Food. All my life I’ve been a fan of food, but never a cook. Then my life changed. You get hints of facts all your life. One day facts become salient and you see what you refused to see before. It was like that for me when I decided to embrace a whole foods, plant-based diet.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my meats, dairy and egg. I understand why people eat like that. It’s the way I was raised. I ate junk food, unhealthy sugar, fats and meat….a lot of red meat.
About 10 years ago I met my first vegan. I thought she was crazy. Now I wish I would have asked her questions. But I was not ready for the vegan lifestyle just yet.
As a soldier, I remained fit through intense exercise. I retired from the Army after 20 years and got lazy. Combined with an unhealthy diet and with lack of exercise (and beer), the result was a 254-pound middle-aged slug.
So when my wife encouraged me to sit down with her and watch Vegucated, I was ready to see it. It was like a light switch. The next morning, I was a vegan. I didn’t have withdrawal, cravings, pain or anything else. I just made a conscious choice for my health and the health of the animals with which we share this planet: I would become a vegan.
Since then, I have read many books and watch many documentaries. I highly recommend Forks over Knives and Living Vegan For Dummies. During my transition, I had no idea what I was going to eat. My wife and kids remain non-vegan, but embrace whole foods and very little meat. My wife told me that she had no intention of cooking two meals every meal. I agreed to become my own personal chef.
This is how I became a cook. Now, I really enjoy discovering new foods. This has become a hobby for me. And you know what? My family loves my cooking! I spend just about as much time cleaning up, doing dishes and planning meals as I do cooking. My wife likes that.
So, yeah. I’m a vegan. Never saw this coming. But here I am. I’ve dramatically reduced my unhealthy cholesterol count, I have lost more than 45 pounds, my blood pressure is down to a healthy level. I’ve reduced my risk for heart disease. I no longer take a statin prescription for high cholesterol. More importantly, I’m not making animals suffer needlessly. My karma is clean.
What lies ahead? I hope to become better at cooking vegan food. I hope to learn from the vibrant community of vegans out here sharing ideas, tips and recipes. Thanks for your help!