Leaf – Not Beef – the Truth About My Vegan Journey
Yep, you read that right. I have some fresh news to debut: I’m vegan, and have been so for a little while now. That means I don’t consume anything that is made from or came out of an animal. I don’t eat animals and I don’t wear or use any of their products. And I wouldn’t go to a circus, rodeo, or participate in any other activity that uses animals for “our” entertainment. Sound restrictive? Self-righteous? A little over-the-top, maybe?
Well, let me ask you this: what’s your favorite food in the whole wide world? Pizza? Mac and cheese? A big juicy burger? What if I told you that there are options that feel, look and taste better, that are easy to prepare and make you just as full, that also happen to be 100% free of animals products?
Would you take a bite?
Of course you would, because good food tastes good, and meatless doesn’t mean tasteless!
Lots of Americans – perhaps you included – believe that going vegan is an inconvenience at best and downright impossible at worst, given the presupposed nature of food provided at parties, restaurants and social gatherings. And then there’s the hanging question of “where do you get your protein?”
Going vegan is vastly easier and less inconveniencing than you think, and the health benefits are enormous and surprising. I’ve been a religious, non-cheating vegan for almost two months at the time of my writing this. Before that, I had only been a regular vegetarian (no meat, but dairy and fish were allowable) for many months. As a fledgling vegan, these breakthroughs are already occurring:
- People whom I have haven’t seen in a few months consistently comment on how my appearance has improved. Note I said months, not years. These compliments are unconnected and happen at random times when I just happen to catch up with a friend. Oftentimes, the people that notice aren’t quite able to put a finger on how I’ve freshened up. Apparently, I just look healthier, more vigorous… just better. (I’m not trying to brag, I swear!)
- My energy levels are explosive and my own stamina surprises me. I don’t feel like I have to “dig deep” to motivate myself to work out or work late. Effort and alertness come naturally.
- I’m losing weight without even trying. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, avoiding soft drinks and processed foods, but my dietary upgrade has made me physically leaner.
Now, reread these three points and pretend you heard them during an advertisement for a prescription drug or workout regimen. Would you think about getting onboard with it? Some food for thought…
Though I’m a vegan for ethical as well as for health reasons, it doesn’t feel like a disrupting boycott. It’s not a daily battle to stay vegan, and I’m not struggling to suppress the temptation of milk, cheese, or even the exalted bacon. (Gasp!)
I personally think that meat’s taste isn’t necessarily bad or disgusting. The way our food industry treats animals, however, is both of these. My “last straw” moment before I made the transition to veganism was knowledge. Look up the documentary “Forks over Knives” on YouTube or Google Gary Yourofsky – a passionate, well-spoken activist on the subject. Go to VeganStreet.com. The institutionalized torture of animals that we not only turn a blind eye to, but endorse with every trip to the grocery store, is eye-opening. But I don’t want to go on a tirade against Foster Farms nor do I want to try to make a point grounded in outrage or conflict. I simply ask that you understand all of the evidence and be an active player and connoisseur of information when it comes to your own life choices.
Want to learn some of my favorite go-to vegan dishes, and how to make going vegan a simple, natural transition? Look out for “leaf not beef: part 2” coming soon! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop a comment in the comment section.
All the best,
P.S. Please make sure to listen to the “Slice Your Age” podcast. CLICK HERE to listen. Subscribe on iTunes by clicking on the right sidebar!
I am so happy to have discovered your WONDERFUL podcast! So inspiring and motivating and can’t wait to listen to all your podcasts! What a compassionate and wise move to make vegan choices! I look forward to reading and listening to and learning from you for many years to come! Your new fan, Lisa
ps- Look forward to reading Part 2 (and many more parts) of your Vegan Journey!
I just attended TBSE in Miami and I thought it was great! I really want to let you know how much I appreciated and enjoyed your discussion on health. Before seeing this site I had pretty much figured you were vegan based on the food products that you were saying are now staples in your diet. I figured because I also am vegan and they are staples in mine. I don’t know anyone who isn’t vegan that knows what nutritional yeast is without me having told them, ha! I just wanted to let you know that I thought your discussion was so well done and so important. Thanks for that! I look forward to future TBSE’s.
-Dr. Ellen Saslaw
Dr. Ellen! Thanks so much for the kind comments. And yes, you guessed it probably way before anyone else!!! GO VEGAN!!! Promise to stay in touch! Dave