A while ago I had the genius (or slightly crazy, depending on how you look at it) idea to try a vegan diet for a while. For those who don’t know, a vegan diet is one that eliminates all foods which are or contain products of animal origin. (First, let me explain by “diet” I’m simply referring to what I eat, not “going on a diet”. Although, many vegans are quite thin due to having a primarily plant-based diet.) Those who embrace the entire vegan lifestyle (often for ethical reasons) take this one step further by avoiding anything of animal origin, including clothing, shoes, and food. I’ll be sticking to just the diet. Along the way I’ll be posting the trials and tribulations, and recipes, of course.
Why would I do this?
Curiosity mainly. But there are a few things I wanted to know: How difficult is it to follow a vegan way of eating? Will my energy levels increase or decrease? As a dietitian I want to know what the nutritional concerns I will face, and how difficult is will be to get adequate nutrients and Calories. Although I eat healthy now, will it force me to eat even healthier?
I expect a few positives to come from this. First, forced creativity. I think I will be forced to find new recipes, and find new ways of using foods. Secondly, living a vegan lifestyle really forces you to take a close look at where your food comes from and what’s in it. I expect I will increase my knowledge of food additives even further. I’ve always been a label-reader, but I don’t always know every single ingredient I come across. Veganism will force me to research those unknowns.
In some ways I think it will be easy as I don’t eat a lot of meat to begin with. On the other hand, I love my cheese, salmon and, yes, even the occasional steak. Next week I say good-bye to all of it for 3 weeks. Luckily, I have a supportive partner who’s volunteered to do this with me which will make grocery shopping a lot easier. Stay tuned for updates.