Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vegan.

I did not grow up in a church that intentionally celebrated Lent. In fact, I didn't even know that Mardi Gras had any religious implications or that it was connected to the Lenten season.

However, as an adult, specifically in the past 5 years or so, taking time during lent to focus my heart has become a cherished tradition for me. I find it a refreshing way to consider my faith anew... and to recognize God's ultimate sacrifice.

The question each year is always: what?

This year, Savannah and I have decided to become vegan. Which, yes, means that not only are we not eating meat, we aren't consuming any animal products, including dairy and eggs.

Recently we watched a fascinating and compelling documentary called Forks Over Knives. The movie examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Bold statements. Boldly presented. We weren't totally convinced, but we were intrigued.

Trying out this animal free diet for Lent seemed like a reasonable way to give it a shot.

And so, since Wednesday, I haven't eaten any meat, cheese, milk... even my beloved coffee creamer, because while it claims to be non-dairy, it contains a milk product called casein. Can't drink it.

A few thoughts early on:
  • I could VERY easily become vegetarian. I don't miss the meat at all.
  • It's MUCH better to focus on what we CAN eat, rather than what we cannot eat.
  • I love, and miss cheese. Good cheese is one of life's simplest pleasures in my book.
  • Black coffee is yucky. It took me three days to find a vegan creamer. It ain't Coffeemate, but it'll do.
  • I love beans. Always have, but I don't cook with them much. Now I'm eating LOTS of beans and they are yummy.
  • Dining out on a restrictive diet sure reduces your options. Not a lot on menus for vegans, I'm finding...
  • The internet is my friend. I have found TONS of recipes that will help us get through these next few weeks.
  • I don't expect I will lose any weight on this diet... it's possible, but not likely.
And now I'm heading out the door with Asia to go to Flamin' Joes for a birthday party. Won't that be fun?

Do you celebrate Lent?

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