Friday, July 9, 2010

The home stretch

Here it comes, this is my last weekend as an omnivore until who knows when. Starting Sunday at 7pm, I will go on a 24 hour juice fast, then begin my life as a vegan on hour 25.

I feel bad saying I'm going vegan. Most people who go vegan do it for moral reasons: they can't fathom eating animal products, their religion tells them, etc. Me? Well, I have no problem eating meat, eggs, wearing leather...I grew up on it, but I do try to be conscious of these decisions. I try to purchase "cage free" eggs, "range free" meat, etc. I also try to be a localvour as much as I can and summer really helps for that, so I think my cleanse/detox/diet change is perfect timing. So, I don't want to disrespect the vegans that do it for that reason, I respect their choices as I hope all will respect mine.

So what should I call myself? An immoral vegan? I dietary vegan? A "for health reasons" vegan? Why am I doing this you ask? Well, for that very reason: health.

As I've grown older, I've grown intolerant to many foods that I used to have no problem with, case in point: milk. I LOVE milk. My favorite food used to be just plain cold cereal with any thing from Lucky Charms, to Bran Flakes. As long as there was cold milk, I was all over it. Then in college, I noticed things started to change. My tummy would get upset with all things lactose: yogurt, sour cream, cheese and my beloved milk. I finally made a conscious effort so stave off milk and go for soy. With all the research done on soy, I kind of freaked out, so I limit my use. Now, for cereal or smoothies, I use oat milk. I've tried rice, and I've tried almond, but oat milk (from Trader Joe's, holla!) is the best consistency I've found. I still however use half and half in my coffee. I've tried, soy, soy silk, oat milk, but nothing is quite like the creamy thickness of a cow's half and half cream. But since I had the 24 hour hour stomach bug, I've been off caffeine and half and half as well as sugar. But what did I do today? I had trouble sleeping last night and I swear I didn't hit REM sleep, so I thought "might as well get one last coffee before I ban myself", so I did the works: half and half, iced coffee with simple syrup. And boy, am I paying the price. Goes to show that this change of diet will do me good.

This time, however, I'm trying not to over do it. When I did the master cleanse, I had burger king for dinner. Probably not the best idea. Right now, I'm still on fruits and veggies and last night I had my last Dr. Pepper and this morning my last coffee and for lunch, I thought I'd treat myself to one of the new Subway subs, either the BLT or the Chicken one. But I suspect the chicken has tons of mayonnaise and if history is proving correct, I really should step away, so BLT it is. Tomorrow, my roommate is insisting on BBQ food, so I'm prepping for that and come Sunday is my sister-in-law's birthday dinner so there will be some sopes heading my way. I'll try really hard not to gorge or over do it, so wish me luck.

So what do I hope to gain from this experience? Well, it would be awesome not to have any tummy problems. Also, I just want to eat better. I'd love to learn how to make tried and true recipes and make them deliciously vegan. I want to explore all the options I can right now: veganaise, fake cream cheese, fake chorizo. And if I get good enough, perhaps one might not suspect a different? But my real goal is to finally get off milk, in all its glorious forms. I just know it's much better for me. And I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd hope to drop a few pounds while I'm at it. I like challenges and I really want to learn how to cook better and healthy and deliciously.

How long will I do this? Well, as long as I can. I will be introducing meat protein back in to my diet slowly, but I could easily forgo red meat all together, no big deal really so we'll see.

So on the agenda is hitting up food front (*eh-hem*) for some produce and some vegan products, the probably trader joes for the rest.

I'm really excited for this! Here's to my last few meaty meals!


Liz said...

Yay! It's not so hard. Well, the no meat part anyway. I don't eat meat more for health and quality reasons than animal rights. I guess they are intertwined. I don't think the meat you can buy in the store is of good quality. The cows and the chickens didn't live good lives and you can taste it in the meat. Same with veggies. The best vegetables I have ever eaten were from a small garden, not mass produced and shipped. The best meat I have ever eaten was hunted and lived a free life. It wasn't from a high density feed lot, then frozen and shipped. That's why I still eat fish. It got live a free life, unless it's farm raised, but I try not to buy that kind. I saw a meat stand at the farmer's market the other day and I was pretty tempted to buy some. Family farm, small batch butchering doesn't cross any of my boundaries. oh, I bet it tastes goooood too. :)

andrea said...

I've never had meat that was hunted. I'd be curious to see how that tasted, in a month from now of course. And you are right about the vegetables in a small garden...I had no idea.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Kelly said...

This is very cool. And remember, vegan diet can be a super flavorful diet. It just means some time figuring out good recipes. I've had a lot of terrible vegan recipes in my life and also a lot of really good ones. Don't live on rice and beans. Summer is a FANTASTIC time to do this sort of thing.

Kristin said...

This is teriffic! Good luck, and try out some of those awesome vegan recipes. Hopefully your tummy and health will be better for it.