Going Vegan, Ep. 14: Previous Eating Experiments. Vega. Books.
Previous Eating Experiments
I’m one of those people that likes to have a book to latch onto for dietary inspiration. I read all the testimonials inside about people changing their lives and I feel unstoppable: “This is the answer! This is the key to being healthy!” I tell myself exuberantly.
This feeling generally lasts a month. Maybe two.
A sampling of what I’ve previously done:
- The Zone: I did this about about 15 years ago. The idea at the time was to eat 30% carbs, 20% fat, and 20% protein to stay in “The Zone,” where you will keep your sugar levels even. But if you’re eating the right carbs, you won’t spike your sugar levels anyway, so that didn’t make total sense. At any rate, since I did it, they’ve upgraded their PR and now call The Zone an “anti-inflammatory diet.” They’ve changed their recommendation to be 33% protein and 66% fruit and veg (with a dash of flax oil for your omega’s), which is…sort of a no-brainer. Eat lean protein and whole foods? Get rid of processed flours and sugars? I’ll lose weight and feel better? You don’t say!
- The Aktins Diet: Yes, I even tried this carnivorous extravaganza about 8 years back when I was trying to be a very thin actress. I ate cheese, cold cuts, eggs, and ricotta cheese desserts. And I lost weight, which is saying something because I didn’t have a ton to lose. But whether I lost weight because of the diet or because I couldn’t stomach eating another turkey slice is uncertain. Let me say right now that I do not advocate doing this diet, as it cuts out all fruit and veg. Seriously, does that make any sense?
- Eat Right for your Blood Type: When I was looking into killing my Indian bug, I went to a naturopath, who took $60 from me and made a book recommendation. So I bought the book. I read the book. I was baffled by the book. The lists of foods that I could or could not eat made no sense to me. Disgusted, I donated the book. If you are a control freak and can stay on top of the rules, you may have better luck. However, I did learn that my blood type – A+ – is the blood type that does well for vegetarians, so maybe that’s some reinforcement.
- “The Anti-Aging Plan”: This has the distinction of being hatched out of a biosphere experiment. I tried this back in the late 90’s when my brother-in-law gave me the book for Christmas. It’s actually pretty awesome and still makes total sense to me. Basically, eat nutrient-dense food. Keep your caloric intake sensible (although if you eat nutrient dense food and calorie restrict, there is some scientific evidence this may prolong your longevity). When I read the book, they were still promoting taking lots of supplements, but I think has actually fallen by the wayside and now it’s just about eating really nutritious food. But a great read and very sensible. I’m still inspired by it.
My current inspirational book is called, “Thrive.” I actually picked “Thrive” off the bookshelves a few years ago on a whim, not even realizing at the time that it was vegan book. It is written by Brendan Brazier, a triathlete who realized that his diet was holding him back from taking the next step forward in his racing. He discovered through trial and error that a plant-based diet allowed him to recover faster, improved his endurance, and therefore improved his racing times. Not a bad endorsement of the health benefits of veganism!
I plucked “Thrive” back off my bookshelf to give my Veganism another pillar of support and decided to try some of their products.
I wasn’t completely new to Vega. A couple years back I’d tried making a shake out of a tub of vegan super food that I’d been given while working at the Estes Yoga Journal Conference. The result back then had been a shake that was blue and cold and lumpy.
“That retails for $89,” Vegan Steph had told me.
Make that blue, cold, lump, and expensive. I wound up letting it sit in my cupboard and eventually threw it out.
However, since then, the product lines have seriously evolved. I can now confess to being seriously enamored with their (still expensive) products. The chocolate protein bars and Vega One Nutritional shake are my favorite breakfast snacks. A non-vegan friend of mine was told by her doctor that Vega was the highest quality shake on the market, which is another good endorsement. And you get around 25 grams of protein in the protein specialized formulas – yay! That’s about half my day’s protein in 5 minutes of delicious!
And for traveling, you can’t beat it. Throw a couple sachets in your bag and shake one up in your Starbucks travel mug at the airport. They are a great back up plan when you don’t have your juicer and Vitamix handy. While they’re still slightly chalky and they do have a hint of stevia taste, I’m pretty thrilled with them. And they’re great for when you’d like more options at the airport than $6 crudite and hummus snack packs.
Other inspirational Vegan reading on my shelf:
- Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet – this is an incredible resource. Great detailed descriptions of all areas of intake and where you get what. A must for your vegan bookshelf.
- Skinny Bitch – an excellent, playful, and irreverent guide to veganism. When you need to feel sassy.
- How it all Vegan – a classic recipe guide. Those girls are so cute.
- Fast Food Nation – this just makes you want to be vegan…or seriously question your diet.