Grouchy vegan.

I thought I would feel great as a vegan, but I don’t.  I feel tired, I have a headache and I feel bloated and grouchy, and I’ve put on 4lbs.  Now, I appreciate that how I’m feeling could be absolutely nothing to do with being vegan and simply a low-level virus or something making me less than 100%, but it hasn’t been the best week other than I haven’t had a flare, so that’s a huge positive.

I keep reminding myself that the purpose of the ‘diet’ isn’t to lose weight, but it would be a real pain in the arse if I ended up putting it on as a consequence of trying to eat myself better.  So, my husband reminded me that the ultimate answer on the weight front is that I’m eating too much: a calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from kale or kippers.  So, this week I’m focused on managing my calorie intake.  As an observation, since deciding to give vegan a go, I have been eating more grains and legumes than I was eating during my month on the Wahls Diet.  Although still gluten-free, I’ve been eating rice, other flours, and also more potatoes and other things that weren’t featuring heavily on my previous diet.  So, I’ve decided that I can be Wahls-esk vegan, which in my world means eating my vegetables first and then if I have room left, eating the legumes and grains.  That revised focus starts tomorrow.

Now, let’s move on to the subject of vegan egg substitutes.  GROSS!  I am a bit revolted by the stinky egg substitute powder that is so gloopy and sulphurous that it’s a bit off-putting.  I made banana muffins yesterday evening and used it as the binder, but I don’t have any intention of using it again, unless in an emergency (although I don’t know of any egg-substitute emergency situations I could ever possibly encounter).  In the package, they actually have a recipe for an egg-substitute quiche florentine – it looks truly grotesque and I just love their optimism that anyone could want to eat their product this much. Boke!

I wonder if substitutes should be just that (i.e. a replacement), rather than a pastiche (i.e. a rough copy of a masterpiece).  I’m intent on not pastiching my way into veganism and instead just eating things that come in a fairly natural format.  This would include avoiding vegan cheese….. seriously, why bother!?  It’s not that it’s bad, per se, it’s just not good, which in my world is a good enough reason not to bother and just use your hard-earned cash to instead buy something that’s guaranteed to be delicious, like a macadamia nut or dark chocolate.

As I dash down this vegan path, I continue to be amazed at the number of people who are also in the throes of figuring out their own eating plan.  Various reasons are driving people to do this: concern for their health is the primary one and I’m meeting so many more people who have autoimmune issues or other diseases/illnesses that are likely to shorten their life or at least make the life they’re living less pleasant.  Sensibly, they’re not just relying on medical and pharmaceutical science to help them, they’re trying to take control and lead themselves into better health.  Other reasons include general concern about the mystery that our food has become, as well as concern for the environment with our water, energy, land, pollution and waste intensive farming practices.

There are so many reasons to figure out what’s good and bad to eat and although I’ve been forced into it, I’m enjoying the journey and the experiment and every one of my fabulous friends has been so supportive and inspirational: they’re all consciously creating and providing food that I can eat when we’re socializing and we’re sharing recipes (I feel like my mum and her lady-friends back in the old days when only women cooked).  I love them all the more for their efforts to support me and I know for a fact that there is no substitute for them.  🙂

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