I had every intention to blog through my vegan experiment as it was happening. It’s now been over three weeks so it’s too late to do one simple post. I’m going to break up my experience into several posts. I’ll write about why I did it, how I did it and my current diet. Here’s why I did it…
I have been reading Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. It’s about an overweight middle age guy who became super fit. He completed the Ultraman competition, which is a 320-mile triathlon (6.2-mile swim, 261.4-mile bike and 52.4-mile run).
I wanted to read it because I find motivation in seemingly impossible things. Like when I need to run 3 miles but it seems too difficult, I sometimes tell myself “How are you going to one day complete the Western States 100-miler if you don’t run these 3 little miles right now?” And then I run 3 miles and I’m that much closer to running 100 miles. Yes. This makes perfect sense to me.
I didn’t realize that so much of his story included his change in diet. He is now vegan, which basically means no animal products. No meat, seafood, eggs or dairy. As a lover of heavy cream and bacon fat, I found veganism completely uninteresting.
I’ve seen Food, Inc. and all the awful things that happen to animals that we consume. But it didn’t compel me to become a vegetarian. One reason is because I live with a devout carnivore and I’m not the kind of person wants to instigate such a defining change in my spouse. I wouldn’t want him trying to change something of equivalent importance to me, so I just won’t go there.
I actually don’t care for meat so much myself. But I do love my bacon and I enjoy using bacon fat as a flavoring. It’s how I got my kids to love broccoli.
Another reason that the information in Food, Inc. didn’t change my eating habits is because it’s so easy to convince myself that those awful things are not as prevalent as they want us to believe. It’s easier to hope for the best and keep going with the flow.
Also, they focus more on the condition of the meat we are consuming. The documentary I mentioned a few days ago, Vegucated, discusses more about the treatment the animals suffer. Beaks ground off, male chicks destroyed shortly after hatching, piglets being thrown like balls. But even still, this alone is not enough to convince me. Again, I want to believe that the treatment they showcased is not the norm. I don’t want to believe that there are that many humans willing to torture animals in such a way. Surely they have sought out the worst of the worst. That’s what I tell myself anyway, as I pay for my thinly-sliced pork chops for some miso-marinated pork chops.
I’ve also never been on an official diet. Trying a fad diet has never appealed to me. I just don’t want to put that much thought into eating.
I had a period of very unhealthy eating habits in high school and I once gained 30 pounds from obsessively eating peanut butter after being starved during Air Force basic training. But when I realized I gained all that weight, I just stopped eating peanut butter. That’s the closet I’ve gotten to dieting.
I’ve always thought eating should be simple and it’s main purpose should not be a euphoric experience. It’s fuel and I eat because I have to.
So it wasn’t until Rich Roll discussed all the changes that he experienced from eating only plant-based foods, that I got very interested in veganism. Many of the problems he had before changing his diet are things I have been struggling with since becoming a mother. Lack of energy, restless sleeping, trouble focusing, forgetfulness, and at times unmotivated to get things done.
Here is the paragraph that sealed my fate as an experimental vegan…
Here’s a great quote from the book…
“My turn from a dairy- and meat-based diet to a plant-based diet resulted not so much from a desire to adopt a certain lifestyle as from a simple question: What makes my body run the best?”
It seems to me there are many reasons why people decide to try veganism. Environmental impact, animal cruelty, food safety and physical wellbeing. For me, the possibility of my body functioning better is the most compelling. I thought it was worth a try.
My next post will be about what kinds of food I ate and what I learned about my eating habits.
What food would you have the hardest time giving up if you tried to go vegan?
Are you a vegan or have you tried it?
Have you read a book or movie that inspired you to make a change to your diet?
Do you think veganism is a fad diet?