The Veganing

There are many kinds of adventures in life. I shared my experiences in Peru and Bolivia and have been conducting my own continuous Yoga adventure.

Now I feel, is time to start a new one. This one will be food based. I have always been the kind of person that experiences the world through food. New places and new tastes are synonymous with joy. The foods I eat are eclectic and I will try almost anything I am not allergic to. By the way, I am allergic to bananas and avocados, sucks right?

I am always up for a challenge, and I love to explore new tastes in all their delectable details.

And so…

May 6th, 2013, will mark the Veganing.

I modestly propose to my body that I will be Vegan for the next four months. keep calm vegan

When September 6th, rolls around, I will evaluate and decide what do next.

The Veganing as defined for my purposes here is the beginning of my Vegan journey.

And now the digital form of the same question I have been answering in person for the past two weeks.

Why Vegan?

Well…because I can. And If I can, I must.

This is not a sufficient answer in itself, but it does answer a great deal of the abstract parts of the argument. I always love a challenge, and I enjoy (am absolutely fanatic about) trying new food. This can be seen in the many food based adventures I went on in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.

Why not Vegetarian? I already ellminiated dairy, because it causes congestion in my sinuses and leads to sinus infections in the winter and causes greater problems with my allergies in the spring.

It will be a challenge that will I believe I can meet. Last year, I tried something similar during lent. The first time I participated in lent since high school (note: still haven’t gone to church in many years, the time of lent just gave me the opportunity to experiment.) It was a food based restriction. the experiment was as follows.

Tues-Sat.       Vegan

Sun. –              Anything

Mon –              Fast

It was an interesting experience. It definitely made me grow. I broke fast one time during the whole event. The interesting thing was that I was able to eat Vegan on my Vegan days the whole time. Then on Sundays I would usually go for Pho or grilled Salmon and sometimes ice cream. The fast on monday would begin the cleanse and then the Vegan days would continue it.

I discovered my taste buds expanding to improve a whole host of foods that I would have normally would have liked. It made me love these foods. Things like Kale, Peppers, and seaweed. I started eating brussels sprouts raw and spinach by the handful as a snack.

Of course I downed a lot of carbs too. Mostly Oatmeal and Pumpkin Raisin Crunch Cereal with almond milk. I ate tons of almonds and peanuts and granola to get through the day. And of course peanut butter sandwiches on Dave’s killer bread and bowls of Annie’s Lentil Soup became my lunch hour staples.

The Vegan-Everything-Fast experiment showed me it was possible.

clean_up_your_arteries_go_vegan

This time around I am going into it with a lot more thought. To make sure I can continue and sustain myself for four months or more. There is not point setting up expectations, but I do want to get the most out of my journey and I want to enjoy it.

That means keeping the culinary extravaganza lively. To this effect, I am combing through “The Joy of Cooking,” to find great recipes that are already Vegan or can be converted. I am also using “The Veganopolis Cookbook” as a great beginning into the world of Vegan cooking. It is written by David Stowell and George Black who ran the Veganopolis Cafeteria in Portland from 2003 to 2008. I wasn’t Vegan then so I never got to enjoy their cooking, but at least now I can try to recreate some of their amazing recipes. I plan to make a Puerto Rican Style 3 Bean Stew from the book this weekend.

Ensuring my Veganacity, Vegan Tenacity, by cooking delicious food is one of my strategies to make prolong my experience. With some good staying power and kitchen skills, I may be able to turn it into a lifestyle. Which of course would mesh well with the nonviolent ethics of Yoga, already a large part of my life.

So is it just about the challenge and the chance to try new foods and increase my the strength of my taste buds? No it is not.

There are the other arguments as well, and they are important. I will not go into them in detail, partially because I am not an expert, there are plenty of resources to find out about it all. They are as follows.

Industrial meat and bird farms and distribution- Energy use is demanding, animal waste is hard for environment to absorb,  seeing the treatment of animals there is too difficult to stomach.

Industrial fishing – Collapse of fisheries around the world, including Nova Scotia.

Farmed Fish – Problematic, sanitation and GMO possibilites

Organic Animal Farms – Not enough of an improvement. Lack of guidelines as to what constitutes organic.

Thea above are just a few of the reasons that made me realize I at least have to try it. They are also not meant to convert anyone. They are simply the reasons that finally pushed me from a plant-based diet that included fish and sometimes chicken to a full Vegan Diet.

There are so many problems in the world. And it is rare to find an issue that one can actively participate in Daily. I eat food, a lot of food, everyday. By choosing to eat this way I can actually do one small thing.

And while it may be “no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

So I will be Vegan, because I must be, just for me. The same reason I must do Yoga and Meditate.

Four months is a very short time, but I want to test it out, at the very least I can eat a bunch of different food and learn new ways of cooking while lowering my carbon footprint. If I can do this and stay healthy, without having to take to many supplements, I will extend it onward.

And I will see where this journey leads.

11 thoughts on “The Veganing

  1. Thanks for reminding me to be nice to myself. That always helps and thanks for the recipe for herb water and the reminder to drink water that is closer to body temperature. And I just made my own Lentil soup with Greens, recipe and photos will be up soon.

  2. FANTASTIC post! I really enjoyed reading it, so well thought out! My only thought was that it might be useful to consider having a “cheat night”… You’ll be surprised at how your taste buds change and start to crave random things. I started off craving cheese on my cheat night, and now I’ve moved on to just plain simple yoghurt… I’ve been vegan now for almost 4 years but the freedom to cheat is my guilty pleasure 🙂

    Similar to the yoga challenge, it’s important to consider making a change that you can feasibly carry on with afterwards! I’m telling you man, stinky cheese cravings hurt 😉

    1. Good point, sustainability is vital, both Environmentally and Physiologically. I am not a cheese fiend, but I will definitely be missing pho and salmon (all types of sea food). I will see how it goes for a while and then think about recalibrating if necessary.

      Also, do you have any advice on fueling a hot yoga body? I have a lot of go to foods already but I know that i may need to do some culinary agility, to meet the demands after I get out of the furnace 3-6 days a week.

      1. Love your blog! Thanks for the follow so I could, in return, follow you : ) Hope the vegan adventures are treating you well to date.

        I have been getting into some of the vegan ultra-athletes work lately (more theoretical research than applied research as my running adventures are off to a slow start, but that’s another story)… Anyhoo,.. Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll are two great peeps to check out for vegan meals that fuel an athletes body – I’m also addicted to Brendan’s line of Vega Sport plant-based supplements; the pre-workout energizer stuff is amazing for a buzz!

      2. Thanks, the vegan adventures are pretty wild so far. I haven’t been able to get an updated post up, but there is quite a bit to tell.

        I will definitely check out those two recommendations on how to fuel a vegan athletes body. That is pretty important to me, since I have pretty intense food requirements.

        Also, I am borrowing a juicer from a friend and I am about to try the ginger green juice and energy juice from your blog. Your blog is awesome by the way.

      3. ‘Pretty wild’ sounds life fun! Can’t wait to hear about it. Let me know how the juices turn out – always love feedback and new ideas 🙂

      4. I will update the experience soon, and both the ginger green and the energy juice were incredible. I borrowed a friends juicer to see if I would be into it and it took about 10 minutes of juicing to make me realize I am definitely into it. I am probably going to add ginger to everything I make.

      5. Wow… im so sorry for the late response!

        My absolute favourite food is Quinoa… High in protein and f MANGANESE!!

        Soak some black Quinoa in a bowl of water with some crushed garlic (to increase your B6) for about 3 hours… do it before you head off to class 🙂

        Boil it up, and throw in some extra fresh garlic along the way and a couple of chopped tomato (which are high in antioxidants AND reduce inflammation) and any other veges that take your fancy….(i keep it SUPER SIMPLE though)

        Season with a nice salt like Herbamare…

        Then just serve BUT… add a good dose of chopped fresh Kale (High in iron, vitamin A,C &K!)

        Its simply spectacular…

  3. I think 4 months would be a really long time to try being vegan. I’m proud of you for trying it and for writing again, I having blogged in ages, and yes we should talk soon.

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