February 29, 2016 by Virginia James
I have been inspired by so many people who have helped the environment in magnificent ways.
California (my home) is currently in a drought, and it came as a bit of a shock to me when I did my research and found the numbers for water consumption …and how much is spent on animal agriculture –I used to take shorter showers, and left my plants to dry out in the garden… but none of that even matters when most of the water wasted in our country is for production of meat from livestock and animal agriculture!
My boyfriend’s approach to helping the environment? Go vegan. So he did. I supported him, but kept my high protein, low carb diet and trotted alongside him. I honestly didn’t think he’d last too long on this diet, although I knew he’d been very determined. Then I noticed something… Not only was he losing weight, but he was gaining muscle and not only did he have more energy, he was always in a good mood. Always! …and there I was always feeling exhausted and not getting the lean muscle I wanted -I was kind of jealous!
Being the pickier eater, he had always stayed away from fruits and veggies, but since turning vegan, he has been tasting and eating so many new foods (new to him, anyway), like potatoes, mangoes, peaches, star fruit, sweet potatoes, avocadoes, literally all new foods he can get his hands on. He assumed veganism would leave him restricted, but it actually gave him the courage to open up his palette and try so many new foods. So in support of him, and also our environment, I decided to go along side him and become Vegan as well. I want to encourage him to try new and exotic foods he hadn’t tasted, and furthermore, I want us both to makeup for the cruel way we have been treating our environment. We have both gone vegan for one full week now, and we both feel amazing! We took the 30 day pledge to go Vegan for a month and we plan to keep it up even after that :).
Now, let’s get something straight… I’m not here to try to convince you to go vegan. I am a firm believer of not judging others by their diet…
…and in return I expect that same respect.
However, the less people that give into the meat and dairy industry, the lower that percentage of water waste will go into it. This in turn, will help stop rainforests from being destroyed for more farmlands, it will help conserve water and plant more seeds for the future! Let’s turn around all of the damage we’ve caused this earth, and work towards a stronger planet! No, you don’t HAVE to go vegan but every little bit helps; make a pact, right now -to go vegetarian at least three days out of every week; if that’s too extreme for you, try having meatless Mondays, or try and only have meat twice-three times per week. Let’s lower the sales of meat to slow down that production!
Side Note: I’m not posting this as a form to announce my veganism… nor am I the type to announce it every five minutes. I think that’s a myth, considering only people who are making fun of vegans are the ones who point it out every five minutes. But I do appreciate the support from my friends and family, as I continue on this journey.
Here’s how my boyfriend and I have been eating :
We divide our consumption by half days, making it easy to pick and choose which foods we can eat without restriction. The best thing about this is that as the years go on, there are more and more vegan alternatives, making the switch that much easier.
First Half of the day (about 4am-noon or 1pm): We typically eat tons of fruits, and veggies, nuts and seeds. We don’t restrict ourselves at all and eat as much of these food groups as we want. This is also the time of day we drink the most amounts of our liquids.
Second Half of the day (12pm-8pm): Here’s where we get super carb-heavy. Baked sweet potatoes, roasted potato fries …we’ll eat a good amount of vegan pasta topped with small amounts of vegan cheese. We can also have any type of vegan breads, starches and other grains such as couscous, or quinoa. Of course, we can have legumes, nuts and seeds here as well. We can never say no to a veggie! I’ll sometimes even make a vegan style pizza from scratch. Once a week, I’ll bake up some lovely Vegan sweets! Just yesterday we enjoyed vegan donuts made from scratch (recipe will be up soon!) and they were delicious!
Liquids: We try to drink water as much as we can, however, lots of our fruit intake contributes to our water consumption as well. He’s not a coffee drinker, but I am –therefore, I limit myself to 1-2 cups per day. We also drink unsweetened teas and almond milk.
Exercise: The first week of our transition into this lifestyle we didn’t work-out as hard as usual. But considering all we changed was our diets, I lost 1 inch off my waist –in one week! I’m not going hungry, in fact, I’ve been eating every couple of hours! Up to 3500 calories per day But we will be adding some workouts to this blog that will tie well into our new lifestyle, so stay tuned for that! Once I hit my goal date of July 4th, I will be posting before/after pictures so that you can check out the difference.
I have always loved animals –I’ve grown up side by side with them, so when I think about meat, eggs, and milk… I can’t help but feel guilty about contributing to the brutality of the industry…. I’ve always been vegetarian off and on throughout the years, but finally with this ultimate lifestyle change, my plan is to stick to it and steer clear of the greed from the animal agriculture industry. I will not be supporting it any longer.
Furthermore, the fact that people are being made fun of for being vegan breaks my heart… because it’s something that many meat eaters tell me they WISH they could do because they’re animals lovers too… but today’s society doesn’t educate people in what goes on to the food before it gets to you. In fact they market the crap out of the meat industry, don’t they? I won’t get into detail because I know it may gross you out, but I do think many who are curious about going vegan should not be discouraged by the negative messages people have been throwing out there. Educate yourself, and try to understand how inhumane this is by going here.
Updates for my food list section will be up within the next few days.