Friday, March 11, 2011
My first week as a vegan
On Monday I started a 30-day vegan "cleansing" project. This basically involves not eating animal foods (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) and eating whole plant-based foods instead, as much as possible. For me, these structured events are a good way to re-baseline my food habits and cravings. I've done them before, but this year's guided on-line version organized by this person here, is truly compassionate and impressive and I'm really enjoying the materials and community. It makes me more conscious of my commitments to myself.
At the same time, I'm pretty casual about it. In my first week "animal free," I've eaten 2 small pieces of chicken (while traveling for work and eating late in a hotel), 2 eggs, some small chocolates that I get in the grocery store checkout line and just don't feel the need to give up, and a little bit of chicken pot pie when GoGo and GG invited us to stay for dinner and that was what was on the table. Oh, and 2 small buckwheat pancakes when GoGo and GG invited us to the Fat Tuesday pancake supper at their church. (Buckwheat pancakes w/out butter are not as good as buckwheat pancakes with butter, I'll tell you that.) Also, I'm still working the loaf sprouted wheat bread that was in the kitchen when this started for my morning peanut butter toast, and while I haven't looked it doubtless has some small amount of dairy in it.
On the other hand, I've eaten: massive amounts of broccoli, a butternut squash, cooked white beans with garlic, brown rice, an apple and/or a banana every day, tofu and vegetables from the veg lunch spot, an entire huge container of raw spinach, lentils, almonds, popcorn (with soy sauce, my favorite), and at least 300 ounces of water. And I haven't eaten any: cookies, lattes, cheese, croissants (we have the best french bakery here, really you should visit), pasta, chocolate (other than those grocery store checkout line candies), or alcohol, I've cut coffee by more than half, to only one cup a day, and upped the water intake. And I feel lots better. And my skin is clear, and I wake up with more energy. And I've lost a pound or two (probably not for reals, but at least on the scale). So, I'll stick with it for another 3 weeks and at the end, I'll work eggs and fish and meat back in as I come across them. I don't feel any particular urge to be a vegan full time, but these little vacations from animal foods are really illustrative and helpful, at least for me. Try it for a day. Or maybe just a few meals a week.
Another illustration: Liam asked me the other day, "well, how do they get the hamburger from the cows." In a total and complete cop out I said, "we'll talk about that some other time." And, because it was late and he was tired, and there was cold milk, fig newton, and story time in the offing, he---for once---let it go and hasn't brought it up again. One more reason to eat quinoea and kale.