So, why not go Vegan? A few years ago when experts started emphasizing a “way of life” vs. a “diet”, I was honestly intimidated by the concept. Who wants to change their “way of life”? At that time, I was still craving hamburgers and fries from Steak N’ Shake, enjoying the occasional fried chicken from KFC, and content to stop at Taco Bell on the way home from work for some soft tacos made of pseudo-beef. So many temptations right off the highway, minutes from home, around every corner!
Interestingly, I’ve never been particularly fond of meat. I was not the one to ask out for a nice steak dinner. My sister had a love affair with T-bones from a young age. And, everyone around me seemed to enjoy a nice sirloin. Not me. I loved the smell. Just didn’t want to eat them. Later in life, everyone raved about pork steaks. Not me. Ribs! Not me. I didn’t like the mess that resulted from a rack of ribs. I also didn’t like the fat that I would have to cut off from around the steak. And, then, sometimes I thought I had all the fat cut away, only to taste or feel it in my mouth. YUCK!
Well, that leaves fowl and fish. I went through my shrimp phase and now have no desire for it. I can do an occasional salmon dish . . . until someone under cooks it. Then, I’m over it for months. How about chicken, you ask. I don’t like the after taste. Turkey breast is fine as long as it is dry, dry, dry. But, even then, the after taste can get to me.
Now, life in the Middle East is a bit different. Not that I’m wanting to eat meat, but rather because there are far fewer temptations and the food is no different that it’s easy to refrain. My new expat friends already know that I don’t like meat. In fairness, I’ve tried chicken tikka and liked it. I just can’t get myself to eat it frequently. I don’t have to worry about pork, since it isn’t a Muslim staple. The beef is from Australia and New Zealand. Needless to say, I am fine without meat.
I’ve also been lactose intolerant my entire life and have never been in-love with eggs. I do love cheese and ice cream but I can live without both for the sake of being healthy and dairy-free. That’s where the Veganism comes into play. A Vegan only eats organically produced items like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, Quinoa, etc. . . Foods produced from animals or animal by-products are not in a Vegan diet. And, I’ve learned most recently that we really don’t need meat or animal by-products in our diet to be healthy. It’s taken years, but I’m realizing that my food preferences are really more in-line with Veganism.
Right now I have two daughters eating Paleo, one Vegan, and one absolute traditional omnivorous. And, for the next 6 weeks, I want to give Veganism a try. I want to be loyal to this “life style”. So, I’m blogging. I need support. In addition to meat and dairy, I really don’t like commitments. Today was DAY 1! So far, so good. Please let me know if you are Vegan, or Paleo, or just struggling to find your food identity.