vegetables, avocado, vegan

Veganism and What Vegans Eat

I probably shouldn’t have just eaten those 6 Pillsbury crescent rolls… and the bowl of big, mushy, white rigatoni with Earth Balance margarine and salt, which is how my mom makes it. Oh, and did I mention the dark chocolate chip cookies? There’s nothing like making a good first impression, and apparently for the Rustic Vegan experiment, the first impression I’m giving is that I’m a binge eater.

Rustic Vegan starts Saturday, the first day of the year. Two days from now. I’m often asked what vegans eat. Well, do you want the healthy or the unhealthy answer?

I’m not usually a binge eater. I’ve written my calories down off and on for years over at Vegan Lite (please excuse the state of the site, I just moved it to a new platform and it’s a mess). Writing down my calories is how I lost 40 pounds a number of years ago, and that’s how I’ve managed to keep it off, give or take 5 pounds, depending on the time of year.

I’m not at my goal weight right now, either. In fact, I just gained 5 pounds in the second half of December–me and about half of the people in America. The rolls, rigatoni, and cookies probably didn’t help today, either.

But what I ate today isn’t very surprising. I’ve read any number of books about people who’ve done something for a year, and my last junky-eating-hoorah is typical. “No Impact Man“, or more specifically, his wife, went on a buying binge before they went uber-green for a year and couldn’t buy or use anything that increased their carbon footprint. The woman who wrote Not Buying It, and went for most of a year without buying anything but essentials… even she went out and found herself stocking up just before that began.

So I suppose I can forgive myself a couple days of junk. Bring on the Taco Bell. Apparently, it makes me about average.

Rustic Vegan isn’t really about giving things up as much as it is trying to gain more of my health back. However, I will admit the stress breaks through when I turn over yet another food package and see that something I assumed I’d be able to eat in 2011 is going off the list. “Mono- and diglycerides”? Why do food manufacturers have to put “mono- and diglycerides” in almost everything? Is manufactured food inedible without emulsifiers?

So why am I doing this? Why try to go for a year without eating artificial ingredients when there are so many processed foods I won’t be able to eat?

I’m doing this because I feel better when I get away from it. I feel better when I step outside of the chemical factory. When I have moments of anticipatory panic, my husband Jae tells me, “You’ve done this before, at least parts of it. You’ve gone without margarine and you were fine. You’ve given up soda and you felt so much better.”

So the clock is ticking down to Saturday. And no, I’m not going to go have another crescent roll. I’m going to thank my husband.

And how will I answer the question: “What do vegans eat?” Or answer, “What do Rustic Vegans eat?” Probably with the words, “Not that.”

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