To vegan or not to vegan
This is going to sound crazy to some of you but if you know me or you’ve been reading here for any amount of time, you know that I am constantly revolutionizing my diet. I like trying new things, taking on challenges and most of all, finding optimum health through my daily eats. Most recently I made a gradual switch to eating lower sugar, including less fruit, fewer grains servings and checking products for added sugars.
When I read Lindsey’s post earlier today about her Vegan Venture, I couldn’t help but be inspired. It just so happens that minutes before I read that, I had been sitting at my desk eating my last serving of Greek yogurt, I thought about how easy it would be to give up dairy. I think for me, dairy has become more of a habit rather than something I actually enjoy eating/drinking. I actually went through a period last summer when I thought I was lactose intolerant but it turns out sugar (and sometimes too much fiber) was really the culprit.
I also still have the food pyramid in the back of my mind at times, which tells us that we need 3 servings a day for calcium. Then I read this article on MSN Health which challenges some concepts about dairy consumption, which surprised me but I guess it shouldn’t.
Truth be told, I actually prefer soy or other nut-based milks (especially rice milk the one time I tried it). But could I go completely vegan?
What does being a vegan mean?
I already don’t eat meat too often except for the occasional turkey burger, which I’m currently burnt out on since I have to use up all four servings of meat quickly when they thaw 😉 Giving up meat has never been a problem for me. I’ve done it twice just since starting this blog, including last year and back in May of this year.
I’ve mentioned before that from a cost analysis I did in a nutrition class, meat products are the most expensive things we purchase (per serving). While I don’t ever expect my husband to give up meat, by me not eating it, we have saved a lot of money and the meat we do buy lasts longer than if we both ate it. That has been another motivating factor. We are on a budget as a young married couple with our fair share of debt and I also want to show others that it is possible to be a very healthy eater and not break the bank.
But, if I were to go vegan, even just as a short-term experiment, I have to mention (again) that my number one motivation is my health. Yes, I am healthy and I eat healthy now, but I’m always looking to take things to the next level. I found this really neat post from Amanda Berne (aka the Accidental Vegetarian) where she talks about going vegan for a month and how great it made her feel (great).
This can be done the wrong way for sure. I mean, just check out this Vegan Snacks guide! I wouldn’t eat 98% of that stuff now, why on earth would I eat it because it’s vegan? Don’t let Josh see that Hot Tamales are vegan by the way! Plus I think that list is majorly outdated…do they still make Wow chips? The ones that supposedly cause “leakage?” Ew…
I would rather take Lindsey’s approach and stick to plant based foods. I hate the idea of eating a lot of fake soy products like veggie burgers and chik’n patties even though I have used these products in the past (and will use up the ones currently in my freezer). I’d rather make this an experiment with new foods and recipes that would be both fun and educational.
So what do you guys think? Should I do it?
Note that this will not be a quick switch or cold turkey. I hope to gradually make the transition and not necessarily set a time frame on it but rather follow it as my body leads me.
I appreciate any input on the topic! If you are already vegetarian or vegan what was your motivation? What inspired you to make the switch?
If you are interested in joining the challenge, visit Lindsey’s blog and let her know! You could be entered into a giveaway 😉