8.24.2015

Why I'm Vegan and How To Feed Me!

This post is meant to inform others on how/why I became Vegan and how to deal with Vegans when it comes to food if they will be eating at your home. I do not mean to offend anyone or sound like an asshole in the process! Love, hugs, and unicorns.

It's been 4 months since I went Vegan (April 24, 2015). Not too long, but did you know that for an ENTIRE YEAR prior to this switch, I studied Veganism via countless books (written by Dr's and Scientists), watched documentaries, read case studies, watched hours of well-researched videos on youtube, and let's be honest, some very entertainingly stupid ones too? I experimented in the kitchen by going Vegan for a few days a week, then slacked off on the others. I joined a few Vegan groups and had amazing conversations with like minded people who taught me so much. I put in the time from April 2014 to April 2015, and then I decided to go for it because all of this research led to the same conclusion - meat and diary is royally screwing the animals, our bodies and the whole planet! This wasn't a case of, "Oh, this cute celebrity is doing this on the Today Show and now I am!" No no...  I studied my butt off and continue to. I could have a degree in the subject at this point.

As these 4 months have passed, I've heard some interesting commentary from family, friends, and work colleagues. I am in no way bashing these people for having these very common reactions. I'll get to the point, I promise.

To name a few:

"You poor thing, you can't eat anything."
"I'm afraid there won't be anything for you to eat here."
"Being vegan must be sooooo hard."
"Where do you get your protein?"
"What about too much sugar?"
"This is only a fad, she'll get over it."

That last one is my favorite. A shame my past poor judgments of yo-yo dieting make my current decisions to eat right, save the animals and the planet less credible. I guess I deserve it in some ways.

Back to the first few comments from people regarding what I (Vegans) can eat. Well, we can eat a lot actually. Please don't stress out and think you need to read a ton of labels now in the grocery store or your whole menu has to be changed.

What can you have in the house for your Vegan family member or friend? 
Chances are you already have it!



ANY fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned), rice, pasta, bread (most bread is Vegan), potatoes, squash, beans, corn chips, salsa, hummus, crackers, etc. Those are just the staples, you can get fancy with tofu, veggie burgers and dairy free milks but chances are the Vegan is going to be bringing that with them, among other Vegan treats like cheeses and snacks.

If you take a moment to check the food label, if any milk/eggs/fish are in these foods above it will be in bold at the bottom of the list. How simple is that?! It's not stressful shopping for us.

As you read above, we can eat a lot of foods. Are you an Italian mama making your prized spaghetti and meatballs? Great! Hold some (a lot) spaghetti (no sauce) to the side, and the Vegan will take care of the rest. Don't worry that your sauce has panchetta in it or cheese. A Vegan will chop up a bunch of veggies, saute them in some lemon and spices (maybe add some beans) and then poor that over the pasta. Mangia!

Are you a BBQ master? Great - that Vegan is going to grill up some veggies, bake some potatoes, and maybe even throw a Vegan burger on the grill. They may make your favorite bean salad too.

Are you ordering sushi? No problem... there are many vegetable sushi rolls, veggie dumplings, rice, tofu, edamame, etc on that menu. Go to town.

Ordering pizza? Veggie pizza with no cheese, please!

It's not complicated. And most meat eaters do in fact eat Vegan food ALL THE TIME anyway. These foods are the building blocks of most meals.

Now, let's get into protein and sugar... I wrote a post on protein already, and sugar is a big debate which I should probably tackle in another post but I will say this for now: If you eat a diet LOW in fat, the sugar from fruit and grains is not going to all be stored as fat on your body or mess with insulin. It will be burned as fuel and will digest quickly. Read The Starch Solution. If you are worried about Diabetes, take a look at Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes.

And the last comment, my favorite, "This is only a fad, she'll get over it." I cannot blame someone for thinking this. It's my own damn fault for being a lemming in the past, and always trying to desperately lose weight and get into shape. Here's the difference: I couldn't give two shits if I stop losing weight on this Vegan journey. *I've stopped only caring about what the Vegan lifestyle is doing for me personally. Sure, it's a perk as the scale continues to go down and I do the happy dance; but I care more about what it does for the animals. It gives them a chance. I do not want to eat another creature or their bodily fluids which are meant for their children. I do not want to eat animals that come out of Earth's cesspool (the ocean). To me, that's not a fad. That's facing reality and telling her to back off, I'll create my own reality when given the choice. I just do not want to contribute to the meat and dairy industry any longer. If you do, that's your choice and I wish you well. Do what you gotta do. It can take a long time to understand what is actually happening to the animals and to actually care. We tend to put ourselves in a bit of denial since the meat comes in a package with a happy cow on the label telling us to eat our protein, and we don't see what's happening behind the curtain.



So the point of this post (I know, you've been waiting patiently), is this: Educate yourself. Understand that Veganism is NOT hard and it's not a fad if the person is doing it based on how they feel in their hearts (whatever that feeling is, weight, animals, health etc). It may seem hard but it's not. It's a joke how easy it is. You may think it's not right for you, and that's ok. One day you may change your mind like I did. And then again, maybe one day I'll eat my words but until then... Where's the pasta?

*Disclaimer - If you truly care about what a Vegan diet can do for you personally and you couldn't care less about animal welfare - that is AMAZING too! Whatever floats your Vegan boat. This is just my "why" and how it differs from my past motivations.

Thanks for reading!
If you are interested in the books, documentaries, youtube channels etc that helped inform me on all things Vegan, click here for the full list.