Yeah, I'm vegan. You gotta problem with that?

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?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BOVEY63
    Nice that you have made a lifestyle choice that works for both of you.
    1979 days ago
    I always find it interesting how everyone is society seems to have an opinion about everything we eat. Most of your comments could also relate to how people talk about any lifestyle - here are my current favorites: "Don't you think you exercise too much?" (No, thanks for asking), "It's not healthy to never treat yourself" (at work because I didn't want a donut), "I will take it personally if you don't at least try these (brownies - really that is what you care about in life?) People are strange.

    Great about the vegan cooking. I was strict vegetarian for 14 years but now find I eat a little healthier on a low meat diet (fish, occasional chicken) - largely because I am NOT a good or even adequate cook and I was becoming a starchitarian with lots of craving - more power to you!
    1980 days ago
    If you enjoy your life style in eating that is all that matters.you are healthier now and you appear happy.That is the only thing that matters!
    1980 days ago
    The way I see it... I won't make someone justify their vegan diet if they don't make me justify my non-vegan one!

    The first question you posted (why did you become vegan) doesn't sound too antagonistic to me. (The other two though... yeah. "Is it working?" Pah.) That first one just sounds like they're curious, and it gives you an opportunity to explain the benefits of the life style. I have a vegan office mate, and I ask him lots of questions about food in an attempt to learn more... like what vegan dishes does he eat at certain restaurants, what varieties of fruit does he prefer, etc. He doesn't mind my questions, and talking to him has given me some good ideas about how to be healthier. Plus his lunches always look delicious!

    Anyway, bacon fat on eggs... emoticon Ew.

    1980 days ago
    You absolutely should not have to justify yourself. Eat what you like, it's your body.

    On the other hand, my DD and I just had an unpleasant experience in a restaurant in DisneyWorld. We were seated at O'Hana next to a couple who was Vegan. I've got no problem with that, except that O'Hana is an aggressively meat-oriented restaurant. It's claim to fame is the open-flame pit in the middle of the restaurant, where they are grilling skewers of steak, chicken, pork and shrimp and bringing them around to you family-style. An odd choice of restaurants for Vegans, and the couple made it clear that they had been to O'Hana before, so they knew what it was like. They enjoyed dropping the chef's name, for example.

    They seemed bound and determined to "catch" the serving staff making a mistake in serving them something non-Vegan, like all serving staff should know the "rules." As you know, everyone makes their own choices: some people are veggie, not Vegan some eat eggs or dairy, etc. etc. So how could the serving staff know what these people's rules were?

    The restaurant brings everyone (family-style) a bread pudding dessert with ice cream on it. This couple waited for the staff to bring the dessert, then sent it back because of the dairy, all the while saying they "hated to waste the food." Really? Because our dessert was brought to our table shortly before theirs, so they knew it was coming.

    Anyway, this has nothing to do with your choices at all, but there sure are some people out there who give Vegans a bad rap.

    Love that you've made healthy choices and are embracing them without preaching. Good for you!!!
    1980 days ago
    While I don't think that we'd ever follow a vegan approach 100%, I have to say that I like less and less meat in my meals. My husband has turned around his eating habits and now we have a lot more vegetables on the menu. I love it!
    1980 days ago
    I understand what you are saying though I am not vegan. I have family members who are and my daughter doesn't eat much meat. Loves bean burgers and makes some super vegan dishes! Sounds like it truly is working for the best for you and your hubby. emoticon
    1980 days ago
    My husband and I have experienced the same thing. I am also a great vegan cook ( which is hard on the waistline!) and those that eat my food are silenced - but I don't offer unless they are eating at my home or it is a potluck. Congrats on the improvement of your health and enjoy your new way of eating.
    1980 days ago
    I'm vegan too, and I love it!
    1981 days ago
    A think vegans get a bad wrap because of the holier than thou attitude so many have. I have a has friend who recently went vegan and oh dear goodness if she posts one more arrival or video about the evils of meat and animal treatment, I am going to scream. and I've had people trying to make me feel awful about eating meat... While I am eating it. So maybe those harassing you have a bad taste in their mouth, so to speak... Or maybe they are simply curious. I just say, two each their own.

    Oh and eggs cooked in bacon grease. Yum! :-)
    1981 days ago
    What a great blog! I've been eating vegan for over a year now too, and love it as well.
    1981 days ago
    We're all different and make different choices about how we eat. It's been a long time since someone questioned me for my choice to be vegetarian. People do seem more aware now than in the past that you can be very healthy on a vegetarian, vegan, or even raw foods diet (though many still question the raw).

    "If you'll refrain from annoying questions about why I am a vegetarian, I'll refrain from telling you about how that chicken you are eating was processed at the factory farm. Then we can both enjoy our own respective dinners." (grin)
    1981 days ago
    You shouldn't have to justify yourself. Everyone eats what they want. People will eat the way that works for them, that makes them feel great and the way that makes them happy.

    I have to agree with the bacon fat...YUCK!! I don't like eggs anyway either. I'm not vegan or vegitarian but I have noticed that I have quit eating certain food after seeing things on TV that would just make me sick. I don't eat pork, and I rarely eat beef. I have thought about changing my eating style. I can go months and not eat any kind of meat and be happy.

    And as for coming off some of the meds.... emoticon That is emoticon
    1981 days ago
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