It's now been exactly a month since the Nichols household went vegetarian. And oh what a month it's been! We've had a lot of ups and downs as far as figuring out what to cook and what we can and can't eat, but it honestly hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be!
After about a week of simply cutting meat out of our diets, we started slowly cutting eggs and most dairy out of our diets as well. At this point we're almost completely vegan, and I've never felt better in my life! This is something Sean and I have been trying to implement in our lives for years, and it feels so great to finally reach our goal.
Here are just a few changes that have happened since we decided to go Vegan:
- We both feel we're more conscious about what we put in our mouths and what we feed Taylor. Unfortunately, in our society especially, eating has become an unconscious thing; we don't stop to really think about what's on our plate and how it got there.
- I'm cooking from scratch a lot more, which is great because it saves money and I know exactly what is in the food we eat.
- We're all trying new things and finding foods we love that we never would have tried otherwise. One of my favorites: avocado and tomato panini. I seriously could eat one for lunch every day of my life.
- A surprising added bonus: Sean and I are both losing weight! I guess it shouldn't be a huge surprise, but it's definitely not something we initially expected to happen. I'm anxious for the both of us to go in and have physicals done, since the last time Sean went in his cholesterol was a bit high and he was close to being borderline diabetic. I'm positive that his test results would be much better now.
Over this past month I've been asked a lot of questions about plant-based diets, and so I thought I'd share the two books I read in April that really helped me change my thinking about food and helped us all make the conversion to a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle.
The first book I read was "Veganist" by Kathy Freston. In this book she talks about how to "lean" toward a healthier diet, rather than radically cutting all animal protein and byproducts from your diet immediately. She also talks about nine "promises" that a vegan lifestyle gives, including reducing your carbon footprint, reducing animal suffering, and protecting yourself and your family from food-born illnesses. Even if you are in no way interested in being completely vegan (or even vegetarian) this book is a must-read.
Reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer was the biggest eye-opener for me. He talks very honestly and frankly about the problems that eating meat has caused to our bodies, our country, and the world. He addresses what exactly it means to buy meat and dairy labeled "organic," "cage-free," and "free-range." The thing I love about this book is that he aims to inform, rather than preach. He gives you the facts and lets you decide what is right for you and your family. I highly recommend it.
I was even able to find Taylor a cute and sweet picture book about our new lifestyle. It's called "That's Why We Don't Eat Animals," written and illustrated by Ruby Roth. I love the illustrations and it talks in a simple way about taking care of animals and our planet.
I'm so proud of Taylor for opening our eyes to his little preschooler view of the world and helping us take these first steps toward a vegan lifestyle. It hasn't been easy, but it's helped us all to feel healthier and happier.