Hey, everyone. I'm happy to have found this resource and look forward to interacting with fellow vegans. Let's support one another by giving workout pointers, diet critiques, sharing recipes, and the like!
I will now introduce myself!
I have been an on-again-off-again vegetarian for four years. (The longest stretch I've gone without eating any meat is eight months). After putting on some pounds towards the end of last year, I decided that it was time for a lifestyle change. I kept in mind that animal products have a lot of protein, but along with it comes fat (not to mention a guilty conscience). Cutting out animal products seemed like a big change in my diet that could help me lose weight. There were also several other factors that I kept in mind that helped me change my ways...
The idea of the vegan lifestyle has always appealed to me for several reasons. Firstly, knowing that animals were not harmed in order for me to sustain myself give me immediate peace with my decisions as a consumer. Secondly, I have heard that choosing this path is choosing to be more environmentally conscious, which is especially appealing to a eco-freak like me. Thirdly, the creative ways in which vegans get their nutrition seemed like a fun way to learn more about food and health. And lastly, it was a good excuse to explore what is out there in terms of new foods and restaurants!
So far, my identification with the label "vegan" only extends to my diet. I still own leather shoes, wool sweaters, and am not sure if all of my cosmetics are without animal products. However, I am slowly transitioning towards a completely vegan lifestyle almost unbeknown to myself! I find myself looking for vegan friendly logos when shopping, and am not turned off if I have to hunt for a product for the sake of it being vegan. I can't say that it is my goal to become 100% vegan, but who knows? It might come naturally.
It has been three weeks since my official decision to go on a vegan diet, and I do admit to having slipped up a couple of times. I don't expect my record to be perfect, but the decisions I have made are now helping me live a happier and healthier lifestyle. That is ultimately the goal. You see, for me, being vegan is not just about cutting out animal products. It's about being more conscious, about being more aware of what I'm putting into my body and also the products that I use. To be honest, I'd rather have a couple of organic, free-range chicken eggs than eat a veggie burger loaded with ingredients that I don't know how to pronounce. I'm doing neither, and I'm pretty proud of myself. And, chances are good that if a product boasts to being vegan, they are eco-conscious and use natural products as well. Knowing that my decisions as a consumer are helping animals, the earth, and my body are more than enough reasons to continue being vegan for as long as I can imagine!A side note: I have been a member of the muscleandstrength forum for a month and have been posting my workouts and food intake on the training journal on that site since I started to workout out (three weeks ago). Someone posted this particular site for me to check out, and I thought I'd make it my main forum since there is a lot more support for a vegan strength trainer on this end of the interwebs! The people on the website mentioned above are really great, though. They just don't have as much dietary knowledge to dole out to someone who doesn't eat meat or dairy.
Thanks for reading! Let's be friends! Here is a link to my training blog
so you can follow me if you'd like and send some advice for a relative beginner.