New Year, New Vegans

It’s a new year and a lot of you have started working on your new year’s resolutions. Some of you have decided you’re going vegan in 2009. Good for you and WELCOME. I’m so happy that you have made this decision. I want to advise my new vegans that going vegan can be a process. At least for me it was. I didn’t run into my kitchen one day and throw everything out that wasn’t vegan and BOOM I was vegan. Maybe you will, there are some people who can do that and have done that. What I don’t want you to do is set yourself up for failure by overwhelming yourself too quickly. For me it was a year long process. My last non-vegan vice was Snickers bars. That one was a hard one for me. I still love Snickers and on bad days I can start thinking about them again. I just know I can’t have them. Not if I want to be fit, lean and healthy.

Downing a bag of fun size snickers is not something I want to do anymore. Don’t get me wrong I had a lot of fun. lol Fun size snickers are fun. A party in your mouth for sure. That party soon turns into an extra 60 pounds of fat weighing you down. After you’ve eaten them you don’t feel much like exercising either because you’ve fueled your body with NOTHING. This isn’t a sustainable way of life. You keep eating a 20 lb bag of fun size snickers every week and you will not be having FUN for very much longer. Heart disease sound like fun? Being out of shape and over weight fun? Cancer fun? A fatty liver fun? Sitting in the doctors office while the doctor tells you you have to have a triple bipass FUN?

Back to my very important point. I don’t want you to be one of these all-or-nothing types. You know them, maybe you’re one. Monday they’re on the diet. They’re getting their stuff together. They starve themselves to death for 3 days and overdo it with the exercise. On Thursday, they’re binging on chocolate cake and feeling digusted. They swear on Monday they’re gonna straighten up and fly right. It’s better to start slow and change slowly then not at all. Start with something like the milk you put on your cereal. Replace it with rice milk. If rice milk isn’t your thing, try soy. Soy milk not doing it for you? Try almond milk. Just start, start with something and move on from there. Just give yourself time to get acclimated to your new vegan lifestyle. And when you accidently eat something with dairy in it, don’t punish yourself further by saying to hell with it until Monday. Because it’s going to happen. You will get cravings for things like Snickers. And you may not have found a healthy vegan alternative for something just as satifying and god knows so much better for you.

A lot of you new to veganisim will try to eat too much protein from tofu and avoid carbs, thinking carbs are bad. But that’s a myth. You don’t have to worry about getting enough protein. Trust me when I tell you that you will get enough protein in the plants you will be eating. To steal some information from Dr. McDougal’s website, “There is enough protein in plants to grow an elephant, horse, or hippopotamus. Certainly there is enough protein to grow relatively small people. Furthermore, all plants contain all of the amino acids in proper balance for ideal human growth.” So many people still believe the myth that a vegetarian or vegan diet is inferior and lacking in protein. It’s not true, in fact the opposite is true. There is a wonderful chart in Colin T. Campbell’s book “The China Study” that compares a plant based meal to an animal based meal. The chart is breathtaking to look at for the first time. Cholestrol for the animal based meal is 137 mg’s. The plant based meal has 0. Let me spell that out because I love the word — Z-E-R-O. Isn’t that amazing? You think there might be a connection betwen heart disease and what we eat? Hmm I wonder if cholesterol causes a fatty liver? YOU THINK!? Back to the protein issue. Protein for the animal based meal was 34 mg’s. The plant based meal was 33 mg’s. So just about the same. If you haven’t read The China Study, you want to check this book out. In fact, go over to Google books and do a search for it. Parts of it are online. The chart I speak of is in there too. So you don’t even have to buy the book to check that out. Prepare to be shocked and amazed.

Well, I’ve had a month off and I’m ready for 2009 to begin. I have new vegan recipes coming down the pipeline. I just perfected an amazing faux chicken pot pie recipe that’s soy free and low fat. I promise this is going to become a favorite for a long time. Prepare yourself for the delicious vegan avalanche that is coming your way.