As most of you know, in the days leading up to V-Day (my committed day to become vegan), I attempted to eat up all the dairy in my house in a frenzied, heart-stopping, artery clogging, constipating, dairy bonanza. I failed. Probably for the best because I grossly underestimated the amount of dairy laden products stockpiled in my household. My solution was, rather than throw food out and waste it, I gave it to a friend of mine. It wasn’t until I started packing up my fridge and pantry that I realized how much dairy I had. A scary amount of dairy.
Maybe that doesn’t look like so much…but that’s all MY food. My fiancée and I really don’t eat the same stuff, so all that was for me only. This picture doesn’t include a secret hoard of boxed macaroni and cheese I found two days later secreted on the top shelf of my pantry. Pictured above is: frozen cheese lasagna, 3 frozen cheese pizzas, garlic cheese spread, Ranch dressing, greek yogurt & honey combo, cheese puff pastries, Ravioli’s with cheese, Potstickers which had fish, Mozzerella & Tomato bites, and other stuff that I don’t remember and can’t make out in the picture.
I literally filled up my friend’s freezer.
I can honestly say I’m not sorry that all the cheese products I possessed are gone. I was one of those people who swore they would never give up cheese. I used to say that being of Danish heritage means that cheese and butter are etched in my DNA. I had an unflinching, unapologizing, unadulterated love of cheese.
Despite my tempestuous love affair, I can honestly say that it is possible to live a cheesless life and be happy about it and not feel deprived. I know, because I’m living it.
I had a great conversation with a lovely and open-minded vegetarian co-worker today who made a very astute observation: she proposes that if for one day, everyone going through a drive-thru ordering a burger actually received a veggie burger instead, that most likely few people would know the difference. Not necessarily because veggie burgers are amazing (even though they are), but because the patty is only one part of a burger. So much of what we enjoy about our favorite comfort foods isn’t necessarily the meat or dairy element.
Take the hamburger for instance, what contributes to that familiar hamburger experience? The salty & fluffy bun, the crisp cold lettuce, the bite of the onion, the meaty texture of the tomato accompanying the patty, the sweet & savory ketchup, the pungent mustard. The patty, in many ways is simply a textural and salt element. Maybe some would be able to tell the difference between the beef and the veggie burger, but is it a big enough difference to care? Is it a big enough difference to sacrifice your health over?
As a vegan, I consume ZERO cholesterol. How is that possible?? It’s possible because cholesterol is only found in animal and animal derived products. Some would argue that meat and dairy are central to health but unfortunately that is untrue. So many health problems are directly linked to meat and dairy consumption. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, more people die every year from heart disease than anything else. It is COMPLETELY treatable and REVERSIBLE through diet and exercise, yet most people simply take a barrage of medication and continue their same lifestyle which resulted in terrible disease. It’s been proven that a vegan diet is effective in treating, reversing, or halting the progression of many common diseases today such as: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon, liver, and other bowel cancers. I’m not just spouting of crap health promises because I want to push some radical vegan agenda. I honestly like people, if you are reading this, I actually care about your health, I hope that someday you might try giving veganism a chance. The information I’m quoting comes directly from the book described in the next paragraph…
If you are looking for an amazing book on nutrition and unbiased health information, read The China Study by: T. Colin Campbell PhD & Thomas M. Campbell II. It’s written by a PhD scientist and policy maker who knows what he is talking about better than you and me. His findings are based on a lifetime of research of the highest caliber and integrity. Dr. Campbell cites over 700 references, which means, if you don’t believe him on his word (which you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t believe anyone on their word alone, always ask yourself…where are they getting this information? Where’s the research behind it??) you can look into his research yourself.
Get your hands on some professional academic journals. That’s where the real information is, not health magazines or at barnes & noble, and not on your nightly news….sorry. I’m not saying this to be an ivory tower academic snob, or to sound like some radical who hates the media. I am neither. I’m just saying that there is real, researched, informed, and double-checked information out there, and much of it can be found in academic or professional journals. To be published in such a journal, your work is critiqued and picked apart by experts within the field, then sent back in ribbons for a lengthy revision process. Then you must submit again and again until it has been molded and perfected into a work of integrity and your facts have been checked!!
Okay, that’s enough rambling from me. I won’t go on any more tirades about academic journals or anything, I’ll keep it to funny vegan stuff I promise. Seriously though, check out the book. I know it sounds kinda boring, the title isn’t catchy, but it truly is a very interesting and informative read. I really don’t think you will be disappointed.
And ask yourself, how much dairy do I have in my house?? Is it more that I think? Whatever your nutritional choices are, it’s worth knowing.