Post # 1
I generally love food, but I have come to hate everything I eat. I live a fast-paced, busy lifestyle and eating for me most of the time is about convenience, which a lot of the time includes fast food. For the most part I try and make healthy choices, grilled chicken sandwiches, and absolitely no soda. I am a water and tea only girl. No offense to soda drinkers, but my body doesn’t handle caffeine well.
Lately I feel like everything I eat tastes like cardboard, and is doing absolutely nothing for my body. I want the food I eat to start working for me instead of against me, so a friend reccomended I read the Skinny Bitch books, which primarily promote a vegan lifestyle. Yes, I want to lose weight, about 15 lbs to be exact, but I also want to completely revolutionize what I eat and the way I treat my body.
Has anyone else done this, or is interested? And all the vegans on the boards..what inspired you to change, and where do you find good recipes?
Post # 3
I had a friend who passed a turkey truck on the side of the road in August in 100 degree weather. The smell turned him vegan. Not for moral reasons, but because any time he would think of meat he wanted to vomit.
Maybe you could traumatize yourself into it.
Post # 4
@MightySapphire: I read some excerpts from the Skinny Bitch books and they basically describe all meat as rotting carcass. That thought alone is enough to creep you away from it.
But what gets me the most is the amount of pesticides, steroids, and other chemicals that go into foods. In reality, I really have idea what is going into my body. I read an article of a guy who bought a Mcdonald’s cheeseburger, and left it on his counter for over a year. He took pictures of it everyday and posted it on his blog. The hamburger patty and bread became stone solid. Not even the flies messed with it. It makes me scared toput something like that into my body!!
Post # 5
If you haven’t yet, watch “Food Inc.” I didn’t go vegan after watching it, but I have now started watching what I eat very closely (where does it come from? How was it processed? What was it fed? etc.).
You could always check out an organic food market and talk to the people that work there. There are tons of meat alternatives that are healthy for you and have the consistency of real meat (one brand is called Quorn, which is actually made of a fungus if you can believe it!). I had a bowl of vegan chili a couple weeks ago that had the Quorn “crumbles” in it and I couldn’t tell that it wasn’t burger.
I have a lot of vegan friends, and while they’ve said it isn’t the easiest lifestyle, it’s very rewarding.
Post # 6
@LindsayMaree: Thanks! We have a great healthy food market here where I live that I have thought about just browsing to see what all there is to offer. I like meat, but I ampretty sure I could live without it. Luckily I LOVE veggies, and could eat lots of those, so it might be a lifestyle that could work out well for me.
Post # 7
I’m not a vegan but I love vegan food! Some good places for recipe inspiration (some are vegetarian but can easily be made vegan):
And if you want cookbooks, I’ve heard good things about Veganomicon, The Engine 2 Diet, and Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.
I, too, got fed up with feeding my body crap but have felt much better eating big salads for lunch and snacking on carrots/hummus, almonds/raisins, etc. One thing to be aware of–sometimes people who go vegan just swap animal products for carbs and processed junk (albeit vegan). It’s easy to gain weight if you overload on potatoes, bread, rice, etc., so make sure you get plenty of veggies and protein (I eat lots of black beans, chickpeas, lentils and some tofu) and don’t just binge on pita chips and hummus (even though they’re delicious).
One other thing I do is just google ingredients I have at home, like the other day I had some spinach that was going bad and a can of chickpeas. I just googled it and came up with this fabulous recipe: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000000630121
Post # 8
@pumpkinpatch: Our tiny little town just opened up an organic market! I’ve been trying to be so adamant about the foods I eat recently that as soon as their sign went up I went in and applied for a job. I still don’t know much about the organic food industry, but I’m learning more and more now that I work there once a week or so. 🙂 The more I learn about the food, and the more I talk to customers that live vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, the more I change my diet. Going vegan is something I’d be willing to try, however I’m having a hard time convincing myself that I don’t need cheese, it my favorite food!
Post # 9
@AC: Thank you…hmmm, I love love love black beans. So good! I like to eat very simply, handful of carrots, peanut butter, salads. As much as I love cooking, it doesn’t fit in my schedule during the week. I usually do most of my cooking on the weekends.
Post # 10
I was vegan for 10 years. When I started studying for the Bar exam, however, I became OBSESSED with eating meat again and the rest is history. If you’re on the go a lot and need to eat for convienence, a vegan diet may not work out all that well for you. There aren’t a whole lot of vegan “convienent” food options out there, and the diet can get quite pricey (it’s shocking how much healthy food costs.) I’ve read the “skinny bitch” books and the recipes aren’t exactly easy to follow or convienent to whip up.
Don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, I’m just concerned that if your goal is to eat healthier, a vegan diet may not be the way to go with your lifestyle as it is now. You might also find yourself overly reliant on carbs and end up gaining weight. I’m at my skinnest now that I eat healthy, lean meats again.
Just my 0.02. 🙂
Post # 11
lol @ Mighty
Veganism is a little extreme–you could always work your way there without doing it overnight necessarily. I had a friend try it overnight and it was just too overwhelming because it was SUCH a big step. She wasn’t prepared for what to eat all the time and it made it very tough.
If you like meat, buy organic free range meat to start with. If you like it, I don’t see the reason to give it up necessarily because you’ll really miss it. And if you don’t overdo it, it’s not bad for you in the least. Most vegetarians I know have very strong personal reasons why they eat meat–health not being one of them, but mostly they don’t like the taste or they are big animal rights activists.
I’d just try going “clean” first and then revamping in a month or two if you want to take it further!
Post # 12
As opposed to going Vegan, you may want to look into eating “clean”. Do what you can to know where your food is coming from, eat unprocessed whole foods. Locate local farms if you can to buy meat, eggs and veggies either from farmers markets or from the farms themselves. Of course its not ALWAYS possible to know everything, but you can make the effort.
I agree that food should work for you, but part of that is willing to do the prep work to have food with you when you are hungry for snacks, lunches etc when you are busy or away from home. Going vegan isnt going to stop your life from being busy so you are going to have to plan to eat either way.
Going vegan to lose weight actually doesn often work because people find themselves eating a lot of processed breads, pastas, rices etc to fill up and because options can become more limited as a vegan.
However, if you want to go vegan for moral reasons then go for it. (I would also assume that going vegan for moral reasons would also lead you to eliminate leather, gelatin, etc from your life as well)
Also a a vegan I would warn against a lot of Soy (unfermented). It is controversial as to what it can do to you. Read both the China Study as well as The Whole soy Story to get two views of it.
“Because the chemical structure of isoflavones is similar to that of estrogen, isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors. By competing with estrogen the isoflavones are believed to dampen the effect of estrogen in the body.
This should have a positive effect on the risk of breast cancer which increases with exposure to estrogen. This theory has been supported by animal studies and by observational studies of Asian women who eat diets rich in soy and have lower rates of breast cancer than American women.”
Post # 13
I agree with @ejs4y8:‘s comment, which is actually what I’m trying to do (eating “cleaner”). It’s stunning how good free-range, grass fed beef is! However, it is extremely expensive. For example, I bought a 1lb bag of burger at the organic market and it was $4.99. Another example, a dozen farm fresh eggs at the market is $4.29. The chicken they sell goes for $14.99 PER POUND. While it’s really great food (good for you and tastes good), it’s really not great on my pocketbook.
There are a lot of snacks that are delicious and vegan (GoRaw is one company), but again, it’s pretty expensive.
If you have the money for it though, I say try it!
Post # 14
I would seriously research veganism before going that extreme. You can be healthy on an omnivorous diet or on a vegetarian diet.
But a vegan diet is far from ideal. As a few others have mentioned, it’s more about “animal rights” than “health”. A diet that requires supplements because you simply cannot get your required nutrients from the food you eat should send up red flags if you’re looking for “healthy”.
Here’s a few books I’d suggest reading if you want to change your diet for the better:
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Real Food by Nina Planck
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price
The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
Post # 15
@LindsayMaree: Oh, that sounds like a fun job! I’m jealous 🙂
@lezlers: Totally understandable. I am not a big meat eater honestly. The only thing I really love in the meat department is fish! Which I might still incorporate here and there. If I did make the switch to a vegan lifestyle, I would probably dedicate my Sunday afternoon’s to preparing food for the week. I did this for awhile with regular foods, and man did I love it! It was nice jus to grab a few things from the fridge, and head to work.
@ejs4y8: I can’t really call my self an animal rights activist since I don’t get involved in the cause, but I have done a lot of research when it comes to the way they treat animals, and it breaks my heart. A friend of mine did a documentary in high school, and snuck into a processing plant that was right next to our campus (small town obviously), and when I watched it, I selt sick for days!! It is unbelievable they way they treat these animals.
Post # 16
@abbyful: good point. I was often anemic when I was vegan and feel much, much healthier now that I converted back to a “normal” diet.