My Journey to Veganism

 . . . Or maybe I should say, “back to veganism,” as I believe I was born vegan.  I never liked the taste of meat or milk or eggs as a kid.  My grandmother would slather my scrambled eggs with mustard to get me to eat them.  The only milk I would drink had to be flavored with chocolate, because I found the taste of white milk repulsive.  And meats?  I was coerced into eating them by threat of punishment.

Once I was old enough to decide for myself, I seldom ate flesh foods. Years later, in my doctoral studies, I learned a lot about the ways various foods can affect the human body. Gabriel Cousens, MD, broadened my knowledge of important concepts like pH balance, enzymes, and Ayurveda through his book Conscious Eating.  

The same book motivated me to end my animal eating altogether.  I wish I could tell you it was due to ethics, because I do love animals and Nature in its entirety, as you know.  But my motives were selfish: I did it for health reasons. Dr. Cousens’s text presents an abundance of information that made me think more than twice about the harm flesh foods could be causing my body.  Some of that info includes: Since World War II, farm animals have been inundated with a brew of pesticides, hormones, growth stimulants, insecticides, tranquilizers, radioactive isotopes, herbicides, antibiotics, and other assorted drugs.  He also quotes Dr. Carl Telleen, a retired USDA veterinarian, who wrote, Chicken carcasses contaminated with feces, once routinely condemned or trimmed, are now simply rinsed with chlorinated water to remove stains.  Further, Dr. Cousens asserts, Eating fish is potentially dangerous because of the widespread, ever-increasing pollution of the waters of the world. The biggest contaminants are mercury and PCBs, which are among the most toxic chemicals on the planet.  And now, we can add to that the dangers of micro plastics.

For years afterwards, I ate only plant foods with occasional cheeses and boiled eggs.  That is, until I enrolled in a Certification in Plant Based Nutrition course.  Much of the learning in the program is based on The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell.  The book shines a light on the harmful effects, often carcinogenic, of animal protein on the human body.  Before the course was over, I gave up animal products completely.

The makings for a delicious vegan omelette

During my first couple years as a vegan, I purchased a lot of prepared foods in delis and from the cold sections in markets.  Some were ok, others were disgusting, and some tasted fine but made me sick.  (Today’s pre-made items are much more palatable, but their ingredient lists can be far from health-promoting.)  Out of exasperation, I began looking for recipes to make my own vegan foods.  What a difference that has made!  My homemade preparations are not only tastier, but my yearly lab work numbers improved, as well.  (And as I’ve shared before, I lost quite a bit of weight.)  Other than tofu, tempeh, and coconut yogurt, I seldom feel the need to purchase ready-made items anymore.  I have found fantastic recipes for vegan sour cream, mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, cheddar, and nacho cheese.  I’ve learned to use ground flax in water as an egg substitute for pancakes and baking, as well as chickpea flour with just the right spices for omelettes and frittatas.  I struck gold when I came across a formula for vegan meatballs – they are some of the best I’ve ever tasted (even compared to real meatballs!)  Same goes for “meat” loaves. The directions I’ve found for a smoky, crispy bacon substitute for BLTs is out of this world.  And burgers, oh my!  I have discovered so many recipes for a variety of delectable vegan burgers.  Even ice cream, sorbet, pudding, and fudge can be made creamy & delicious with vegan ingredients.  My point is, it’s quite possible to have healthy, varied, and flavorful vegan foods every day; they might just need a little more effort at times than non-vegan meals.  (Check out my Recipe Category for some simple, yummy preparations.  I post a new one every 6 – 7 weeks.)

Mouthwatering vegan meatballs

I realize being vegan isn’t for everyone, but if you are considering eating less meat and dairy for any reason, I hope my story has provided a bit of encouragement. My journey continues to be one of experimenting and learning, and its rewards are far-reaching.  In addition to being environmentally sustainable and harmless to animals, the foods I eat contribute to my body’s optimal function – all reasons that cause me to feel I’m making the best choice for myself and the planet.

Blessings on Your Food Journey,

Lisa

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

67 thoughts on “My Journey to Veganism

  1. Hi ! For me, as far as meat is concerned, I never felt like eating meat. Being said that, I used to eat it if there is a family get together or if there is no option available. But I never cooked it. Finally I gave up eating meat in 2019 after watching Netflix series by David Attenborough. From that day .. I never touched meat. My 90% diet is plant based. Occasionally I eat eggs and I love my Indian tea with milk and desserts made from milk products.
    Thanks for sharing your blog ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you continued on the journey to a plants-based diet. Beef and pork have been off of my plate for a long time, and every day I step closer to vegan. You’re so right, there are substitutes for animal based products that are nutritionally complete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have had a Vegan household for many years. (Except for the dogs.) In the beginning we were using all sort of prepackaged stuff. More recently we have just became more creative with the dishes and find that a plant-based diet is just awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Mark, thanks for sharing your experience. I think vegan food’s reputation of being less than desirable is owing to the prepackaged items. I found them very hit and miss. But making stuff from scratch is fun & delicious, right? I am fortunate that my life partner chose to become vegan after eating my food for a few months. Now our only household carnivore has 4 legs, as well! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been on a vegan journey as well and have switched over for the most part. It does get easier once you find substitutes. Thanks for the link to your recipes – looking forward to going through your tips and strategies :). Wishing you a lovely, happy, healthy 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I eat a lot less meat than I used to. I’m not sure if I will ever go completely vegan, but I am more mindful of the amount of meat I eat and where it comes from. I’ve read many great books about animal intelligence and the poor conditions of animals raised for slaughter. Those books have given me the motivation to make changes in my diet. I love the recipes you share! They have made great additions to the meals I make for my family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Suzanne, thanks for sharing your experience. Being mindful of the amount & source are definitely important. Agreed, the conditions in which animals raised for commercial consumption live and die are deplorable. I’m so happy your family appreciates my recipes! Happy 2022! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Michelle, good for you for being sneaky! I understand having to cater to your hubby’s love for meats. I dated a guy for 15 years who had to have meat at every meal. I was lucky in that we often prepared meals at his place & he accommodated my vegetarian preferences. Have you sneaked any marinated & sautéed or baked tofu or tempeh into your meals? I’ve found lots of great recipes for both. And they’re quite toothsome when prepared properly. Have a beautiful new year, my friend! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We have been reducing our meat intact slowly over the last couple of years but at our age (70s) I can’t see either of us becoming vegan. Thanks Lisa for sharing your story here. Have a happy, healthy 2022 🌹🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ashley, sounds like you have it under control! Veganism isn’t for everyone. I’ll bet your bodies appreciate the extra plant foods, though! Wishing you a new year filled with laughter, beauty, and pleasant surprises! 🌞

      Like

  7. I so admire your research and eating authentically true and honoring your choices Lisa.
    It is motivating and always tugs at my heart because I do love animals but I eat very little meat and only those that have one bad day. It’s tough in a family of carnivorous.
    Blessings my friend!
    Happy New Year!

    💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As the years have gone by, we have reduced our meat consumption and have days when we eat vegetarian or vegan meals, every week. I feel this is better for us and for the planet. I know we could do more but I do feel we are at least going in the right direction. Happy New Year, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful write, Lisa. You know I’ve been on a self-selected Vegan diet for a couple of years now, and I was recently telling my sister snd mother that since dropping dairy, my skin itches less, and is more radiant. It’s amazing how much the body (and mind) respond positively to a plant based diet. Excellent post! 🌻✨

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for another informative and well written post Lisa. I always appreciate your informed thoughts, experiences, and resources. I send lots of care and good wishes to you and yours as 2022 begins. ❤

    Like

  11. I was too manipulated to eat scrambled egg when I was a child, saying it is just ‘panner’ means cheese. Since then, I’m a vegetarian and I never ate any meat.
    I came from a country where being vegan is so common, because of religious beliefs and faith and
    I must say, there would never be any shortage of ideas for vegan receipes.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is inspiring! I need to cook/create more healthy vegan meals, I’m stuck in a salad-making and vegan boxed meal hell because I can’t find a vegan cookbook that has smaller servings. It’s just my husband and I, and so many books have meals for 4, 6, 10, 12 …. I wish someone would write a couples cookbook for vegans. If anyone can help, I’d be happy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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