By Nick Lulli
I blogged some time ago about my love for Gardein products; in fact, it must have been more than two years ago! I’m now what I like to call “Vegan 2.0.” Yes, there was a “1.0” where I failed miserably at my attempt at veganism – I lasted a little less than a month, before reverting to my omnivore self. So, what made me want to do it again?
Some background: I’m an on-air reporter in the second largest city in Georgia. While this is not New York, or Los Angeles, this is a brutal business where appearance takes high priority. I was not happy with my body image, or the clarity of my skin. I’ve never been thin. I don’t think I will ever be “thin,” in the traditional sense. My body just isn’t built that way. I’m short. I was probably 30 pounds overweight and I certainly wasn’t losing any of it – and that was what eventually convinced me to give it a second go.
You wouldn’t call me an “ethical vegan.” Unfortunately, my motivations were selfish – I’m a “dietary vegan.” We all have to start somewhere, right? I decided it was no longer worth poisoning my body for the momentary gustatory pleasure. Why do it? I couldn’t think of any logical reason to consume animal products anymore. Convenience? Maybe. It’s much easier to be able to eat anywhere I want than to be selective based on the ingredients. Cost? Certainly not. I’m fortunate to live around a major grocery chain (Kroger) that has a large, inexpensive selection of products that fit this lifestyle. I can get a pound of tempeh for $3. I’m sure that’s comparable, or cheaper, than a meat product. And even if it did cost more than that – think about the health savings. I won’t have to worry as much about diabetes, heart disease, or cancer as I age. Yes, I know those risks still exist – but I’d like to think I’ve greatly reduced my exposure to products that contribute to such diseases.
For much of my short life, I’ve loathed cooking. I didn’t want to do it. At all. That was my problem with Vegan 1.0…I tried to get away with only eating out, and I ended up screwing myself out of vital nutrients that my body required.
This time, I’m smarter. I did my homework. I’ve learned some delicious recipes to foods I never dreamed I could make. They’re simple! And quick! I practically live off of my vegan alfredo, or vegan pesto recipes. They’re packed full of nutrient-rich foods that taste great!
Let me tell you the results of such a lifestyle. I’ve lost four inches around my waist. I’ve dropped 15 to 20 pounds, and that’s without exercise (I have now taken up jogging, so hopefully those pounds will keep coming off). My skin looks and feels phenomenal. I don’t think anyone can deny that commercial animal products are packed full of antibiotics, hormones, and other nasty stuff that just isn’t good for you. That’s before you even taken into account the naturally occurring cholesterol, fat, etc. that is found in meat and dairy. I recently had a lot of blood work done, and was told I’m in perfect health. There was literally nothing I could do to improve my stats. My blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol: all perfect! This, despite a “family history” of an array of icky afflictions and disease. See a pattern?
I honestly see myself living a vegan lifestyle for the rest of my life. I see no reason not to.