30 Days To Vegan

Vegan

This past Tuesday, I started a 30 day vegan challenge. For the next 30 days, I won’t be eating any meat, dairy or eggs. Yes, I’m aware that Christmas falls within the next 30 days, which I hadn’t really realized when I first decided to embark on this challenge, but it doesn’t matter. As my mom pointed out, if I can make it through Christmas eating vegan, I can make it through anything.

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost four full years now, though during that time I ate fish or seafood on occasion. I’ve always been of the belief that doing something imperfectly is better than doing nothing perfectly, so though sometimes I didn’t totally fit the strict vegetarian label, I still considered myself a vegetarian.

The Why

I initially stopped eating meat after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. The ethical and health implications of factory farming truly disturbed me, and I no longer felt comfortable with my eating choices, so I stopped cold turkey (ha!). Even with my convictions, for the better part of a year I still made a couple of exceptions – once for McNuggets (ugh, I know right?), another time for my mom’s homemade barbeque ribs.

I share this to illustrate that sometimes despite my beliefs, I have a hard time accepting change in my life, as I think we all do sometimes. For the last four years, I’ve known that I don’t believe in eating seafood (mainly because of bycatch effects and the toxicity of farmed fish), and yet I still occasionally did, when I willfully ignored the things I already knew.

And for four years, I’ve known there are major problems with eating dairy (for example, the hormones in dairy products, the potential link between meat and dairy proteins and serious disease such as heart disease and cancer, the treatment of dairy cows and chickens) and that eating less dairy is probably healthier for humans. And yet for four years, I willfully ignored the things I already knew, mostly because I didn’t want to seem radical or militant or like a hippie or just plain extreme, which is the way our society tends to see vegans.

But I know the things I know, and it doesn’t sit right with me to ignore those things anymore. I want to strive to live in a way that fits with my values and beliefs, so I want to strive to eat healthier for me and for the planet. And in my opinion, the best way for me to do that is to eat a vegan diet of mainly whole foods. I should note that I certainly don’t judge anyone for their personal choices.

Vegan22

The What

I decided to start with a 30 day challenge because the idea of going without eggs for the rest of my life is too terrifying to contemplate (say what you will, but it is what it is!). I’m going to start with 30 days to prove to myself that I’m capable of eating this way, but I’m aiming to keep it up once the 30 days are up. The hashtag I’m using to share my meals and track my progress is #30DaysToVegan, which to me implies progress towards a goal, not a set number of days.

So far it’s been fun and remarkably easy to eat vegan. I’ve been collecting lots of inspiration for vegan recipes on Pinterest, and I’ve been happy to see that it’s easy to slightly modify some of my favourite meals to avoid dairy (and keep all the taste). My family have been really supportive: for example, my mom has made me a meal or two already, and my dad uncomplainingly ate the nutritious but slightly bland curry I made him for dinner. They might not totally understand, but they accept me and my choices, which is a wonderful feeling. That’s the most important thing to me.

The How

I’ll be posting weekly progress updates over on Guinea Pigging Green, and I’ve been trying to post at least one photo of my (vegan!) food on our Instagram, @GreenGuineaPigs, every day. You’re more than welcome to follow along or even join in!

xo,

Steph

12 thoughts on “30 Days To Vegan”

  1. I completely agree that it’s better to do something imperfectly than nothing perfectly. I actually have a quote on my computer from the vegan activist/cookbook author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau that says basically that. That said, I’m excited to see someone else doing a challenge like that! I’ve been a vegan for last seven months – although I sort of backslid a bit last month due to NaNo-inspired laziness. But now I’m focused on eating better again, and I’m recommitting to veganism because I do believe that’s the best diet. I’m excited to check out your links for more inspiration. Thanks, and good luck! :)

    1. Stephanie Pellett

      I’ll have to look up that exact quote – it sounds awesome! I think it’s awesome to hear about your vegan eating, hearing about other people’s stories is so motivating. Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Hey you can do it! It’s not so tough! It’s really fun, I’ve been forced to cook a lot more often as well as a larger variety of dishes (no more tuna pasta!). I’m actually a vegetable nut now, you would be shocked at the food I eat these days (kale is the best, but asparagus might also be the best; i just re-discovered brussel sprouts so those could be the best too; other contenders for ‘the best’ are cabbage and squash (butternut, spaghetti, zucchini)).

    I agree, the idea that this is a permanent change is daunting – but I’ve really come to accept it the past month. I went vegan for ethical reasons, but reading ‘the china study’ really drove the commitment home for me.

    ALSO if this isn’t painfully obvious, if I can go vegan (remember how many steaks and how much meat protein I was consuming?) then you so can you.

    buhleave in yo-self woman!

    1. Stephanie Pellett

      Hey you! I love your list of favourite vegetables, those are definitely some of the best veggies there are. Wanna have a best veggie competition? So cool that you read The China Study, it’s on my to-read list. I just finished reading Super Immunity which was pretty interesting too. Thanks for your support Pablo :) you rock

  3. Pingback: #30DaysToVegan: Week 1 | guinea pigging green.

  4. I did this earlier this year after watching the ‘Forks over Knives’ documentary, just to see if I could do it and if it made any difference. It was a very good 30 days! I felt a lot healthier, I ate (and liked) so many more vegetables that I would never have even tried before and just generally felt a lot better. It’s hard around others though, most of my family thought I was crazy! Cheese was my biggest issue, I missed goats cheese like crazy!

    I’m not fully vegan any more by any means but I still only eat meat special occasions and still only drink almond milk. It was so worth it!

    Good Luck!

    1. Stephanie Pellett

      Hey Ruby,
      Thanks so much for sharing part of your journey with me! I love hearing about how and why other people have made this choice. Sorry your family wasn’t more supportive, but good for you for giving it a try anyways! I love that you’re still making choices that work for you. Thanks again! :)

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