Even though we live in a time when most of the society has an access to books, publications, Internet and so on, veganism still arouse controversy in many people. And when they see a pregnant woman who’s vegan or/and children who are vegan since their birth, the controversies are even bigger. And now one question comes to my mind – why pregnant, vegan women are called stupid, accused of not caring for their own babies, that they ruin not only theirs but also their children’s health and so on but pregnant women eating at, for example, McDonald’s don’t bring emotions like that at all?
I remember that it was a long time ago when I said I was planning on adding a post like this and you guys liked that idea. During this whole time I received a lot of messages with a question more or less like this: Aga, what do you eat? I had other questions too and I answered them in e-mails but I’ll add them in here as well so that more people can see. Since this post is pretty important, I didn’t want to write it “just like this”, didn’t want to copy books or sound as if I was teaching you. I wanted to have most of those things as mine. Also, I’ve been taking pictures if my food to then choose better ones and post them here. This way, unbelievers will see that I don’t eat salads only!
Before I get into the subject, I’d like you to remember that my diet isn’t the healthiest in the worlds so if you want to avoid all of the “harmful” ingredients, don’t take everything I say in 100%. I like and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I do eat rye bread, rice noodles or veggie noodles and other wholesome and healthy foods but I also like cakes, ice-cream or fast foods and I do eat those things when I want something. Personally, I’m not gluten free the rest of my family isn’t either. We do use white flour, white sugar sometimes and even white salt! In general, I love eating and I follow the rule that eating should be a pleasure so you won’t see me tiring over counting any calories. And reading ingredients on packages doesn’t make me tired.
Last thing: no, I haven’t graduated from pedagogical / veterinary / dietary / medical / any other studies. The knowledge I’m sharing here with you was gotten by me by reading books, articles, studies, watching all kinds of videos and documentaries, watching my own body and its reactions to different changes. I don’t think I’m an expert – I’m not – and I do realize that I don’t know many other stuff.
So now, here we go! This post will be divided into two parts. In the first one I’m going to show you basics if it comes to my life so that you’ll know what everything is about :). So first, questions from my readers…
- You were skinny earlier but after you became vegan, you lost more of your weight. Is it true?
It’s true. I never had any problems with my weight, first of all. However, I don’t know if this is caused by my genes (most of the people in my family is skinny) or maybe by the fact that I haven’t eaten meat for around 13 years, or all at once…
By not eating dairy you don’t deliver to your body any unhealthy fat and other disgusting things that stay in your hips and in other places where they shouldn’t be so that people get fat and have all kinds of health problems like heart attacks, diabetes and so on. That’s why the great majority of vegans is skinnier than people who eat animal products and they very often don’t have to even try and they don’t have to be on any reducing diets and have training to lo lose weights because they’re just skinny.
In my opinion you need to remember that veganism shouldn’t be treated as a way to lose weight if after reaching your goal you’ll go back to your old habits which were eating meat and dairy because it simply doesn’t make sense and it’s pointless.
Also, I realize that there are people saying that veganism ruined their lives and health because it led to anorexia and so on, so they make videos for YouTube or write long articles about that veganism was, supposedly, deadly for people and to warn everyone not to even think about not eating animal derivatives. And yes, of course you can be anorexic being on a vegan diet but only when you don’t have any control over anything and any knowledge. People who talk about cases like this simply stop eating everything coming from animals and eat fruit and veggies only which, let me tell you, won’t be enough food for you, right? Of course, there are several kinds of veganism that exclude eating any processed and heated food so it’s allowed to eat only raw products and you can live healthy and not have any problems with anything BUT only when you know how to eat.
- Where do you get vitamins and, most importantly, protein which are very important not only for you but also for the baby that’s growing inside of you?
Vitamins, minerals and other cool stuff are in everything. The same with protein! Vegetables, fruits, pasta, rice, nuts, beans, sprouts, tofu, plant based milk and so on – everything has nutritional values and, at the same time, you don’t take any unhealthy fat, hormones, pus, blood and other gross things that you take when you eat meat, eggs and dairy. Products with a high protein content are, for example, spinach, potatoes, avocados, kiwis, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, beans – it’s worth to increase eating those when you want to gain some weight or when you’re pregnant. On the Internet there’s a lot of tables with nutritional values and comparisons to meat and dairy so you can easily find them if you want to know more.
I’d like to note that a lot of people have this wrong idea about how much protein people really need and they think that we need sooooo much so they eat as much as they can which doesn’t really make much sense. A lot of people think that when you’re physically active then you need to eat more dairy because otherwise your muscles won’t grow so it’s not only that they stuff up with dairy and meat, they also take all kinds of nutritional shakes which is a total and not necessary extreme way. Did you know that there are vegan body-builders? Also, did you know that there are vegan body-builders who don’t take any nutritional shakes or anything of this sort? Did you know that me pole dancing every single day and being vegan, I didn’t have any problems with my energy level and my muscles were growing and I didn’t take any shakes or anything? Also, it’s worth to remember that the human body doesn’t store protein at all so if there’s too much, it’s rapidly broken producing extra carbohydrates which aren’t needed for your body either so they’re broken too and as a result of all this, your liver works too much and all that consumes more energy.
Not long ago one person told me that my bones will start breaking… I thought then that I had my left wrist broken twice in my life, my right one was twisted, I had my ankle sprained twice as well. All that happened when I was a kid and I was eating meat and dairy.
Also, mother’s milk is the best and the healthiest food for a baby from when it’s born for a long time during his most intense development throughout the whole life! Even when mother is vegan.
- How did your ob-gyn react when he found out you were vegan, after you both knew you were pregnant?
He reacted very normally, didn’t have any concerns or anything. He told me it’s a healthy way of living. He didn’t start panicking and didn’t make me have any additional blood work to check if I really EAT. Do you remember that example with McDonald’s from the first part of this post? This was my doctor’s example. The fact that during this pregnancy I haven’t gained tens of kilograms can be surely linked to me eating the way I do in some way but – like I already said – I do eat sweets or pizza when I feel like it. What’s more, I never had bad blood work results – even after I stopped eating meat and then dairy as well and EVEN during pregnancy which is a time of increased needs for many nutrients. My baby has been growing and developing completely healthy and in a good rate. There was even a time when she was bigger than she “should” have been which surely doesn’t show that she lacks anything.
- You became vegan because you didn’t like meat or you had other reasons?
Like I mentioned before, I stopped eating meat a loooong time ago and then it was mostly because it didn’t taste good to me at all. During some time I ate chicken only but then I stopped as well. I never liked fish (and fish are meat too) so I didn’t eat them for that reason. I said “mostly” because then, as a kid, I saw a video with scenes of how animals are treated which touched me a lot right then. Later, for a long time, I didn’t do anything else. I didn’t eat meat but still ate dairy and eggs. Until I got here to the USA! Nathan who stopped eating meat “for a month” after my arrival just to try how it feels and now he’s vegan, told me that he didn’t drink cow’s milk and explained why which made me stop doing so as well because it was so gross that now just a smell make me almost puke. After I stopped drinking cow’s milk I never had any more problems with this weird feeling of bloated stomach that I had before! And Alicia’s stomach stopped hurting. Then I started to learn more, watch all kinds of stuff, read and so on. Right now I’m vegan because of health, ethic and environment aspects. By the way, my veganism isn’t only about food but also about things I use at home, clothes and all cosmetic products I use.
Several years ago someone told me: “if you don’t eat meat just because the way animals are treated then it’s a very stupid reason”. Back then I didn’t have this courage to say anything and I agreed. Now I think that this reason is definitely as important as, for example, health so I take back that I agreed! I also think – how can anyone say that they love animals petting a dog with one hand and holding a fork with a piece of cow that will be eaten in a second in another? Sorry guys, to me it’s a total hypocrisy.
- Don’t you miss anything you were eating before?
No :). And if I want something, I can easily make it in a vegan version.
- What if you’d like to eat cheesecake? I wouldn’t be able to live without cheese!
I’ll bake or buy it! Believe me or not but all the products have their vegan replacements – sausages, hams, all kinds of cheeses, milk, cakes and so on – most of them taste exactly how their real versions. Some time ago I made a cheesecake using a vegan cheese and it tasted identical as the cheesecake I was used to before and I’d like to note that this cake was always my favorite one. Nathan and Alicia were impressed too. You can make cheesecake out of tofu as well but I haven’t tried it yet.
Also, I did some experiments in the kitchen while making cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza crusts, crepes, pierogies and all kinds of other things. Namely, each recipe you find online will tell you to add eggs. If it comes to a vegan version, you can replace eggs with a special egg replacer to buy in grocery stores, bananas, apple sauce, flaxseed and several other things. BUT! The thing is that I made all of those things without using eggs or even any replacers for eggs and… everything turns out exactly the same. So here’s my question – why are the eggs for?!
A lot of people wonder – if you’re vegan, why do you eat things that taste like real ones?! Well, first of all – because I sometimes want to and I can ;). Second – because I like a lot of things but taste is a different subject here. Notice that meat itself doesn’t have any taste and check what people eating steamed chicken with nothing on it say – that is’t “gross”. The taste is what’s given later – oil, spices, breadcrumbs and so on. I’ll be happy to go back to this subject talking to someone who eats only raw meat without thermal treatment, without any additional things which is the way I eat, for example, apples, strawberries or carrots.
7. Where do you buy food?
Everywhere :). For real, each larger grocery store has vegan products in their assortment – Publix, Kroger, Target, Walmart, and so on. And surely all of them will have veggies, fruits, pastas and other stuff. A lot (but not all!) fast foods, like Taco Bell, has vegan options – usually you just need to not use their sour cream or cheese. Waffle fries from Chick’fil’A are vegan, the same with their veggie wrap. And so on, and so on. There are lots of vegan restaurants and even in a traditional ones they often have special options for vegans or you simply can talk to them and they’ll make you something different or change some ingredients. This is very easy!
That’s all if it comes to the part one. In part two I’ll show you pictures I took, some recipes, videos and so on :). If you have any further questions, reservations or anything else, feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment!
Talk to you next time!