A Vegan Journey that Includes the Gluten Free Path

When is a Vegan not a Vegan?

I very interesting perspective, and I’ll tell you how this relates to me.

My childhood consisted of eating animal foods daily with my mostly meat-eating family.

I didn’t get into vegetarianism until my senior year in high school, when I visited a Hare Krishna temple and they gave us free vegetarian cuisine as part of their devotional practices. I would give them a donation of whatever I had in my wallet at the time, because the food was always amazing and healthy.

Anyway, years later I didn’t get into being a Vegan until around the mid-1990s.

In the early 2000s, I started getting back into Veganism, having spent the last half of the 1990s with a very popular swing band that toured a lot, and thus the vegan choices available on the road were dismal at best, and we ended up eating at diners, fast food joints, Denny’s… it was hard to be a vegan at that time in my life.

By the mid-2000s, I was experimenting with Raw Veganism and went in hardcore. I lost a ton of weight (perhaps too much?) and my face looked younger and smoother. I admit that raw fruits and vegetables are excellent choices for the complexion and for general health. People don’t realize there are phyto-nutrients that are in fruits and vegetables that our bodies need for that extra kick.

Now over the years I’ve gotten a lot of criticism from family and relatives and even musical colleagues, saying that my diet was wrong and that I needed some meat, or at least eggs and dairy. They were absolutely wrong, because there are ultra-marathoners who are thriving on a vegan diet and running 100+ miles. There has to be something to that. And there’s a retired heart surgeon who’s been vegan for more than 55+ years (prior to that he was a vegetarian). And he’s 102 years old! And going strong, mowing his lawn and driving his car!

Anyway, there is evidence out there that we are simply eating way too much animal foods. It’s one thing to eat in moderation, but what is that, actually? I know a few people my age that have died from stroke or heart attack. So, for me a vegan diet is a part of surviving, because there’s just way too much evidence out there that the number one killers out there like cancers, stroke, heart disease and diabetes, and other ailments like gout.

The thing is, almost 99 percent of us grew up eating meat, so if you have to look to the past, or if you accidentally ran over a rabbit on the way home, then even the strictest vegan IS NOT a vegan by that definition.

And vegans like myself make mistakes. We get swayed to have a little chicken or fish, or maybe we were told something was vegan at some party or restaurant, when perhaps it had a little cheese or dairy in it.

But here’s the other thing. If I have a little dairy and someone didn’t tell me, I could get sick for a few days with flu-like symptoms, and this has happened to me before when I consciously said, “what the heck, I’ll have this baked potato with a little sour cream and cheese in it”.

So, at this point in time, if I even go back to eating a little seafood, or dairy or cheese? I WILL get sick, and for me I usually end up bedridden for a few days with those flu-like symptoms.

And now I’m feeling the same way about Gluten!

And the thing about gluten is that it improves the elasticity of things like pizza dough, and many people think that the wheat that’s being grown these days has much more gluten in it. And, you’d be surprised how many foods have gluten. It all gets to a point where we are all being bombarded with gluten products and not even know it. But, when you start feeling you have a sensitivity to gluten, and you suspect you are becoming gluten-intolerant, well… like myself, it’s time to try gluten-free.

After all, many star athletes feel that it improves their performance and they feel more energy. Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and even tennis star Novak Djokovic are on a gluten-free diet to enhance their athletic performance, and they are sold by it, so there must be something to going gluten-free.

And that’s where I’m at right now, being a vegan and also being gluten-free.

There’s still a big variety of plant foods that are gluten-free.

And the journey continues…

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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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