Why I’m Going Vegan

First things first:

  • Read this: How to Win an Argument with a Meat-Eater
  • Watch this: Forks Over Knives trailer
  • It’s for big, strong men, too.  Real Men Eat Plants
  • I don’t need animal products to get enough protein to be healthy.
  • I don’t need dairy products to get enough calcium to be healthy.
  • I feel better when I eat mostly vegan foods.
  • I get pissed at Big Agribusiness lying to us about their pink goo being good for us and their pesticide abuse being harmless.  This is not how our grandparents or even our parents ate.
  • Everything is actually not okay in moderation unless your moderation means 12 oz. or less of animal products per week.  Moderation is not my favorite.
  • 500,000 people get cut open each year to have radical heart bypass surgery.  I don’t want that.

My road to this month-long vegan experiment

It started with avocados.  In college Lola taught me to love avocados.  (mom, why did you never feed me these as a child?)

When I lived in a hippie neighborhood in Atlanta, Louis and I ate lots of vegetarian fare.  We had health food stores and juice bars and international farmers’ markets and lots of lovely asian and cuban restaurants nearby.  But it was hard to eat that way outside Atlanta and I was still unsure about what was healthiest and whether yummy meat and cheese were “good” or “bad”.

Fast forward to 2010 (or 2009?) – Lola decides to go vegetarian, then vegan.  I proceed to bitch about it for at least a year, occasionally saying that I’ll do it too someday but not for a while.

A while later, here I am.  Two cousins under 40 with cancer, mom going in for a biopsy like it’s an oil change (we’re pretty sure it’s nothing), dad and uncle who’ve each been thru a bout with prostate cancer, grandmother dead of cancer, practically every single person I know my parents age (58) or older on some medication for something that a plant-based diet can probably cure…  There is just no reason anymore to eat foods I KNOW are poisoning people.

The final week of 2011, I wasn’t sad about leaving these foods behind.  A year ago, I felt sad when I thought about never having cheese or hamburgers or eggs or bacon again.  I’ve gradually eaten more vegan things this past year so I’ve been working up to it.  And the experiment is only for a month.  If I’m truly miserable, maybe I’ll come back to my morning bagel and cream cheese and my fave mac n’ cheese dinner at the Dube and the Egg Sandwich at Northstar (mmmm…), BUT I don’t think so.

Foods that will make me happy:

Avocados Mushrooms Coconut milk Indian food Chinese food Thai food Japanese food Beans and rice French fries (duh)

Restaurants that will make me happy:

Whole World Coco’s Grill – asian styles Basil Nida’s Thai North Star Market 65 Au Bon Pain (though it contains so many tempting items) Aladdin’s Smith and Wollensky (shockingly good vegan preparations) Cafe Istanbul Oodles (in a pinch – not my fave) Clever Crow Pizza El Arepazo (may cheat with the mayo-based green sauce) Piada Pho Noodle House and Grill Happy Greek Haiku Surly Girl Little Palace Dirty Franks Short North Tavern Flat Iron (I have to make this place work) Angry Baker

What I expect to achieve:

  • More energy – My energy level is pretty good but I have noticed that it’s gotten lower in recent years.  I don’t intend to give up my one small coffee per day but it’s more a pleasure than a pick-me-up.
  • Losing 2 lbs or more.  I’m not too concerned about losing weight but I expect without dairy, this will happen.  No complaints here.  With greater energy levels, I hope to have more motivation after work for exercise over TV.  I suppose that could result in some conversion of fluff to muscle so maybe the weight loss (fat) and gain (muscle) will be a wash.
  • Fewer aches and pains – I get occasional pains in my hands (typing and texting) and feet (standing all day some days).  I expect the vegan diet to reduce inflammation everywhere so hand and foot pains should be reduced accordingly.
  • Basically, to become Super Woman.  I’ll weave my cape from kale and amber waves of grain.

I created this blog so my friends and family could read about what I’m doing if they want to.

2 thoughts on “Why I’m Going Vegan

  1. I watched the Forks/knives documentary with Hon. Kathleen (her choice) and Susan (off & on, mostly off) . Have been less interested in meat/dairy in diet anyway, digestion issues, and losing interest/taste for meat (probably age-related), thus had thought about vegetarian, though not vegan. Dairy might be hardest, especially cheese and butter, but will consider almond and soy milk (don’t know about cheese substitutes that are any good. Maybe American and Velveeta – Susan always says they aren’t cheese anyway, when I wanted them for grilled cheese!

    One thing I noticed about your new diet was that salt seemed to loom large. It did for me too, but BP is elevated lately, and I don’t want to medicate, no matter how benign they say it is. Jane Brody’s column last Tue. was on salt, and she writes that it “erases” potassium (is that why mom, a big salter, had to take potassium supplements for many years?).

    Anyway, good luck with your plan.

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