Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5 Questions I Am Asked Most

As a vegan, I get asked a lot of questions.  People are often curious about my food choices, what led me to the lifestyle and how I maintain it.  I find myself being an educator at times, sometimes an advocate.  Here are five questions I am asked most frequently:

1. Is your family vegan too? No...I feel strongly that a vegan lifestyle is a personal choice that should be made with full awareness and information.  With that in mind, I do not force my husband or children to eat the way I do.  (Although, I think if I was vegan before I had children, my answer might be different....)  However, I am the primary cook and grocery shopper in the household so my children are exposed to plant based meals and vegan options daily on their plates.  Milk is my one exception.  After everything I have learned about the dairy industry and milk's effects on the body, I decided to eliminate it from my kids' diet.  They do eat cheese and ice cream, but they no longer drink glasses of white moo juice.

2. How do you give up cheese?  I was a huge cheese lover.  HUGE.  It's one of the reasons I stayed a vegetarian for five years instead of going full blown veeg.  All I can say is that I have never looked back.  Something in me changed once I read about the dairy industry, our treatment of animals, and the effect on our planet and bodies.  The impact of that information was more persuasive to me than the taste of my favorite gouda or bleu.  Early on in my vegan transition, I cheated and had a piece of cheesecake...and never felt sicker.  After that, I never had the urge for cheese again.  I do love to indulge in nut cheeses though and have made some yummy "cheese" sauces with nuts, so I still get my "cheese" fix.

3. Why did you go vegan?  For the animals at first, then the planet.  After I transitioned, I felt amazing and energized, and so it became about me too.  But, primarily the animals.  I read The Kind Diet which educated me about what animals (and our planet) must endure for us to eat them, and then showed me what that kind of diet does to our bodies.  It became a very simple decision.  I sat thinking, "How can I not go vegan after knowing what I know now?"

4. Where do you get your protein?  Beans, lentils, garbanzos, quinoa, leafy greens, and vegan proteins like tempeh, tofu and seitan.  It always surprises me at how much people worry about me and my protein.  I am more than fine, really.  My latest physical results show me in the best of health with strong iron levels!

5. Do you miss meat?  Never.  It really grosses me out now.  I know too much to ever go back to an animal diet.  Also, I eat so much yummy food that my taste buds and tummy are more than satisfied (and delighted!) without it.

Do you have a question for me?  Let me know if the comments section below.