Saturday, November 17, 2012
My husband I made the swap to a vegan diet a little over a year ago and adore it. We love the way it tastes, the way it makes us feel, the way it lightens our grocery bill and how clean our kitchen stays now that fruits and veggies abound. I like that no animals are harmed in the making of my meals now; we started buying meat from a local farm after watching "Food, Inc." some time ago. I just couldn't stomach supporting the cruelty perpetuated by the factory farms anymore.
We are pretty passionate about our lifestyle, but never preachy. This is right for us; it may not be right for you. So why is it that our non-vegan friends feel the need to make us justify our lifestyle? Why did you decided to become vegan? Is it actually working? (They think its a fad diet to lose weight.) Don't you think everything is OK in moderation? Well, aren't you just cutting out all the healthy stuff from your diet like dairy and eggs and chicken? And...I like bacon fat on my eggs in the morning (UM, yuk.)
The fact is, meat does not appeal to us anymore. Just the smell of it is off-putting. But it is not a religion either. If there is a dish worth "cheating" for, its on. For the hubby, the only meal worth the cheat is lobster. I don't know...mine used to be cheesecake, but now I can make a killer vegan version that doesn't miss the dairy. In fact, now that I have learned to make my own cheese, I have to give away more than I eat to protect my waistline. My very non-vegan neighbor declared my vegan brie en croute "better than chocolate."
While I never learned to cook as a meat eater, I am a &*%$ good vegan chef if I do say so myself. I make my own breads, artisan vegan cheeses, veggie burgers, even chinese food! I have even entered two vegan cooking contests and placed in both. I am proud of my new abilities and love making vegan dishes that even my neighbors (and their kids) enjoy. But I don't even offer to share unless someone has expressed interest in trying something or there is a potluck.
And is it working? Well, I am well within in normal ranges on every conceivable blood test my primary care doc could think to run, even cholesterol, which used to be high (and heart disease runs in my family on both sides). I used to get colds several times a year that put me out of commission for two weeks at a time. I've only had one cold since making the swap and it lasted under a week.
The hubby hasn't been sick at all. He also hasn't had a single gall bladder attack and his blood pressure is under control with half the medication! Before he switched, it was high even though he was taking two different meds; now he's down to one and his blood pressure normal. Now that he is exercising regularly again, we hope he won't need meds at all.
Is any of this related to diet? Maybe. But if not...so what? Who cares? We aren't hurting anyone. We are not forcing our beliefs on anyone. Why do we have to justify ourselves?