What you should know if you're considering a vegan diet.
When our friend revealed she recently adopted a vegan diet—and was loving it—we had a lot of questions. Here Hannah shares her venture into veganism.
The positives of adopting a vegan diet made it a no-brainer for me: I'd be reducing my carbon footprint, my animal-cruelty guilt, and my grocery bill. Vanity also played a part: clearer skin, more energy, a steady weight, and an elusive "inner lightness" I'd heard about. After doing a little research I ventured down the vegan path. There seemed to be only two challenges: how not to ostracize myself (or feel ostracized) by my non-vegan friends, and what to eat at a restaurant. Most of my friends have been supportive and curious, but a lot of people have expressed concern about my diet in terms of getting all the vitamins I need.
So far it’s been exciting to incorporate new foods and use new recipes. The base of my meals is usually a whole grain, whether it's soba noodles, rice, or quinoa. As for protein - I'm a big fan of tofu, lentils, and other types of beans. Then I fill up on veggies and cover the whole thing in hot sauce—a staple in my kitchen. For snacks, hummus with vegetables is my favorite. And to quell my insatiable sweet tooth, coconut milk ice cream sandwiches are so satisfying and low-calorie.
Eating out has been trickier but, cooking has been fun and cheaper! I love inviting friends over for a vegan meal - they never miss the animal products. I recently had vegan “chicken parm” and “cheesecake” at an all vegan restaurant, and could barely tell the difference. I try to keep imitation foods to a minimum, but every once in a while; they're a welcome treat.
As the weeks have gone by, my cravings for dairy—always a weakness for me—have noticeably subsided. I've had some cheats (ice cream cake on my birthday, a slice of wedding cake), but I don’t feel guilty. This is week 7 and I feel great. I do feel a vague, more peaceful glow, but that could just be my well-rested conscience and the thrill of trying something new.