Managing My Diet With Vegan Choices

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Ark posted some info about a documentary that just came out on Netflix. The documentary is worth having a look at if you’re able, because it goes into the nutrition behind plant-based cuisine. It’s been something that’s interested me over the past several years. I’ve struggled with my weight since I quit smoking. A kind blogger actually directed my attention towards vegan food (hi, Amethyst, if you’re reading this).

I did some looking into all of it, and I found the usual spots where people argued over meat and animal products. Rehashing those arguments is pointless. If you wanted to get into an argument about diet choices, there are so many places to do so. Arguments got in the way of why I need to change my diet.

But I’m not always in control over what I eat. I don’t buy food for everyone I live with, and they’re the kind of people who shut off when they hear the word “vegan.” That’s a whole other issue, but I mention this because I’ve only been able to make a few adjustments to what I eat, and even those have had some benefits for me.

First off, just eating less meat has helped me manage my weight.
Yes, I’m still overweight. But I’ve also not been gaining weight like when I first moved back to Alabama. Overall I’ve lost and kept off about 15 pounds. When I have to eat quick food with animal products in it, that weight goes up.

I know it’s my diet that’s helped because I exercise on a regular basis. As a former smoker, I enjoy doing anything like jogging and hiking in difficult terrain – things that used to kick my ass when I smoked. All other variables being equal, it’s my diet that fluctuates the most, which messes with my weight the most.

Second, and equally important, vegan cuisine is pretty fucking good.
Some people look at vegan food and think about all of what they have to give up. I used to do that with smoking. It caused me no end of worry thinking about what I’d do if I had to give up all the little things that went into maintaining my nicotine habit. All of that distracted from the obvious. Quitting was a good choice.

Nobody ever complains that Italian food doesn’t have enough turkey in it, or that German food isn’t spicy enough. If vegan was a culture with its own cuisine, not as many people would complain about it. People would also be more willing to try it, I think.

And it’s good food. If I was fully in charge of my own diet tomorrow, I would increase vegan dishes that I eat. Plants are tasty. They’re delicious enough that I don’t sit there and think I need to drown it in bacon fat.

Most of all, vegan food has helped me learn about what I eat.
I like cheese, but now I know that it’s something I shouldn’t eat regularly. Finding vegan food choices gives me an excuse to eat new things. When I do find those new things, I know more about the quality of what I’m putting into my system. It’s forced me to learn to cook better, to the point that I prefer my own cooking to anything I could get in a restaurant.

There are many reasons for people to change what they eat. It didn’t require a confrontation or heated argument to get me into it. All it took was trying something new, and then figuring out I could eat some really delicious stuff that was better for me. That last part is something I used to be skeptical about.

But that’s only because I never bothered trying food that was good for me in ways I enjoyed.

Whether you’re thinking about trying something new, or just in the market for healthy food choices, I recommend giving plant-based a shot. It’s not giving anything up. There’s no crusade to go on (which is good, because I don’t own a lance and can’t remember where I parked my horse). You don’t have to put your hair in a man bun and give your kids adjectives for names. Just eat something tasty.

Since I’m cooking for just myself tonight, it’s what I’m going to do.