Friday, February 15, 2013

Two Weeks In

So, yesterday marked the halfway point of my month-long experimentation with veganism. So far? Excellent.

Only one person has been obnoxious, and that was on Tumblr, so I just unfollowed and moved on.

No known slip-ups. If I’ve accidentally eaten anything with animal products in them, I am unaware of it. But I’ve been pretty vigilant about checking labels.
Biggest difficulty? Lunch while I’m at work. I get up at 6 and have to be out the door in 45 minutes, so unless I have the foresight to pack something the night before (that’s iffy) I often rely on the little cafe in the library. If I don’t get there early enough to get the vegetable sushi, I usually eat hummus and pretzels. I know it doesn’t sound filling, but I’m usually pretty satisfied with a small meal.

Overall, though, I feel really good. Physically, mentally, ethically (does that fall under mentally?), all of it.

I haven’t completely come to a conclusion about what I’m going to do when the month is up. I have a feeling I’ll continue to eat vegan most of the time while occasionally allowing for indulgences or when vegan food isn’t available. Which means I won’t call myself a vegan, because that would be demeaning to people who do it 100% of the time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Choice vs. Need

I've seen some differing opinions in the veggie blogosphere about whether or not our dietary concerns should be treated as a choice or a need.

I can see both sides. Yes, it's a choice. Obviously, it's a conscious decision to go vegetarian or vegan, regardless of the reasons. For that reason, everything that you do to continue that lifestyle is a choice.

However, when the choice is so personal, and can have such strong effects on health, it's also sort of a need. Like I mentioned when I talked about my ER visit, if your system isn't used to animal products, eating them can make you sick. Even if it isn't so extreme, it can still lead to an upset stomach or headache, and at best that's highly unpleasant.

So I guess my conclusion is that it's a choice that should be treated like a need. I opted to make certain changes to my diet, but for my own health I need them respected and heeded.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

That irritating protein question

Seriously, stop asking how vegans and vegetarians get protein. It's annoying. And really, really unnecessary.

I'm going to pull a few things from the Vegetarian Resource Group to show you. All of the following foods are vegan and have a decent amount of protein in them:

1 cup Oatmeal - 6g
1 cup Soymilk - 7g
1 Bagel -  9g
1 cup Vegetarian Baked Beans - 12g
5 oz firm Tofu - 11g
1 cup cooked Brown Rice - 5g
2 Tbsp Almonds - 4g
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter - 8g
1 cup cooked Lentils - 18g

That's just a few examples from their sample meals. They've got a list with more detailed information about various protein sources including tempeh, beans, quinoa, vegetables, nuts, and pastas.

Basically, if you are eating a balanced diet, you are getting plenty of protein.

(So stop asking.)