A little late, but here nonetheless.

I have been reading about the Vegan Month of Food.  I also have, somewhat improbably, become a vegan.

I was a vegetarian beginning my sophomore year of high school, and continued that practice until two and a half months ago. (Well, except for two periods of time I spent studying in Mexico.)  I had toyed with the idea of going vegan, but always though that I would never be able to say ‘no’ to cheese.  After thinking about it a lot, I decided about two and a half months ago to give veganism a try. A one month trial of the vegan life, just to see how it felt.

And it felt great.

I feel better about the food that I’m eating.  I have eliminated most processed foods from my diet.  (Really, the only processed foods I’m eating right now are Soy Yogurt, Soy MilkDr. Kracker crackers, and chocolate chips.)  I’m eating more whole grains and vegetables than I was before.  I’m eating much less “vegetarian junk food“.

Now, this is not to say that I’m eating less fat or fewer calories than I was before.  I’m probably eating more fat and calories, actually.  I’m eating more nuts and seeds which have fat.  I’m cooking a lot, and baking.  And the baking, while vegan, is not exactly healthy.  (Instead of a stick of butter, you use half a cup of oil.  Not quite a healthier trade-off.)

But, I am more conscious of what I am eating.  And that is what I like.  Aside from produce, the vast majority of food products I buy come from the bulk bins at the grocery store.  (I have been using canned beans and lentils lately, but that is simply because it is too hot to spend an hour or more with the stove on, simmering beans.  When the weather cools down, I’ll use the beans and lentils that I buy in bulk, instead of relying so much on cans.)  I’m using these bulk goods to make food.  Actual food!  It seems sort of magical to me.  I’m also using a lot more spices, which I hadn’t used before.  Before I started my vegan experiment, I used garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric.  Now, every time I go to the grocery store, I end up buying another spice or two.  It is a bit expensive at $3 a pop, but once I have what I need, I won’t need to buy more for a while.

And, of course, I like the environmental, humanitarian, and animal rights aspects of eating vegan, as well.

So, a day late, I begin the Vegan Month of Food Blogging.  I will try to write about my vegan food adventures.

I’m a klutz in real life, and am really good at creating chaos in the kitchen.  But, when all is said and done, that chaotic mess turns into delicious food, and that is really all that matters.