give a warm welcome to Ami in the comments! And let us know what you tell people when they say “The food is boring”. We will pick one winner who will get a copy of Jeff Novick’s DVD “Burgers and Fries“!
Share this story
Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Kyle

    Welcome Ami! Food is life. Is that boring?

  • http://www.planthungry@blogspot.com Shelly Hawes-Smith

    Way to go Ami! I’ve been veg for 9 years (the past 2 have been vegan) and my diet is far more exciting and varied than it was when I was eating animals! It’s only as boring and hard as you make it! I’ll never go back.

  • Greg

    My response to that ould be “Then your not doing it right!”

  • Denise

    I am just transitioning to a plant strong diet. I think there is some taste adjustment, but I wouldn’t say the food is boring. Once you adjust to the less fat and experiment with different flavors, it’s pretty awesome. :)

  • http://beachbodycoach.com/coachgirdler Ben

    Great insight Ami! One of my favorites is curry spice or curry powder. Lots of flavor depth and no oil needed!

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      We are fortunate to have a neat store here called Penzey’s Spice. They have a lot of really nice blends that I had never even heard of before. If you really like playing with spices, exotic blends can be fun to try! Also available via catalog and online.

  • Melody

    Welcome Ami!

    When people ask me about what I’m eating (usually looking a little incredulous because “there’s no protein”), I explain that veggies have plenty of protein, taste great, and are powerhouses of good nutrition. I share recipes and ideas, too!

  • Kristin

    When you discover all the new food posibiites that exist within a plant based diet…it’s fascinating! Boring is the last word you will use.

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      I love to take photos to post of the foods we eat. We get so many great responses from people who might otherwise never try what we eat.

  • Angela Rhodes

    I would ask them if they ever checked out Engine2, Forks Over Knives cookbook, Happy Herbivore blog & cookboook, etc. – there’s tons of recipes for all sorts of things – so they’re obviously just not open to trying new things if they’re saying it’s all boring.

  • Diane

    Welcome Ami! Those who think it is boring have never seen some of the meals! They are so bright and colorful! Two of our favorites are E-2 Pasta Primavera and Rip’s Sweet Potato Bowl. Oh, and HH’s Hawaiian BBQ Chickpeas! Yum!

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      I love HH’s Hawaiian BBQ Chickpeas! One of my favs!

  • Pat Schurwanz

    I agree. The only limit is your imagination when coming to new flavors. My latest is adding some light vinegar and agave to my stews in the evening.

  • Doug G

    Wonderful advice Ami…and welcome! My Wife and I have decided to embark on a plant based life recently and have really enjoyed the change. I enjoy the cooking so it has been so fun to experiment with new ideas and new recipes. Once we got past our idea that we would be eating only salads our world has opened up ten fold! Best wishes and have a plant strong day!

  • Rosie Campos

    Hi Ami! My response to people who think food is boring: “here you see boring, I see opportunity!”

  • http://www.vegheadfamily.com Meridith

    I tell people that I eat a larger variety of food than I ever did when I was eating the SAD diet. I don’t know how I lived so long without tofu, nooch, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, kale, etc. :)

  • Kristine Collins

    Welcome, Ami! My husband and I are just transitioning to a plant-based diet. No one has told us it’s boring (yet). We are discovering the need to use more seasonings and spices, however, to keep things from being bland. We realize this is likely due to retraining our palate after all the high-sodium processed foods, too. This is definitely an adventure. My husband is the chef at home, and cooked with tofu for the first time last night! We both actually loved it – it was the E2 Lettuce Wraps recipe!

  • Lisa

    Welcome Ami. I have found the food to be amazing and while more cooking and cutting is involved I am never bored!!!

  • Kristi

    A slab of meat is boring and tasteless!

  • Maryann

    Welcome Ami!
    We love plant strong and all the recipes. We let people know it truly makes you feel stronger.

  • chickpeafreak

    Welcome Ami! Those people who say this food is boring, are those who just haven’t learned to “think/cook outside the box”. If they gave it a chance, they would quickly learn that eating SAD is boring—same food day in, day out. We are always experimenting with new veggies/techniques/recipes. It’s healthy and delicious, but it is NEVER boring! =)

  • Ellery

    I say either “your taste buds are not acclimated to healthy food yet” or “its psychological – you expect it to be bad, so you think it tastes bad when you eat it!”

  • Mark Addison

    Thanks for the article, Ami. I let people know that eating Plant Strong has not been boring for me because it opened a door to a whole new group of foods that I wouldn’t even look at before. Grocery shopping became like a treasure hunt and I get excited anytime I find something new that fits into my new lifestyle. I always finish up by telling them that I would eat the exact same bowl of green goo for every meal, every day of my life if I knew it would produce the extreme results that being Plant Strong has! The really exciting part of being Plant Strong is not the eating part but the living part!! Trading leg of lamb and lots of lbs. for a libido is pretty exciting!!

  • Kelly miller

    Yea Ami! Congrats on your journey so far:) … I’d say it is people who are boring, but then it is more like thier lack of training/exposure or education/experience makes food boring, to them… How can food be boring when it heals ? It is pretty much magic:)

  • http://nancystandlee.blogspot.com Nancy Standlee

    Welcome Ami and I will be reading your comments and suggestions. Thanks for the hints. Nancy

  • Joyce Holthaus

    I loved reading your post Ami because I could so relate to it. My husband and I have been plant strong for 2 months now and it is an experiment! Like you I have found most of the same resources you recommended and am loving them! I also introduced my sister to being plant strong and we love to create recipes together…she is amazing at it! She revamped a family favorite of stuffed green peppers…let me know if you’d like it! Welcome to the E2 team!!

  • http://www.mesaspetresort.com Karen Beckman

    BORING? Never. My meals always look so beautiful, colorful and oh so tasty. , I’m a lazy cook, so for me, the best part is I’m not having to spend hours in the kitchen in the evening preparing a meal. Most of my plant strong recipes just take a few minutes to prepare, and I have so many choices I can make in order to whip up a quick meal.

    What I find boring is every Friday our local country club publishes a pic advertising their Steak Dinner Night. Steak, fries & roll, it looks awful and it’s devoid of any color. The standard American diet looks so sad and pitiful. Now that’s BORING.

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      I agree, I think it is so much faster and easier to prepare meals now than ever before!

  • Laurapcat

    Welcome Ami! When people ask what I eat I tell them “The same things you do. Chili, tacos, pasta, burgers, etc. Just tasty plant-strong versions!”

  • http://lyndaparham.com Lynda Parham

    Welcome Ami!! Great advice, thank you for sharing. My husband and I have been plant strong for several years. When people hear we are vegan, they respond, “oh, you eat salads all the time and isn’t it boring.” Our foods are never boring. I sometimes respond that I am a gourmet vegan cook even with the simplest meals. Because with plant strong diets, the foods come alive. The flavors are never boring and are the way they were intended to be.

  • Susan Wernet

    Once you’ve started trying the recipes in Engine 2 Diet cookbook and so many other recipes online, the flavors are endless! I have so many new recipes I want to try…some very simple, others more involved and special! Rip’s Sweet Potato Lasagna is one of my very favorite “special” recipes! Just wait and see when you try it! Welcome!

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much for this post! I am going to use a few of your suggestions. I need to start learning about and experimenting a lot more with spices. I have only been plant strong for about a month now (just “discovered” it a little over a month ago), but I am LOVING it. There is no turning back now. The main thing I am working on is advance planning and preparation (even though it’s easy to whip up a plant strong meal or snack, I still need to plan those ideas out better beforehand). I also just can’t seem to get enough knowledge about this new lifestyle and the research behind it, so in addition to reading and using the Engine 2 Diet book, I have been reading as much as possible about plant-based diets (books and online resources) and I’m starting to save up for the eCornell program. This lifestyle just makes so much sense and it feels great.

    When I tell people what I’m doing and they say it sounds too restricting, boring, or impossible, I tell them the truth – that I actually feel like I’m not only eating more food and that is more satisfying (without putting on any pounds!), but I feel like I’m eating a much wider and exciting variety of foods. I also start telling them of all the resources there are with thousands of ideas and possibilities. It is FAR from boring!

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      The eCornell program is incredible! I highly recommend it for anyone really wanted to gain in depth information on plant-based nutrition. It was a lot of fun and my classmates and instructors were great resources of knowledge.

  • Sadie

    Thanks for the encouragement, Ami. It is always great to hear some great advice. When people tell me the food sounds boring, I invite them over to my home for dinner! I LOVE introducing other to wonderful plant-based food.

  • http://www.theinsaniac.com Chris

    Hello Ami,
    It’s funny. My co-workers constantly walk by and commenting on how wonderful my lunch looks and how I eat SO well. Then the same people will react exactly as you described when the topic of eating a (“boring”) plant-strong diet comes up.
    At that point I smile and say, “Boring, seriously? You always walk by an comment on how beautiful and delicious my lunch(s) look, have you not noticed there are no animal products in them? I don’t miss them either, and I feel healthier and better than ever! You should give it a try. It’s really not difficult and I can help you along the way…”

  • karen

    Congratulations, Ami. I have so much fun in the kitchen as well. We also have fun with dinner parties. Friends bring food and we all learn new recipes.

  • Cynthia

    Congrats Ami! You are living my dream :)
    When people close to me say they can’t imagine what I eat (ie it must be boring if its not meat and dairy), I try to invite them over for a meal. They are always a bit surprised at everything I can cook up and how much flavour is involved. I know many will walk away and forget just as quickly their impressions but some don’t. Even if it is only a seed to make them try new foods it is worth it. Some one offered me a plant based meal long before I went plant strong. We all need to start changing the way we think somewhere.

  • Karin

    Hi Ami,

    When people tell me “Vegan food is boring and tasteless”, I start bombarding them with information abour recent recipes I have enjoyed from, Engine 2, Jeff Novick, Happy Herbivore, Mcdougall and so on and so on….then a few days later I am asked for links, or to borrow my books, and so on…also for some reason just stating that my kids and husband enjoy our new food seems to intrigue!

  • Tori Marshall

    Welcome Ami! Thank you for your helpful hints, I look forward to reading more from you.

    Speaking as a person who probably ate the WORST diet known to man before becoming plant strong, I would answer the question, “Is the food boring?” with a resounding NO! My taste buds didn’t know what real food was. My idea of eating was chips, candy, and soda, with the occassional meat and potatoes meal. I can’t imagine how long the list of artificial ingredients and other just plain disgusting things would be! Now I enjoy a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains! The possibilities are endless, but one thing is for sure, the taste is always exquisite! There is nothing boring about that! :)

  • Dawn K

    The food is boring??? No way. I tell them that once you give up the socially easy stuff, you discover a whole new world of delicious foods and combinations (and YES – protein sources) that you didn’t even know existed before.

    Sometimes I also explain how your palate changes an before long meat and dairy taste too rich and disgusting to you – and that your tastebuds can sense a small trace a mile away. But most people have a hard time believing that one, so I often leave that part out.

  • Alina

    It drives me crazy when people say that! I’ve just started my plant strong lifestyle and frankly I’m a little overwhelmed by all the wonderful recipies I’ve found! :)

  • Jenny

    i don’t think plant-based is boring, i think it’s stable. i almost always know what i’m going to eat every day as soon as i wake up and that helps me stay on track. if i’m not prepared, i leave myself open for making bad choices. plus, now that i’m plant-strong, i’m a proud member of the Clean Plate Club, and i love that about me. if SAD eaters can eat chicken almost every day, i can eat beans & rice. Ami is right, it’s all about the seasonings.

  • Anne Ross

    Welcome Ami. I have introduced plant strong meals to several people and they are amazed at how good they are. I have never been bored with Vegan recipes in the almost year since I changed my way of eating.

  • CJL

    There’s nothing boring about it! I found salsa to be a great transition addition…
    Welcome Ami!

  • Kathy

    When I hear them say boring I think that means lazy. My husband and I are having a blast with this its so exciting to try out these new veggies that we never new about…..he brags about it in work and they think we’re crazy…but that to me gets me going even more…..I try new things each week and after dinner we all vote (we have two boys) on the meal…it has taught my boys so much.

  • Erica

    Welcome, Ami,. I am just getting started and even friends who eat relatively good diets think this approach is a bit radical . I have been collecting recipes, reading posts, and following folks since watching Forks Over Knives months ago. I feel motivated and ready to really do it now. All the food ideas look very interesting and tasty to me. I’m really excited. Thanks to everyone for the support and ideas.

  • KellyD

    IT has been challenging at times but down 18 pounds from 3 months ago. This cop hates to say it but the firefighter is on to something good! :) Nice read, Ami.

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      That’s great Kelly! Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.alsergel.com Al Sergel

    Ami! So happy to know about you. Looking forward to checking out your website and the others you listed. Keep spreading the good news of plantstrong living!

    peace,
    Al

  • Karen

    Hi Ami. :)

    I usually hear that comment from my coworkers, who I see heating up frozen dinners or eating fast foods for lunch. I point out how many times I’ve seen them eat the same lean cuisine meal or the same french fries in the last month and ask them how often they see me eating the same thing. The answer, of course, is not very often. I also explain that I eat a much wider variety of foods now than I ever did, even when I was just a vegetarian!

  • Dina Payne

    Welcome Ami! I have lost 22 lbs since the beginning of July. I have support from close friends and family. We try to choose restaurants where all of us can eat what we wish (which isn’t really difficult) and I try many recipes and share them with others- which my non-vegan friends start making. I don’t need people to agree with my lifestyle – I do try and be a good role model for others though.

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      22 pounds is fantastic! Keep up the great work!!

  • Crista

    Great article Ami!! I am new to this way of eating and it is in NO WAY boring. I am learning SO many new recipies and learning that I love so many things I had never tried before! I would say if you think it’s boring, its only because you are not trying new things!! I am also enjoying cooking new things and would love to have Jeffs Burger & Fries DVD!!! :)

  • JWin

    I’m still experimenting with spices, I used to rely on the spice packets that came with my rice or couscous box mixes. I prefer to get the spices from a bulk store outlet so that I don’t have to pay big $$$ for a spice that it turns out I don’t like.

  • Penny T.

    Welcome, Ami. Thanks for the great insight and tips. We just started becoming plant strong 2 weeks ago. I feel like I’ve always tried to cook healthy for my family and was using less meat, whole grains, more fruits and vegetables but then something happened that has challenged us to do even better. My husband felt teeth pain and slight chest compression which I knew right away was his heart. He went to the doctor for a stress test (failed) and in the afternoon was in the hospital eventually having a stent put in. I immediately ordered the book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”, and we watched “Forks Over Knives” together (I’d already seen it). My husband agreed to go to a plant based diet so he can reverse his heart disease and here we are. I haven’t had anyone mention that the food must be boring but, if they did, I’d challenge them to come up with 20 different dinner ideas they prepare (my guess is it would be difficult… especially with the caveat “they prepare”). I think, even early in our adventure, I can come up with 20 plant based meals that are definitely not boring. I’m loving this change but my biggest challenge is going to be my teenagers who live at home.

  • Kara

    Welcome Ami! Usually I can change food is boring to what smells so good?

  • Sarah

    Welcome! It’s not boring. You just need to explore the produce section and get excited to try new things

  • Susan K.

    I’ve been plant strong for five years, but I can still remember the determination I felt to be healthy and never consume animals or their by products again. I can also remember thinking, “What am I going to eat?” I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t have meat or dairy or eggs in it! It took me a lot of reading, in books and online, to realize the wealth of plant foods.

    When someone tells me that eating only plants is boring, I can relate and I tell them I felt the same way at first. But then I tell them about all the great food I eat now and how good it tastes when it’s not covered in animal juices! And I tell them how good I feel! I’ve never felt so alive, and I’m 55!

  • Leanne O

    Welcome Ami! Thanks for the great post. We just transitioned into the Engine 2 way of eating in March. I too thought the food was going to be boring, but once I got used to eating this way, it’s so fun to try new things. If someone tells me they think eating this way is boring, I invite them over and cook them the Raise the Roof lasagna. That dish is far from boring!

  • Kristina Dominy

    Thanks for your story Amy! I’m following your blog now – looking forward to trying your black bean and melon recipe! I think most people that know me wouldn’t say my food is boring. I post pics of what I make often.

  • Patricia D.

    Welcome, Ami! I say nothing tastes as good as good health. No more excess body fat; clothes that fit, feel, and look great; no more congested sinuses when I wake in the morning; no more achy joints; very few bouts of illness, and mild ones at that; no more headaches; quality sleep at night…the list could go on and on.

  • Rileen

    The food is only as boring as the cook is unimaginative :-)

  • Kelly Brietzke

    The best way I’ve found to show people how yummy plant-strong is, is through their taste buds! I share either at potlucks or just by bringing an extra serving and letting them try it. And my enthusiasm and vitality do the ‘talking’ for me too.

  • Amanda

    Welcome Ami! When I bring plant strong dishes to get togethers I am always pleased with how many people comment that the dishes are full of flavor! I don’t mention that they are vegan or plant strong until they have commented that they like it. xoxo

  • Anne

    I have gotten the “but it must be BORING!” comment from a few people since quitting meat in April. Now I ask them to name all the types of animals people eat. Then I say, “And how many types of fruits/vegetables/beans/nuts/seeds are there?” They generally get the message!

    This was a great entry, I really appreciate all the links!

  • Jean B.

    Welcome Ami and thanks for sharing your story!

    I love that there is so much support out there for the whole foods, plant-based way of life. When I first started, I knew I would receive questions and criticism, but I haven’t let that derail my plan for me.

    I noticed that just as Rip says, once you get the salt, oil, & sugar out of your system, food just tastes wonderful!! And that’s what I tell people. Just like cigarette smoke alters one’s sense of smell, salt, oil, & fat alter one’s sense of taste.

    It is truly amazing all the delicious dishes you can make. Food boring?? Never, now that I can taste it :-)

  • Natalie

    That’s awesome Ami. I am just starting, 2 weeks in and am having such fun creating meals we can’t quite believe taste as good as they do.
    Any criticism that comes my way is met by a meal.. and then silence.. and then a complete change of heart!
    I am proud to be on a plant based whole food diet, it’s me and my family that need to be healthy and if anyone else wants to come along for the ride, they are more than welcome.

  • Jay Eiteljorge

    Welcome, Ami! I’m pretty new to this so I haven’t tried very many of the awesome recipes yet. But based on the sweet potato lasagna and cereals, I very much look forward to this fantastic voyage! What do I tell people who say “Food is boring.”? I just say, “Try this.” There are so many great recipes, plus you can do some customization basses on needs or taste. Whatever we are eating out of the E2 book, it’s excellent! I was one of the very skeptical people believing that a vegetable strong diet would be any good. It is incredible how wrong it is to utter thta statement.

  • Dawn

    My guy & I have tried so many plant-strong recipes that we never would have tried before and have found many favorites. We did a quinoa, black bean & corn salad not too long ago. My guy absolutely LOVED it! It’s a new staple in our diet. My favorite breakfast is broiled kale & chickpeas with the Mrs Dash of my choice. I don’t like sweet things for breakfast so this has become my new “go to” dish!! We are loving learning to be plant-strong… it is DEFINITELY an ADVENTURE! :)

  • jennifer

    There are so many different fruits, vegetables, and grains out there, one could go a whole year without eating the same combination twice! How is that boring? Some people speak without being fully informed. I am amazed at the things i hear lately.

  • Jennie

    Welcome Ami!! I’m finding plant-based to be more adventerous and creative – definitely not boring! I will say it takes some work to retrain myself in cooking in a different way and not going for the same old stand-bys.

  • Rita Lara

    Good job. I don’t have to tell people I just show them. My hubby who is not plant-strong did not want salads for lunch for a three-day convention we had, so he ate chicken salad. He then saw the salad I prepared and said if I knew that is the salad you were making I would not had complained. He assume it was going to be a just lettuce salad but I prepared a quinoa, black bean, corn, tomato, cilanto, avocado salad. Very delish and simple. So all uou have to do is show them. :)

  • Kathy Grant

    Welcome Ami! I, too, find it to be an adventure. I especially like the challenge of eating out. It is fun to see what you can put together. It is a little hard for me at home because only one of us eats plant-strong. Some recipes make a lot and my freezer isn’t so big. I like all of your links. The only one I might add is FatFreeVegan.com. Keep on keepin’ on!

  • Steve Starling

    Welcome Ami! Love that spice blend idea! I don’t try to convince others that my food is not bland. I might reply with “eh, I’m really enjoying it, there’s a world of possibilities that I’ve barely begun to try. Between all the different fruits, veggies, grains, and spices I think you could spend many lifetimes and still not have experienced all the possibilities!”

  • Sally D.

    Great article, Ami!

    I always tell people that they eat the same thing everyday, too. MEAT. What makes meat different? Spices. I use different spices to make each meal a different taste. Not boring at all!!

  • Carol

    I am just starting on the plant strong lifestyle… I find my days filled with looking for kid friendly recipes (husband friendly too) and trying new things.. Its so exciting finding healthy things for everyone.. I recently found research (im a nurse) showing that over 50% of nurses were overweight, and most obese of that group.. As i work on a cardiac floor, I think that thi change will impact my community too as I will be able to teach people the best way to live… :) thanks!!

  • Angela

    Ha – anyone who knows me wouldn’t dare say my food is boring; it can usually be used as an alternative to pepper spray!

    I have had people say it, though. I just kind of give them a confused look and say, “but… all herbs and spices are plants.”

  • beth

    Welcome. When I am told that food is boring, I say “You need to make it more colorful. go for the healthy goodness of the rainbow”.

  • Jean D.

    Boring? I’ve never enjoyed cooking as much as I do now. Count me in as an adventurer.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

  • Merrie Marks

    The food is far from boring if you use your imagination. I read an article that said the average family recycles about 10 meals throughout the month… now that IS boring. We are always playing with different food combinations, and try to use what our garden produces at that time. Right now we have a lot of zucchini so we often mix it with some tomatoes and spices, sometimes saute sometimes baked, but it’s fresh and delicious.

  • Samantha Harris

    Spice it up, literally! And congrats ami!

  • Rena

    I honestly tell them that I eat far better now than before! We have so much variety, and eat foods from many different cultures now!

  • Walter Hummel

    Welcome Ami, being plant strong is awesome!! Good luck with your learning process!! So far I have dropped 60 pounds on the E2 diet!!!!

  • Michele

    Hi Ami! You have to make it interesting! Add spices for the tongue, colors for the eyes and the positive attitude that every bite makes you feel good today, tomorrow and each day after that.

  • http://www.CancerHealthandwellness.com Leah

    I went vegan a few years back and then whole foods, plant-based about a year ago. Before I was vegan, I sort of thought the same thing. So I ate at places that served the best vegan I could find. When I went “whole foods plant-based” I did the same thing. It always inspires me. Recently, I went to an amazing Raw Foods cafe, and now I’m totally spoiled! I love to experience people who cook for a living and do it well. It gives me ideas about how to cook for myself. But… the food has never been boring when an expert is making it.

  • Natalie

    Welcome Ami! Nothing could ever be as boring as that staple of dieters: the ubiquitous boneless, skinless chicken breast. Once you take animal products out of the equation a whole new world opens up, sometimes quite literally. I’m likely to pick up a jar of “Rogan Josh” or “Hot Madras Curry” from Penzey’s Spice and try it out which is way more interesting to me… to say nothing of the wonderful flavors of Real Food. Here in Oregon, I had no idea there were different varieties of blueberries. Some are tart, others “soft” (like wine) with a lovely floral bouquet. When you eat food like that, Doritos just can’t compare!

  • jess v

    thanks for the article Amy! Most of the plant strong food prepared in out home tends to be boring by default as we have two very picky little ones (4 and 6 years old). In an attempt to all share in the same meal it is usually a combination of raw or cooked veggies, with a rice and beans or grains side. Thanks for the reminder that it doesn’t have to be boring- your great list of suggested spices made the light bulb go off that it wouldn’t take that much more to “spice” up the adult dishes while keeping the kids food on the blander side! Looking forward to your future posts!

  • Nick Navarro

    The food choices we make now are actually much more diverse and creative. We aren’t limited to what the processed food companies think we will like, we have the opportunity to explore more and that’s been so fun!

  • Linda

    Thanks for writing about your experience, Ami. I liked your suggestions.
    When I get the “boring” remark I tell people about how the plant strong dishes I serve at home are gobbled up by my family and how they find the variety I serve very exciting. It really is amazing the variety that a plant strong diet offers. And, hey, don’t knock it til you try it!!

  • Kim

    Great article Ami! Before I changed my diet to plant strong I ate a chicken sandwich for lunch every day……now that’s boring! Recently I joined a CSA which forces me to try different vegetables and get creative in the kitchen. Every Tuesday I look forward to picking up my box of farm fresh produce and then planning my menus for the week. Today my lunch is a whole wheat veggie wrap with a roasted eggplant spread, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, tomatoes and fresh spinach. The support from the Engine 2 family is phenomenal! Thank you!!

  • Nancy Videon

    Welcome Ami!

    A few months ago we attended a casual dinner meeting at our church. After finding out they were serving lasagna, we decided to bring our own food, rather than waiting until we got home. I made collards with sweet potatoes and azuki beans. Many commented on how colorful and good our food looked, compared to the frozen lasagna they were serving. Plant-based food is NOT at all boring and oohh so good!

  • jem

    I’m trying to do my best at trying new products and seasonings. However, my family is picky. We are still at the point where I have to make two different meals one for them the other for me. I will continue to search for new recipes that contain foods that they will eat.

  • Donna

    Hi Ami! When folks tell me the food is boring, I invite them over for a plant strong meal! That usually convinces them!

  • Tony Muggio

    Nice article Ami, true to the point. I like what you had to say about spices. I must have over 60 different spices. I use 5 different spices on my sweet potato fries, the wife loves them. I’m not going to beat around the bush, I’d love a copy of “Burgers and Fries”! I’m not completely vegetarian or vegan (i still have meat on occasion, very rarely compared to before) but one thing i really miss is a good burger. I’ve tried to make a few different recipes for vegan burgers that i’ve found and they’ve been just ok. The ones you posted in your picture though made me jealous. At any rate, i need to invest in some new vegetarian/vegan cook books.

  • Mary Lynn

    Hi Ami, Thanks for the spice tips! My fiance and I are transitioning now to a plant based diet and we love it! I love to read these inspirational stories and learn tips and tricks. I’ve been veg for a little over a year. Although I have had people turn up a nose or two to my eating habits, most are generally interested and ask a lot of questions. I’ve never had anyone comment about it being boring but if someone did I would definitely try to help them gain a new perspective. I continue to be excited and challenged (which I love) every day with new techniques, new foods, and loads of fun!

  • Kathy

    What could be more boring than McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc. fast food? How can you be bored with the hundreds of veggies and fruits available?

  • Melissa

    Plant food is not boring! There are some many different plants that most people have never even heard of. Can you say dinosaur kale?

  • Ileana Wade

    Hi Ami!
    I have recently begun this journey with hopes of better health and setting a better example for my family, who think I’m going a bit too far. Your comments have inspired me to check out the seasonings booth at the farmers market next Sunday:-) I really want to make my food delicious so that others will want to try it!!

  • Carolyn

    Thank you, Ami and WELCOME!!
    As for BORING??? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it! It’s anything BUT boring!

  • Donna P

    There are so many great books to get simple and delicious recipes from such as Engine 2 Book or Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease that you will be eating the most healthy, vibrant and delicious food ever! I’ve never enjoyed eating this much since going plant strong about 9 months ago. My husband feels the same way. I have lost 25 lbs and he has lost close to that as well. We have friends we have gotten hooked on the plant strong way and we are going to get together for an Engine 2 potluck each month to taste, sample, and share plant strong recipes with one another. Its what you put into it, I think. That’s with everything and any way of eating! But I can’t see anything boring about eating plant strong!! It’s the most fun eating and cooking I’ve had in a long time! :)

  • Terri Cole

    Hi Ami! I tell people that I eat a much MORE varied and interesting diet now that I am vegan. That it is healthier is (almost) a side-effect!

  • Rachel

    Hi Ami! The food isn’t boring, it brings people together.

  • BH

    Yaaaay Ami (and hubby)! You’ve got such a good perspective already! Boring?! Besides the old saying, “Only boring people get bored!”, a plate of beige (chicken, fries, gravy) is boring. Look at our beautiful rainbow plates and count the colors!

  • Lindsay

    It is never the food that is boring, only the imagination/skill of the cook!

  • Julie Guthrie

    Thanks Ami. I just finished reading your story and finished my lunch of stewed CSA box veggies and quinoa. I’m a recovering SAD user. The CSA has introduced me to many veggies I’ve never eaten before, and I’ve enjoyed scouring the web for recipes that use them. Yesterday’s dinner was veggie burgers and grilled butternut squash fries. Yum!

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      I think CSA’s are great! It’s like a surprise each time it comes and kind of forces you to find some creativity depending upon the harvest. I just love that!

  • Holly

    My response would be to reply that I didn’t know what real food was until I went plant strong! I ate a lot of processed junk before never realizing how amazing fresh food tastes. Now I actually can’t wait until my next meal just to try something new. And the added bonus is that I have this new appreciation for how plant-strong food nourishes and strengthens me so that I can keep doing all the things I love to do!

  • Miriam Francis

    The food is NEVER boring! I was bored to tears with the “normal diet” and that is one reason why I switched to plant-based. There are always new recipies and new foods to explore. Not to mention all the different cuisines from all over the world.

  • http://sickcrazycarnivore.blogspot.com Marck

    Hi Ami! Thanks for your post! Being plant strong certainly is an adventure, best one I’ve been on in a long time for sure!

    When people ask me if the food is boring, I ask them about the variety happening in their kitchen – seems like most families only have a handful of meals that they rotate through, and typically from only a few ethnic backgrounds. Then I start naming off the wide variety of produce my family eats, and the array of spices we use that many people have never heard of, and the ‘plant eating is boring’ argument quickly withers.

  • julie

    Jeff Novicks 5 ingredient meals were my sanity in getting started as well. It helped me feel more confident in trying new spices and combinations.

  • Deb Meier

    Colors, aromas, textures, these are what make food exciting and enjoyable. Ask a meat-eater to close their eyes, plug their nose, and take a bite of steak. What they taste will be….NOTHING!
    Plant-based foods give us a full spectrum of nutrition; there’s a reason that smart doctors tell patients to fill their grocery bag with many colors of vegetables, fruits, and grains!
    Welcome to you, Ami; I can’t wait to read of the healthy kitchen creations that you concoct.

    Deb

  • Tonya

    Boring is the daily drive-thru dance that most Americans do on auto-pilot. At our house, you never know what you are going to get, but you always know it will be homemade, unprocessed and nutrient rich.

  • Jennifer Edwards

    What up, Ami? :) Welcome. This blog and the E2 folks are such a great resource and inspiration.

    When people think the food is boring, I say, “let me cook for you!” For someone who can be seasoned in the kitchen, the switch to plant-based can be a nice change of pace; it challenges long held conventions and makes cooking exciting again. At least, that’s what it did for me.

    • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

      I love that response! I say that too. I’d love to cook for you sometime :) – it’s converted more than one unsuspecting person!

  • Candy

    Hi, Ami! I too have considered my plant-based diet a joyful adventure. I have tried so many different spices and ingredients that I had never had before (like Kale!). So, not boring at all; in fact I have widely broadened my choices and learned that I like many ethnic dishes I had never tried, e.g. Ethiopian food–yum!

  • Leah Cody

    Great ideas and encouragement!

  • Cindy

    Welcome! I just received 2 of the Happy Herbivore cookbooks in the mail and there are soooooo many choices that it is hard to decide where to start! Nothing looks boring here.

  • Linda L

    Your article is inspiring. I’ve been following the engine2dite for a little while, but still haven’t made a move to be plant strong. I probably won’t do it completely, but if I could do it a few nights a week, that would be a good start. Anyway, your comment about “any skill level” in the kitchen is what sticks out to me. I have basic recipes that I know by heart, but after that, I’ve got very little to offer in the kitchen. Thanks for your post!

  • Doug

    Welcome, Ami. I found that Jeff Novick’s SNAP recipes (Jeff’s FB page and Fast Food DVD 1) were the cure for “boring” plant-strong food. All of the recipes were good, particularly the curry. Giving up animal foods/oil and significantly reducing salt and sugar is easy for me — if I cook spicy. Jeff shows the easy way to do it. I have to check out the “burgers & fries” DVD.

  • Lucille Andrews

    Boring No Way. Just had a fantastic Eggplant in pasta sauce over rice. It was delicious. Yesterday was roasted brussels sprout then a little maple syrup on top and roasted about 10 min more to carmelize. What could be boring about that.

  • martha

    Thanks Ami! I agree- It doesn’t have to be boring! But it does take a little planning. I’m trying to cook for my husband, a meat eater, in a way that keeps him interested. I’ve been surprised at how much easier it is than I thought!
    Thanks for the resources- I’m a big HH fan too!

  • Debbie

    Encouraging post, Ami!

    I don’t think the food is boring, but honestly, I think for many people it would until their tastes adapt. Your first fat-free, cheese-less pizza may feel like it is lacking something, not matter how awesomely it is topped. And that’s what I have said to people. Once you get used to not having cheese and oil on every plate, you start to appreciate other flavors more. And then sometimes going back to something you loved before seems completely unappealing.

  • Kim

    Thanks for sharing Ami and thanks for reminding me to keep searching for those new recipes.

  • Michele Long

    I love how diverse a plant-based diet can be. I never find it boring, there are so many different combinations to always make something new each day. I eat a huge salad everyday and no two salads are ever alike! I feel great eating a plant-based diet and the sight of SAD food makes me feel sick. I don’t ever want to go back to a SAD way of eating.

  • Joel Roehling

    Welcome Ami! Great write up. I always laugh when I hear “Just make sure you get enough Protein”. My response is usually, “Just make sure you eat your vegetables!” I have never felt better since switching my diet to a plant based diet. Though I am still working at trying to eliminate the oils from my diet, I would love to check out Jeff Novick’s “burger and fries” dvd.

  • CJ

    What I like to say to people who say the food is boring – “give it a chance! Your taste buds are coated from years of abuse, let them clean off and really TASTE the plant strong food!”

  • Paula

    Congratulations on your E2 success, Ami! When people say the food is boring, I say that there is a vast wealth of vegetable, fruit, legume, & whole grain dishes and to get yourself some good plant-based cookbooks.

  • Cathy

    Thank you Ami! Great article. This way of eating has gotten me excited all over again about cooking. I try one new recipe a week and the ones I like get added to my regulars. I’ve got so many regulars now that I only make most of them once a month. Eating plant strong gives me so much more variety and I’m still thrilled (after 2.5 years of plant strong eating) when I find a new recipe that I really like.

  • Robbie Rocheleau

    Blood pressure down after following diet. The food isn’t boring, and unlike what my friends think, it is possible to eat out and not blow the diet. It takes care, but it can be done.

  • Satori Cmaylo

    Thank you AMI!
    they say food is boring?..It’s time to see how creative you can be..with all the choices of colors and ingrediants..plant based food is ANYTHING but boring!..It’s Meat and Potatoes that seem boring..Your body knows the difference and the changes that happen within you are EXCITING!

  • Kristin

    Welcome Ami and thanks for your post! I don’t say a word, just cook them something plant-strong and irresistible!

  • http://www.plantbasedadventures.com Ami Mackey

    Thank you all for such a warm welcome! My husband Bill and I have been on this incredible journey together. He has lost over 70 pounds and I have lost 40 since the beginning of the year. We have spread the word and helped several others begin their plant based adventures as well. It is a wonderful thing to hear from so many of you finding success the way that we have. I love speaking with people new to this lifestyle and helping whenever I can. Thanks for reading my blog and stay tuned to the Daily Beet for more tips and ideas from me.

  • http://bklynheart.tumblr.com/ BklynHeart

    Hello Ami and Welcome! I love your approach to being plant strong! It’s something I work towards every day. I love whipping up wonderful, complicated exotic food… but have come to find that even simple recipes can have the same exotic wonderful flavors with a faction of the work! I love the blogs you have listed as well and look forward to adding your blog to my list!

    • http://bklynheart.tumblr.com/ BklynHeart

      I don’t even think I said what I say when people say food is boring. I blog about my food all the time and I think food is fabulous! People think without meat and dairy they’re confined to a little box, but it’s a big, glorious world of beautiful grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, tofu, herbs and spices… so many flavors and possibilities! I am never bored!

  • Dana Romaine

    I love the idea about changing the spices on the potatoes! Thanks for the post Ami!

  • Maria

    Welcome Ami! Thanks for sharing! I’m a professional chef and when people hear I went plant strong recently, they ask me “well what do you cook, isn’t it boring for you?!” And my answer is always NO! I find myself being more creative and more challenged to use ingredients I typically never cooked with. It has made me a better chef by expanding my knowledge, every day I’m learning and experimenting!

  • Kristen

    Thanks for the tips. My family and I are making our way through day 1. The kids are happy so far. I’ll take all the help I can get to make sure we keep it that way.

  • http://milanorunningmom.blogspot.com Fawn Simpson

    I get that comment a lot. “You don’t get to eat anything fun anymore”. I promptly invite them to eat with me or I make them something. I have yet to have anyone turn me down. My enthusiasm is over the top and they can’t resist!

  • http://dietcookbook.weebly.com Lasy Jet

    Hello,
    Thanks for your article
    Great Post. Really it will help lot of people. Thanks for the post.
    Thanks

  • Sandi S

    Thanks Ami, I am just getting started and appreciate the resources!

  • T . Chapman

    Eating all the colors of the rainbow is not boring. What is boring is eating the all tan colors of the SAD.

  • Karina LaMalfa

    Thanks, Ami, for a great post. Yesterday I was indeed at a pancake house, or at least a brunch at a restaurant that for breakfast only served omelettes, pancakes, French toast and burgers. I called ahead the day before, asking for a roasted beet dish from the dinner menu. At first they seemed put off, but said they would be happy to serve it to me (especially after I requested as an alternative their pancakes, but made with no butter, milk or egg). When my beautiful dish arrived, my cousins all made fun of me. Yes, we still are in middle school! Ha! Then they offered me their fruit and tomatoes, that they were passing up. At the end of the meal, the owner came up and commended me on finding the best item on the menu. So this goes to show you never know who is in your court. I will always call ahead now…It pays to ask for what you need!

  • Terry Bailey

    I like to tell people to get a life. It’s working forms, maybe it willwork for you!

  • nik

    Hiya Ami…pleasure to meet you!
    When anyone makes that “boring” comment, I just say “come with me” and take them to my favorite vegan cafe for a full, hearty plant-delicious meal. Every single time they not only change their mind, but in a few cases they actually become a regular customer of said cafe. :)

  • Christine

    I usually ask people to tell me what they have eaten over the last week. It is usually the same few things over and over. Then, I tell them what I have eaten. Since I started eating plant strong earlier this year, I have enjoyed variety like I have never before. I eat georgeous, colorful, tasty meals, 3 times a day. There are so many different combinations of beans, grains, fruits and veggies. I make incredibly delicious meals every day of the week.

  • Melissa

    Welcome Ami! I loved your post and can’t wait to hear more!

    My family and I are newly plant-strong, 4 months or so into it. We are loving it! Also, I am no longer shocked by the pervasiveness of the “have to have meat” mentality. I am doing what feels right for myself and my family. I am not trying to convince anyone who isn’t interested.

    Today my nine year-old son and I were at our local hardware store buying seeds and garden soil. We struck up a convo with the farmer putting up the seeds as he helped us find the ones we wanted: kale, lettuce, summer squash, cauliflower, and zucchini. He told us a story about how he always made his kids eat their veggies. My son said he loved all veggies, except for one: mushrooms. My son continued by saying that he had tried them over and over, that he’d evan tried a portobello mushroom burger, but that he just could not eat it. The farmer looked at him kind of funny as my son was describing the mushroom burger and said, “you mean the mushroom was the burger? No meat? The god Lord gave us canine teeth for a reason.” I shot my son a look as if to say, “not a word!” I quickly said thanks for his help and we were on our way.

    God bless him :-)

  • Carolyn

    I’ve been plant-strong for about 8 months. The food is as amazing as you make it! This morning’s breakfast was overnight crockpot steel-cut oats with freeze-dried blueberries. Morning break was a Fat Free Vegan’s carrot muffin. Every day my coworkers enviously ask what I’ve brought for lunch… today was leftover African Stew over Couscous and a yummy cabbage/mango/avocado salad. Dinner… a Novick burger with fixings and an amazing yukon gold potato salad. We eat VERY well!

  • Hope

    Thank you, Ami for the great suggestions as to how to ‘spice’ up plant strong meals. I’ve gotten a few comments myself since transitioning to a vegan lifestyle about 2 months ago; however since I feel so good on plant strong foods, what others think is less interesting to me.

    I find that when my meals are close to 50% raw, they are beautiful to look at as well as tasty. The variety of options are wider with plants, fruits and vegetables than they are with meat and dairy.

  • Kathy

    Welcome, Ami! I enjoyed reading about your adventures. I have found that people don’t think my food is so boring when they actually see what I’m eating. I often have people at work comment on how good my lunch looks. And friends and family often comment on how good everything looks when they come to eat. It does look good! Plant-based eating means beautiful color on your plate. How cool is that? Not only is it healthful and better for the world we live in…but it’s beautiful, colorful eating! I just love it! : )

  • cheryl ooton-krebs

    Welcome Ami!! I’ve been eating plant based since October 2011 and I’m. not bored yet!!

  • Jennifer

    Welcome Amy!!! Their “boring” argument doesn’t hold up when their plate of “food” is sitting next to a plate full of colorful veggies.

  • Susan

    Glad to have you on board (blog), Amy! Isn’t it great to get excited about black beans and edemame? Could be catching!!!!

  • Jodie

    Great Job Ami! Keep it Up!

    When people tell me the food is too bland or boring, I always say it’s because your tastes are desensitized because of all the salt, sugar, and oil in processed foods and that you”ll start tasting real food if you stick with it for a couple of weeks. Then the food tastes FANTASTIC!!

  • Abigail

    Hi Ami. My food world truly opened up when I went plant-based and now my meals are technicolor instead of black and white!

  • http://www.pinkticket.org Nikki

    Great post! No one ever accuses me of boring food… but I also use my blog to share recipes I create, and social media for photos of some of the things I make. More often than not, I have people say, well, maybe you can make me one vegan meal… just to try. I jump at the opportunity!! Plus, I found it was easier to win over some skeptics with baking first–once they realize the cookies they just gobbled up were vegan and the shock wears off, it’s an easier transition to a dinner or a lunch.

  • Sherry

    Ami I have been plant strong now for three weeks. I have lost 12 pounds and no longer suffer from reflux at all. I also take pictures of recipes I make and post them on Facebook. Last night I made a wonderful flat bread pizza with asparagus, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and sliced tomato. It was delightful and made a beautiful picture. Next time I will leave the faux off. It looked pretty but was tasteless and chewy. Welcome and enjoy

    Sherry

  • Barbara

    Agreeing with most of what’s been said, I feel my diet was much more boring before I started eating plant-strong. My food is my medicine and my body is much healthier now; I eat to nourish it, not just to satisfy a mouth craving.

  • http://lotsayum.com Cynthia

    if good health is boring, let me be bored to tears! Welcome AMi!

  • Karen

    Actually, no one who has eaten what I make has said the food is boring . Thanks to so many great blogs and recipe developers, tasty food is possible. I have more problems with people not wanting to try the diet based on assumptions. But I, myself, did go through a phase where I thought it was boring to prepare good meals because everything I liked took so much time to make. Looking forward to trying out Jeff’s fast and tasty recipes.

  • colby higgs

    Welcome! Oasis them if they know how many varieties of apples there are!

  • mary

    agreeing with you as I eat my sriracha roasted chickpeas.

  • louise

    I actually have not had anyone tell me “the food is boring” but I’m not sure why. Maybe because my friends and family see what I eat? I do get the protein and the calcium question. I have a few family members that are starting to explore a plant strong diet for health reasons and looking to me as a resource, which is noce. I would love to get a group from the family together for an immersion weekend!

Copyright 2014 Engine 2 Diet | Terms Of Use | Privacy Policy