Thursday, January 1, 2015

People think I'm crazy...

Yep, they do. Well, I probably am in many ways that seem normal to me...but the one that most of my "normal" friends and family think I'm over the top about is what I eat.

I'm usually the lone one who asks for a veggie plate at a banquet. I'm the one my Mom calls before I go visit to find out if I'll eat this or that...and no matter how many times I tell her I'll find something to eat she still wants to try. I love her all the more because she does try, even though she thinks I'm crazy! I'm the one who gets the call asking if I'll bring my own food at Board meetings or other day-long events because they can't figure out what to order for me.

Now I'm kind of inching toward going vegan. I'm already a self-titled vegetarian. I will drink milk, eat some cheeses and eggs and haven't cared if my gluten-free, sugar-free waffles were made with dairy (I just discovered they aren't!). Going vegan means I'd give up all by-products with dairy, cheese, eggs and other food items made with animal products.

I'll tell you up-front that I think animals are on this earth so we can eat them and / or wear them. I've been a vegetarian since my teen years. I've probably bought and cooked meat three times in the past 20 years --- to feed someone else. Grass fed, hormone and antibiotic meat raised the way they used to be raised, of course.

I've known that it was kind of hypocritical to not eat meat because of the way they're processed, fed, treated, but give a pass to the milk, eggs, and other products produced from those same animals. I buy organic, cage free, but haven't been as stringent when it comes to the mixes, frozen waffles, etc. that I buy for convenience.

As I wrote in a previous blog I have been watching all kinds of food and health related documentaries while I'm walking on the treadmill. They have finally convinced me to give it a shot.

I'm going to move slowly, not go hog wild (pun intended).

I am going to majorly increase my veggie and legume consumption. I am going to only buy vegan processed foods (like my waffles). I pulled the cheese out of the fridge and tossed it in the freezer so I can give it to someone in the family who eats cheese. I left some things in the fridge because my husband is not on the same page and so we'll have dual eating habits.

I'm doing this for two main reasons that have a lot of subsets.

1- the health benefits. I watched, and then read, enough to see clearly that meat, dairy, etc. eaters had much higher incidents of a wide, wide assortment of illnesses. I won't bore you with all the details but it was enough to make me dig further and ultimately decide that our food and diets have changed over the past 50 or more years and it just ain't healthy to eat them pigs...

2 - the way we raise and process our meats is disgusting, criminal, horrific. Castrating animals without any anesthesia? cramming them into pens? cutting off beaks? grinding up live chicks? Not to mention the deplorable working conditions for those who work in the meat processing plants.

This isn't a "new years resolution", it's something I've been moving toward for a while and yesterday watching one of the movies again things crystallized in my mind.

Here's my plan:

  • No cheese.
  • No eggs.
  • No butter.
Just doing those three is going to be a major adjustment but I'm not stopping there...
I will:
  • Use organic, non-GMO, farm raised cow milk in my morning tea for a while until I've cleansed my palette and adjust to the other changes. That's the only time I use milk and I that tea is a vice I enjoy too much to ditch. Gosh, I am already doing enough crazy without depriving myself of my early-morning enjoyment!
  • Substitute vegan foods (waffles, mayo, butter, etc.) for some of my current choices.
  • Include a daily veggie smoothy with some fruit (decided the juicing was for the devout)
  • Eat more legumes, seeds and nuts.
  • Make my plate 70+% veggies.
  • Take a B12 supplement off and on. 

Those are some major changes for yours truly. I'll keep you posted. I had a vegan waffle with half a banana, natural peanut butter and organic raisins for breakfast. Wonder what I'll do for lunch?

My friends and family thought I was crazy before. Now they are going to think I'm certifiable.

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