Welcome to my vegan experiment of one year. The goal is to eat nothing but plant-based (preferably whole) food for 365 days starting September 1, 2016, aka my 53rd birthday. Why this? Why now?
I have been toying with vegetarianism, veganism and raw eating for the last several years. I love to cook, love to eat, love to experiment. I love animals and can’t bear the idea of cruel and inhumane factory farms. I understand there are many health benefits of eating this way and this is my main motivation.
Until now, I have been a hard-core carnivore. My Polish heritage ensured that growing up I had my share of pork chops and braised beef, schnitzel and roast chicken. A meal wasn’t a meal without a starch: bread, rice, potatoes or dumplings plus some sort of vegetable or salad and the main feature – the meat dish. Open-faced sandwiches of cold cuts on buttered rye bread topped with cheese, slabs of garden tomato and diced green onion graced the table when unexpected guests arrived. Pierogi smothered in fried onions and bits of fried bacon were the norm. Antipasto platters of more cheese and various deli meats and breads appeared at any family gathering. For barbecues and picnics, the meat on the grill was the star.
Eating this way coupled with aging saw my weight creep up higher and horrifically higher and higher still. My doctor started warning me about high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and high triglycerides (the bad fat) and I saw more and more belly fat – I am the unfortunate “apple shape” that has to worry about things like metabolic syndrome. I entered a pre-diabetic zone and like my mother before me, developed atrial fibrillation.
Bolstered by watching documentaries like FAT, SICK AND NEARLY DEAD , FORKS OVER KNIVES and many others, I started incorporating more plant-based foods into the menu. Now I’m ready to go whole hog, so to speak, and give up all meat, poultry, fish, dairy and other animal products including honey. Vegan it is – although plant-based seems less militant a label if we must label at all.
I hope to chronicle the journey here. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but I hope it will be interesting. Stay tuned.