Saturday, March 26, 2011

Being a Veg(h)an: Day 1

I decided to become a vegan last night. It was not great timing, since I am traveling. Airports might be the least vegan-friendly places in the world. I picked up some bake-dried pears (which turned out to be unpleasantly rubbery - who would have thought?) and a bag of "California medley" trail mix at a news stand, and I think it will be enough to hold me over. If not, I'll just pilfer packets of peanuts on the plane (and I will feel clever because I am so alliterative). I know this is not a great start. But I had a pleasant experience earlier today involving a dairy-free strawberry and banana smoothie that really boosted my vegan morale.

Why did I decide to be a vegan? Because I discovered that CLIF bars are vegan. Seriously. That was the icing on the proverbial (eggless) cake. I started considering a vegan lifestyle after seeing Food, Inc. a few years ago (as do, I'm sure, most people who see Food, Inc.). Then I started practicing yoga pretty seriously and talking to a lot of people at my studio who are vegetarians or vegans for spiritual reasons. But my dreams of a vegan lifestyle were always outweighed by my nightmares of starving. Once I realized that I can just carry around a few CLIF bars as emergency meals, there was nothing stopping me.

Well, almost nothing. I do have a few concerns about my future as a vegan.

First, I am generally cautious about restrictive diets. For a couple of years in college, I suffered from a pretty severe eating disorder. I was eating like, three strawberries a day and then throwing them up. It was gross. Since then, I have thought a lot about my relationship with food, and I've reached a mental state in which I can eat when I'm hungry (and, of course, when I'm not really that hungry but I see a yummy-looking treat) without getting anxious. I'm not one of those people who make awkward jokes about how they might as well tape that brownie to their thighs because that's where it's going anyway! I like food now. That's why I think I can mentally and emotionally handle being a vegan. But I will be keeping close tabs on my attitude toward the food I eat, just in case.

Second, eating out will probably not be as fun. I hardly ever eat out at home in Santa Barbara, but my boyfriend and I often go out to restaurants in LA, and it's an experience I really enjoy. I especially love ordering tapas and sharing them with him. I'm going to look into vegan restaurants (I'm sure there are a few of them in LA), but I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of choosy eating at regular-people restaurants, and that the tapas-sharing days are over.

Third (and this is also tied to the experience of eating out), I don't want to be that annoying girl who picks at a salad and talks about the abuses farm animals suffer while her friends start to feel guilty about the hamburgers they used to be enjoying. So I have decided to be a vegan without an agenda. I am just going to be a vegan for my own health and for the general health of the world, doing my best not to make other people uncomfortable.

And I'm going to blog about it, mostly to hold myself accountable. I'll also post yummy vegan recipes (and detail my cooking efforts - that might be entertaining) and restaurants as I discover them. Other than that, there won't be much exciting news on this blog, unless you find "Today I did not drink milk! Or eat eggs!" exciting. But I like writing (especially about myself) almost as much as I like a challenge. And I appreciate your support!


  1. yay!! i'm gonna veganrecipe your face off!

  2. Kudos to you! My friend went vegan about a year ago because she realized eggs (also gluten) were giving her really bad migraines. She loves the vegan life and is in love with Trader Jo's. I'm excited to see your process and hear your recipes :) You're Amazing!!

  3. Meghan this is awesome! I recently went vegan too, for a couple of reasons, and it's definitely a lifestyle change but I feel so much better, physically and mentally! Looking forward to all your posts and if I'm ever in southern Cali we have to grab a bite to eat :)

  4. I'm sure you're already on board with this, but you should stock up on Amy's brand stuff for when you are too busy to cook.
    They make vegan pot pie and mac and cheese. Love you, and good luck with the diet!

  5. Hi Meghan,
    Way to go!! Your Mom sent me your link.
    I have been trying Vegan since January and am loving it! Feel great....lost over 20 pounds and the cholesterol levels are way down too. I went on 2 cruises and was able to maintain the eating style. It was a bit difficult but doable. FYI...a good site that I find helpful is: Dr. McDougall is coming out with a new book about starch based eating. Excellent.
    Thanks for all of your sharing and good luck!
    Marlene Boobar

  6. Hi Marlene,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence! I checked out Dr. McDougall's site. I really liked his article "The Fat Vegan," but it makes me think he certainly wouldn't approve of my chocolate chip cookies :) (See "The Not So Skinny on Sweets") haha! I'm glad to hear you're doing so well.