Going Vegan, Ep. 2: Steph gives me the vegan skinny

 In lifestyle

I decided to get the skinny from one of my vegan friends.  Actually, she’s my only vegan friend.

We met at a coffee shop and I had my favorite dairylicious breakfast of muffin and latte. I am aware my days may be numbered.

Stephanie is one of those quiet vegans, who goes about her business without loudly soapboxing her opinions, spraying paint on fur, or glaring at meat-eaters.   If you didn’t ask her, you’d never know that she was vegan. She’s also a kick ass personal trainer with abs of steel, so forget about the waifish images might be floating in your head.  Stephanie is a lean machine, to be sure, but she could probably benchpress me.

“I love eating this,” I said, indicating my banana nut muffin and whole milk latte. “This is good.  I would really miss this.”

“Yes,” she said, “but you can get that in vegan form.  Just get a vegan muffin instead and a soy latte.”

“Soy latte,” I said dubiously.

“You might even like it more.  Soy is slightly sweeter than milk, so lots of people like it better than cow’s milk.”

“Hmmmm.” I was not convinced.  But if I got to keep my café culture, so much the better.  However, I wouldn’t be able to get a vegan muffin at Starbucks.  I’d have to go to a more health-wise food for that, like Whole Foods, where they catered to fringe eaters.  I don’t know how the café culture is at Whole Foods, but I could get the muffin there and sneak it into Starbucks.  Just wrap it up and put it in my purse.

Yes, I actually do think this way.

“So if I’m going to go vegan, what do I need to worry about in terms of vitamins and stuff…that’s what I’m worried about.  It seems like I’d have to be really on top of what I’m eating and sometimes I’m not so good about that.”

She looked serious, “Vitamin B, Vitamin D, your Omega 3’s and 6’s, since you won’t be eating fish.  But a lot of what you’ll be eating will have a higher nutritional content.  Dark, leafy greens, legumes.  You may want to make fruit or veg smoothies.  I’ll give you some sites to look at online.  The info is all out there now.  You’ll start to eat cleaner, and you’ll probably feel better too.  You may even go through a bit of a detox.”

I did a detox once. I drank lemonade with cayenne flakes for three days and then celebrated by eating an entire Sarah Lee chocolate cake. But at least it was a low-fat cake.

“You may notice,” Stephanie says, “that the first week or two you will actually feel a little under the weather, or tired.  Your body will be shedding toxins and junk that have accumulated in your system over time.  It will pass, and after that you will have more energy and feel better.”

This sounds good to me.  I’m getting older and I’ve noticed that I’ve been more tired of late.  “Of late” meaning the last five years.  I don’t know if it’s my metabolism winding down or my lifestyle catching up, but I get mopey in the afternoons and crave sugar and caffeine.

“Well that sounds good,” I said.  “Cleaner sounds good.”

“I’ve got some great recipes you can try. It’s really easy, once you get the hang of it.  Making your own food is going to be easier and better than eating out.”

Ah, recipes.

Recipes require…what’s that word?  Oh.  Cooking.  I’m one of those gals who can make two proper meals (grilled cheese and pasta puttanesca, only one of which qualifies as vegan).   My idea of cooking is steaming a head of broccoli and eating the whole thing.

“Okay, but they’d better be easy recipes,” I warned, “I’m not what you’d call a hand in the kitchen.”

“Easy,” she promised.  “You’ll get the hang of it.  Simple ingredients, good spices, clean food.  No problem.”

I liked the idea of clean food, who doesn’t?  It sounded like something that’s good for your car and good for you.

I took a breath.  Okay, I’m going in.

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