In today's Q&A with Rachel Turi, RD we cover the following topics:
Fasting and intermittent fasting
Keto and low carb diets
Vegan and vegetarianism
A few comments as a fellow vegan:
My Experience with Being a Vegan
I honestly don't remember when I officially became a vegan. I think I am closer to 9 years now...maybe more.
Changing how we eat is hard. I was working in an Italian restaurant when I was trying to go vegan and it was HARD with all of the temptation around me. It took me 10 months of slow eliminating certain foods before I became 100% vegan. It takes time to learn how to think about food differently and cook differently. Be patient and know that it will come with time.
People often comment that I must feel deprived or bored with food. They couldn't be more wrong. Since I have been a vegan for 9 years and stopped eating meat 15 years ago, my brain works very differently than meat eaters. When I go into a store, the dairy and meat sections literally do not exist in my mind. When I got to a restaurant, any sections of the menu that are not vegan are not processed in my brain. I skim right over all of it and look for the menu that exists for me. Or, when I am looking for a restaurant to go to, places that are very meat based aren't processed in my mind. With that said, it is hard to miss something that does not exist.
Why I Became a Vegan
I have a running friend who once told me, "Jamie, when you see a cow, you see a friend. When I see a cow, I see a hamburger."
I think this 100% nails it! I feel a very deep connection to animals, whether it is a cow, chicken, pig, dog, cat, duck, whatever. I see them as my friends. Due to that, I cannot imagine eating something I feel connected to. When I see a piece of chicken, steak, or sausage, I see the animal, not the meat or the food. It is something my brain cannot get past.
As I have spent more time as a vegan, my body has completely changed. I have had times in the last 9 (or however many) years where people or restaurants have given me food that was not vegan or had cross contamination issues and I felt sick for the rest of the day because of it. It is hard to crave food that I now associate with being sick.
Thoughts about Vegan Documentaries
I mentioned that there are some very popular documentaries out there on veganism. They are really interesting, so I recommend watching them.
There is a "but" that goes along with this though...
As awesome as the information seems, the messages might be a bit skewed. Remember, they want to get views and that is how they make money. So, documentaries that discuss "plant based" diets or research may seem like they are talking about vegans, but "plant based" just means that most of the diet is coming from plants and people might still be eating meat.
With regards to research, as Rachel mentioned, there is new research coming out on the possible impacts of living a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. So exciting!! I encourage you all to look into resources that provide information from many quality research studies vs resources that cherry pick which studies they want to include in their articles/documentaries/blogs.
It might sound like I am saying people shouldn't go vegan! That is not true at all! I personally have never felt better and would never consider changing how I live. My point is, when there is a lot of hype around a certain diet or lifestyle, I encourage you to do your homework, talk to a professional, and look into real resources vs getting your information from places that are trying to make a profit from their message or who might be misrepresenting the research in a way to prove how they think.
Find out more about Rachel's work: