My Vegan Challenge

tofu and veggies

I used to eat tofu and a number of tasty, processed soy products. It is still processed food, so not as healthy as fresh. And then I learned that USA soy is not good for us at all! Of course there are always different opinions. When you go fresh and preferably locally grown, organic, that of course is the healthiest, most nutritious option.

For years I was a vegetarian. For about three weeks of that time I tried my hand, or should I say my hand to mouth, as a vegan. I found the experience to be stressful. I had no idea how many animal products were, and are, in our food. That is, our processed foods. Whey, for example, is a milk derivative. If you want to claim the title of vegan, you not only don’t eat meat, but you also don’t eat dairy or any other ingredient that came from an animal, including honey.

Back then, I ate more processed foods, so I was checking the ingredients labels and setting many things back down on the grocery store shelves. I lacked information about how to successfully become vegan in the most healthful way. I found the process of being vegan to be time consuming and frustrating. So…. I quit. I was, however, a successful vegetarian. The thought of eating animal flesh has always repulsed me and has been unappetizing. I started by cutting out hamburger, after seeing a sickening description of what ground beef is. It was the “Juiceman” on TV that explained it was fat with some blood mixed in. He might have even said it included ground bone. I can’t remember exactly. So that is paraphrasing, but is mainly what I took from it. Disgusting! Then I cut all red meat and next went poultry. I remember one Thanksgiving looking at the cooked bird on the counter and seeing that it was a body. It was an actual physical body that had been killed and cooked. It was a carcass and it was shocking that we, as humans ate this.

This may look delicious to you, but to me it looks like a body. Because it is! It is a turkey carcass and there is nothing appetizing to me about eating it!

This may look delicious to you, but to me it looks like a body. Because it is! It is a turkey carcass and there is nothing appetizing to me about eating it!

I never ate turkey again. That is, I never ate turkey again until I became an un-vegetarian. A couple of years after becoming my grandma’s main caregiver, my body had become tired. I self diagnosed myself and decided I needed more iron. In addition to that, I had learned that American made tofu and other soy products were not healthy. In fact,¬†they should be avoided completely. With these sources of protein gone, what was I to do?! I slowly went back to eating meat.

Shortly thereafter I went to an acupuncturist for the first time in my life. I was scared of the thought of voluntarily letting someone poke me with needles, so I avoided it until that one day. The one day that I experienced the absolute relaxing, rejuvenating effects of needle poking acupuncture!!! While there, they evaluated my lifestyle and health habits, including what I ate. They discovered that I needed more “Chi” in my blood and the most effective way to achieve this is by eating meat. I told them I had recently started adding it back into my diet. They thought that was the way to go to help nourish my blood.

bell pepper dish

Fresh bell peppers and onions are delicious, nutritious and beautiful!

One difference that adding meat back into my diet made, is that I bruised less often. I was used to bruising easily. Although I didn’t notice it right away, after going a week without meat recently and ending up with several nasty bruises, I had one of the “Aha!” moments. Eating meat provided me with additional nutrients that helped my body to bruise less easily!

So as I embark on this new self induced “Vegan Challenge,” I am adding many iron rich foods, including, raisins, apricots and spinach. It’s a bit of an experiment, but I am hoping it does the trick. If it doesn’t, I will work to find what food addition is needed to replace what I get from meat that helps with this issue.

Well…. I’m off to do animal communication readings at the House Rabbit Society’s new Adoption Center Grand Opening. So excited! Stay tuned for more Vegan Challenge updates! I aim to eat healthy and eat humane!