The Vegan Chronicles (the beginning)
So, I have been considering vegan-ism for a while now. Where i work, my management team (myself-sous chef, Brian-Exec Chef, Scott-Director) tend to primarily stick to pescatarian diets, although the occasional bite of meat happens, mostly when tasting the food being prepared. Anyway, we all three believe that food is essential to healing, and since we are running a cafe in a hospital, it makes a bit of sense to promote healthier living through healthy diets. We offer something for vegetarians and vegans every day, offer something that fits in the Mediterranean Diet, and also run 'Meatless Monday'. It is an interesting study in the psychology of addiction, watching people glorify unhealthy diets, such as the triple cheeseburgers, fries, soda, etc...What we know, and promote, is that while meat can sustain you, it isnt necessary, and in fact, has been proven to be unhealthy, especially as consumed by Americans, and by proxy, those living American lifestyles. In contrast, a vegetarian diet limits the intake of harmful substances, and a vegan diet can almost eliminate them completely. When a person eats fruits and vegetables, legumes, etc...they are consuming a higher percentage of water than when eating animal substances, and are easier for the body to break down into useful components, if you will. You simply have an easier time digesting your food, and because your body doesnt have to dedicate so much energy towards digestion, you have more energy to pursue other interests. You lack much of the sluggishness that comes with eating meat. However, it is also ingrained in our psyches from day one that meat is an essential part of your diet, that you need it for your protein, and so on. Did you know that Almonds have 6 grams of protein per ounce vs 7 or 8 grams of protein per ounce of beef?
Anyway, adopting a vegan lifestyle can be challenging. A mental challenge anyway. You can be so used to eating meat, that you crave it, much in the same way a smoker might crave a cigarette. However, if you can overcome that craving, you can, given the desire, adopt a healthy, vegan lifestyle. The images of scrawny unhealthy vegans have been replaced by images of healthy and strong individuals pursuing such a lifestyle. So, as Shelly and I have made the switch, i thought it would be fun to maintain a semi regular log of how it is working out, along with tips on how to replace things like cheese, milk, meat, etc...with comparable vegan options, and to track our diets as they progress.
So, today: For breakfast (actually brunch, we got a late start today), we had belgian waffles (made from a Bob's Red Mill batter) with blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, along with wildflower honey (and coffee with almond milk and cane sugar). For dinner we had sweet potatoes, broccoli, and apple sage tofu sausages seasoned with sea salt and the juice of a gala and a granny smith apple (along with two slices of whole grain, egg free bread and a Steaz mint iced tea). It was quite delicious and left both of us feeling satisfied without feeling stuffed, bloated, etc....Other than that, we haven't eaten anything today, but will probably have a piece of fruit or something similar before bed. Not a bad start at all for our official first day. We eat like this often anyway, but were mixing in meat a few days a week, so the only real change for us is eliminating that part of our diet, which really only consisted of maybe four meals a week.
I'm not trying to sway anybody here, although i would be interested in your thoughts, and would be especially proud of anybody who, even one day a week, adopted a vegan approach to diet.