When I wrote this post about my new year’s resolutions recently, I mentioned that I am about 80%- 90% vegan and don’t eat refined sugar or refined carbohydrates. Hayley tweeted me and asked for a bit more information on what I eat, so I thought I’d write a quick post detailing what an average day of eating might look like for me.
But first, why on earth do I eat in this way?
Well, I have struggled with my weight for years, but it wasn’t until I cut out refined sugar and refined carbohydrates that I really got a handle on the problem and liberated myself from the cycle of weight loss and gain.
But that’s not all it’s about.
It seems that veganism is the new trendy way to eat, and everyone from Bill Clinton, to Ellen deGeneres, to Russell Brand, to Olivia Wilde are on the bandwagon. Even Brad Pitt has recently declared himself vegan, and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons wrote a passionate letter outlining his reasons for becoming vegan.
However, I am not a ‘full vegan’. On using cronometer to track my nutrition, I found it hard to get enough calcium without having a piece of cheese or two during the day. I might also have a spoonful or two of yoghurt. I’m quite okay with not being ‘ full vegan’ because I don’t feel I have to justify the way I eat to anyone – I just eat as I want to.
Perhaps having pet sheep and living on farmland has given me a new appreciation for animals, which has informed my decision to eat in this low impact way.
Having said all of this, I find there are many benefits to eating in this manner, making me very motivated to continue:
1. I never have to worry about my weight. Ever.
2. I feel good that the way I eat impacts far less on animals and the environment. All the fuel, water, and energy that it takes to raise and slaughter an animal, or harvest their products, is greatly reduced. To make just one beef pattie, 2400 litres of water are consumed, which is enough for a four hour shower. That is without the mention of trucks to transport livestock, clearing of forests for farmland, and release of methane into the atmosphere accelerating global warming. On a further environmental note, it is said that at the current rate, there will be no fish left in the ocean by 2048. Sad indeed.
3. It’s inexpensive. It’s amazing how cheap fresh food is.
4. I feel great. My digestion has always been rubbish, but eating this way does away with any digestive problems entirely. I’m no longer tired, I have lots of energy, and my brain functions at its best when I eat this way. This food helped me do my best work when I was busting out 14 hour days during the final six months of the PhD. Over the Christmas period, my partner actually said that he missed ‘our food’ because it made him feel so good.
5. I don’t feel controlled by advertising. Fresh food is remarkably free of hype. Buying my food from the outside aisles of the supermarket and then leaving, or from a farmer’s market, is immensley satisfying.
6. It’s more effective at keeping wrinkles at bay than anything La Prairie will try to sell me. Refined carbs, refine sugar, and alcohol will break down collagen in the face over time and create wrinkles just as exposure to the sun does. Read more about this process of glycation here.
7. My risk of heart disease, cancer, and so on, is much lower. Good.
8. I’m a binge eater, but this slow-release-energy helps me keep the binging under control. Also, I always need to eat enough plant-based protein in every meal to feel full and further guard against binginess, but eating lots of plant-based protein doesn’t make me feel sluggish like eating lots of meat or dairy does. I don’t feel restricted either, and I can eat reasonable portions of food. I read somewhere that the idea of calories was quite misleading, as seeds or nuts (for example) have evolved to pass throught the digestive system with minimal impact, and thus not all calories are absorbed into your system. On the other had, calories from a piece of cake are already well and truly refined and broken down, making it easier to absorb all the calories in the piece. If I remember where I read that I’ll provide the link 😉
So what on earth do I eat? Well, here are some examples from today:
So, that’s pretty much what I eat. I am an absolute non-cooker, yet I find it very easy to throw these sorts of meals together. A better cook than me would probably be much more creative with meals, but I just don’t have the time, and I’m not really that interested in creative cooking. I just want fresh, tasty food, that is good for me with a minimum amount of fuss. I have so much else to do!
For far more creative fare (I’m in awe), check out Stacey’s amazing new blog at The Cat’s Pyjamas (both vegetarian and vegan recipes, as well as information on ethical shopping and beauty), or Easy as Vegan Pie, recommended by the enthusastic vegan and all-around literary bod, Marieke Hardy. You can also have a look at Bite-Sized Thoughts, a blog written by a fellow West Aussie.