On First Becoming A Vegan
Many people tell me it would be too hard to become a Vegan, because they can’t give up their comfort foods.
I can totally understand.
Especially the transition to a Vegan Diet from all the usual (and traditional) foods would be a major dietary change in anyone’s Life.
Once again, I completely understand.
And, when I first became a Vegan (just as an experiment) in the mid 1990s, I somehow mustered up a certain mental commitment to go Vegan, mainly to lose weight.
I learned too that you can gain weight on a vegan diet if you start eating a lot of olive oil and fat-laden vegan foods.
So, I know that having a low-fat vegan diet is the way to go.
It took me (personally) years to really stay committed to a Vegan Diet, and it’s the intent on being a Vegan that is the main foundation, because I’ve learned that one can accidentally eat something Non-Vegan. And, this is because someone didn’t tell you all the ingredients in a food at a party or get-together, and they innocently told you it was Vegan. Or, you read the ingredients in a package and it’s all Vegan, but you end up reading some random label below the ingredients that says ‘contains milk’. And it makes me wonder if they are trying to trick you because the ‘contains milk’ is NOT part of the ingredients list. I have to be careful about that.
Anyway, there are young people out there who were raised 100% Vegan from birth. But, most of us, because of the powerful meat and dairy industries, have been raised on animal products, and committed to being Vegan later in Life because of health and/or ethical reasons.
In the end, at least for me, Veganism is a process, and you improve on your own diet day-by-day. And, if you are transitioning, that is a step in the right direction. Because, it’s been proven medically and nutritionally, that humans can survive on a Vegan Diet, and that we ALL need to eat more plant-based foods. And, too much animal foods will lead to all the chronic diseases that plague humans in a modern society.
I still have soy milk on occasion with my Starbucks soy mochas with no whip cream. But, I do want to phase Starbucks Mochas out of my dietary life. I used to drink these daily, but because they are expensive and because I truly want to go Soy-Free, I am willing to give them up in 2017. It’s a habit that’s hard to break but I think I have a handle on it.
See also: 10 Reasons to Never Ever Drink Soy Milk
My latest obsession is going gluten-free, which I found fairly easy to do, having been already Vegan for many years. The thing is, if you get into the alternative meats like the vegan hotdogs and hamburgers, many of them contain LOTS of gluten. So, the problem for the average Vegan (I think) is getting TOO MUCH gluten in the diet because of the compensation to use alternative meats.
See also: 10 Reasons to Give Gluten Free a Go
And, the gluten problem with Vegans is that they tend to consume a lot of breads, pastas, and pastries that contain lots of gluten. And for me personally, I started to develop a gluten sensitivity issue.
The symptoms that led me to believe I was having a gluten sensitivity issue?
- Low energy and sluggishness.
- Feeling bloated.
- Sometimes becoming bed-ridden for a couple of days after having food containing lots of gluten.
- Overall performance (as a musician, drummer and pianist) was not that great, and I wanted to improve on that.
- Miscellaneous (and mysterious) aches and pains.
I basically started on a gluten-free path at the beginning of the year. And have felt great so far. I do see some improvement. And the only time I really got sick was when I got the flu, and just prior to that I did eat these Vegan Fish Fillets that contained lots of gluten! My logic was, they were in the freezer so I might as well finish them and not let them go to waste.
I’m very careful now not to eat foods with gluten, but I have to read the labels because some foods that are gluten-free have dairy in them.
Now, I believe there’s gluten in beer because of the malted barley, but I’m not a true beer drinker so it’s not an issue for me. I’m more of the red wine drinker.
And so the gluten-free journey continues…