Hi everyone! We made it through the first week of the year! Are you doing a cleanse or a juice fast? How are you doing with that? Did you hold up your resolutions to eat better and cook more? Congrats to you! I had so many hits on the blog I did this week on making lasting changes in your diet and lifestyle. I hope you enjoy that blog! If you did please head over there and leave a comment. My blog is meant to be a forum where we can all share our experiences and learn and grow with each other. People LOVE reading other people's thoughts and ideas on the subject. If you are reading this through email or a reader be sure to click through to the actual post so you can leave comments here for everyone to enjoy.
Be sure to check out the recording of the Q&A we had yesterday!
I made it through my first week pretty good. I decided to do all raw, with juice and smoothies. So I had salads and some delicious raw nut meat tacos which will go up on Monday. I was very cranky around day 3 which always happens to me when I do a cleanse (and give up sugar), but I've felt amazing besides that. Working out this week though did not happen. The energy I needed just wasn't there. I tried Bikram today and I couldn't finish the class I was so dizzy. I have a dinner date tonight, which will include cooked food. My goal starting next week is to continue to eat high raw and have one day a week with just juice and smoothies.
I know I have many new vegans and pre-vegans that read my blog so I wanted to share an excellent resource with you all. The Ultimate Vegan Guide: Compassionate Living Without Sacrifice by Erik Marcus (of Vegan.com) is available on Kindle for only $.99! No excuse right. If you are dipping your toe into veganism this is a quick and easy read that gives you the facts and a wealth of tips and tricks to making your new vegan lifestyle enjoyable and manageable.
Erik goes into the reasons for being vegan in a concise and logical manner, no hippie dippie stuff here (that's my department LOL!).
Health – It's a widely known fact nowadays that eating animal foods increases your risk of disease. He brings up a good point though; it is possible for someone to eat small amounts of animal food and still be "healthy & disease-free". But overtime the risk will increase.
Environment – Fewer resources used to produce vegan food, this is a no-brainer.
Then he takes us through the Ethics of Animal Agribusiness. A very scary place indeed but you'll get the facts without all the gory details. Many people go vegan for health and may not care about the animal lives they are saving by switching to a vegan diet. It is good to know what is going on behind those closed doors, to learn about the many lies we are told and the law-making that happens to continue the cruel process of factory farming. No one likes being lied to, whatever your reason for going vegan.
Next Erik goes into the HOW. I really like his philosophy of "crowding out" the junk foods rather that eliminating them all together. This is my suggestion as well which I talk about in Blissful Bites. Try new foods every week, add in the good stuff and overtime the not so good stuff will slip away and your diet will be left with all vegan foods.
One thing Erik suggests, which I don't necessarily agree with, is to cook only from vegan cookbooks. Having met so many amazing vegan bloggers, I can vouch that many blogs have free recipes that are just as delicious and creative. If you are on a budget I would start with recipes online and save your cash for tools like a really good chef knife. Then stock up your bookshelf whenever you can.
Erik goes on to briefly discuss about nutrition, saying it's "a must" to take a B12 supplement. Def couldn't hurt, especially if you are eating out or eating a lot of processed foods. He goes into common fears (i.e. your excuses) and explains how to transform your limitations. "Celebrate your progress". I like that. Everyone likes a pat on the back!
Chapter 15 is especially noteworthy. I'm constantly asked how to eat out or eat healthy well traveling. It's actually quite easy once you know the right questions to ask or know what kind of food to stick with (ethnic like Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mediterranean, Indian, and Ethiopian are your best bets). And there are so many chains that offer vegan options these days! I think he puts too much emphasis on convenience foods, but I realize I'm not the average eater/vegan so it's good to know what quick options are available.
We end with Activism, which is an important part to being vegan. Activism comes in many shapes and forms, so explore and find something you enjoy. Erik is probably one of the best activists out there, doing whatever he can to help others and spread the vegan message. For example, offering this book for $.99! Grab a copy today for yourself or for anyone you know going vegan. Even if you've been vegan a few years you may learn something new from The Ultimate Vegan Guide.
What are some tips that you share with new vegans? What advice would you give to someone to get started? Please share with us!