If you've been following along, you know I've been vegan the last two weeks. I lost a bet and the deal was I had to go vegan for a month. Today marks the two-week point and, sadly, I'm calling it quits. Reason to follow. But first let me tell you about my experience.
First, I just wanna say how incredibly divisive the whole eating plants vs eating animals thing is. When I first posted about going vegan I got soooo many comments on my Facebook, Instagram and to my face. A lot of people were, like, "Yeah! Good for you!", "You're going to love it and never go back!" and "I'm vegan and it's the best thing I ever did". It was really cool to have all that support. There were a few "No!!!!!!!" comments, and that was pretty funny, too.
On the whole, though, people seemed to really respect the idea of veganism. Even many of my die-hard meat-eater friends expressed their pride in me to taking on the challenge. It was usually quickly followed by a "but I could never do it".
And I must say, I too, felt a sense of pride of knowing I was enjoying the fruits of the earth and not bringing any harm to any living thing. I honestly felt rather holy and good. I wanted to let people know. Which brings to mind this joke:
[caption id="attachment_805" align="aligncenter" width="441"]
This joke also works for CrossFit.[/caption]
Aside from my mental feeling of ethical superiority, I also felt very light and energetic. It was also much easier than I thought. I really didn't struggle with the new eating plan. I initally took on the challenge with excitement and curiosity and was pleased to find my assumption true -- that it was nice to be vegan.
Another assumption I had also proved correct: I lost muscle mass. Going into the challenge this was the one thing that concerned me. Actually, I was more concerned I would put on weight. It's hard to get as much protein as I am accustomed to following vegan diet without also getting more carbs. At another time I wouldn't have worried much about putting on a few pounds but I have some fitness modelling work coming up and it's very important to me to be in a particular shape -- ie. lean and cut. I was careful with my diet and yes, I lost weight. But it mostly wasn't fat, but muscle. I visibly saw myself deflate.
So, I'm cutting down the month-long challenge to two weeks. While I wish is challenge came at another time where I could see out the full month without cutting it short, it also comes with relief. I must say I got rather bored by the constant tofu/beans/quinoa train I was on. Partly, I'm sure it was my own lack of imagination and education to make more interesting plant-based meals that still contained a lot of protein.
[caption id="attachment_806" align="aligncenter" width="423"]
A typical meal. Green curry with tofu and lots of veges over quinoa.[/caption]
My first bite of chicken last night was blissful. I did have a mild sense of "polluting" my newly-holy body but it also came with a satisfaction that I'd mostly missed over the last two weeks. If there was one thing I really missed and craved during my brief stint as a vegan it was eggs. I was really surprised by that, I never gave eggs much thought. But having them for brunch was just awesome.
I know some people will be disappointed in me, but at the end of the day, how to eat is such a personal choice. As I mentioned in my first post, it's as sensitive as talking about religion, politics and sexuality; Sure to rouse much debate and strong sentiments.
One thing I will continue to do, at least, is have more plant-based meals in my regular diet. Maybe even vegan/vegetarian days or longer periods. But I don't think I'll ever fully give up on being omnivore. Please forgive me, or give me a pat on the back.
For more experiments join me on Facebook