What do you eat?
I eat a lot of food, most of the foods you eat too. I eat food that comes from plants and not from animals. I eat fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, and I also eat soy products and treats that happen to be vegan, like Oreos.
Where do you get your protein?
I get my protein from plant sources; including, soy products like tofu and tempeh, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Protein is very over-marketed, especially in the fitness industry. We are taught ‘more protein = more muscle’. This is not entirely accurate. Protein doesn’t give you muscles, lifting weights and exercise does. Protein helps repair damaged muscle from the workout, but it doesn’t magically create muscle in your body when you eat it. And there is such a thing as eating too much protein. If you are eating more than your body needs, it will be stored as fat. The only time you may not be getting enough protein is if you are not eating enough in general. And if you are not eating enough, then you are also not getting enough carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and other life-sustaining nutrients.
I do drink milk, just not cow’s milk or milk from another animal. Did you know almondmilk has more calcium than cow’s milk? Calcium is found in many forms, including leafy greens. Did you know the reason cow’s milk is rich in calcium is because they are eating leafy greens (or given supplements)? Why not cut out the middle man (or cow) and just eat the greens ourselves. Plus you’ll the fiber and nutrients too.
But you don’t look like a vegan…?
I had someone tell me once that I didn’t look like a vegan. I didn’t know if I should take that as a compliment or an insult. Was he telling me that I broke the mold of the stereotypes placed on vegans looking sickly thin? Or was he calling me fat? I think probably the later. Honestly, I eat more fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes than I did before I was vegan. I think it’s a common misconception that if you’re vegan, you are super thin and malnourished.You don’t have to be skinny to be malnourished. You can eat the typical American diet and still be missing out on key nutrients.
Sure, occasionally I eat lettuce, but I mainly eat apples, bananas, peaches, berries, broccoli, bell peppers, beets, carrots, avocado, almonds, cashews, pecans, oats, lentils, rice, couscous, teff, quinoa, tofu, seitan, and tempeh, to name a few. I also eat non-dairy ice cream made with coconut milk, oreos, dark chocolate, and frozen sorbet. I eat. A lot! And yes, sometimes I eat lettuce on top of my portabella mushroom burger piled with guac.
Yes, I can eat whatever I want. I can eat a piece of chicken. I can eat a cheesy enchilada. I can eat an egg and bacon breakfast burrito. But I CHOOSE to eat something different. I get the “oh, sorry, you can’t have this” often. But yes, I can. I just choose to pass on it. I understand this question though and typically just answer “no” if it contains animal products rather than giving a speech.
Do you care if I eat this (animal product) in front of you?
Not at all, but thank you for thinking of me. I am not a “judgy” vegan. I can’t be, I live in Texas. I fully understand that choosing to not eat animals or their byproducts is just that, my choice! And my choice may not be your choice. And that’s the beauty of it, we get to choose. I respect your choice and I hope my choice is respected also. What’s funny is a majority of my running buddies are on the Beef team. And we laugh when we take pictures together and make a “vegan beef sandwich” with me in the middle.
So are your shoes/clothes/other products from animals?
I am not perfect. I am sure I have some shoes in my closet with leather or a chair made with wool. But one of my favorite vegan advocates said this quote that has stuck with me for years and holds true to so much more than just a vegan lifestyle – “Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something, anything.” I do my best to live out my compassion by not eating animals and I do my best to not buy products made with animals, but of course I slip up, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care or I’m not compassionate. It just means I’m human, but I do try.
Simply put, no. Veganism is not a diet. More recently, people are turning to a “vegan diet” to help them lose weight. It’s becoming more of a fad or weightloss trend. I believe that it can aid in weightloss if you are eating more of a plant-based diet, but that’s not what being a vegan is all about. It’s about making a conscious decision to do your part in reducing the suffering of animals. I call myself a vegan not because of how I eat, but because of how I feel and the choices I make because of that.
When I was training for my first marathon, I listened to the podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and learned so much about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle and other topics relating to veganism. You can find the podcast here and her website here. She also has a 30-day vegan challenge book if you are looking to get started.
All of the recipes in the recipe section of my blog are vegan.
I became a vegetarian in 2007 after reading a pamphlet about the cruelty animals endure that are bred for our consumption. In 2010 I transitioned into a fully vegan lifestyle after learning more about the dairy and egg industry. If this is a topic you are interested in or want to know more about my experience with transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, I would love to hear from you (email@example.com)
Some more funny and insightful quotes and memes