It’s no secret that I love vegetables. If you’ve read even one of my WIAW posts, you can easily come to that conclusion. And for the last few years, I’ve enjoyed eating a diet of mostly plant-based foods, with a little bit of meat, dairy and eggs. Over the last year, my consumption of dairy has increased a bit, mostly in the form of Greek yogurt (which is high protein, easily accessible, and tastes delicious). I also eat eggs or egg whites pretty much every single day. I typically go a day or two without eating meat, but the majority of my dinners include some type of animal-based protein. Regardless- besides breakfast, vegetables are usually the star of each of my meals.
A few weeks ago Greg and I watched the movie Forks Over Knives. (I’d been hearing buzz about the movie for a while, and was interested in it… but just wasn’t sure if I was ready to go there. One of the comments I had heard from friends who had seen the documentary was that “it’ll definitely make you want to stop eating meat.”) We watched the movie, and both thought that it was quite interesting, and really liked the way the information was presented. It was informative, but not in-your-face or pushy. If fact, I don’t think it ever once blatantly states that “you should stop eating meat all together.”
After watching the movie, Greg and I talked about some of the key points. It basically makes a great case for how eating a plant-based diet can dramatically improve your health- and in some cases, even save your life. And it makes sense- the points are all very logical.
Shortly after watching Forks Over Knives, we watched the movie Vegucated. And… wow. If you want to see a really powerful, funny, intelligently produced documentary, check out this movie. But be forewarned- it will definitely make you look at food differently- and might drag out some pretty powerful emotions. The movie follows three people who agree to live a vegan lifestyle for six weeks and how it impacts them. This movie was amazing, and for the first time, really made me think of the moral issue, and I will be talking much more about this movie in the coming weeks.
In the past, I’ve had a few attempts at “going vegan” for a few days, or (at most) a week at a time. But to be honest- it was hard. Greg wasn’t on board, and I still cooked meat for him… it was just too much work. And Greg is DEFINITELY a meat-eater. He eats bacon and eggs for breakfast almost every morning (along with a whey protein shake), a ham or turkey sandwich for lunch, and some kind of animal-based protein for dinner. I really enjoy seafood and a well-prepared piece of chicken, pork or steak, but eggs and dairy are much more important “staples” in my diet.
Somehow, Greg and I came to the conclusion that it would be cool to do a “vegan experiment.” And notice I said experiment and not challenge. I don’t really want to think of it as a challenge.I’m still kind of shocked that he agreed to this- and really excited about it! I’ve stated many times before that I get so much more creative when I cook without any meat- and I’m a lot more conscious of what I put into my body. We came up with the idea to give up all animal-based foods for a specific amount of time: from October 15th – November 21st (which is the day before Thanksgiving). That ends up being about 5 1/2 weeks- and the “plan” is to eat turkey on Thanksgiving- and that will be the first “non-vegan” meal. I say “plan” loosely- because depending on how either of us are feeling, we may not have the desire to eat meat. The opposite may also end up happening- who knows?
We’re both getting physicals and blood work done this week, so that we can have something to compare to at the end of the 5 1/2 weeks. I am definitely interested to see if either of our cholesterol levels go down (or if any other positive health changes occur). We’re also both going to “journal” about how we are feeling, based on energy, digestion, etc. It’s really important to me that I am true what I’m feeling with this whole experience. I think that it’s really easy to “want” to feel different so badly, that you talk yourself into feeling better, when you really don’t. Though I would love to have more energy and just feel better in general, I’m going to be honest with the process. And of course, if I end up losing any weight- that would be awesome, but I’m not really expecting that to happen from giving up meat (because I didn’t gain weight from eating meat!). I think that if I do end up losing any weight, it will be because I have to be a little more conscious in general about what I’m eating (and it won’t be quite as easy to eat mindlessly).
One more thought- the only “non-vegan” food that I will probably still consume is honey. I don’t generally use honey as a sweetener, but won’t completely avoid foods that include it.
I know we are often quick to judge others’ lifestyle choices and what they eat- and I’ve certainly been guilty of that. Regardless of it this vegan experiment turns into a permanent lifestyle change, or if I go back to eating meat after the 5 1/2 weeks, the decision will be based on what’s best for me and my body. I promise not to “preach,” but I will talk about any positive (or negative) changes I am feeling. I will not bash anyone else’s choice to eat meat, because that’s a personal choice. I welcome your support, curiosity and questions over the next few weeks- and really look forward to seeing what happens!
P.S.- look out for some fantastic product reviews and giveaways over the next month!
What are your thoughts on living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?