Monday, January 16, 2012

On Being A Short-Term Vegan

I want a steak.

I want some cheese.

I wanna drink a Coke.

Also? Yogurt.

And a taste of honey.

… But I’m starting to like this vegan lifestyle.

It’s been a week since HBL and I began our fast. We’ve read labels, avoided eating anything that put sweet little animals in their ingredients, and (painfully, for me) stopped eating products that included any kind of natural or artificial sweetening ingredient in them. We’ve learned a lot in just one week about our family’s consumption habits:

Fast food as an option for dinner. I can’t believe how lazy we used to be, even with my hand at food planning (which was a complete failure!):

Me: What’s for dinner? 
HBL: I dunno. What do you want? 
Me: I dunno. What do you want? 
Me: McDonald’s? 
HBL: Okay.

Relying on the taste of meat to satisfy our palettes. Boy, can stuff taste bland. And if stuff doesn’t taste good, I’m not going to eat it. We’ve had to get creative in the kitchen and think about flavoring our meals in a “real” way versus how we did it before: slap some butter or cheese on it and call it a day.

Eating what we buy. We are so, so, so, so guilty of going grocery shopping hungry, buying whatever tickles our fancy, then forgetting about it and leaving it in the pantry for Y.E.A.R.S. We’ve wasted so much food, it’s a crime! Eating consciously, we’ve had to be good about getting food we’re actually going to eat and enjoy, ‘cause the thing is, if we don’t like it, there isn’t anything else to eat! On top of that, we’re not wasting our money! Cha-ching!

Learning by reading food labels. Sure, I used to read food labels for nutritional information. I used to check the label for hydrogenated this or high fructose that in the ingredients list. But now that I have to check for preservatives, and sugar, and animal products? Now, I see all the crazy ingredients that’s being put into our “food” that we’re choosing to purchase! …What is this stuff anyway, and why am I putting it into mine and my children's bodies?!

HBL and I have decided that once our fast is done, we’re going to incorporate this conscious eating into our regular lives. - Wait, wait, wait, I’m not gonna go full vegan on you! ‘Cause you know I cannot tell a lie: I love fried chicken. Bok bok! - But, we do want to eat meatless several times a week, and will most definitely continue reading labels and eating as preservative and chemical free as possible. Eating “clean” doesn't just make us feel good about what we're putting into our bodies. It's also great on our wallet, for the planet (honest), for our kids, and for becoming better people. And who doesn't want to be better in 2012?

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