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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Vegan At You?

"I'm not being vegan at you!"

If I had a dollar for every time I've said that, I'd have enough money to buy several fabulous vegan meals.


It's time to explain why I'm mostly vegan. I say "mostly vegan" because I have a weakness for pastries. Although there are many lovely vegan pastries out there in the world, if I see a pan au chocolat, I'm going to have a hard time saying no to that beautiful laminated, buttery, flaky chocolate-filled slice of heaven. I will fall on it like I'm saving you from a hand grenade (you're welcome).

When I was in my early 40's, my cholesterol was 220. That ain't great. There are drugs you can take that may help lower your cholesterol. Some people, no matter what they eat, will always have high numbers. But for me, I found that eating vegan lowered it. It actually lowered it to 180 in 3 weeks! CRAZY. Since then, I've been mostly vegan.

I fell off the vegan wagon when I was traveling around the world, as will happen. When I was somewhere with amazing seafood, I tried some (and did I mention pastries? Ah, pastries...sigh...).
Now I'm getting back to the thing that is best for me, and that is a plant-based diet.

Let's get back to the Vegan At You part of this conversation, shall we? What I eat is what works for me. And what you eat is what works for you. I cook meat for family and friends without a problem. I don't judge you and I ask the same of you towards what I eat.

I do believe that there are better, more humane ways to raise animals for food consumption, and I will absolutely be an advocate for that. It is better for the environment and for you physically. My greatest hope is that we Americans will start eating more vegetables and cut back on the meat. That is better for all.

Besides the health benefits I've found eating this way, I've also been able to really explore my culinary creativity. How can I best replicate a taste or texture? What other spices or cooking methods will bring out the fantastic flavor in a vegetable? The possibilities, as I learn more and more about world cuisines, are truly endless.

No matter where we go, I'll find something to eat. I will never starve, believe you me.

Hopefully, in the next few months, I'll have published a book of my travel stories with photos and recipes. They will be vegan, because they were or because I sought to replicate them without any animal products.

I encourage you all to try eating plant-based for one day a week, and really stretch outside your comfort zone to find new dishes that will excite you and your families. And maybe, just maybe, you'll find some of those recipes in my book.

Now go eat something, will ya?