Thursday, January 2, 2020

Going Vegan

We're not getting any younger, ya know? We're in our early 40s and we're looking back on our unhealthy adult years thinking we could have taken better care of ourselves. We're overweight, neither of us sleep very well, and we're not all that active. Okay, I'm not. The hubs works a job where he's on his feet a lot, like 15,000+ steps a night 3-4 days a week. We could have been doing better for ourselves all these years but we've always had a convenience foods lifestyle.

We've always eaten more than our share of fast foods, eaten in restaurants a lot, and when I cook it's generally been a sort of southern, soaked in oil, meat-forward type of diet. We've lived to eat and what we've been eating has tasted good (really, really good), but hasn't been good for us (really, really not good).

So, it would be impossible to overstate my complete and utter shock when my meat eating, cheese loving, dairyaholic husband decided he wanted to be a vegan. He did some research, watched some documentaries (The Game Changers & Forks over Knives), and made a thoughtful, conscious choice to do this thing. One of the many impressive things about him is that when puts his mind to anything, he usually succeeds. He's got great willpower, with some notable exceptions (smoking, boo).

I never thought I'd see the day, honestly. We've been together for 20 years and in that time I've never seen him consider anything even remotely similar to this. It's pretty remarkable how the people you spend every day with can change and grow, right under your nose, without you noticing. In fact, he's usually been completely derisive about vegetarian and veganism.

Since he's made this decision, I'm trying to change my eating habits, too. We're doing this together, but I have to say, so far he's succeeding much more than I am. It turns out I'm struggling to give up "normal foods," like chicken nuggets and mac & cheese. Something many people don't know about me, I was a vegetarian for a while as a teen. I could not stomach the idea of eating meat, most specifically red meat, so I cut it out of my diet. I still ate animal byproducts, like eggs and cheese, but not animals.

You would think, then, that I'd be doing better about this. If we were working toward being vegetarians, I would be crushing this. But, despite what any food documentaries or vegan food blog says, it is not as easy as it sounds to cut all animal byproducts out of your diet. There are things lurking in your food that you may not even know are animal byproducts!

So far, I've made some pretty tasty vegan recipes and, though he's not always been a vegetable fan, the hubs has enjoyed them. I haven't made anything he's turned his nose up at, so that's a good start. Granted, the foods I've been making are pretty basic--black bean enchiladas, veggie stir fry with rice noodles, that sort of thing. It's pretty hard to find some vegan foods around here, so that's not really helping. You would think in a community where everyone is sort of health conscious we could find more vegan foods, but you would be wrong.

Dispute the early struggles, which I am happy to say I have completely overcome now, we're doing okay at this. I've focused my energy on learning, which is really important because I do all the grocery shopping and cooking. If he's going to eat something, I've generally made it. So, it's fallen to me to tell him if he's eating something that might not be vegan and that's been a little bit challenging. Overall, we're doing better than I would have expected and are excited about how this will change our health!

Green Minestrone (Pintrest recipe) -- It was delicious!!


  1. Wow! Your hubby and mine became vegan for the exact same reasons. It all started for Clint three years ago when he watched Forks Over Knives and What the Health. At that point he became vegan for about six months. After that, I joined him for a couple months, then we both switched to vegetarians. I've been a vegetarian now for 2.5 years, but last month Clint watched The Game Changers, and he's recommitted himself to being a vegan again. He's killing it right now (in a good way). He doesn't seem to miss dairy/eggs. I wish I could switch over, too. I'm just so damn addicted to both eggs and dairy, and given that I no longer have meat in my life (something I still miss a lot), it's a hard pill for me to swallow to lose eggs/dairy too. And honestly I don't even think being a vegetarian is a much healthier lifestyle than being a meat-eater. Since vegetarians don't have meat as a staple of their diet, a lot of them have a tendency to fall back on carbs--both sugary and greasy--hence the term 'junk food vegetarian'. But cutting out ALL animal bi-products means whole foods only; by default vegans CAN'T eat junk food. Much healthier choice.

    Sorry, I'm rambling. I'm super excited that you're trying this out and look forward to reading updates!

    1. That is so amazing! I was telling Matt about this last night, that Clint had become a vegan for the same reason he was, and he said that he hoped the producers of The Game Changers never turned to evil. Haha!

      I have discovered it is possible to eat junk-ish food as a Vegan. Most dry pastas are vegan, I bought vegan caramels and marshmallows on Thrive market, and I really like the coconut ice creams. Matt is a big fan of the Impossible Whopper (made off broiler, no cheese or mayo, extra pickles). But, I think even vegan junk is better for you than the junk made with animal by-products. Doing almost nothing else, I've already lost 10 lbs. I ride the Peloton, but not with enough regularity that it's doing as much as it could to help me lose weight. Mostly, it's just a change in diet. I'm actually eating more now than I was before! It's pretty amazing.

      So far, the only thing I've had trouble giving up is processed white sugar. It's apparently processed with bone char, even though it has no animal byproducts in it. So, it's technically not vegan. Since we're doing that for health reasons and not necessarily moral reasons (though that factors in for me, more than Matt) I don't know if that's enough reason to give up white sugar. I'm still trying.

      Have y'all watched Cowspiracy? It's pretty horrifying!

      Annnnnd, now I'm the one rambling!! :D

  2. I haven't watched Cowspiracy, but Clint has. He's shown it to his 7th graders for two years now in science and they get SO mad. I figure there's no reason for me to watch it since it's just going to upset me and I already don't eat cows.

    All the parallelisms between Clint and I and you and Matt crack me up. Like, I'm a vegetarian for moral reasons; Clint's a vegetarian (turned vegan) for health reasons.

    I love the Impossible Whopper! Sadly Clint's allergic to Impossible meat, so when we're in the mood for nasty, guilt-free junk food we have to turn toward Beyond Meat, which exists in the desert but not in the mountains.

    Never knew that about processed white sugar. 🤔It took me months to get over the fact that Jello isn't vegan.

    1. I've always kind of thought Matt and Clint would have nothing in common. They're pretty different. But, maybe I was wrong! lol

      It's pretty amazing how many lives have been changed by Game Changers. I am constantly seeing people saying they're adopting a Vegan lifestyle because of that documentary and, far be it from me to be a bandwagon jumper, but I'm with them. The solid facts, it's too much to ignore.

      I'm firmly in both the moral and health categories. I'm actually considering going full vegan, rather than just being a dietary vegan, and only using vegan products. I already don't wear fur or leather, so it would just be a matter of changing some of the products I use. The hardest one to give up, I think, will be my Burts Bees lip balm!