Being a “perfect” vegan

Project Meal Prep | It's ok to not be perfect

I’ve been hearing a lot about Veganuary on the internet. If you don’t know what it is, it’s basically a movement where people are trying to eat vegan for the month of January.

Transitioning from non-veganism to veganism can be a little rough. I’m not just talking about things like cravings or dealing with reactions from other people, but also stuff like accidentally eating non-vegan food. It’s happened to me — once I even forgot that pizza had cheese on it!

When stuff like this happens, some people have an all-or-nothing mentality. Like, “Oops, I screwed up. The rest of this day / month on this diet is ruined, might as well give up.

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I’ve also heard from people that they WOULD become vegan or vegetarian, but they love bacon. Well then, continue to eat bacon, and don’t eat any other animal products. Or do a Meatless Monday. Think of a system that you can live with. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, because every little bit counts.

My boyfriend recently did the most amazing thing, which I did not think could have happened in a million years. He used to be a voracious meat eater, and I accepted that about him.

But in the last couple of months he dramatically reduced the amount of meat he eats.

He does eat meat about one meal a week, but for the most part, he doesn’t. This happened a few months ago and I’m still amazed and love him even more 🙂

Anyway, I digress. If you are trying out Veganuary or even thinking a little bit about reducing your consumption of animal products, just know that you don’t necessarily have to do a complete 180 if you can’t. Create a system that works for you, or go along with other popular ones, like Meatless Monday or Raw til 4.

Book Review: How Not to Die

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I just finished reading How Not to Die, a book that uses scientific research to help explain how we can avoid dying from common diseases by improving our diet. Each chapter in the first half is dedicated to one disease or ailment: heart disease, lung diseases, digestive cancers, breast cancer, etc.

In the beginning of the book, Dr. Greger says he himself is not pushing some sort of vegan / vegetarian agenda, but all the evidence clearly points to plant-based diets as the answer to being healthy. Through reading the rest of How Not to Die, you’ll find this out yourself in a lot of detail, with footnotes and all. In fact, it seems like every other sentence has a footnote referencing a research study, which makes this information extremely convincing.

Although the book is quite dense, Dr. Greger’s writing is super clear and he explains even complex concepts well and in plain English. He also includes a lot of stories from his time working in hospitals and stories about his family, which make each chapter much more memorable and digestible.

Even though I consider myself to have above average knowledge of nutrition and health because I try to read about it, I still learned so much from reading How Not to Die. I have never highlighted so much text in a book before.

I didn’t just learn things related to food, but random facts about the human body. For example, eating fenugreek (a spice) can make your armpits smell like maple syrup! Can someone tell my boyfriend? I don’t think his deodorant is strong enough. JK.

I also learned about funky experiments you can do to check different aspects of your health, such as boiling red cabbage and pouring the liquid into the toilet after you pee to determine the pH!

Dr. Greger has a website called NutritionFacts.org where some of the content from the book can be found, along with more videos and podcasts. The cabbage pee test is on there too.

Project Meal Prep | How Not to Die

My favorite part of How Not to Die is the second half, which has simple little recipes and recommendations on what you should eat, such as the Daily Dozen. There’s even an app for that haha.

Some recipes are also on the Dr. Greger’s Pinterest page. I took notes and will be making some of them too, which I’ll post on my Instagram.

If you are at all interested in knowing how to live a long life while being as healthy as possible even in old age, I highly recommend reading this book. Getting sick isn’t just a thing that just happens to all people eventually for no reason, you can actively prevent it if you know how. Additionally, there’s so much wrong and misleading information put out into the world, a lot of it by food companies and food / drug industry leaders whose only motivation is to make money, and part of knowing how to keep yourself healthy is knowing the truth.

“Aren’t you admitting you like meat?”

Project Meal Prep | Aren't you admitting you like meat?

Some people get confused / criticize why vegans and vegetarians eat fake meat. I can see where they are coming from. If we supposedly don’t like meat, why are we eating foods that try to emulate it?

Some people say that the fake meat we have today doesn’t taste much like real meat. Others say they do like meat but are just morally opposed to it, so they’ll settle for the alternative. I think I’m somewhere leaning toward the latter.

When I had the Impossible Burger — which everyone says tastes like meat and which I said I liked — one of my friends asked me “Aren’t you admitting that you like meat?

My answer was, Yes I do like the taste, but not if it’s real meat.

The difference is that when it’s real meat, I know in my mind that it used to be an animal, and not just plants that have been manipulated to taste like meat.

Here’s an analogy I can relate it to: Most people like cheese. If you smelled cheese, you’d be like “yum.”

Project Meal Prep | Aren't you admitting you like meat?

But…

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Project Meal Prep | Aren't you admitting you like meat?

Suddenly you’re grossed out, right?

Well, that’s how it is for me. Does this make sense? Let me know.