Tuesday, February 21, 2012

going vegan

If I knew I'd be writing this 10 years ago, I'd think I'd be crazy. 10 years ago is when I first heard about vegan-ism and thought it absurd. It's one thing to not eat meat because it was a living being...but to not eat animal products? It doesn't hurt anything!

Or does it? I've read plenty of facts to know that decreasing ones meat intake will increase ones health...across the charts. Vegetarians are shown to have lower risk of heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancers. All it took me was a few pages of China Study to realize the gross factor of eating meat in excess.

Personally I used to be size 12...creeping up on 14. A lot of that thanks to the college 'freshman 15' and late night cheese nuggets. Moving to Chicago with healthier and more expensive options, as well as a healthier city lifestyle of walking everywhere, probably brought me down to a healthy 6/8. And it wasn't til I met my 1st generation Polish-American beau that I learned the essence of eating whole foods, and mostly fish for meat. I may still have my round cheeks :) but I can't recall gaining weight since.

Living on the farm, I graciously experienced the full circle of life, eating the very creature I was tending to. Since then I think I can count on one hand how much beef/pork/chicken/fish I've bought...mainly because I want to know my farmer, that the beef/pork/chicken/fish was raised sustainably...and honestly, it's a lot of work to research, and much easier and cheaper to eat veggies (especially with a garden)!! Last year at this time I gave up meat for lent (until that was the only option while in Ecuador)...and that vegetarian trend just continued on.

So why vegan? In my mind, the jury's still out, so I'm open to finding out more. I think there are lots of great nutrients in things like fish and eggs. But I'm a complete sucker for ice cream and butter and cheese. Did I mention, butter? I guess this means no honey either. or grande hazelnut lattes. or even creamer...dang! I thought I came so far withholding the sugar...what baby steps to where I am now :)

I've had some great discussions with vegan friends about it though...not the 'animal cruelty' kind of vegans, but the vegans more in tune with their bodies and the cruelty that these foods do to their energy and quality of life. I appreciate the pure and simpleness of it.

Considering we're still 3 months from a good supply of spring greens, I'm oh so thankful to still have potatoes, a couple winter squashes, some growing mushrooms and herbs, and a freezer full of summer produce. (well, Rach does technically since mine is still busted :) oh! and canned dill pickles from Dad :)

Of course this also means no Dr. Pepper.
I could care less about cereal these days.
And no egg pastas.
But there will be my homemade bread...maybe next year I'll go gluten free...who knows.
I think there will be dark chocolate mangoes (thanks Em :)
And wine.

Join me for the next 40 days and see how it's going! I don't expect any readers to go vegan, but I hope this might encourage others to think about what they're eating...or how they feel after eating.

I feel like I should be eating ice cream right now...

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