Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Living the Vegan Life

As I blogged on Monday, I'm doing a challenge to eat vegan for 21 days.  As a long-time vegetarian who loves eggs, cheese, and yogurt, I wasn't sure how I would handle this transition.  However, so far it hasn't been very difficult.  The main things I need to make sure to avoid are mayonnaise and butter.  

Research has shown that eating a plant-based diet is best for our health.  By avoiding animal products, we're not as likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and other chronic illnesses.  In fact, the American Dietetic Association recently reported that vegan and vegetarian diets are healthy for all stages of life and are beneficial to our health.  

Yesterday I was listening to some oldies but goodies on my ipod and Barry White started playing.  I knew he had died several years ago but wasn't certain of the cause so I did some research.  Unfortunately, Mr. White died from kidney failure and his death was a direct result of his life-long obesity.  It occurred to me that people in the industrialized world, and especially in the United States, are killing themselves with their wealth.  That's right, with wealth.  Because we can afford to buy and eat expensive food items such as meats and dairy on a daily basis, we do. The problem is just because we're able to do something doesn't mean we should.  Rather, those who do indulge in foods derived from animals should consider such items as treats or condiments.  

One study that revealed the problem with the western diet was published as The China Study.  I discovered that a new movie, based on the book, will be released later this year.  Forks Over Knives, which has already had a limited run in Portland, Oregon, reveals the link between degenerative diseases and consuming an animal-based diet.  I'm hoping that it shows in a theater near me.  

As I continue my vegan challenge, I find myself consuming more fruits and vegetables than I normally do.  I'm making soups and stir fries and having more fruit for breakfast.  I find that rather than suffering I'm actually eating better than usual.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.


Shona~ LALA dex press said...

All my best to you!

I'm at about 80% at home and pretty much 100% in restaurants, damn cheese!

Cherie said...

Shona - yeah, the cheese gets to me as well. :) I'm heading to our "local" health food store today to see what substitutes they have in the refrigerated vegan section. Wish me luck!

Carolyn said...

Please do keep us posted! After doing a 21 day vegan cleanse this summer, I slowly slid back into junk food vegetarianism with occasional forays into flesh (eek!). I am now 5 days into another vegan go round.
It is soooo worth it. As for cheese: it's tough. I haven't found a 100% "I love it" substitute...sigh. Hopefully, you'll have more luck. If you do, please let us know!

Deanna said...

This past year we switched to an about 95% vegetarian diet. We eat some fish and seafood occasionally and very, very rarely some meat in circumstances where we don't control the menu.

I'm not interested in going vegan but I have thought about making one or two vegan dinners per week. I hope you'll share some of your favorite recipes.

Cherie said...

Carolyn, I tend to get into what you call "junk food vegetarianism." There are just so many convenience foods out there for vegetarians and they taste sooo good! I saw on that Eurochic recommends the Daiya brand of vegan cheese. I'll have to give it a shot.

Good luck with your vegan cleanse.

Cherie said...

Deanna, I've been following your vegetarian journey and have been impressed! I'm not good with recipes but will try to find some to share.