My super amazing sister is going vegan for lent. I thought what a fabulous topic for my blog. I have asked her to write a few pieces about the experience. Now, try not to like it too much. She is a published author and a far better writer than I.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and for many people that means the start of a 40 day fasting period before Easter. I see it as a time of restraint, meditation, and preparation for the coming of Easter.
This Lent season I’ve decided to give up all animal products. This may not seem to have much to do with religion, BUT I do think that practicing self control can manifest itself in spiritual ways… besides, my body is a temple right?
Also, I’m also kind of killing two birds with one stone here, because I’ve been slightly obsessed lately with learning about “real,” (as in unprocessed) food, and have been reading some great books, like French Kids Eat Everything, In Defense of Food, and The China Study. I also read the 100daysofrealfood blog, and Food Babe (in embarrassing quantities), but, hey no one can say I lack enthusiasm! Long story short, I’ve been slowly weaning myself off of highly processed foods and trying to eat more fruits and veggies.
As my sister’s “wifey,” would say “I drank the Kool-Aid,” and I’m ready to plunge in head first and try becoming a Vegan . My plan is to fill you guys in on the struggles, rewards, ups and downs of my adventure. Who knows maybe by the end of Lent I’ll be a brand new woman.
Here are some of my pre-Vegan thoughts that I hope to explore:
1. Will learning to say “no,” to my food impulses give me strength in other areas of my life?
2. Will not having the option of emotional junk food eating help me to grow as a person? Will I turn to prayer or meditation, or will I replace my cravings with some other temporary pacifier?
3. Will I feel any different physically from eating Vegan? Will I have more energy?
4. What will I do when eating over at someone’s house (I’m shy and don’t see myself liking to explain all this to people)?
5. Will I find good Vegan options at restaurants?
6.Will this change the way I eat or view food permanently?
7.Is there any (affordable) AND tasty way to drink coffee with cream as a vegan (this is crucial to my happiness 😉 ).
8. How am I ever going to give up Diet Coke????!!!!! Blurg!
9.. And of course every girl’s constant question…. will I lose weight? lol.
There should be a number ten shouldn’t there? Dang it!
Wish me luck! Maybe all my reading will finally be put to good use!
Peace and Cheers!
AlwaysContemplating? SometimesVegan? TrulyTerrific! BlogNamesAreHard!!
I’m really excited to follow along! I was vegan briefly, but I was doing it for weight loss and my heart wasn’t really in it. It’ll be interesting to read true stories from someone who has a lot of reasons for doing it and to see how it goes for you. Good luck!
Thanks! Its going to be an adventure! I’m hoping I’ll be able to stay vegan or at least head in that direction afterwards too.
You actually did have ten questions you just didn’t label them all, lol… Is Diet Coke not vegan? Scary!
That’s true… counting is so hard! 😉 And I think Diet Coke is, but since it has so many “bad” ingredients, I am trying not to drink it… and I’m SUPER addicted, so we’ll see how that goes!
Reblogged this on DeborahBidwell's Blog and commented:
just to help I will put an answer on your blog to a few of her questions, I was vegan once a LONG time ago.
Looking forward to reading. I vote for always contemplating. 🙂
1. Yes & no, it really depends on the level of being able to say no that you are able to fit that to the rest of your life.
3. you will more than likely have a lull feeling, almost like being dull for a week or so, then you will find once the animal by products are out of your system you will have more energy.
4. Just eat more veg that have, and IF someone says something, tell them you are attempting a fab new diet 🙂
5. Yes, and they usually can accommodate most things as a vegan with alternatives. except for a steak or something like this.
6. I have had a few times since when eating meat that I really have had a stomach churn moment, I was vegan almost 18 years ago so I think this may be a long lasting thing.
7. coffee or chicory with soy milk is a good alternative, and you may actually like better than regular cream.
8. on your own for this one, I still had an occasional soda when Vegan.
9. you will probably lose weight, but if you are only on this for lent the weight will return once you go back to eating meat.
You know I love this.
Of course, I have my own limited experience, having been vegan now for only six months. Mine is decidedly NOT an exercise of abstention for health or religion; I’m in it for the long haul, whether it fails or not. So far, so good.
For daily coffee, I use coconut milk and agave nectar. For #5, no, probably not; you have to really, really ask a lot of questions (dairy and eggs and bacon are cooked into everything). For #1, yes, and it’s only the beginning. For #6, religion or no (for me, no) compassion starts when you stop stealing from and eating your neighbors just because they “taste good” or because “we’ve always done it.”
As for #9, I have never met a person who got fat eating plants (ever see a fat elephant or gorilla?). The other less obvious benefits to eating plants are just too many to list here in this tiny comment box. I’ve had zero major problems (aside from an 11-yr-old who picks mushrooms out of everything) with it, and only upsides.
I hope you continue past day-40, but remember: BABY STEPS. Meat and dairy are deeply entrenched in the American diet. Good luck!
I admire your passion! What kind of coconut milk do you use? Does it have any added ingredients besides just coconut milk lol?
As I admire yours!
You can totally make your own with shaved coconut very much like we make soy milk over here at DirtNKids (check out the post about it last month, and a link to my vegan blog as well). Alas, I’m still too lazy to do it, and as little as we drink (for coffee and tea, really), it comes to my fridge via the half-gallon. (Taken from Silk’s Ingredient site: “INGREDIENTS: Coconutmilk (Filtered Water, Coconut Cream), Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Yam Flour. VITAMINS & MINERALS: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2.”)
If you have Netflix, watch Vegucated. Might even be inspiration for you (3 meat-eaters go vegan for 6 weeks). Food is plants, plants are food. When you eat animals, it’s a bit like eating plants through a “middle man.” An expensive, inefficient, living, CO2 breathing, pooping, peeing one at that. I just cut out the middle man, that’s all. 🙂
Tell your sister to start trying coffee black, it is healthier and in her new vegan-esque exploration it seems she is concentrating on that as it is. Great Post!
Black coffee is so strong!
True! But you can go with a lighter blend, higher caffeine content but less harsh.
Good luck with eating vegan for Lent! I just made a fantastic vegan curry and I’d be happy to pass along the recipe if you’re interested.
Thanks and I am interested. I love curry!
I’m curious about the Diet Coke, I thought it was only the orange or red colored sodas produced by the Coca-Cola brand that contain the fish gelatin because they use it as a carrier for the coloring (and beta-carotene.) If you know something I don’t, please fill me in? I got my information from Coke’s website in the FAQ, and also from here:
Otherwise, good luck!
The Diet Coke is just an added product I’d like to stop using…. I keep reading about all the reasons its bad for you, and despite my constant cravings, I figure I might as well try to give that up too!
Phew! Thanks for that one. I don’t drink much soda, but sometimes I just “need” one! I agree that it’s terrible for you.
Huh, I never knew that about fish oil in Cokes. But ironically enough, that would be its only healthy ingredient! My # 10 question would be: can I find a dairy-free ice cream that satisfies my cravings? Good luck!
I didn’t know about the fish oil either. Hmmm I don’t know about ice cream. I bet Whole Foods has some good ones to try… maybe I’ll pick one up and find out.
Let me know.
There’s a soy double fudge ice cream that my kids — ages 6 to 11 — actually prefer to real ice cream. It’s pretty awesome stuff, but it really IS just a treat at $7/qt. We savor every little bite!
PS — Cravings are brain-trained. Once you re-train the brain to crave other things, you will be amazed at the things you crave (i.e. I crave fresh garlic, anything curry, wilted turnip greens, and dark vegan chocolate now).
I did not know about the fish oil in soda, and I have been vegan for 4 months! Good information thanks!
What a witty yet thought provoking post. (:
Like your qn about whether going vegan will help you to grow in other areas as a person, I have never really thought of such qns. This is largely cause, like you said, I go on diets or watch what I eat in an attempt to lose weight.
Will be praying for you to gain something from this! Hope you will succeed (: