2.28.2013

28 days of Veganism

Sometime in January, I decided to do something I've been interested in trying for a while: go vegan. We're already vegetarians, so all I had to do was cut out the eggs and dairy. There were several reasons I wanted to give this a shot. First off, part of the reason I'm a vegetarian is because of the terrible things that are put into our meat these days. I felt like by continuing to eat non-organic cheeses, dairies, and eggs, I was continuing to put these things in my body. Secondly, I'd started to feel like I was forgetting what food tasted like. Most of our meals were prepared vegan, but when it came time to eat them, they were always topped with cheese or greek yogurt. It was time for a change, so I decided I'd try it for the month of February and see what happened.

So here I am, 28 days later (and I'm not a zombie!). I feel amazing. Throughout the month, I never once felt bloated, I had way less headaches, and I even lost weight. Without trying. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't a walk in the park. There were days when I got home from work and all I wanted to do was eat cheese and crackers. But I held strong (except for that one day when I bought Oreos, which are surprisingly vegan. But so, so bad.), and I'm really glad I did. The one downside? Pizza. I haven't found a cheese replacement that I actually enjoy (and suggestions?). They all have weird smells, or textures, or just taste disgusting, which is hard for our handmade pizza Fridays. 

My goal for going vegan for the month was to remember how good food tasted without dairy, and I definitely accomplished that - and more! I knew it would probably change the way I felt, but I didn't realize how much it would change. I love the way I feel, and I don't want to ever go back. I'm not sure if this is going to be a permanent lifestyle change, but I'm making the choice to keep it up for now.

My reason for writing this all up in a blog post is to encourage anyone who is contemplating trying veganism (or even just cutting back and eating a vegan diet a few days a week). I think the reason I put off trying it for so long is that I was a little intimidated. Lots of vegan recipes look very intense - lots of random expensive ingredients, lots of time spent in the kitchen, and in general hard. So here's what I want to tell you: it's not true. I didn't spend any more time preparing meals than I did before. Most of our meals included some kind of grain (rice, quinoa, couscous), beans or lentils, and as many other vegetables as we had on hand. We ate a lot of soup and chilli (thanks, winter!), and I tried a few recipes I found on pinterest. I thought I'd leave you with my favorite new recipe from the month - please let me know if you try it, or have any others you'd recommend. I'm always on the lookout for easy, healthy, delicious recipes!

(forgive my junky night time photos)


I'll be back soon with more knitting content! Happy eating!

7 comments:

  1. have you tried Daiya cheese? That is probably the best tasting vegan cheese out there! It's the only brand I'll use on pizza!

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    1. I have! Well, the cheddar only. I couldn't get past the smell for some reason. The taste wasn't bad though! I bought Daiya mozzarella to try on tomorrow's pizza - I have high hopes!

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  2. Thanks for the write up! I've been vegetarian for about 4 years and I've been contemplating going vegan for a little while now but I really like cheese so that's been holding me back.

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  3. Good for you! I've been on an elimination/ then reintroduction diet my doctor gave me to rebuild my immune system. The first thing I cut out was coffee (I've been dairy and wheat free, mostly, for about a year) but I had no idea the hold caffeine had on me. It's been 8 days and I still feel rotten, but I expect I'll feel much better and have more energy soon. It's amazing the difference a small tweak in our eating habits can make.

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  4. Thanks for writing this up! I will definitely try that recipe. I'm thinking about going vegan for the month of May (we are travelling in April and it'll be too hard in Chile to get what I need). I am totally vegetarian again and feeling so so so good. I'm not sure I'll go back again. My parents are even super supportive of us raising our kids vegetarian, which is awesome.

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  5. I applaud your efforts to adopt a plant-based diet. It's not Vegan though. Veganism is a commitment to animals, not to ourselves. Again, if you are eating an all plant-based diet to improve your life, that is great! Hopefully you will find that eating animal-exploitation free will lead you to living the rest of your life that way as well.

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  6. franchement (on ravelry)3/9/13, 9:52 PM

    Yay for being vegan! :)
    I find that, whatever they say, vegan cheese is mostly disgusting (I know. I loved cheese. It took me ten years to stop eating cheese.)
    And as for recipes, anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is pretty good. Easy, tasty, full of vegetables. Plus the vegan cakes are great.
    Good luck!
    (And your projects are lovely to look at!)

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