Hoorah! Forgive the exclamation, but my wife and I have been Vegan (pronounced VEE’-gun) for precisely one month today and it’s easier than we thought it would be! We tried to “eat healthy” but we always found room for an occasional pizza or doughnut or plate of nachos or some other awful, saturated-fat-filled delights that undid our frequent good attempts to feed our bodies.
We came to the realization a month ago that we could feel better if we put our hearts and minds to the business of feeling better and the strict call of the Vegan lifestyle gave us a framework and a method of controlling our weakness for sweets and other dangerous foods. We don’t eat meat or eggs or dairy or oil. Oil isn’t a purely Vegan premise, but it is an additional step we’re taking to lose weight and feel better. This new Vegan lifestyle is working wonders from the inside out as you’ll soon see.
In a month I’ve lost 12 lbs. and I’ve done it through moderate exercise (though nothing more than I did in my pre-Vegan days) and Vegan eating. I feel 100% better. I have more energy. I have new willpower that I can recall at any time in my life, in any situation, and not just when it comes to admitting or denying foods. My wife has lost an incredible 9 lbs. in a month and, she too, looks and feels better now than she did four short weeks ago. We have another 10 pounds each to lose and we predict we’ll hit that goal weight in a month or so.
The other day I was taking a shower and I said to myself, “Gee, someone is baking cookies!” I then realized the smell of baking cookies was coming from the armpits I was washing! I realize this may seem gross at first gloss, but it’s these small, hidden, benefits that make Veganism worthwhile for me. After my shower I did some research and discovered that this change in body odor was normal for Vegans. I was never really very stinky in my pre-Vegan, but now? I smell like dessert! If you are what you eat and all you eat are fruits and vegetables and grains and such, it makes sense you’ll smell sweet and robust and of the land! Instead of smelling like a grilled cow, or fried pig, or raw fish, I now smell carob-sweet and orange-fresh! My wife’s body odor has also changed a bit as well and she now smells like fresh peaches! We still use deodorant (more out of habit than necessity) and our favorite is Tom’s of Maine’s Natural Deodorant in the unscented variety since it is cruelty-free and animal-byproduct safe.
Our skin has also taken on a deeper glow from within. No longer do we sweat as much and the oil we used to regularly take in during private meals no longer seeps from our pores in public. The body naturally reels from oil and grease but learning that lesson and lessening our intake of oil took a long time to realize. Now that we “got it” we ain’t goin’ back!
Our sinus blockages have gone away! Post nasal drip? History? Research reveals this is directly related to getting off meat, eggs and especially dairy. Our breath is naturally fresh. We use 85% less tissues in the house and we can hear and breathe through our noses without delay.
This isn’t wholly related to Veganism alone, but both my wife and I have lost weight on our feet! Our new diet has allowed us to shed pounds everywhere quite quickly. I’ve lost an entire shoe size and my wife has gone down half a size in her tootsies! I suppose that loss makes sense: If you’re overweight, the things holding you up will be swollen and larger than they should be. If you return to a normal weight, so too, will your feet!
I was under the misconception that B12 was a vital, daily, need for Vegans since we don’t eat meat. Wrong! Our bodies store B12 and we don’t need much of it. If you go totally Vegan after eating meat for many years, you would need your first “B12 booster” THREE YEARS after you went Vegan. Then, after the initial three years, you’d take a B12 supplement once-a-month or so just to make sure you had enough of the vitamin in reserve. Since I’m in the process of losing weight and not eating as much as I will once I reach my goal weight, I take a daily Vegan vitamin that covers any vitamins and minerals I’m missing during my weight loss period (and that includes B12). If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should take 5 mcg of B12 a day no matter where you are in your Vegan lifeline.
Honey & Whey
Vegans are against honey (and whey) and BOY are they both EVERYwhere! Honey is in a lot of “Vegan” breads. Honey is found in “Vegetarian chili.” Honey is in many cereals. Whey sneaks into nearly every mass-produced product out there. I always read labels, but now I go all the way down to the last ingredient listed in order to ferret out any instances of honey or whey. I use organic brown rice syrup in place of honey in recipes. Rice syrup isn’t as natively sweet as honey, but I don’t have a big sweet tooth anymore anyway. I’ve learned it’s easier to prepare meals at home from organically grown fresh vegetables than spend my days reading labels that may not make a full disclosure.
Grocery shopping is problematic because the longer you’re a Vegan, the more the meat departments stink to you like the Land of the Dead. That’s precisely what a butcher and meat department make up, mind you, but I never noticed before how the the stench of rotting flesh in the meat department wafts and travels through every aisle of the store! Ugh! It really turns my stomach. Count Leo Tolstoi — a famous Vegetarian — was wise beyond the beliefs of his life when he said, “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will always be war.” Amen, my brother, Amen.
Jack The Cat
Unfortunately, there is one Big Loser in our new Vegan World.
Meet him now.
Know his heart.
He is a bi-color Persian.
His name is: Jack The Cat!
Jack is a healthy, 10 pound bruiser, and whatever Jack wants, Jack gets (because he takes without asking and harbors no prisoners!).
Our evening meals of chicken and hamburger and pizza were always tertiary feedings for the man in black and white.
Now that we’re Vegan, Jack is horribly frustrated. What once smelled and tasted good to him now only smells good! Oh, sure, we offer tastes of our rice and vegetables, but Jack isn’t interested. He wants meat and he wants it now! He pouts! He stares! He grimaces! We are forced to hug and kiss away his regret, but it doesn’t appear to be working. We’ll keep trying despite paws to our noses.
Jack does love Twinlabs’ Nutritional Yeast flakes, though! He goes CRAZY for the stuff! We bought the Twinlabs brand unaware. We can’t eat it due to it having BOTH honey and whey as ingredients! We found another brand of nutritional yeast flakes (Red Star) that is truly Vegan and we’re happy (along with Jack) that the Twinlabs version is being heartily eaten like there’s no tomorrow.
Veganism is much easier to do with a buddy. If I didn’t have my beautiful wife along for the ride, I think this new Vegan life would be lonelier because the outside world is harsh and cruel against those who choose not to buy into the meat, dairy and egg advertising campaigns. Together, my wife and I make Veganism a private “Us Against The World” crusade. We choose cruelty-free products. We’re bonded closer than ever as we not only become healthier, but better people to boot.
Veganism is a life-changing experience. I recommend the experience to anyone looking to make themselves look, feel and be better. My wife and I are living proof of the magic in eating right via ethical living choices and we’ll live like this for the rest of our time on earth. Even Jack The Cat has to admit on some animal level that he’s better off going without that last bite of Chicken Little.