To Vegan or not to Vegan?

Good question. Once a month I sear up a nice, fat, juicy rib-eye steak. It is the only meat I cook at home now. The rest of the time I eat mostly vegetables. When I am outside the house I eat whatever I want. I first got interested in vegan/vegetarian diets late in life because I have always struggled with my weight since I got on medications. Other diets never worked for me. Also because when I first started watching Netflix I watched one documentary and after that all they suggested for me were documentaries. Most of the films were about the benefits of eating more veggies or the horrors of factory farms. That also helped bring about this post.

A few years ago I was doing most of my grocery shopping online for delivery. It made me realize that I was eating a shit-ton of meat. Each month I would order 6lbs of ground beef, 10lbs of chicken breasts and about 4lbs of boneless pork chops. On top of that I would go out and have my fill of greasy cheeseburgers. That was all for me. One person.

(Disclaimer: This only works because I can eat almost anything.) At first I started out with an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet because I couldn’t think of giving up eggs and cheese in the morning. I didn’t include seafood because that is disgusting. In the first month I lost 10lbs but for the next 2 months I leveled off and didn’t lose any more weight. So I decided to go strictly vegan. I could do this because although I live most of my life in excess, I was in a very disciplined state of mind. I can be quite stubborn when I want to be.

Going cold turkey worked immediately. I lost 20lbs in a month and kept it off. I had quit sugar and corn syrup in my 20’s but along with going vegan I also cut out refined carbs such as are found in bread, white pasta and white rice. It was easy for me to make the switch because I’ve always had an affinity for vegetables. Now I eat as many of them as I want. I stay away from corn mostly because I don’t trust it because of the “cornspiracy” in America.

I tended to take the anecdotal evidence in the documentaries I watched with a grain of salt. A lot of the same “experts” would pop up in different movies. Many of them had no scientific credentials. They were just there to promote their own book full of pseudo-science. The most convincing study I heard about the benefits of eating mostly vegetables was “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell and his son, Thomas. You don’t have to read the book. I can give you a good idea in the next paragraph.

The China Study was the largest study of diet that found a direct correlation between the amount of animal products consumed and a person’s health. They chose 6500 people from all across China and followed their diet. They found that poor people who couldn’t afford to eat much meat had the lowest instance of “Western diseases.” (Heart disease, diabetes and cancer. etc…) and also had the longest life expectancy. I trust this study because it involved the largest cross section of people and got into extensive details on diet and disease.

What do I eat besides that delicious, perfectly seasoned, medium-rare Rib-eye? I’m lazy so I’ve settled on some easy recipes that I eat over and over and I also eat whatever I want when I go to a restaurant. My favorite dish I discovered by experiment is the easiest. I cook a box of whole wheat pasta and microwave a pound of frozen broccoli. I add oil, celery salt, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried basil. Then I dress it with soy sauce and a drizzle of Sriracha sauce (I put that shit on everything) and then I top it off with a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese. OMG! I end up scraping the bottom of my plate. This dish is great for my meager finances because it gives me 4 meals for less than 5 bucks per pot. (I finished writing this then cooked and ate 2 plates; It’s soooo fucking good!)

One common misconception is you need a huge amount of protein to make it through the day. That is a myth perpetuated by the huge meat industry in the U.S. I eat less than half the recommended daily intake of protein and I can walk or ride a bicycle all day if I have to, no problem. I’ve also seen many interviews with top professional athletes who suffered no loss of performance after switching to a plant based diet.

I’m not being preachy, I’m just bored and needed another topic to write about in my new blog. Although having people switch to a plant based diet could help save the planet. If you accept the science of climate change, you’ll be interested to know that despite all the fuss made of carbon dioxide, it is actually methane produced on livestock farms (yes, cow farts) that is a much more potent greenhouse gas.

Another dish I created to get my protein is pretty tasty too. I cook a pound of white beans, a pound of whole wheat spaghetti and a pound of Brussel sprouts or asparagus. I spice it up with salt and again with the celery salt and garlic powder. (My 2 favorites.) It is also very economical and lasts me a few days.

This diet only works for me because I can eat all the same foods over and over each month. If I get tired of it I go buy something with meat on it. But yeah, I’m weird. I can eat almost anything. A couple common snacks for me are steamed green beans or asparagus with just salt. A treat for me is a bag of tortilla chips with roasted red pepper hummus or spicy salsa. I can polish this off in a day. It may sound like deprivation but I actually enjoy it.

After my last few posts you might think I’m obsessed with my weight. I’m not, I just like to be able to tie my shoes without too much of a struggle. I had a doctor who was really into BMI. I personally think it is bullshit. He told me at 5’10” I should weigh 160lbs. I haven’t weighed that much since high school and I was a puny little punk back then. Besides he was my height and weight 160. He did not look healthy. I could clearly see all of his tendons and ligaments. It wasn’t normal.

Okay, I promise I will find something more interesting to talk about in my future posts besides my diet and weight. Disregarding the BMI I think my ideal weight was 175. I can’t get down there again but I hover between 180 and 190 which is fine with me and my dad bod. I’m comfortable and my clothes fit nicely and I have no problem getting around. These are important to me because my brain is all fucked up and I don’t want it to show on the outside.

Well, it’s a new month; almost time for a new Rib-eye. I’m not a very good vegetarian.

2 thoughts on “To Vegan or not to Vegan?

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