Monday, October 10, 2011

My Week as a Vegan*

As some of you know, I have tried over the past year or so to educate myself about food, mostly because I was horrified at the thought of feeding sweet C$ the crap I consume. I wanted to give him a good foundation, so that he would actually like healthy foods and it wouldn't be such a struggle for him as an adult to eat healthy foods. I even discussed vegetarianism and veganism here.

Along the way, I have watched a few documentaries. Recently, I watched two more: Forks over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. (Reviews to follow when I get around to may have noticed, I haven't blogged in forever. Turns out, chasing a 1 year old around is time consuming. Who knew?)

After watching those two films, on a whim, I decided I would try to go vegan for a week. After all, I've made no secret of my obsession with vegan Mama Pea. I already had her cookbook, as well as Clean Foods by Terry Walters, so I set off to try my hand as a vegan.

FYI, "a Vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs." Vegan Action

You know wasn't bad. In fact, except at dinner, I hardly noticed the difference. I found it easy to replace my breakfast and lunch items with vegan fare. Don't worry. I took showers and used store-bought soap. I have no plans on long term veganism and am not turning into a hippie any time soon. I'm too uptight to be bohemian and cool.

While I know the documentaries I watched and subsequent research I did was very pro-vegan propaganda, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't hurt the American public to reduce our animal and animal product consumption. Plus Ellen does it and who is cooler than Ellen DeGeneres? I love her!

My thoughts on the week:

1. I lost 4 pounds last week, but I'm pretty sure that had a lot to do with the fact that I planned my meals and cooked and exercised moderation just as much as it had to do with the whole veggie thing.

2. I felt really great. By Thursday (I started on Monday morning), I don't know if it was in my head, but I felt fantastic.

3. There are some really great ways to incorporate meatless meals into your daily life without sacrificing taste or satisfaction.

4. Vegans are very disciplined! I am not going to lie. It was HARD. I am sure it would get easier with time, but it is a very restrictive diet and you really have to pay attention to what you eat.

5. I still like meat. And cheese.

6. I have made a deal with myself to try and incorporate more whole foods plant based meals into my weekly meal plans.

Maybe I will be veganish like Oprah. During her last season, Oprah instituted a one week vegan challenge for all of her staffers and had the author of Veganist, Kathy Freston, as well as a representative from Cargill and Michael Pollan as guests. The episode, which received mixed reviews from vegans and veggie enthusiasts, ended with Kathy Freston suggesting that people be "veganish," incorporating at least some vegan meals.

7. I (still) love Mama Pea.

Stacey, I made several of her recipes last week, so now's as good a time as any to blog about them, no?

If any of you are interested in what I ate, I'd be happy to post about it, but didn't want to bore you all to tears with a list of meals.

*In the interest of full disclosure, our office went out to lunch for a celebration on Tuesday, and I had a vegetarian meal that was not completely vegan, but did not eat any meat.

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