How did you become vegan?
I'm currently committed to one vegan meal a day, and one non-vegetarian meal a week. I find this easier to maintain than full fledged veganism, but would like to adopt a totally vegan lifestyle at some point.
If you're vegan, what made you decide to avoid animal products? Were you an ovo-lacto vegetarian at first? Do you currently avoid honey as well?
Last January 1st, having watched a TV show about the health benefits of a vegan diet, my husband and I embarked on a 2-week vegan experiment to see if it would clear up some of his digestive problems. It did not, but the dreadfully swollen ankle that had been plaguing me for a year completely disappeared. Since then, I've been "veganish." I use 1% Organic Valley cow's milk on my oatmeal because I've not found a non-dairy milk that doesn't taste weird. I put a tiny amount of real Parm on my pasta, and when we recently traveled to London, I ate some Dover sole. Other than these exceptions, it's veggies, veggies, veggies. ( I do weight training 3 times a week, so I add a non-whey protein powder to my juices, as I think I need the additional protein.)
After several years of having a vegetarian household we read "The China Study." A convincing argument for the health benefits of a plant based diet.
We decided to give it a try for one month. That was five years ago.
We are now reading about the benefits of a mostly raw 'living foods' diet and are trying to incorporate more raw into our diet with a daily green smoothie in the morning and a salad at lunch or dinner.
I think it helps when a couple have the same goal and make it fun to explore new recipes, source new ingredients andshare in food preparation.
We have a local vegan meal delivery service that is out of this world good and reasonable. When we are busy we order the main entrees and prepare our own breakfast, salads and sides.
Wingbean (our local Asheville area vegan meal delivery service just celebrated it's one year anniversary) : https://www.wingbean.com/
I'm re-doing my kitchen, looking at cook-top options. I (+ wife cook a lot - stumbled upon this site and joined up). I'm no preachy or a hippy. My wife and I are both professionals (thus looking at 40-50K kitchen remodel) and cool with people trying veg/vegan options or not.
I've been vegan for 4+ years now and never felt better - for health reasons + environmental benefits and to not be a part of 10 billion animals being killed in the US annually.
I did seafood only for about 10 years - then went to Monterrey Aquarium plus became aware of the bad times for fish/seafood production and then became vegetarian. After doing that for about 6 years went vegan and have not looked back.
Correct - zero honey too.
Being an athlete - workout 10-20 hrs/week (Cat 3 road racer (was a Cat1), rock climb 5.11, ice climb 5+ M7 and backcountry ski. I am 6'5 weigh 205 and can do 45 real pull-ups (no cross-fit swinging/momentum). I found that a vegan diet gave me more energy and I recover quicker (dairy being not good for you at all - unless you're a calf). My wife is also an athlete (completed Ironman triathlon and also does backcounty climbing/scrambling 14ers w/ me) and has also noticed more energy and quicker recovery as we get older (in 40s now).
with movies like "forks over knives" and "earthlings" around - I know several people that became vegan cold-turkey recently - with all the fake meat and cheese alternatives I think it's easier than ever to do that.
We get organic local produce delivered weekly via a CSA - community supported agriculture = pretty cool. It's fun to vegan-ize traditional recipes and to explore new plant-based meals. Many great cookbooks around. Our new kitchen is going to be awesome - having fun designing that now.
this is a shameless plug:
for may years i eschewed the phony meat and phony chicken products because they were disgusting as well as processed,
there is a newer brand of phony chicken in the grocer's freezer case that is good enough so that i've been able to serve it to meat-eaters (such as my daughter) and have them honestly like it.
the brand name is gardein
the flavor varieties that i like are the:
a) mandarin orange chick'n (the sauce comes in a separate packet and is put on the cooked chick'n after the chick'n is crispy)and the
b) spicy tangy barbeque wings (same story with the sauce coming in a separate packet, but the wings don't become crispy like the mandarin chick'n does)
my next door neighbor, a vegetarian of 2 decades, likes a gardein variety chick'n that has the word "chipotle" in the name (can't remember the exact name).
these products have quartered the time and planning that i spend on planning and cooking.
in Los Angeles, they are carried by whole foods, the larger -sized ralph's, and by gelson's. not every grocer has the full array of all the varieties.
CAVEAT: costco carrys stuff that has the same name and the same packaging, but larger packs. THIS IS NOT THE SAME PRODUCT. DON'T BE DECEIVED!
the stuff in the smaller packages in the regular grocery stores is like batter dipped chicken.
the stuff they are selling at costco is selling resembles the chicken nuggets that mcdonalds sells: deep-fat fried extruded goop.
the PACKAGING LOOKS THE SAME, THE NAME IS THE SAME, DON'T BUY THE COSTCO crap.
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My wife was having some rather severe digestive problems, so we went gluten free and vegan to see if it would help. We both felt so much better after the first couple of weeks that we've had no desire to return to eating animal products. We're fortunate to live in San Francisco, where being vegan is a lot easier than in many other cities.
In my case, I watched Fast Food Nation and realized that my choice of food had larger implications than I had thought. I still crave meat and dairy on occasion so I don't try to suppress that completely - I just figure that these cravings will go away in due course.
Thanks everyone for your inspiring stories.