Adventures in Veganism: Day 7 – The End is Now
I, an avid meat and ice cream-eater, have been eating vegan for the past week as a George Plimpton-esque adventure. Now, on my last day, I am literally counting down the hours until I am reunited with meat and dairy products again.
Breakfast: Instant oatmeal.
Lunch: I go with my family to Coast, the beach-side restaurant in the Shutter’s Hotel in Santa Monica. I look the menu over again and again, dreaming about all the food that I can’t eat. I want to order spaghetti until someone points out that a lot of spaghetti is made with eggs, which the waitress confirms. The waitress tells me that the only vegan item on the menu is a Portobello mushroom steak with barley rice. “Steak” is a major exaggeration – it is just a small, thin slice of Portobello – but the dish as a whole is delicious.
11 PM: No dinner yet. I’m holding out for midnight, at which point I am going to get chicken at El Pollo Loco and rainbow sherbert ice cream at a Rite Aid. The time can’t pass quickly enough.
I started this week knowing that it would be difficult to eat vegan, and it has been, but in a very different way than I thought it would be. I thought I’d have to cook at home a lot more, but this hasn’t been the case. I thought I’d be eating really bland food, and this also hasn’t been true.
On the other hand, though, I thought I’d lose weight and feel healthier, and this is absolutely not true. One of the reasons I’m excited to end this week is so I can go back to eating healthy. As a vegan, you’re stuck eating a lot of beans and carbs, and eating tons of vegetables and fruits wrecks havoc on your digestive system.
Yet, even though I can’t wait to eat an entire chicken, I’m going to take a couple things away with me that I learned this week. One is the amazing vegan chili I made; another is vegan restaurants like Real Food Daily, which I’ve now fallen in love with. Eating vegan definitely made me pay attention to what goes into the food I eat. Reading labels , studying menus, and just plain thinking about how food is cooked is incredibly beneficial when you’re trying to eat healthy. But I don’t believe that eating vegan is healthy. The diet is very unbalanced and, as one friend pointed out to me, soy isn’t actually that good for you.
If you’re absolutely obsessed with animals and want to save them all, then sure, eat vegan. Learn how to cook, try to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups, be prepared to have your body adjust for a couple weeks (my body definitely didn’t adjust within a week), and get used to not eating at restaurants when your friends do. If you want to be healthy and eat in a way that’s good for the environment (and, in turn, good for the little piggies and chickens), eat locally grown produce, eat meat sparingly and from free range farms, and eat less. Over-consumption and waste does much more harm to you and the planet than cutting out animal products will benefit it.
Now, the time has come.
Please excuse me while I go eat an entire roast chicken and a tub of ice cream.
[Image from Flickr]