Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why vegan?

A little background about me:
My name is Elise, and I'm currently a pescetarian (don't eat meat, but still eat some fish) for environmental and somewhat moral reasons, but mostly environmental. I've been following a pescetarian diet for about 3-4 years now. I like to run (slightly long-distances), knit, listen to music, garden, and hang out with friends. Also, I'm kind of one of those neo-hippies who prefers to buy organic and local foods, but I'm not about to get all self-righteous about it. I started this blog because I don't want to drive my friends crazy talking about how awesome being vegan is!

Why have you decided to go vegan*/ start eating a plant-based diet?
I'd like to broaden my cooking horizons and learn a little more about the vegan lifestyle in the process. (I'd also like to lose a little weight and cutting dairy out of my diet will most likely help me accomplish that.) I want to eat more nutritious whole foods and try out some new recipes. I also have many concerns about the dairy industry, and sometimes it's kind of hard to find options that fit my budget and my values.

It's also important to emphasize, for the sake of all the real vegans out there, that being vegan is more of a lifestyle than a diet. Vegans* are conscientious consumers who research the products (food, household, and everything in between) they buy to make sure they don't contain any animal byproducts and aren't tested on animals. If you want to learn more about it, I really recommend this website: Veggie Boards. They have a lot of great articles and lots of delicious recipes.

My challenge is focused on eating a more nutritious well-rounded plant-based diet. It's a temporary plan (only 90 days), but I hope I'll carry some of the habits I develop during this challenge with me when I'm done. I hope you enjoy reading about my experience, and I promise that my posts will be a little less informative and hopefully a lot more entertaining (with pictures of delicious vegan foods)!

Why 90 days?
While there actually is a 30-Day Vegan Challenge that is marketed to new vegans, (see here) I feel that a month is not enough time for what I want to accomplish (improve my eating habits and lose some weight in the process). Also, a month is easy. Anyone could go vegan for a month. Hell, Bill Clinton even does it! I'm kind of competitive by nature, so 90 days is a viable, set goal that I believe I can accomplish.

When did you start the "90-Day Vegan Challenge"?
I actually started last Monday (August 12th), but I just decided to start a blog so that I won't pester other people by constantly raving about how awesome being vegan is. (Vegan superpowers are pretty awesome, though!)
I've lost 4.6 pounds so far, which is a good amount for my size. I wasn't really fat or skinny to start with, just average. I feel awesome. Also, I've cut my running time by 30 seconds on one of my favorite routes. Best part, I can fit into my "skinny" pants again, which is awesome. I also feel pretty energetic and happy. (I've never heard that eating vegan improves your mood, so that might not be diet-related at all.)

I've also been trying out lots of exciting new recipes and discovering the joys of vegan favorites, such as nutritional yeast (nooch, for short) and green smoothies. Some of my favorite recipes so far have been: homemade kale chips smoothies, chickpea salad sammiches (I used this recipe), and zucchini fries. I plan on sharing lots of recipes and posting pictures of the dishes.

Thanks for joining me on this challenge, and I hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Update: I like eating and being vegan so much that I've decided to make it a permanent part of my lifestyle! I feel so much healthier, leaner, and better about my choices. I'm still in the process of transitioning when it comes to purchasing vegan clothing, purses, shampoos, cosmetics, and other products, but I'm learning a lot. It's surprising (in a bad way) how much we use animal materials or test on animals, but there are plenty of cruelty-free products on the market (and not just available in fancy-pants health foods stores)! There are also lots of accidentally vegan products out there, which is great. All in all, I hope you enjoy reading my transition story, recipes, etc. as much as I enjoy writing them!

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