I wanted to put some instructional posts here for the veg newbies or the veg curious to give some new things a whirl.
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been asked, “Doesn’t being vegan really restrict your choices?” They always mean protein choices and my answer is always, “No more so than beef, chicken, and pork restrict yours.” The links listed here are some of the things I explored when I first became vegan and they’ll show the process I went through in discovering some absolute favorites that I could not believe I hadn’t eaten before. Also If you try something once and hate it, then try making it again using another method. Example: Tempeh. My God…my first attempt at making tempeh was a disaster, bitter and just awful. Tried it again and actually prepared it correctly, and you know what? Tempeh is hands down my favorite protein source. Love the stuff. So…try…experiment…fail…try again another way. Congratulations on your exceptional journey!
If you’re new to veganism or just Vegan curious, I remember those early days when I was completely confused about what I was going to eat for the rest of my life. Initially all vegans start with transition foods such as prepared, frozen veggie burgers and vegan chick’n patties. These are great ways to help sort of keep one foot in each world, your old familiar one and your new vegan adventure! Don’t be scared! There are lots of new things you’ll experience and just absolutely LOVE! There will be things that you just cannot enjoy no matter how hard you try. Some will shock you. I discovered that I do not like edamame. No matter how many ways I’ve tried to make it, it just has an aftertaste for me that I don’t like. But edamame is very healthy and full of fiber and protein! So what. If you don’t like it, then you cannot force yourself to eat it.
Being vegan is not deprivation. You can eat whatever you want. As a vegan, you just choose not to participate in the torture, fear, and imprisonment of animals. Sure I could eat a beef burger or chicken tenders. My choice. I choose to live a life free of all animal products. Animals are not here for us. Not to eat, or give rides, or sit confined in a zoo for our enjoyment. This is not a hoity-toity, lofty, idealistic pie-in-the-sky view of mine. I feel this on a soul level. Like when I read Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, and had an “Oh shit, this is a vegan diet!” moment that my life changed forever. Veganism is not a diet. It is not a lifestyle. Living Plant Based is the life you choose to live. I cannot describe for you how good it feels to be vegan and know deep down that you are not harming another living thing.
Don’t get me wrong. Vegan is not code for a “totally free of all problems” life. I have still have problems. I still have health issues I am battling in my life. It’s what this blog is about. I know that people see many different vegan people online through various venues such as Instagram or Facebook and they are all gorgeous, slim and the ‘picture’ of health. I guarantee you that they have problems, too. If you read their stories, you’ll find that many of them went vegan to solve some of their medical issues. They are glowing and appear full of health because they are! However, they still have some issues they battle with daily. But they are less so by their choice to live plant-based. I am healthier because of the choices I live my life by.
And I don’t want this to sound judgmental. Whatever variation of plant-based you live is wonderful! It means many fewer animals will be harmed in the world. Less damage to our planet is done by whatever means you choose to reduce your consumption of animal based products. Are you vegetarian who eats eggs and cheese but chooses not to eat beef, chicken, pork, and fish? Awesome! The cows, pigs, and fishes will thank you every single day! Are you VB6? What’s that? Eat vegan before 6 pm. Yep, there are folks who are Vegan before 6pm and this is so important as this will create less methane gas in our world. Whatever you do to reduce your carbon footprint is better for you and better for this world. Ease into it. Every day is a new day!