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Yes, you read the title of my post correctly. I’m going Vegan for one week. No it’s not a New Year’s Resolution (I don’t do those) or anything of the sort.
Where to even begin to try to explain why…
I’ve always been a person who said I could easily turn vegetarian. Growing up I hated milk (unless it was loaded with a 17 cups of Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup), didn’t like eggs (unless they were baked into cookies, cupcakes, etc), I did and still do hate chicken, except I have always liked beef. I hate turkey, lunch meat, lamb, etc. I only eat ham made by my dad on Holidays…and that’s only because it’s tradition. I always have been and still am soooo picky about eating meat outside of my own house or my parents (I know, I have issues). Until we moved South I had never had seafood (my family is weird) – now of which I love (however, I refuse to order it back home in Chicago because it is not fresh, really it isn’t). I love love love to order all types of seafood at local joints when out on the coast, in fact that’s really the only time I ever order it at a restaurant. I occasionally cook shrimp at home, but that’s it.
My Junior year of college, 7.5 years ago, I began babysitting for Foodmomiac as well as another family in Toledo that were very pro organic foods, milk, eggs, etc. Both of these women (the moms) I looked up to so much. This was definitely a time in my life where I cracked out of my snooty suburb shell and became my own diversified person who had thoughts and disagreed with the “norm”. Lover Boy and I did lots of research and began to eat and drink organic products and buy organic, natural cleaners (off of my babysitting budget and his UPS budget…poor college kids who had a goal in mind, eating healthy and eating food the way it “should” be).
My family has definitely not been on board with our whole organic craze. They are old school and don’t see the point. They “haven’t died yet of eating regular food, nor has Kenny who ate canned food his whole life”. (Kenny is a friend of my mom who she is now taking care of – living at their house, he’s 93 and very healthy). When my family comes to our house I always hear how much of a waste of money it is to buy organic. My parents even go out and buy their own “non-organic” milk when they come to visit. It’s so insane. I have come to the point of not even caring to talk about our food choices with them because it doesn’t get me anywhere. Which is fine, we are all welcome to have our own opinions.
Lover Boy and I also have enjoyed reading articles and studies and watching documentaries on the food industry as a whole (as well as carbon footprint). From the way the animals are treated to the way our fruit and veggies are grown. I try to only buy beef from the US (it’s pretty nasty how much meat is imported from other countries…why?!?!) (For the last three years we have been buying a deer that our friend Chad shoots – I have my issues with this as well but feel a lot better because the deer isn’t hyped up on steroids, stuck in a stall, eating food that isn’t normal for it’s kind, etc).
Exercise – I raced Cross Country and Track for 10 years competitively – had a running scholarship to the University of Toledo (Division 1). My running career ended badly when I got hurt really really bad. Along with some other issues I had with running back then I kind of ended on a sour note and honestly have not had the will or desire to run more than 1 week straight since then. Sad but true. Nowadays we have two young kids (who, if I do want to run have to be pushed in the Burley). I can use the excuse as to I’m too busy to exercise but that would be lying, I’m a stay-at-home mom for pete’s sake! I have the time. Really the truth is I’m too lazy. (Red flag #1). I don’t want to be in “pain” while doing it nor do I have a group to do it with…the biggest thing I do miss about not being on a running team anymore (yes there are groups that meet around here, but excuse me I am not getting up to be running at 5am!! I’m not insane!)
Health – I’ve always been in good health, but then again I am only 28 years old so it’s not like I’ve had all of the time in the world to become unhealthy. My immediate family is healthy as well. Either of my parents have ever had any health problems, thank God (and they are 59 and 60). My grandparents, however, 3 out of 4 had passed away by the time I was 10 years old due to cancer, diabetes and a billion other health issues. (Red flag #2).
Lover Boy’s family has a slew of health issues with his own mom having diabetes. His one grandpa had passed away long before he was born and his two grandma’s died of Alzheimer’s and cancer. (Red flag #3).
Five years ago I attended a continuing education conference for Recreational Therapy (for work). I had the choice of selecting which seminars I wanted to attend, I chose the seminar regarding obesity. Obesity is past an epidemic, it’s a full blown pandemic! and is causing so so so so so many secondary health issues. Literally it’s sickening. (Red flag #4).
I am a Recreational Therapist. All of my working years (and most of my clinical years) were spent with the Geriatric population – I worked first hand with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, psychiatric disorders, diabetes, arthritis, chronic heart failure, the list goes on and on…if in any way possible I can cut down my risk of developing these beyond horrible, painful diseases you bet your bippy I’m going to do it. (Red flag #5).
To avoid a billion more reasons that I could keep blabbing about, Lover Boy and I have decided that our family does need to be more conscious of the food we eat, where it comes from and what types of food we are eating. My goal as a wife and mother is to provide my family with the best and healthiest food. I want to be around to watch my kids and grandkids grow up (now hopefully I am not killed in a car accident tomorrow!) Although I cannot guarantee that I/we will not have health issues I want to be proactive in every way possible and make smart choices.
After having our friends who are vegan over recently my interest has been sparked, mostly to find out why someone would choose to be vegan. I posted a facebook status asking for recipe suggestions and found out that a couple of people that I grew up with are also vegan. I have been reading non-stop (yes, can you believe it!) and watching documentaries regarding overall health. It’s really been eye opening to me and has touched on all of those red flags I mentioned.
Which leads me to the title of my blog post – I’m going vegan for one week. For all of the said reasons above as well as I want to see if 1. I can really do it 2. Force myself to eat better, more nutritiously. (Unfortunately I cannot expect my family to join along with me cold turkey like this…my kids may literally die if they don’t eat cheese or drink milk for one week straight, I’m serious).
In all honesty I’m not doing this because of animal cruelty (because I have been aware of these topics for years and have continued to keep eating dairy, eggs, meat)…I also own a leather couch, jackets, and shoes. – I am doing it because I do believe that a plant based and whole foods diet is a much wiser choice. I know that illness and diseases can be reversed by healthy diet changes. I know that teaching my kids to be healthy now will hopefully lead them to making healthy choices later in life. I am not committing to eating a vegan diet nor will I claim to be vegan after one week. This is simply a week that I am dedicating to eating healthier. Period.
So, this next week I will be showing you the recipes that I make. I am totally pumped! Anyone want to join with me?
I highly recommend these video documentaries and books/studies:
Forks Over Knives
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please only leave kind comments though 🙂