Another step in the right direction

I made another big decision the other night and I put it into action today.

I started a modified vegan lifestyle!

Here's how it works: Abstain from animal products the vast majority of the time. Treat animal products as an indulgence.

My reasoning is a blend of different motives. On the one hand, living this way will force me to eat more mindfully. I'll have to make healthier choices in order to not miss key nutrients. Let's be honest I was probably missing those nutrients in my old diet. I'm taking calcium supplements as well. So there's the health aspect. There's the environmental aspect as well. There's been a lot research about how many resources go into a single pound of meat. The same is true of eggs, milk and cheese. Then there's ethical aspect. I've always been an animal lover. I've struggled to reconcile the treatment of animals in factory farms with my love of animals. I think if I lived on a farm where I raised the animals myself before consuming them I would feel differently. I tried buying meat form animals that were raised the way I would raise them. Unfortunately that proved excessively draining on my current budget. So for now, that's not a realistic option. I know I could just eliminate meat but keep eggs, cheese and other animal products. But here's the truth: those animals' conditions aren't any better.

Now don't worry I haven't turned into one of those crazies (think PETA). I don't think that people who eat animal products are evil. I won't through red paint on you or brow beat you into eating the same way I do.

I have to say this is difficult already. Difficult, but not impossible. For example I haven't had a chance to go to the grocery store to build my new healthy pantry and fridge. With a full day of clinic I had to get something on the run. It took a lot longer than normal. But after a few minutes of careful comparison I found food that would not force me to compromise. I ended up with a delicious lentil soup, pistachios and dried apples (unsweetened--they were literally just dehydrated apples). I was full, able to snack through the day and not feel like a fatty.

I've been toying with this idea for a while. Remember that apple & peach cobbler I made yesterday? I got it off a blog through of vegan recipes. Every recipe looks so delicious. It doesn't look like crazy twig and berry eating nonsense. I read the author's story about how she became a vegan and it really resonated with me. After battling her weight and body image for years she decided to put the scale away and go vegan. It became more about health for her than about weight. Since then the author has found peace with herself and the health that she always sought. And that sounds like exactly what I need.

This journey isn't all or nothing. I'm doing research and carefully planning food choices to make sure that I don't miss anything. I'm taking a multivitamin and calcium supplements. I don't want to live off supplements though; the point of this is health and not to take more pills.

My first day as a modified vegan was great. It's actually the first day I've felt somewhat healthy in over a week. I'm predicting upward movement from here!

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