For the last 7 days I have eaten nothing but vegan food. That means no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no honey, nothing but vegetables, fruits, nuts, tofu, and something called seitan. Going vegan probably won’t kill you, but I am glad to be returning to carnivore land tomorrow morning.
It all started with Groupon. My wife suggested I signup and lo and behold the first coupon was from this company called Gobble Green for a Vegan Starter Kit. The kit promised 7 full days of breakfast, lunch, snack pack, dinner, and dessert. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I love meat. And I am not just one of those modern carnivores who eats nicely packaged meat from the grocery store but can’t stomach the idea of killing his own. I’m no Ted Nugent, but I’ve blasted a few flying Donalds in my day and grilled them up to my satisfaction. So suffice to say, this would be a personal challenge and an opportunity to live life on the other side.
The kit arrived last Thursday morning around 11am, and as I opened the box and stared at items like Seitan, Falafels, spaghetti and “meatballs”, “sausage” and “cheese”, rice pilaf, I started to think I had made a mistake. How does anybody live on this stuff? And what’s up with all this fake “meat” and “cheese” made out of God knows what? But I’m not a wimp, so I can hack it. I can eat anything for 7 days.
The first few days were terrible. I was literally fantasizing about meat every hour. Even the smell of meat put me in a foul mood. I would have done anything for a piece of bacon, even just a bacon bit. To make things more fun, I decided to take pictures of everything I ate and post it to Facebook so all of my friends could see what I was doing. It is amazing how many comments these photos generated. People have some pretty strong opinions about going vegan and about vegan food. Most of them were not positive on the idea and many people offered to come and save me. Don’t worry, I survived and I am not brainwashed!
By day five, the physical cravings for meat and eggs had gone away. I still mentally wanted them, but I wasn’t dying for them. I think the human body can adapt to eating just about anything. I truly believe we were meant to be omnivores and eat whatever we could to survive. Only in modern times, when we have abundance, can we be so picky about what we eat and turn down perfectly good food in order to adhere to some arbitrary diet. That goes for any restrictive diet : vegan, low carb, kosher, low fat, whatever.
Thinking back over the 7 days of food, most of it was bland and some of it was terrible. Fake “meat” is a horrible idea. It will not convert a carnivore into a vegan. On the other hand, the simple things like a Chickpea salad were quite tasty and the basics like rice and mixed vegetables are always good. A benefit of doing this 7 day diet was finding a few new things that I like and reminding me that there are many good tasting foods out there that don’t come from an animal.
At the end of this week, I can’t really say that I feel any different. I don’t have any more or less energy and there hasn’t been any change in my regularity. I don’t have any crazy idea of voting for the Green Party or joining PETA either. I’ll certainly look to improve my diet in the future by including more vegetables, fruits, and nuts, but I don’t want anything to do with seitan, it’s just wrong. Tomorrow morning I am going to have a bacon, cheese, and avocado omelette and I will appreciate it more than I ever have!
Seitan and Bean Stew