Blog Project Day 64: Oh veganism, I hardly knew ye…
I confess that I was disappointed that my 30 days of veganism didn’t produce even a glimpse of a superpower.* But other than that minor detail, I think it was worth it.
People asked throughout the month why I was doing it, and I consistently replied, “To be more mindful about my eating.” I think, however, that “mindful” wasn’t quite the right word. I ate just as many meals standing up at the kitchen island while I surfed the Internet as I did before this experiment, so mindfulness definitely wasn’t the goal. I did, however, become more aware of what I was eating. Animal products are hidden everywhere! From the egg whites that are used as binders in veggie burgers to the whey solids that appear in certain flavors of Baked Lays. There are even milk products in the hummus sandwich at Cosi (though for the life of me I can’t figure that one out.) And why is “vegetarian” apparently code for “smothered in cheese?” Did you know there are even animal products in wine and beer? (It has to do with the proteins vintners and brewers use for the filtering process.)
I know I don’t want to be full-time vegan. Even in a fairly sophisticated metro area like this one, it was just sometimes too much work. I do intend to keep some of my vegan habits, such as having soy creamer in my coffee at home. (I’ll also try to go that route when I’m out but I don’t plan to be rigid about it.) I’m not really sure if staying away from dairy has really helped my breathing issues, but it can’t hurt. Also I tend to go for meat dishes when I eat out because I don’t cook much meat at home. I think instead I will try to choose the vegan option, or the vegetarian option sans cheese. Yesterday I even ordered a cheeseless pizza and it was just as delicious and satisfying as it had been in February. And I just bought Appetite for Reduction, a vegan cookbook, so I can incorporate more vegan recipes into my meal-planning.
So what’s my next adventure in eating? Lemons. A few times in the last couple of weeks I’ve stumbled across people who regularly have lemon in warm water for their first beverage of the day, so I’m going to try that from March 5-April 5 and hopefully keep it up after that. According to several articles I read, lemon turns alkaline inside the body. My Dad (and also those articles) believes that the root cause of many of our illnesses is that our bodies are not alkaline enough. Lemon purportedly does everything from flush out toxins to curb sugar cravings. And in case you’re thinking it’s a fad, I believe the Chinese have been doing this for years. I’d also like to cut down the amount of coffee I drink every day, and I think this will help. And, especially on the mornings I exercise, I need to figure out something lighter and satisfying I can eat at 5am pre-video. And I swear I’m not just in it for the superpowers!
By the way, in case you’re wondering, I’m not really a fad dieter who drifts from food plan to food plan hoping for a magic bullet. I’m committed (well, most days) to losing weight and improving my health via Weight Watchers. I do believe, however, that there are an infinite number of ways that you can tweak your eating and exercise habits to find the habits that best work for you in terms of lifestyle. So I consider these 30-day stints as learning opportunities out of which little by little I’m learning healthful ways to eat and live that I can sustain for another 40 or 50 years or so.