Monday, March 16, 2009

Ruth, the Vegan

In case you were wondering, I've been a vegan for about two weeks now. That's vegan, not pagan. And not Vulcan. Not that I have anything against pagans or Vulcans, that's just not my thing.

See, I'm always messing with my diet. I've been a mostly-vegetarian now for over three years. If you invited me to your house for dinner I'd eat some chicken, and occasionally I've been known to drive through Arby's for a turkey and swiss. But I generally eat very little meat, for the simple reason that it doesn't sound good to me, and I don't feel good after I've eaten it.

In fact, embracing that concept of "how do I feel after I eat it?" has led me to consume way more fresh fruits and vegetables. I feel great after downing a bowl of berries, an apple or an orange. (Here's a tip I learned recently: eat fruit on an empty stomach for the best digestion.)

Ice cream tastes great when it hits my mouth, but I'm not crazy about the feeling I get afterwards. Same goes for pizza, fettuccine alfredo, and tortilla chips. (Chips and salsa have long been my downfall--I lose all self-control. I will probably be overdosing on chips and salsa for the rest of my life, but I suppose there are worse things.)

Now I've decided to quit eating dairy and eggs. When I stop and think about it, really it makes no sense that adult humans should be drinking the milk of a cow. And if it isn't necessary for good health, then maybe we shouldn't be using those 2,000 gallons of water that, according to this article, are needed to produce each gallon of milk.

Don't worry, I'm not going to try to convert anyone. For most of my life I would never have considered becoming a vegetarian, much less a vegan. In fact, I once wrote a song entitled "If I Was a Vegetarian." Here's a snippet:

I wouldn't have no bacon on my BLT
Wouldn't have no ham on my ham and cheese
A lot of what I'd eat would be good for me
If I was a vegetarian

Mark my words, that will be a hit someday.


Nichay said...

so was it hard to go from eating meat to not eating meat? Do you do it gradually or just cold turkey. No pun intended.

Ruth said...

First, I guess you could say I quit "cold chicken." One day I was eating a piece of chicken breast, and when I came across a vein, suddenly I was repulsed. The chicken became completely unappetizing to me, and I couldn't take another bite. I think we generally don't make that connection between a live animal and a piece of meat on our plate, but for some reason my brain wrapped around the idea and wouldn't let go.
After a while, though, I wasn't so grossed out and I would have a deli sandwich or chicken chopped up in something. But by then I had pretty much lost the taste for meat, so even though I would eat it to be polite, or just because I was really hungry and nothing else was available, it just didn't taste that good to me.
In general, I usually find that gradual changes are much easier to maintain in the long run.

Meaghan said...

I spent about 10 years as a veggie, but never crossed over into vegan territory, mainly because I didn't want to be known as Meaghan (pronounced Mee-gan) the vegan. Simple as that.

I totally here you on the chips and salsa bingeing. I have the same issues.

But you're right, paying attention to how you feel after you eat something helps you make better choices.

Something you might enjoy: throw half a banana, half a cup (or so) of blueberries and half a cup (or so) of cold apple juice into a blender. Mix it up. Drink it. Yummy.

Ruth said...

Ha! I think "Meaghan the Vegan" would be awesome! A superhero for our time, perhaps. Or, author of renowned cookbook of vegan delights.
Including smoothies, of course. I will have to give yours a try. I also recommend banana/strawberry/pineapple in a little orange juice.

mr. busy said...

I should try "how does that make me feel after I drink lots of that?" I recommend putting some ice in a glass, a lime, 1/3 cup bombay sapphire gin, and two cups of tonic. . .magnifico! You feel warm and fuzzy after 5 minutes and people become much more fun to be around.