Canon – Candid
It’s 10 at night and so marks the 121st hour of vegan eating. Yes I know many will say I’m late to the party but I’m not doing this to be “cool” or “trendy”, nor am I claiming the entire vegan lifestyle. My Camaro has leather interior and I have a few select leather pieces in my closet I’ve already established a relationship with. I’m doing this for my own health and personal satisfaction.
While I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism and veganism for a couple months at a time, this is the first time I’m really broadening my horizons to a variety of creative raw recipes besides lackluster salads. However, this is not without hard work and commitment.
The first problem began early with breakfast, an acai bowl. In case you didn’t know, honey and bee pollen (two ingredients in my favorite bowl) are not vegan. Bummer. As for coffee, I’m partial to two coffee breaks a day and I’m not a big fan of replacing dairy with soy in my beverages. Instead of the usual, I’ve been opting for an iced green tea no sweetener, or a half passion – half black tea. It’s thirst quenching and while it’s not as awakening, I’ll take whatever caffeine it’ll give me. We all know whipped cream isn’t a necessity anyway.
The process of eating any meal is quite eventful. There are no vegan restaurants for at least fifteen minutes driving distance from school in any direction traveled. Days include reading the nutritional label on literally everything, and asking waitresses for detailed ingredients that aren’t specified on the dinner menu.
Today I turned down a Starburst candy because I read it contained gelatin. Salsa Verde Doritos? No dice, they contain chicken flavoring, yes, chicken flavoring. McDonalds french fries? Nice try, the oil used for frying them has a natural beef flavoring and hydrolyzed milk. On the other hand, there are snacks like the original Chex Mix, strawberry flavored Pop Tarts, Kettle chips, Ritz crackers, and a few others that are deemed “accidentally vegan.”
There are however restaurants and shops quickly multiplying that are all-vegan or have several vegan friendly options. I’ve found many of these places are in LA and further west, but believe me these places are totally worth it. Instead of bland veggies and boring grains, you can dive into cashew mac n’ cheese or a Portobello burger. A few places I recommend for flavorful options are Sage Vegan Bistro, Veggie Grill, and by Chloe.
A couple important things to be aware of before going vegan; first, understanding what absolutely no animal products means. This means you’re saving yourself the antibiotics and hormones, but it also means you’ll probably need to add a b12 and iron supplement to your daily routine. Also, you will have to work to make sure you’re getting enough protein and calcium in your diet. Common calcium choices are milk, yogurt, and cheese, but leafy greens, legumes, and fruit are all nutritious sources often neglected.
Secondly, your friends and family with ask questions, a lot of them. You will also get the occasional smartass joke and stereotypical comment, “being vegan is unhealthy…the Bible says you can eat meat…who cares we’re at the top of the food chain!” Save yourself the smart remark, because this will most likely never stop.
I don’t know how long I will be able to keep this up and if it will be a forever long decision for me, my craving for meat as of now reminds me of the first Twilight movie when the vampire Edward tells Bella he never feels “fully satisfied” without the blood of humans. I can practically smell the beef tamales and biscuits and gravy, but then I look at my plate and it’s my fruit salad. Maybe I just want what I can’t have, but I do know one thing, I don’t feel so sluggish after eating, something love about going vegan!