Things I’ve learned since going vegan


1. It’s a controversial subject: That’s why it’s taken me a whole year to even write a post about eating vegan. I say eating vegan because we’re not true vegans—we wear leather, and I don’t strongly identify as a vegan—I mean, it’s not one of the first things I’d bring up when describing myself to someone. Drew and I switched to a vegan diet a year ago for health reasons, because it seemed like the best way to go. And so far it’s worked for us. We feel healthier, we’re stronger, I get a lot less headaches than I used to (they were getting to be a problem). We don’t really talk about our vegan diets or try to convert people, but every once in a while we’ll still get the old “how do you get your protein?” cross-examinations, and it’s not fun.

2. It can be wonderful: I had no idea how good vegan food could be, mainly because the only vegans I knew survived on hummus wraps and whatever else they could scrounge up in our college cafeteria, way back when. When Drew and I decided to go on a vegan diet I had no idea what vegans ate, and I didn’t even really know how to cook. So I read blogs and vegan cookbooks and came to love cooking and finding new vegan recipes each week. I’ve found that vegans can eat a lot more than just hummus wraps and tofu (though I like both) and Daiya cheese (not a fan). We make tacos, soup, Bibimbop, salads, stirfries. I’ve pinned all my favorite vegan recipes here, if you want to see more.

3. Eating out is easy (if you live in a city):  Well, we’re spoiled—Atlanta is an easy place to be vegan. We have a lot of vegan restaurants and international restaurants and markets with vegan options. In Atlanta it’s possible to get vegan barbeque, really good veggie burgers, Korean tacos, and even cinnamon rolls. 

4. You can still eat doughnuts: Revolution Doughnuts in Decatur makes vegan doughnuts that are probably just as good as any non-vegan doughnuts I’ve had.

5. I don’t miss meat or cheese at all, but sometimes I miss eggs. Tofu scrambles are good, but they just don’t cut it.

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24 Comments

  1. Regan
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Humans have evolved from eating meat. Our brains would have not grown bigger if we did not eat meat and it contributed to human intelligence. It has important fatty proteins that we need to keep our mind healthy. Having a vegan diet would require eating vitamin fortified foods.

    Modern farm practices are very harmful to the environment, I think meat should be more expensive, it shouldn’t be so cheap. I am against inhumane farm practices, I will only eat organic. Maybe we will evolve away from eating meat.

    • Alex
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

      Regan, fats are fats and proteins are proteins. They don’t overlap.
      Where has it been established that human brain development has been linked to consumption of animals over time?

    • A
      Posted August 10, 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

      PhD candidate in Biological Anthropology here– the “meat=big brains” hypothesis is not supported by archaeological or nutritional evidence whatsoever. In fact, the idea that the brain is metabolically the most “expensive” organ is very old/outdated science.

      All of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) are present in vegetable sources, including omega-3s. The only vitamins you may have trouble with are B12, and to a lesser extent- iron (though this is easily attained through vegs like beets).

      It is well established that plant-based diets lead to reduced cancer risk and extended longevity. Keep on doing what makes you feel good Rhiannon!

  2. Posted August 2, 2013 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    you should pick up some Kala Namak (Indian Black Salt), it’s super sulfur-y and makes everything taste egg-y. so weird! awesome in scramble, on avocados, etc. if you’re missing the taste of eggs.

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Maggie, thank you! I’m putting this on my grocery list. Sounds like just the thing

  3. Posted August 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I can’t imagine giving up meat or cheese, but if it’s making you a healthier and headache-free lady, that’s awesome!

    • Julz
      Posted August 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Lexie, be daring :P live on the edge and try giving up meat and cheese for even a day :)

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Honestly I never could have imagined it either. I loved meat when I was growing up—especially steak. In college I thought my friends were crazy for being vegan and didn’t see how they could do it. But it’s so much easier than I thought—I never miss meat or cheese. I’m a dessert person all the way, and you can make vegan versions of almost anything, and they actually taste good. (most of the time) : )

  4. Piper Belanger
    Posted August 3, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Anyone who does not live vegan misses three very important opportunities. First, and for me foremost, the chance to do your part to end the torture and slaughter of billions of innocent animals. Second, it will improve your own health and well-being. Third, a plant based diet is needed for the future of our planet going forward. Just read about it, there is a wealth of information now. And there is little to argue against it. For starters go here: http://www.vegankit.com. The more you read, the more you will realize it is the best way to live.

  5. Posted August 3, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Some of this post almost sounds identical to my experience. I’m writing about it here http://veganfoodforyou.blogspot.co.uk/

    The main thing I am struggling with now, and I actually worry about a lot, is our consumption of soya products. I’ve read it’s very bad for you.

    • karen
      Posted August 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      There’s a lot of “soy is scary” stuff out there, but if you follow the history of the assertions, they all go back to a few old studies that have since been contradicted (and involved concentrated soy isoflavones and rats). Sometimes, the Internet is not a friend of truth. I’m a breast cancer survivor that has no problem eating soy, because I don’t buy into the hype.

      That said, it’s probably a good idea to try to stick to whole soy products and alternate with no -soy for protein, if only because variety is key for good nutrition.

      • Piper Belanger
        Posted August 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Good answer, Karen. Besides which, there are so many other vegan options that one could manage quite nicely without soy at all. But your
        solution is even better.

  6. Maria
    Posted August 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    The problem with soy is the destruction of the eco system. In plantation, you normally change from one cereal to another, allowing the fields to recover. If you plant large fields of soy the soils get exhausted and non fertile anymore. So you have to move on destroying forests to build more soy fields and so on and so on…

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      I’d never heard that. I’ve been trying to eat less soy lately, (drinking only almond milk or coc. milk) but it was because of scary health issues with soy. Good to know that.

  7. Julz
    Posted August 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I really wish I could identify with point 3 & 4 ! I live in the largest city in New Zealand, and having a meal out is still damn difficult! As for doughnuts; never have seen vegan ones here ever– but thats ok, I dont miss them ^-^

    • Rhiannon
      Posted August 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Julz, I didn’t know I missed doughnuts until I had them again. : )

      Strange that there aren’t more vegan options in NZ—I would have thought the opposite!

  8. Anthe
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    So glad being on a vegan diet is working for you and Drew! Especially when your feeling better!

  9. Myrt
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Have you tried the Vegg? Tastes like real egg yolk. Check out these gorgeous pictures! http://thevegg.com/recipes/

  10. Posted August 11, 2013 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    This describes my diet/lifestyle to a tee – I’ve never mentioned it on my blog, though, for the first reason you bring up … I don’t really want to be cross-examined on my choices, especially as a vegan who wears second-hand and vintage animal products.

    Anyway, I’m glad you’re feeling healthier and happier! And thanks for the pinterest link!
    Five years on, I still miss cheese … though I saw a macadamia baked cheese recipe recently that sounds amazing!

  11. Kate
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I just thought I’d mention that my sister had been getting terrible headaches for a long time and finally discovered she had a gluten allergy!

  12. Posted August 19, 2013 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on vegan eating. I appreciate it. I’m not a vegan, but I’m trying to eat healthier, also for health and well-being purposes. I’m now following your Pinterest board. :)

  13. Posted August 19, 2013 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    I meant, I followed you on Pinterest. :)

  14. Posted August 24, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    so pleased to discover that you and drew are eating vegan!

    i started going vegan this past january – the food part has been relatively easy compared to the “health and beauty” area…and when green flies are biting me at the beach or ants are swarming over a crumb on my kitchen counter – I have yet to come up with a *compassionate* option for dealing with them. But the eating, yeah, that was really not a problem once I made the decision ( I do *miss* cheese, but when I think of the animals that have to give their lives for me to have some, it just seems preposterous to make that choice).

    Can’t wait to go look at your favorite vegan recipes!

    Yay for More Vegans!

    Bettye

  15. Posted September 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Love your blogpost and I agree that being vegan is not identity card it is just food choice as you want to feel better. True that it is pretty difficult to be strictly vegan . Love when you say that you are not trying to convert anyone .I am of the same opinion. I am into Organic cosmetics and I don’t try to convert anyone and people often think about being Organic and/or vegan is a sort of religion type of thing which is not. I am not Vegan myself but I will become soon as meat is harder to digest as you get older. My weakest point is that I love fish but have some moral dilema about killing animals. Anyway just want to say congratulations to you I think to be Vegan is a great and correct food choice. Cheers
    La Mayca x

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