Turns out, your dad is one of those people who is attempting to positively (not narcissistically) set the record straight for anyone with sincere, curious questions; making myself a human Guinea pig for the world to see.
People who are like me believe there already is a cure for these cancers and diseases…but that the cure comes in a very inconvenient format:
Obviously, I won’t live forever in this body and I don’t believe that a 100% plant-based diet makes me invincible. Still, I don’t want my future years with you to include me having diabetes or cancer, knowing there might be something I could have done to keep it from happening.
But I suppose until a person watches Forks Over Knives on Netflix, it’s difficult for them to see the simple scientific and historical connection between animal product consumption and disease.
(This is TMI, but I stopped producing white or any colored mucus the weekend I became a vegan. It has only been clear and minimal since my conversion last April; not to mention, no sinus pressure or infections since then, whereas I previously had those issues for 22 years straight.)
And that as a vegan, by default, I consume less than 1% of my daily allowance of cholestrol for each day, because there’s not enough cholesterol in plants to register more than 0.99%.
I’ve checked a lot of nutritional labels over the past year, and have yet to find anything I eat (even “fatty” avocados, cashews, and almonds) that registers as more than “0%,” even though plant-based food do contain some cholestrol.
Granted, I personally understand the skepticism…
I’ve mentioned that just a few weeks before becoming a vegan, I made the statement, “Vegan are idiots!” Now here I am, having consumed no animal products in over a year.
Still breathing, full of energy, with no more allergy and sinus problems, with a weaker prescription for my glasses, and am overall healthier than I’ve ever been in my life.
To some, I am a walking contradiction. How can a person who eats no meat, dairy, eggs, or animal bi-products (marshmallows, pudding, candy containing artificial food dyes, etc.) get enough protein, fat, and vitamins?
It could be easy to assume, if nothing else, I’m secretly hungry all the time. Yet I’m not. When I’m hungry, I eat- and then I’m not hungry anymore.
Once I nixed animal products from my diet, I was forced to get the “living” nutrition from the unprocessed fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds that I was previously neglecting because I was instead consuming animal products and pseudo “healthy snacks” like yogurt, granola bars, and diet soda.
As a new wave vegan, who chooses a plant-based diet not necessarily because of animals’ rights but instead because of the obvious health benefits, I want to be a positive, inviting example of our family’s lifestyle.
What I want to do is start making myself more available and present, in real life and on social media, for curious people who have honest, sincere questions about how we live.
In the process, you will learn more about why our family lives the way we do. After all, you and Mommy are almost completely plant-based as well.
I wonder what people will ask me, now that they know that a friendly, mostly sane vegan is giving an open platform to ask questions about our plant-based lifestyle… I’m ready.
Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.
And now here I am writing about food we don’t eat.
Of course, my point was that when do we talk about politics, religion, and food we don’t eat, it should bedone in a way that’s inclusive, not exclusive. Plus, it has to be a conversation with someone who is already curious or open-minded enough to want to hear what you have to say.
I suppose anyone who has read the title “Non-Dairy, Plant-Based Options For Eggs, Cheese, Milk, & Butter” wants to be here, so I’m going to give this a shot.
As a quick refresher, it was about 4 and a half months ago that, sort of accidentally, I refrained from eating eggs or dairy for a weekend.
It was no coincidence that my severe sinus pressure, which had plagued me constantly since 1992, disappeared. Not to mention, whereas I used to be horribly allergic to cats as well, I can now pet and hold a cat without sneezing, coughing, itching, getting watery eyes, or having a headache for the rest of the day. Plus, I used to regularly get severe sinus infections with congestion and fever… that’s all gone too.
I don’t know the science behind this, I just know it’s been true for me. Needless to say, I have continued not eating eggs or dairy since that random, fateful weekend.
That had to be a bit challenging for Mommy at first, as you can imagine, because that meant she had to rethink all our meals, as well as which ingredients we kept in our fridge and pantry.
But Mommy is great! She has totally embraced this lifestyle change, and now, both you and Mommy are more non-dairy and plant-based as well.
The biggest help for her was a food blog called Oh She Glows. What a lifesaver! It has been really good about helping us understand the non-dairy, plant-based alternatives for the ingredients we use to depend on.
So, since our family’s meals are made without eggs, cheese, milk, or butter, what do we use instead?
I see this question asked frequently on Facebook, as several people I know have children with food allergies.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet for what we do for these following American food staples:
Eggs in dessert: Applesauce or chia seeds.
Eggs for breakfast: Avocados.
Dairy milk: Rice milk and coconut milk. (I’m not loyal to a certain brand for either.)
Cheese: Avocados, unsalted cashews, or unsalted sunflower seeds.
Butter: Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread Original, which is non-dairy and plant-based, consisting of a natural oil blend from palm fruit, canola, soybeans, flax, and olives. Not to mention, it’s also non-GMO and gluten-free.
Since you and Mommy still do consume some eggs and dairy, our meals are constructed in a way that eggs and dairy can be added to the meal if desired.
Okay, then, that’s how our family survives without eggs and dairy. Any questions?
Here’s the most flattering picture I’ve ever taken of you. (Sarcasm.)
There you are in the back seat on Saturday afternoon, indulging in a vegan chocolate cookie from Whole Foods Market.
You didn’t seem to notice there were no eggs or dairy in your cookie. All you knew is that for some reason, I was letting you pig out on a treat which you didn’t have to earn by going potty at the house.
As for the reason the cookie was vegan, that would be because, well… this is me officially coming out of the vegan closet.
I have suffered from severe allergies and sinus problems since 1992, when I was only 11; I’ll be 32 next month. But a week ago I decided to see what would happen if I stopped drinking milk with my coffee.
About two days into using coconut and rice milk instead, I noticed that my constant sinus pressure cleared up.
Then I became addicted to that version of life. It’s been 21 years since I’ve breathed so easily and have been able to think so clearly. The fog in my brain has lifted, in more ways than one.
I decided that if it meant going vegan (no dairy or eggs, in addition to no meat) to continue my heightened state of well-being, I would be willing to make the appropriate lifestyle change. Watching the documentary Vegucated on Netflix solidified my decision.
Granted, our family has been vegetarians for 15 months now. So I’ve been living an alternative lifestyle this whole time anyway. Here it is; the last picture of us together before I became a vegan. The following day I would become even weirder.
Just to be clear, the vegan thing is just for me; not for you or Mommy.
You don’t like eggs. You don’t like milk. But you’ll eat cheese and yogurt so I want you to keep enjoying them.
Or at least I should say, enjoy them while you can.
I’ve already learned that you and I have basically the same medical issues. The only reason you and I don’t currently still have eczema is because A) I make sure that none of your soaps or lotions contain sodium lauryl sulfate or artificial dyes and B) other than special occasions, I deprive you of processed sugar; even 100% fruit juice.
So don’t be surprised in about 9 years when you turn 11, that you’ll suddenly get this sinus pressure that gets worse at night and any time the weather changes. It will feel like you desperately need to blow your nose, but there’s nothing there when you try.
Son, I hope the best for you. I hope you haven’t inherited my severe allergies and sinus problems, but if you have… at least you’ll have a vegan dad to help teach you have to live the peculiar life of no eggs or dairy, in addition to no meat.
I grew up drinking skim milk; so did my wife. However, as of last summer we switched to whole milk. Why? Because despite contrary popular belief, low-fat milk is not healthier than whole milk. And I can prove it.
Last May, I read an article in Details magazine called “Is Skim Milk Making You Fat?“ It presented evidence from a study that showed how drinking skim or 2 % milk, as opposed to whole, actually causes people to be more likely to gain weight. Why?
Low-fat milk is more processed than whole- as the word “whole” naturally implies. When the fat is removed or reduced from the milk, so go the nutrients from that fat. Therefore, those who drink low-fat milk tend to feel “less full” and therefore consume more calories elsewhere.
It seemed too radical to be true. So what did I do last May? I switched to whole milk, after only drinking skim my whole life. After 30 days, I wanted to see if I had gained or lost any weight.
I documented this science experience on my personal blog website, both before and after. The funny thing is, during that month, I ended up doubling the amount of milk I drank each day, because it tasted so much better with the extra fat (and nutrients.)
The results? I didn’t gain or lose a pound. (And no, I’m not one of those people who can eat whatever they want and never gain any weight. That was only in high school for me.)
My weight stayed virtually the exact same after the 30 day switch. After seeing the results, or lack thereof, my wife switched to whole milk as well.
So are you the least bit curious? Are you tempted to switch to whole milk now? If you do, then you yourself can be the cool person who gets to drop the knowledge on your friends that no, drinking whole milk doesn’t make you less healthy.