Friday, July 25, 2008

Welcome to Veganism!

Hi! My name is Monica and I have recently decided to become a vegan. My decision to cut out meat from my diet was primarily for health reasons, but as I started researching the animal agriculture industry, this decision became more of an ethical one. Later, I decided to slowly cut out animal products, and now I have currently been vegan for 3 weeks.

Being vegan is still new to me, and I am slowly trying new recipes and learning what ingredients are derived from animal products. It has also been interesting learning what items to substitute in recipes that call for eggs or cheese. Some changes have been simple for me, but they have also been tough. One of the hardest things for me is going out to restaurants. I realized that unless I go to a place that is a health food restaurant, it is almost impossible to get a completely vegan meal unless I want to eat a raw salad every time I go out. I am trying to get used to tasting if there are animal products in these dishes. For example, I went to a Mexican restaurant and ordered a veggie fajita, but I am sure the veggies were cooked in butter. I also ordered a Thai dish yesterday: Baby Corn and Mushroom with veggies. The sauce looked as though it could have been vegan because it was clear and not creamy, but I am not sure if they used fish sauce or butter. I do not go out to eat a lot, but when I do I try my hardest to order vegan, and this has definitely been one of my challenges.

Along with becoming vegan, I have also made other healthy changes in my life such as exercising, yoga, cutting down white flour, refined sugars, and artificial sweeteners. I make an effort to only eat whole wheat breads and pastas, and I cut down caffeine and alcohol. I would like to cut out caffeine completely. I cleaned out my pantry of these things along with items that have MSG as well as trans fat or other unhealthy processed items. I realized that spending time listening to your body is so important and helpful. I also find it helpful to carry a pad of paper with me and write down ingredients in foods that I am unfamiliar with. This way, I can look them up later and I know exactly what I am ingesting. I notice changes in the way my body feels and reacts to food that is processed or unnatural. These changes have really made me feel so much healthier physically and emotionally.

I created this blog for all vegans, but especially for the recent vegans, or anyone interested in exploring veganism. This blog also focuses on healthy issues, so you may find posts about exercise as well. It is my hope that as I make new discoveries, try new recipes, create substitutes for ingredients, or overcome tough challenges during this process that we can help each other along in refining our veganism. I wish you luck and I look forward to your comments and suggestions!



Ren said...

This is so exciting! I can't wait to read on!...

Beth said...

Great Blog. I'll try some of these recipies.