I've Been Vegucated
Day 1 Now What?
I always found Vegans rather odd and annoying, kind of the red-headed stepchild variety that lived on the fringe of society. I have always been a meat lover and never even considered being a vegetarian for any other reason than to lose weight. An ethical reason just seemed silly to me.
And then I watched Vegucated.
There was nothing else on Netflix and it looked interesting if for nothing else than to see three people struggle with change.
Well, it was interesting but the ironic thing is I wasn't amazed by how people struggled and adapted to change. As I ate my turkey burger with avocado and non-fat 1000 Island dressing on a whole wheat skinny bun and a side of veggie chips, I was feeling healthy for my choice. But as I watched it began to taste like shame and for the first time I began to question my lifestyle. And with that realization something in me got angry and then tremendously sad. Yes, I thought about my burgeoning diabetes, the 60+ lbs I'd put on in the last ten years. But my heart moved for what I was unwittingly contributing to. And in an instant, I got it. Like the moment Jesus became real to me I GOT it.
I always preach to my students be the change you want to see in others. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And here I was being part of the problem - 2 pounds of bacon and 2 dozen eggs a week part of the problem.
As I recalled the movie this morning while contemplating the cream in my coffee and my choices for breakfast, it brought a cathartic response out in me and a deep sadness for what I had been doing all these years not only to my body, but to the world. As I fried up bacon and eggs for my family, I literally cried. Eating my oatmeal and drinking my coffee sans milk (I had honey on my oatmeal, okay) I felt good about my choice but wondered if these would be a lifetime choice or just some briefly motivated emotional response.
I am inclined to these lapses of motivation that crest and swell and then just as quickly dissipate on the shore. I'm not talking just about yo-yo diets but things that really matter. And my fear in this choice, this journey that I'm about to embark on, is that I'll just fizzle out again.
Oatmeal felt good today. Really good
My daughter said she'd join me in this. My husband, well...he's not such a fan so I'll still be frying bacon for a while. Of course, he'll eat whatever I put before him so that might be an open door. But I'm not about to push this on him. I try not to be a Bible thumper so it would do little good to be a veggie thumper either.
For now, this is day 1. Oatmeal is good and I'm trusting God for the rest.
I'll keep you posted!
An Update - Week One
Beegan...I like that! I really don't understand why anyone should be concerned about bee spit. I mean really??
It's not like spent hens or anything and how much more crowded can you get than a bee hive? Are we mistreating the bees? Should we send them to a bee retirement home when they are done making honey? Perhaps the queen should go to a home for old divas.Do they need bee condos and free space to roam beyond the flowering fields they roam in? That part of vegan makes no sense to me.
Frankly, I'll still be keep eating honey.
Admittedly, I'm struggling with eggs. I've decided not to give up on those but I am buying them from a really small local farmer with very happy hens who live out their lives eating bugs in the yard and making googly eyes at the rooster. So if I like honey and refuse to give up eggs, does that make me a Beggan?
It's only been a few days now and I've been trying some new things. On my eww list right now is something called tempeh. It was supposed to be a bacon substitute but it was not. I did not enjoy the texture or the flavor. It was nutty but it just didn't work for me. My husband ate it though! Go figure that one out. He's a dyed-in-the-wool bacon lover. I also discovered Earth Balance organic buttery spread. What my husband is to bacon, I am to butter. I was raised on butter and bacon fat. I LOVE this product. My mother would roll over in her urn if she heard I like it better than butter. But I do! Another product I've discovered is Gimme Lean "sausage". It's another soy substitute for ground meat. It crumbles like meat, browns like meat, and has a very similar texture. I used it in my vegan chili and I'd swear I was eating the real deal.
The biggest challenge though is the cream in my coffee. I'm sorry folks, but almond milk, even the vanilla kind just doesn't do the same thing as cream. I have to find a substitute for this that works or learn to go black. Not sure on that. I love my coffee and cream.
BUT, I did discover Bolthouse Vanilla Chai Latte, a creamy, delectable soy beverage that is a new favorite and could potentially replace my morning java. Okay, probably not but I really do like it!
So far, I'm doing good. I'm a little more hungry than usual but am learning to nosh on nuts and twigs in between. Not really twigs it just sounded funny like that. I am not enjoy the after effects of more fiber and such, but on the bright side it's gaining me more space in bed at night! Perhaps this too shall pass...
Sorry for that.
Stay with me. I may not be a purist vegan but I'm trying. So don't judge me. And thanks for the support.
I just found a product call Vegg! It's an egg replacement that you can fry, scramble, or whatever just like real eggs! I'll keep you posted on how that one turns out. But wait...there's more! Turns out there is also a vegan "cream" called Mimic Cream. Haven't tried it yet but my local food co-op carries it. I'll be going there tomorrow!
Well...Vegg is a huge negg! I see no point to it. It was difficult to work with. Although it tasted okay, it was too much effort just to enjoy the flavor of egg yolks. As for Mimic Cream, I actually preferred No Soy creamer. I was also VERY disappointed to learn that Go Veggie cheese is not vegan. In fact, most if not all t he Go Veggie cheese products have dairy in them. Even the almond cheese I bought from the co-op had milk in it. If you're going to put milk in it, why bother making it from something other than milk? Makes no sense to me. There are recipes out there so maybe I'll try it.
And on that subject, I've discovered how to make my own almond milk, even almond "creamer". So this is my new task and challenge this week. Almond milk is terribly expensive, especially the creamer. Maybe I'll try to trick my family in to using it in their coffee!
The past two weeks have been easier than I expected but I admit I cheated twice. I had an "angry" craving this week and ate a hamburger. One of my personal struggles is emotional eating. Vegan, vegetarian, or none of the above, when I'm upset I turn to food, especially savory ones. It's one of the reasons cheese is so hard for me to let go of. Not sure I want to try to make my own vegan cheese. That looks very complicated.
So, I've decided that I can live with eating eggs. I found an organic farm less than 15 minutes from my home. I checked out the chickens and found them to be with their beaks intact, roosters on the rampage, and happy hens pecking away at bugs in the grass. The owner raises her own chicks from scratch (chicken humor) so no roosters get dumped into the feed grinder.
I know, this makes me an ovovegetarian. I'm okay with that.
My reasons are my own. I'm concerned, very concerned about the ethical treatment of animals. Should I choose to eat meat again, it will only be from meat I purchased from a farm committed to sustainability and compassionate killing. God may not have created us originally eating meat, meat didn't come in to our diets until after the Flood; but meat eaters we are designed to be.
With that being said, God did not create us to do the things to animals in the name of meat consumption that we do perpetrate. This was never God's design. He created us to be compassionate. After the flood, God told Noah that the animals would fear man from then on. God also sent quail from Heaven when the Israelites complained about having manna every day. I sincerely doubt God did not want them to eat meat. He wanted them to be content with His perfect food, manna. But since they were not, He gave them more quail than they knew what to do with!
I love God's sense of humor.
On the flipside, there are those of us who need to eat less meat. I am one of those. I'm Type 2 Diabetic and have to get my weight and my glucose under control or my glucose and my weight will control me right into insulin dependency. This I do not want at all costs.
But after two weeks, I'm disappointed that my glucose is not dropping. My weight is, 7 lbs so far. That may not seem much to you, but it's a start for me and hopefully the promise of even more. The key is staying active. So on the bright side, the higher energy and better night's sleep is adding to that. I was able to do a solid 6 hours of yard work this past weekend (which I paid for in sore back, arms, neck, and knees). The hurt was worth it and my garden is finally in and ready to sprout many fine organic choices in the weeks to come.
I'm sorry if you're disappointed in me for not sticking to the purist vegan way. I hope you'll accept my journey none-the-less. For the time being, cheese will have to take a back seat until I find an alternative. But the eggs and honey are here to stay. I think I've made the right choice for me. My family still complains about not having enough fun stuff to eat. Get over I say and be my cheerleader okay!
My daughter is still bailing on me but she is making some better choices at least.
Two weeks down...a lifetime to go. See you next week!