I shop at farmers markets and co-ops and Whole Foods more than I ever did before I was vegan, and I pay extra for organic.
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage by now: “Pay for it now, or pay for it later.” The money we spend on the healthiest food possible is an investment in our future health that will pay off down the road. (I realize I’m in the minority when I say this; most vegan chefs I’ve talked to didn’t discover their passion for food they went vegan.) Here’s what happened: First, vegan food took a little more work to prepare.
Second, without meat or cheese to supply lots of protein and fat without carbohydrate, there wasn’t the need to balance it with a high-carb side dish to keep this runner going.
Even after I became vegetarian, I turned this question over and over in my mind.
I knew that I wanted to quit eating animal products but just couldn’t imagine making it work.
Two and a half years later, now that this once extreme lifestyle now feels familiar, I have just enough perspective to wish I could go back and give my pre-vegan self (or someone else in my shoes) a few pointers. Laugh them off, or take the opportunity to explain how important your diet choices are to you. I thought I’d miss cheese as an appetizer, with a glass of wine or a beer.
So whenever they give us the promised time machines and jetpacks and I get the chance to go back and talk to that guy, here’s how I’ll help him prepare: 1. So get used to them, and understand that they don’t necessarily indicate a lack of respect. But it didn’t take long to discover that when I replaced the cheese with nuts or crackers, these foods were just as satisfying for their saltiness between sips, and I felt a lot better ten minutes later. I quickly found that cheeseless pizza wasn’t nearly as good as the real thing, but it did the job, and over time, I came to tolerate (and even like) Daiya.
As the plant-based fitness movement grows, this is beginning to change.
But keep in mind that even though are aware of this shift because you’re so closely involved in it, most people have no clue about this.
So instead of making two or three different dishes for dinner, I shifted to one-dish meals: pastas, stir-fries, gigantic salads, smoothies, and a grain, a green, and a bean all in one pot. I didn’t expect friends and family to change as a result of my decision. But — completely aside from this blog — I’ve had at least a half dozen friends excitedly tell me about how they eat less meat now.
It was a matter of practicality and simplicity, which, although less “gourmet,” fit perfectly well with other shifts in my lifestyle precipitated by my change in diet. Some have become pescetarian, vegetarian, and even vegan. Be prepared for a feeling of responsibility, and the compulsion to hold yourself to a higher standard than before.
To them, vegans are still skinny and weak, by necessity.