Welcome! Thank you for stopping by Traffic Light Cook. This is a place to become empowered about making healthy and sustainable food choices. The word “healthy” can be very vague because it can have a different meaning for different people. Therefore, this blog defines “healthy foods” as those that both our bodies (nutritious) and tongue (tasty) like. To that end, Traffic Light Cook:
1. Aims to generate awareness about healthy foods through examining foods we eat and exploring whole food ingredients.
2. Offers tasty and nutritious recipes around whole foods.
3. Aspires to motivate to cook more at home to take control of what we eat.
For more information about Traffic Light Cook, please also read What is Traffic Light Cook?
Why Whole-Food, Plant-Based?
I grew up a vegetarian, drinking lots of milk, eating lots of yogurt and ghee. My parents are vegetarian, as were their parents. So meat did not really become part of my food palate. While I tried chicken once or twice during my undergrad years in college, I decided to stay a vegetarian for numerous reasons. But, going from being a vegetarian to vegan, which I thought would be a cinch, was not as easy as I thought.
Around six years ago, while researching and analyzing consumer food habits, I noticed a rising trend toward vegan diet. Often in the role of a food/beverage analyst I would try out food/beverage products (vegetarian only) and special diets to better understand consumer motivations and behaviors that would cause a rise or fall in any food/beverage product. So, after noticing a surge in veganism for a few years, I went on a vegan diet. I was never a big egg eater but cutting out dairy completely turned out to be more difficult than I thought. I, however, marched on to being a complete vegan for my designated six-week period. Around the fourth week, I started noticing that I had not suffered from a single migraine, which was a weekly occurrence and had more energy to go through my day. By the end of the sixth week of the experiment, I suffered only one migraine, which was a lot less severe than the usual ones. Wow, not getting migraines was liberating, because in the fourth decade of my life I had started to grow weary of them. Subsequently, I eliminated dairy/eggs completely out of my diet for a year or so. But after that I did not adhere to being a strict vegan. I do enjoy yogurt occasionally and a few teaspoons of milk in my Indian Chai. I have also recognized that dairy and eggs can’t be part of my regular diet as my migraine symptoms usually come creeping back. Over the years, instead of mourning the loss of dairy in my diet, I have focused on eating whole-food, plant-based diet that motivated to me to explore uncountable new ingredients (I am not done yet!). I still make vegetarian food, as three other family members are not vegan. So, you may find vegetarian suggestions for many of the vegan recipes and a few vegetarian recipes that I primarily make for my kids.
This blog is based on my personal experience and hence is not a source of diagnosing or treating any diseases. Nor does it aim to prescribe any eating plan to treat a health condition. The goal of the blog is to educate and create awareness about food and eating healthy. Although I have a certificate in “Plant-based Nutrition,” I am not a physician or registered dietitian. The author or other individuals associated with this blog do not assume any responsibility for the use of this information and do not warranty the effectiveness of the recommendations offered.