So I've decided to go vegan. Well, I should probably say "I've decided to adopt a vegan diet," because apparently "going vegan" means all sorts of things like being a granola-loving, tree-hugging, patchouli-incense-burning hippie... which I am not. If you knew me, you'd say I am most clearly not. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's fine for some, but it's just not me. Saying I'm adopting a vegan diet suggests that although I am no longer going to eat meat, dairy, eggs or any animal products for that matter, it also suggests that I limit that sentiment to my food intake more than anything else.
So why am I going to adopt a vegan diet? And am I going to make this adoption a permanent fixture in my life? Well, to answer the second question, I don't know. I'm going to give it 90 days and see what happens. (Clearly I am not going this route because I'm doing it to be humane to animals... because shouldn't we be humane to animals all the time?) No, I'm doing it for health, which answers the first question. But still... why for health? For one thing, I'm now at my all-time high weight. And I've been saying that for the past year... I just keep getting new "all time high" weights. I figured it was time to do something about it. I've also been reading up a lot on what is the most healthy diet, and I've heard about mediterranean, South Beach, no-carb, low-carb, Atkins, low-fat, gluten-free, no-sugar stuff and I was trying to make sense of it all. It seems like (and I say seems because you can probably prove anything if you really wanted to), that most of the diets lately have suggested giving up animal products. They also say all the standard stuff about eating a variety of colors in your vegetables, giving up refined sugars, transfats and all the junk which we know is clearly bad for us. What seems to be coming through pretty consistently is that animal products aren't really helping us much. Ok, you get some protein and some B12, but you can get those from eating a well-rounded vegan diet. It's typical, right? If you eat really well, you probably don't need to take supplements, you don't need to worry about your weight, and exercise just magically happens because you're so damn full of energy all the time. (Isn't that what they say?) The thing I think "they" miss out on is that some people, like me, are also emotional eaters. I guess overeating on a bowl of carrots just isn't the same thing as a whole bag of chips and salsa. Anyway, I digress.
The point is that I figured it may help me lose weight. It will certainly help me to pay more attention to what I'm eating, and it will hopefully make me feel better in the process. In the past year, people I know closely have had major health events. My Mom has Type 2 diabetes and had a stroke in 2003, and my grandmother died of colon cancer in 2007. Both of my parents have had basal cell carcinomas removed from their bodies and I've had several "abnormal" moles. I was also diagnosed with "PVC's" (premature ventricular contractions) in 2011, which means my heart beats irregularly sometimes. They are apparently completely harmless and nobody can find a cause, but there must be some reason why my heart just all of a sudden starts malfunctioning. I mean, WTF?? It's very unsettling. At any rate, there's just too much illness going around lately that I think maybe it's time I finally adopted a lifestyle which suggested that I wanted to hang around for awhile. And not just hang around, but LIVE.
You know how people say that "once I gave up dairy, my skin totally cleared up" or something to that effect? Every time somebody gave up either dairy, gluten, sugar or alcohol, something in their lives just magically healed itself. Well, I'm kinda hoping I'll get some of that action by default. Who knows what will happen if I go vegan.... I mean, adopt a vegan...well, you know what I mean. Maybe I'll suddenly realize that my skin was blotchy and now it's magically cleared. Maybe those heart palpitations I get sometimes will go away. Maybe I'll lose the fat on my arms which seems to have been there since middle school, and was there even at my skinniest weight in college. Who knows? But it's worth finding out. So I'm going to try it out for 90 days (till Easter, so technically 95 days) and see what happens. So why am I saying "T minus 4 days and counting?" Because there's no way I can just pop up one morning and make this happen. I've got to clear out the fridge, man. Get rid of the cheese (dear God help me), and all the other temptations that I'm going to move out of my life till Easter. One vegan website I read said to view it as "crowding out the animal products" rather than "giving them up". I think I like that viewpoint best. I'm going to eat so many whole, plant-based foods that I just won't have room for all that animal stuff. There's just no room. Sorry, cheese, no room. 4 days till 2015 when this lovely transformation begins.
I should also mention that my twin sister is going to do this with me. So we'll see how it goes. Oh, and I'm not giving up alcohol, by the way. Not that I drink much of it anyway, but a girl has to have fun every now and again. I guess it means no Baileys... but that's ok. Wine and Asti will suit me just fine when I need a little drink.
So here's to 4 more days of purging all that stuff out of the way! Hmmm... maybe I should start with the Baileys.