Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Going Vegan for Lent

I am starting to hear from people who are considering going vegan for Lent.  They stumble upon my "Forty Days Vegan" blog through a Google search, or they know me personally.  In either case they are interested in trying a plant based diet as a Lent sacrifice, but have serious concerns, fears, questions or trepidations about giving up meat and dairy.

I am happy to answer any questions.  It was a great experience and the hardest thing I have ever given up for Lent.  In the end I was proud of my accomplishment and I felt really good.  The only way I can describe it is that my body felt "lighter", although I only lost 5 lbs.  The healthy feeling was so noticeable to me that I decided to keep it going (sort-of) since Easter (Granted, on Easter Sunday I ate all sorts of dairy and meat based foods.... but the after effect was I felt awful for two days).

I have not been a perfect vegan in the last 11 months, but I did do a good job of holding vegan for all of Lent (plus I started one week early to be sure I could handle the commitment).

During Lent there were two minor mis-steps:  1).  I asked a hostess at a party if the dip had any meat or dairy, to which she said "No".  Upon eating a small bite she remembered there was bacon in the dip.  No my fault, and such a minor amount.... I did not look at it as a mistake.   2).  I ate a spoonful of peanut butter that was a special "honey infused" peanut butter my wife had purchased.  Again, who would have dreamed there would be honey in peanut butter?  (yes, honey is not allowed.... it is made by bees!).

After Lent I created my own plan of being "Vegan Leaning".  Monday through Friday I try hard to make vegan diet choices (but do not beat myself up if there is not option on a menu or I choose to eat meat or dairy).  On the weekends I eat anything (and yes, some Sundays a steak calls me loudly to come eat it for dinner, and tastes soooo good!).  The trick for me is moderation!

I figure I am about 75% or 80% vegan most weeks, but only 50% on others.  Either way I feel good and am very happy with my decision to try being vegan for Lent last year.

Leave a comment or send me an email thom (at) thomsinger.com if you have any questions.

thom singer

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Holidays Were Not Quite Vegan

I found my "Vegan Leaning" lifestyle was toppled over during the holidays.  While I have not kept 100% vegan since the end of Lent (back in April 2011), I did do a good job of making "mostly" vegan choices Monday - Friday (Friday at 5 PM began my "eat anything weekends").

***Side note, I did find that I could not splurge on the weekends and go heavy on meat or dairy, as it made me feel like crap until Tuesday.  So while I would eat meat and dairy, I had to practice restraint since I have leaned my diet toward the plant based side of things.

Then came the holiday season.  The parties, my wife's baking, the relaxed schedule, etc.... all took my will power down a notch and I found myself not paying that much attention to my dietary choices.  After Christmas my family took a ski vacation and I had all kinds of things that would no qualify as "Vegan Leaning".

Now that 2012 has begun I am jumping back into my Monday - Friday efforts to eat mostly vegan meals.  I know I will still make some choices that do not qualify me for "Vegan of the Year", but I am certain I am healthier than I was before this journey began nearly one year ago.

Feel free to share your vegan story or words of encouragement on the comments section on this post or any of the others.  My favorite part of eating vegan has been the conversations I have had with people whom I know and with strangers who stumbled upon this blog.

thom singer