Since college I remember people telling me if you want to lose weight and clear up your skin, give up diary. I’ve never been able to even consider it. Cheese is a staple in my diet and I am perhaps one of the few people who really likes the taste of milk. But for June i decided to buckle up and go Vegan, in part just to see what it was like and in part to see if I could do it. The results?
- I felt much more energized, although I found I had to eat more often.
- Reading packages became a daily occurrence. It is mind blowing to me what they put dairy in.
- Going out to eat was complicated at first. We aren’t a jumping hub of vegan activity, so eating at restaurants was tricky until I figured out how to order. Mexican proved the easiest because my favorite places don’t use lard in their refried beans and I could get a burrito with no cheese. When in doubt, ask.
- Cooking at home became central and exciting. I tried all sorts of recipes from books and online. Most were delicious.
- My husband is a fantastic sport. He tried everything I cooked and did not bring diary or meat into the house (save an emergency stash of bacon). Twice he asked to go out so he could get some meat for dinner.
- My kids have grown to love veggies. We were out to dinner with a friend the other night and I asked my daughter what she wanted for her side, chips for veggies. She picked the veggies, much to the surprise of our friend.
- It was hard at some points, particularly if I was really hungry and there weren’t any vegan options.
Since June I have gone back to a vegetarian diet, but I will say although it is easier to eat, I don’t feel as well. My nose is stuffy again (as is my son’s), I have less energy, and my digestion is cranky. I have always limited the amount of red meat I eat because it doesn’t agree with me. Perhaps that’s true of animal products in general.
The verdict? I am going to be primarily vegan; I don’t say strict vegan because I know I may succumb to the call of goat cheese or other things. Instead, I am going to continue to purchase humane diary products and draw most of my meals from plant based foods. As before, my kids and husband are free to eat what they wish, but if I’m cooking, it’s going to be vegan.