Plant Strong


Yesterday I concluded my 30 day experiment of eating only plant-based foods. No meat, no poultry, no dairy. I’ve tried to avoid the word vegan because it’s something of a loaded word. A big turn-off to a lot of people. I thought I’d share my reasons for trying this and a few of my experiences over the past four weeks.

The spark for this little adventure was my nephew, +Ryan Mays. He’s followed this life style (it’s more than just diet for him) for a couple of years and his enthusiasm was infectious. I didn’t eat a lot of meat anyway so I decided to see if I could eat plants only for a month.

I had a vague awareness of the health benefits of cutting out red meat but I’ve never been overweight and I’m in good health, so I wasn’t especially motivated by health considerations.

As I began this project(?), I discovered the ethics of eating animals was an important consideration for me. I feel better knowing I’m not (knowingly) contributing to the suffering of other creatures. I’ll hasten to add, this is a personal decision and I make no judgements about how others eat and live.

I’ve lost about 8 pounds since starting this but have more energy and a heightened sense of well-being.

I’ve found it surprisingly easy to find plant-based alternatives to meat, poultry and dairy. I’m eating lots of fruits, fresh vegetables and nuts. I was never a big milk drinker and now have soy milk or almond-coconut milk on my cereal. I made some vegan cornbread that was delicious and some oatmeal cookies that were not.

If I strayed, it was rare. Some bread or pasta that contained some dairy product. I didn’t sweat those much and don’t intend to going forward. And I’ll get smarter about how to eat.

Two weeks in I was thinking, “I can do vegetarian but not vegan.” But by the third or fourth week, I started thinking I could make this a permanent change. To the extent anything is permanent. So, now I can stop counting.