Enter the Giveaway here
For those of you just joining me here in the blog-room of my house, I am currently undergoing an experiment of eating vegan for the month of October. I wanted to experience what it would feel like to not eat any animal products (with the exception of honey). How will people react? What will my body feel like? Today marks week 2.
This week has been a series of light-bulb moments that have shed light on false stereotypes I have had about vegans and veganism.
Myth 1: Vegans are always healthy
If I've learned anything these past two weeks, it's this:
A lot of vegetarian meals are smothered in cheese, and
a lot of vegan meals are smothered in sugar.
I stopped drinking cow's milk like 6 months ago simply because there was so much sugar in it, so it's been hard to integrate my previous beliefs on sugar with my temporary lifestyle of veganism. Soy milk is FULL of sugar- so I drink unsweetened almond milk. I also try to use xylitol and erithrytol to sweeten what I need.
But you can still be vegan and drink soda and munch on candy and potato chips all day. From what I've read and learned about vegans thus far, this kind of vegan lifestyle is for people who aren't getting the point. The point is usually a whole food lifestyle that does not exploit or use animals.
I've found that in the past two weeks, Scott and I have only gone out to eat twice. Once to Pita Pit, and once to Subway (where I got a salad). We COULD have gone out to eat a ton and I COULD have gotten sodas and french fries, but we just haven't had the desire.
...Okay, except for two days ago. When I demanded something greasy and got a large fry at Wendy's. But I used to crave that once a week. Not the case anymore.
I should also document, however, that I have not made any deliberate changes to my lifestyle OTHER than refraining from meat and dairy and I have noticed changes. Fruits of veganism, if you will. Like, I don't remember the last time I took a nap- where I usually take a 2 hour nap daily. Or the fact that I've dropped 5 pounds, but have made no change to my exercise.
So yeah, you can be a healthy vegan if you choose, but you can also load up on crap.
Myth #2: Vegans have to eat more and get hungry faster.
I don't think this myth seems totally illogical. When I started, I thought that because I wasn't eating "filling" and heavier foods, then I would simply be hungry all the time.
But my experience has been the opposite case. When I put together a whole foods vegan meal, I eat way less than I used to (seriously, I used to be able to pack it in) and I find that I am not hungry as often as I was in September.
I found this curious. I mean, I LOVE food. I love it. I thought that my love of food was what was making me eat so much of it. So, I've been kind of sad when I make the best dinner ever and I feel my self satisfied and finished. Why was that happening? All I eat is vegetables and grains!
Whole Food Vegan Momma hit the nail right on my questioning head when she said:
"I was feeling overfed and undernourished."
This EXACTLY how I felt in September. But NOW I get all the nutrients I need, so my body is not SCREAMING at me for more food. Before, I would get the nutrients I needed at the cost of filler calories that left me feeling "full" and sick.
I can honestly say that in the month of October, I have not felt full once. Only satisfied.
Myth #3: Vegans don't like it when you eat meat or dairy in front of them.
I can't speak for all vegans, obviously, but I have experienced in just 2 weeks people apologizing for eating their french toast or cheese buritto in front of me.
One night, my husband and I were in the grocery store and he was so grumpy. I was pretty confused because he rarely gets grumpy like that. Finally, standing by the nuts, I demanded to know what his problem was. He confessed in guilty 5-year-old speed that he was upset because he "just doesn't know how to make beans taste as good as pork."
Haha! The poor thing was sincerely sad for me that I couldn't experience the pork. But really, I didn't care. I didn't care at all. I was sincerely happy for my Mexican dinner of beans and rice and salsa.
I'm gonna repeat this:
I DON'T CARE IF YOU EAT MEAT AND DAIRY IN FRONT OF ME!
Phew! That felt good.
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Well, that's about it, folks. I have been checking out TONS of books on veganism (cookbooks, etc), and hopefully by next week I can tell you what ones have been helpful.
I'm also going to be presenting on the culture of veganism in my cultural diversity class, so if you are vegan, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a questionnaire to fill out that I will use in my class presentation and post on my blog!