Eat a Vegan Diet: Healthy and Much Easier Than It Seems

by on January 2nd, 2011
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I started eating a vegan diet four years ago; I’m not strange and I get to eat food that tastes good.

Six years ago I started practicing yoga. One of the tenets of yoga is to do no harm, so I decided to live my yoga off the mat and stop eating meat. The second reason that I decided to stop eating meat stemmed from learning about how much petroleum is used carting meat around the country. My daily commute is 70 miles, so I figured if I stopped eating meat, I would do my part to reverse my carbon foot print. The reason I gave up the dairy and egg products was because of my daughter, who has serious food allergies to milk, eggs, and peanuts. The move from vegetarian to vegan was quite simple.

Honestly, avoiding meat is very easy. Most carnivores ask, “How can you NOT eat meat?” and “Where do you get your protein?” Those questions are easy to answer. First, meat is really just dead flesh and once I started to think about that it made the switch easy. Dead flesh doesn’t sound very appetizing to me. Secondly, protein is available in all different types of foods, like beans, vegetables, and soy and those foods taste really good! The added benefit of giving up meat is that I won’t get food poisoning from my meat.

The one issue for me was giving up dairy. I haven’t had cow’s milk since 2001, before I knew about my daughter’s food allergies. I enjoy drinking soy milk – especially Silk’s Light Chocolate. But, when I gave up milk-based cheeses, the replacements at the health food stores were not very good. The “fake” cheese didn’t melt and the texture was off. But now, a manufacturer has developed a delicious cheese that gets melty and is very healthy because it is made from pea (think little green ones) protein. Plus, milk-based cheese is full of unhealthy and addicting chemicals (I read that in the vegan “bible” – Skinny Bitch). Soy-based ice cream is delicious and creamy. Soy-based yogurt is better than milk-based yogurt because it’s slightly sweeter.

The hardest thing for me were giving up egg-based baked goods. But, since my daughter can’t eat traditional cakes, muffins, pies, etc., it was only right that I started to eat the same way she did. Because veganism is gaining in popularity, there are more restaurants that make vegan desserts. Grocery stores are also carrying more baking necessities, like vegan chocolate chips, egg replacer, and vegan shortening and margarine. I also discovered my favorite vegan cookbook ever: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. One of the brands I always buy at the grocery store is Enjoy Life because they have a dedicated bakery; if I don’t have time to bake, I can always pick up a box of yummy cookies.

Eating a vegan diet is very healthy because it is a plant-based diet. It’s much easier to become a vegan in 2012 than it was in just 2010.

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