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Home » Nutrition

Could you be vegan for a day?

Submitted by on Friday, 4 November 2011 Loading Add to favourites  5 Comments

fruitsandvegetablesThis week, Small Footprints is tantalising our taste buds with her Change the World Wednesday challenge.

She’s asked us to be vegan for a day…

Being a vegan is something I’ve toyed with the idea of many times, but never done.

I find it difficult to maintain my weight – I was erm, *blessed* with a fast metabolism. I get cold easily. I like high carbohydrate, high fat food and eat a lot of yogurt and butter.

As well as enjoying the calories and fat, I absolutely LOVE the taste. I honestly feel that low fat = low taste. As far as I’m concerned the more butter in a dish the better.

I was vegetarian for 20 years and always buy organic dairy products. I don’t eat honey or eggs so for many years the only animal products I was eating were the aforementioned yogurt and butter.

About a year ago I started to explore the thought of eating chicken again. I never thought this would happen to me! But it did and the cravings became stronger and stronger. I believe food is our medicine and that our cravings should be followed because they are there for a reason.

I eventually found locally reared, humanely slaughtered organic, free range chicken and tentatively re-introduced it into my diet. I can say in all honesty I look forward to my once or twice a week meal of chicken.

I also eat salmon once or twice a week and I feel much better for introducing these two foods.

At the moment an average day of food for me might go along the lines of:

  • Breakfast – porrage, yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Snack – yogurt, oats and fruit
  • Lunch – jacket potato, butter, salmon and veggies (some of which are roast in butter!) and I’ll have yogurt on the potato instead of mayonnaise
  • Dinner – Rice with butter and yogurt mixed in (are you seeing a theme here!?), veggies and perhaps some chicken

So there’s a lot to do to switch to a vegan diet for me.

However, for one day I’m going to commit to it and see how I feel. I am not personally in favour of ‘fake’ foods. I can’t understand the whole ‘mock tuna’ idea – (let’s just call it butter bean purée for instance (no offence to the lovely Jennifer who shared the delicious sounding recipe with me some time ago)) or worse still the fake bacon and cheese by companies such as Redwood – if you want to eat these things isn’t it better to just eat them and be honest with yourself? I can understand these foods might be useful during a ‘transition’ time (I used to live on TVP and Quorn sausages when I was first veggie in my teens) but I prefer now a more wholefoods diet.

I can’t eat nuts or seeds due to allergies which is one of the main reasons I’ve never actually made the switch to a vegan diet. I can’t understand why someone would switch to a vegan diet and then take supplements because of lacking vitamins and minerals in their diet; it doesn’t feel right to me.

I believe Mother Nature provides us with all that we need but I think many have become disconnected from what is really good for us. I’m NOT saying that my diet is the right one, on the contrary there are lots of changes that I could make. I don’t eat as seasonally as I would like for instance. I’m aware how emotive the topic of our food choices can be. I don’t judge others for the decisions they make about their foods (Mr Green who was a “meat, more meat and potatoes” kinda guy when I met him (and thought vegetarians were weirdos LOL!) once went on a raw diet for a year – which proves people can radically change).

I admire people who have a principle and stick by it, but I believe in balance in all things – “don’t let a moral get in the way of a good idea” as a good friend reminds me when I’m wrestling with my conscience.

On Monday then, I shall be a vegan for a day and let you know how I got on.

What about you – what food choices do you make?  Check out the great food pyramid I found which illustrates a balanced vegan diet:

vegan-pyramid-800x600

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5 Comments »

  • April H says:

    Good luck! It shouldn’t be that difficult – they make vegan yogurts, you may want to get some so you don’t feel so out of sorts! I eat vegan a lot of the time, but not 100%! I’m with you – i’d rather have real cheese, although I have friends who make some great nut cheeses (which wouldn’t help you)!

  • Being vegan for a day is a good question. Most of our days are vegan or vegetarian and I think making small changes keeps it doable for almost anyone. I think that infographic makes it a lot less intimidating for people, too.

  • when an honest craving nags us to reach for a certain food, science would concur; there is a basic need.
    we eat mostly veges, often meatless and find it difficult to go cheeseless in America..so one single weekday of vegan meals won’t alter our patterns very much..

    meat went the way of the budget—fish was slowly abandoned as the mercury levels rose and the (Concentrated Animal Farming Operations) runoff made it a dangerous food. back to canned sardines?

    dairy is the hardest to forget or forgo– butter and sour cream taste so rich on all white foods and veges…what do i put in my mashed potatoes now? no chicken broth for vegans on wednesdays…

    back to self discipline–i can do it!

  • Rae says:

    Being vegan for a day is a great idea! It makes sense to me that different people should have different diets and given all that you described about your body it seems like being vegan would be insanely hard (I can’t imagine doing it w/o being able to eat nuts and seeds!).

    I am slowly trying to work my way toward less animal products (I don’t have any problem with honey, so I’m not sure about ever being really vegan). Mostly though I think we’d all be so much better off if most people could just cut back on their consumption of animal products, so things like vegan for a day are are fabulous!

  • Mrs Green says:

    @April H: thanks April; I cannot stand soya yogurt, so it will definitely have to be a yogurt free day – yikes!

    @Zoie @ TouchstoneZ: thanks Zoie, good to hear this works for you most days… To be perfectly honest I’m not sure I feel strongly enough about it to make it a long term thing anyway/.

    @nadine sellers: it does all come down to self discipline; you’re right. Ok, I’m feeling stronger – if you can do it so can I LOL!

    @Rae: thanks for popping over Rae – lovely to see you. I really feel that one mans meat is another poison (or however the saying goes) and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach but I agree the standard Western diet leaves a lot to be desired and we could all do with less animal products.