What I’ve Learned From Being A Vegan For 6 Months

2 years, 9 months.

*TMI Warning: Contains “too much informantion,” which may be deemed as innappropriate, controversial, and/or offensive to some readers.

Dear Jack,

It was 6 months ago I took that funny picture of you chowing down a messy, vegan chocolate cookie from Whole Foods, as I officially publicly identified myself as a vegan.

I have learned a lot since then about this growing alternative lifestyle; which now represents about 2.5% of the American population.

For one, I learned to stop using the word “vegan.” It’s not as marketable and has a bit of a negative, stereotypical connotation.

So instead, I refer to myself as “living a plant-based lifestyle.” It doesn’t offend people like the other word tends to do.

That’s a cue I took from several influential documentaries currently available for streaming on Netflix: Food Inc., Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, and Hungry For Change.

I also learned that I am no longer allergic to cats. Seriously, I can rub my hands and arms and face on a cat… and nothing happens- no itching, no sneezing, no headache. That has never been the case for me, until now. (Was I ever allergic to cats, or just eggs and dairy instead?)

Plus, and I apologize in advance for being so open about this, but since this is just between you and me, my sinuses are completely cleared out now. (In other words, I only produce a very small amount of clear, thin mucus. I see now that dairy products were the source of the thick, white and yellow stuff that led to my chronic sinus infections and non-stop sinus pressure which had plagued me since I was a kid.)

And while I’m being gross… I don’t really wear deoderant anymore. It’s not actually disgusting, though, considering that I don’t have body odor under my arms anymore. If you ask me, it’s only gross to not wear deoderant if you need it: No problem means no solution. I guess plants don’t produce as much odor when processed by the human body?

Another bizarre side-effect of removing eggs, dairy, and even honey, from my diet is that now, the thought of alcohol (I considered myself quite the expert of knowing a good craft beer or bottle of wine) sort of makes me nauseous.

It’s like the health benefits of drinking a responsible amount of beer or wine became irrelevant when I began only consuming plant-based foods. My body started getting enough of all the nutrients it always always wanted and needed. I  have learned that for me, alcohol now messes up the natural good vibes that the plant-based lifestyle gives me on a daily basis.

I’ve traded in my Blue Moon for coconut water, which is about the same price, but enhances my sense of well-being, instead of knocking it down. Plus, I’m getting into Yogi Tea, too.

After 6 months of living this way, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier, more energetic, or as clear-minded as I am now.

And I have seen how even though you and Mommy have remained vegetarians, like I was up until 6 months ago, my switch to eating only plant-based foods has influenced our family’s lifestyle as a whole.

Now more than ever, we try to buy as much organic and non-GMO foods as possible. What’s the difference between those two? I’ll be covering that more in my next letter to you…

I can see that my conversion to the “plant-based life” has caused our family, by default, to incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into our meals and snacks.

Plus, some of my plant-based food alternatives have replaced some of the normal food options in our fridge.

We use Earth Balance butter (made from olives) instead of dairy butter. When Mommy makes cookies, she uses almond milk and/or applesauce instead of eggs.

After 6 months of this alternative lifestyle, I am convinced this is how I want to live the rest of my life. It’s not for everybody, but it is for me. And since you have me as a daddy, you sort of have no choice but to know about all this weird stuff.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

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