Why Going Vegan Is Not That Hard

Many people hesitate to go vegan because they think it’s much too hard. On the one hand, it’s not a decision you can make on the fly because it’s going to affect your entire way of eating and living. On the other hand, the more reason you discover to go vegan the easier it becomes because then you’re much more motivated to not only make the decision but also to make it through the entire process of transition. Matt Frazier wrote a very interesting field report telling about his decision to go vegan and how he successfully mastered this process.

“No pizza.  At least, not the real thing.

One — if you’re lucky — choice on most restaurant menus, and even then it’s usually something lame, like a veggie wrap.

The feeling that, even when friends are nice enough to cook vegan food for you, you’re kind of being a pain in the ass.

Given all of this not-so-great stuff that comes with the choice not to eat animal products, it’s probably hard for people to understand how I can say, when my friends ask me how veganism is going, that it has been easy.

Incredibly, remarkably, astoundingly easy.

“Don’t you miss cheese?”

No.  The reason I went vegan after two years of being vegetarian is that cheese stopped appealing to me, for the most part.  I still ate it out of laziness and convenience (pizza, most often), but once I made the decision not to do that anymore, it’s been easy.

Twice I’ve ordered pizza without cheese.  It’s not as good as it was with cheese, but it’s still good and it still fills me up.  Does that count as “missing” cheese?  I don’t think so.  It’s not like I go through the day longingly wishing to have cheese back in my life.

The trick was phasing it out.  After each of my previous vegan trials, I lost a little bit of the taste for dairy, and when I finally made this decision, dairy represented only a tiny portion of my diet.

“Isn’t it hard to get protein?”

If you’re looking for 40 grams of protein at each meal, then yes.   But if you’re shooting for only 10-15% of your calories to come from protein, like I am, then it’s really not hard at all.

The fact is, most of the best vegetarian protein sources are vegan.  So getting protein as a vegan isn’t so different from getting protein as a vegetarian; you’ve just got to replace the dairy and eggs with other forms of protein.

I’m lucky in that I didn’t eat eggs to begin with (they always smelled like gym socks to me).  And as I mentioned above, I had mostly phased out dairy by the time I decided to go vegan.  So getting enough protein didn’t pose any new challenges.

One thing I will admit is that as a vegan, I need to pay more attention than before to make sure I consume enough calories throughout the day, not necessarily protein.  To help with this, I’ve added a whole wheat bagel with homemade raw almond butter and a touch of maple syrup to my morning routine, which packs in close to 600 calories on top of my breakfast smoothie.

“What do you do when you go out to eat?”

Eating dinner out used to be a big deal for me and my wife.  We loved it.  To spend a few hours and $200 at an Italian restaurant, with appetizers, main courses, desserts, a bottle of wine, and a cup of coffee or glass of port to top it all off was about as perfect a date as we could imagine.

We don’t have that any more, but for those exceedingly rare occasions when we travel to a city that has vegan options.  And even then, the grandiosity of the meal is never the same.

And you know what?  I’m glad about that.  Consuming so many calories and so much wine that I can’t sleep, blowing that kind of money on a meal, and even making food the focus of our time together are things Erin and I happily do without now.

You know how monks and minimalists find satisfaction in giving up material things and earthly desires?  Without trying to sound holier-than-thou, that’s the best way I can describe it.”

Read the full article at No Meat Athlete.

18 comments

  1. Kathie Taylor Mudge Reply

    As I made myself a “burger” (crumbles) with sauteed onions, etc on a bun for lunch I kind of laughed at how excited I was to eat one of my favorites, a loose “meat” burger because I don’t even remember what burger tastes like and I walked into the living room I thought “compassion tastes awesome!!” I know some people don’t like using the word meat but I do because its just easier for people to understand sometimes.

  2. Zora Peace Reply

    I’m trying but I still have butter spread on toast. That’s about it. I’ve gone off most dairy products as since I drastically reduced dairy intake, if at times I have a bit of cheese or a sip of latte. I find that the after taste is foul! I never noticed it before. Getting there though!

  3. Zora Peace Reply

    No, but I has the soya and dairy free spread and it was yuck. I’m not into marge I find it a bit sickly tasting. What does dairy flora taste like?

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