Thursday, April 3, 2014

On going Vegan

Three Thursdays ago I became a vegetarian. :) Over the course of the last few months many things have contributed to me wanting to make some eating changes. They include: health, environment, animal welfare, influences from friends & overall improvement of life. I was essentially raised vegetarian, as we ate very little meat and had a huge garden, eating mostly from the garden & beans/rice or pasta dishes. Many members of my immediate and extended family are vegetarian so it's certainly familiar to me. And overall, we've always eaten fairly well. I've always tried to provide good choices for Keira and she loves herself some fruits & veggies, as does Lil. But a few things fell into place around the beginning of this year and after doing some research (through mostly documentaries, many of which we'd seen before in past years but just didn't sink in the first time) I just decided that I was going to become a vegetarian, and while I was at it, I wanted to give veganism a try, too. The movie most impacting this decision was Vegucated on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, check it out.

I am 100% committed to staying vegetarian, and have many reasons for that but probably the biggest one being that I don't even enjoy meat all that much to be consuming it. And more than that, the mainstream meat market and production of meat in this country is rediculous and extremely disgusting. I certainly feel better about consuming grass fed, free-range, organic, etc, etc, meat, but I still just don't feel good about it, so I just decided if it had a mama I won't be eating it. I wanted to try the vegan thing just for kicks and giggles, but I assumed that I wouldn't be able to keep it up and would jump right back to cheese and milk and eggs, etc.

Three weeks later, here we are! I wanted to do a post 3 weeks out (and then again in weeks to come) as I have been amazed at how much better I have been feeling. Aside from the elimination of dairy helping to improve the symptoms of my Crohn's disease, I also have loads more energy, feel much less sluggish and achy, feel like my complexion has improved and have even lost a little weight. (Bonus!) When people find out that I'm doing this, there are generally two questions: What do I eat? and Don't you miss foods?

I feel like I have SO many choices of foods to eat and things that I like, that I most certainly do not feel like I'm living without. I don't miss anything, because I feel like a much better version of me, and because I didn't cook meat all that often to begin with. I'm not a big fan of meals that take a long time to prepare and are huge productions (plus with 2 kiddos and a hungry husband, my dinner prep needs to be fast!) but we have had several yummy meals that we all (L & K included!) have enjoyed including peanut pad thai, beans & rice bowls, veggie wraps, various salads, quinoa, couscous, etc. Thankfully my hubby is supportive and fine with me not cooking meat at home, and the only thing I've asked of him is that he's honest with me when I try a new recipe or make something a different way. So far he's been all in! We have still been buying cheese, milk and yogurt for he and Keira, but Keira is really the only one consuming much dairy around here. 

Now please hear me...I know there are health benefits to dairy and animal proteins, and I'm not trying to knock anyone who consumes meat and dairy, but I have just learned a lot over the course of the last few months about how I really don't NEED meat and dairy to meet my nutritional needs, and how I can actually survive just fine without them and feel fulfilled and even better than I felt consuming them. If you are at all interested in learning more about vegetarianism/veganism, the web is FULL of amazing resources. (I should compile a list of my favorites!) And if you like documentaries, there are so many good ones on Netflix to check out: Forks over Knives; Food Inc; Foodmatters; Vegucated; Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead; Farmageddon. 

I still feel like I'm in the beginning stages of this and would love any additional resources-- books, websites, recipes, or films that you have come across. And no matter your food choices, I hope you'd consider going veg even for just a day or a week or a month to see what happens for you!

1 comment:

  1. Yay sister - it's like you're going back to our roots (well the vegetarian part anyway!) If it makes you feel better, I'm all for it! XOXO