February 2011 Archives

Observations and Diets

We're almost 3 weeks into my Very Vegan February. Some observations:

- I don't miss egg and dairy themselves nearly as much as I miss the variety of foods available to me.

- I'd much rather avoid something all together rather than have a sub-standard vegan version. But some vegan stuff is perfectly fine if you don't try to compare it to a meat/cheese equivalent. And some vegan stuff is actually very, very good as a replacement.

- I wish I could have chickens at my home so I could source my eggs easily.

- I may be losing weight.

The last point is important here - veganism as a weight-loss diet is seemingly pretty effective for me. There are a few factors to this:

- I can't just "snack" on whatever's available.

- Most of my meals are a little more "planned", i.e., I'm not doing much in the way of "picking up drive-thru on the way home".

- I'm going out to eat much less, thereby avoiding the delicious by fattening cooking preps restaurants use.

- Cheese and dairy make up a non-insignificant portion of my regular diet's calories, and they're avoided while going vegan.

All that said, I don't think using veganism as a diet should be your goal, mostly because it's not sustainable if you don't care for it to be. But as a side-effect of going vegan anyway, it's nice. 

Feelin' Fine.

I'm a week into my Very Vegan February, and things are goin' good. It's not at all hard - it's certainly much easier than it would be for someone who eats meat - but it's a bit annoying at times. I'm having to read all my labels again, even for stuff at home. I have to stop myself from mindless snacking, because The Girlfriend and The Kid both still eat dairy. And twice I've had to suggest different restaurants, because there are plenty of super vegetarian-friendly places in my restaurant rotation that don't have much to offer to vegans at all.

One interesting thing I'm discovering is that vegans are just as prone as anyone else to spread misinformation (of all sorts). When a product or menu item is identified as "vegan" online (by any source, it seems), that info spreads like wildfire - whether it's true or not. I'm finding myself not trusting most sources online, with the exception of a few bloggers and industry folks, and the manufacturers/restaurants themselves.

There's also still a huge problem in a lot of vegan chatter about "true vegans", which usually involves name calling, love/hatred of PETA, discussion of honey, and value judgments about health. Mention Oreos and Ritz crackers as being vegan some time to a group of 'em, and you'll see what I mean.

All that said, I'm still diggin' it. I've made very successful vegan blueberry muffins, very unsuccessful brownies, and our homemade seitan is surprisingly tasty.Still looking forward to the next few weeks, too.

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