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!