Hi, and welcome to Beta Vegan! My name is Melissa and I just jumped into veganism a month ago. While I am pretty positive that I'm going to stay this way, I feel like I'm still in "testing" mode because I still mess up here and there. I'm working on it. So if you're new to all things vegan or if you want to give it a try, stick with me and we'll learn about all the weirdo ingredients (nutritional yeast flakes?!) together!
I think it's important we get to know each other before you start taking any of my (probably not great) advice. I'm not on a crusade to save the Earth or the poor animals. I like both things, but I'm going vegan for selfish reasons. Last year I was diagnosed as Bipolar type 1, and I've learned that deficiencies in vitamins and nutrients can be a contributor to mood swings. So I figured I'd cut out as much crap as I could from my diet. This includes white sugar and flour and anything pre-packaged with preservatives. BUT I'd like to be right up front and admit I'm not a saint- if I'm about to faint or claw out someone's eyeballs from low blood sugar, I'll take that half-eaten muffin discarded by my kid over nothing at all. Yes, I know, eat before I leave or pack healthy snacks to bring with me, but I'm just saying. It's been known to happen. And no, I didn't develop immediate debilitating cramps or diarrhea because I sort-of-accidentally ingested something that may or may not have contained small amounts of dairy. Not that abstaining isn't important to me. It is, or I wouldn't be doing this at all. I'm just letting you know where I stand to start off.
Why am I including dairy and all animal products as crap to cut out? Well, take meat first. Besides being full of disease caused by filthy slaughterhouses and a diet of slaughterhouse waste, the animals are pumped full of antibiotics which can endanger our own immune systems. Plus it's not all that easy for your body to digest. And do we really need to discuss the cruel conditions in which these poor animals are raised and slaughtered? You've heard the horror stories. Now dairy- did you know most people are lactose intolerant to some degree? Can't imagine why. Could be that our bodies were not meant to accept another creature's milk. Maybe, maybe not. But dairy is also linked to cancer, asthma, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, and messes with our hormones. Just grab a copy of Alicia Silverstone's "TheKind Diet" to start out. You'll never have a cheese craving again.
Check out my Shopping List page for tools and ingredients that I've experimented with so far. The page will be updated as I try out new things.
Most importantly, I want to have fun trying new things and working towards keeping my mind and body healthy. Remember, there is no vegan police and no judging. Just do the best you can!