This is my story about “going vegan” — hopefully it will inspire others to give it a try …
When I was in South East Asia earlier this year, I noticed that my clothes were getting loose on me. I wasn’t “dieting” — actually, I was eating a lot — trying all the new and wonderful dishes available in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. But, the meals there contain no milk or cheese and very little, if any, meat.
When I returned home, I began helping a vegan with her website. What I was reading about going vegan sounded very similar to how I’d been eating in Asia and I decided to give it a go.
In my mind, I committed to going vegan for a week. Now it’s five months later and I think it’s time to admit — I am a vegan! Well, some vegans probably wouldn’t let me in the club because I eat seafood on occasion. I decided to leave seafood in my diet to give me some options when going to restaurants. I don’t cook it for myself at home, but I’m not above ordering fish tacos or camarones rancheros every now and then.
I guess that leads to the question …
What is a Vegan? Vegan Definition
Vegans don’t eat foods of animal origin. So, no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, or honey. Vegans eat a plant-based diet of soyfoods, beans, grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
According to Vegan Action, “A vegan is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.”
Vegan vs Vegetarian
Vegans and vegetarians don’t eat meat, poultry or fish. But, vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs.
The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as: “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”
Plant-Based Diet, not Processed Foods
I could eat potato chips and drink pop all day and call myself a vegan. But I wouldn’t feel fit or healthy and that’s what this change in my diet was all about. So, if I had to apply a label to myself, I’d probably be more of a “raw foodie” or a “plantarian” than a vegan.
Call it what you want — the important thing for me, is that I’ve gone down 2 pant sizes, have a ton more energy and feel fit and healthy.
Alicia Silverstone, Bill Clinton and Ellen Degeneres talk about their vegan lifestyles:
Alicia Silverstone on living a vegan lifestyle
Bill Clinton became a vegan, lost 24 pounds, and healed himself
Ellen DeGeneres on being vegan
So — when are you going vegan?
As I find tasty recipes and figure out what to buy at the grocery store, I’ll add tips on menus, shopping lists and recipes.
Check out our online health food store. To help get you started, I’ve shared my Top 25 Vegan / Vegetarian Shopping List.
Drop me a line and let me know if you’ve tried cutting out animal products and what’s worked / not worked for you.