A few days ago I had a pretty cool anniversary. On Aug 1st, 2011 I hit the milestones of:
- Vegetarian for 6.5 years
- Vegan for 6 months
- Raw vegan for 17 days
A Little Bit of History:
During my time as a vegetarian, I spent a lot of time as a “junkatarian” eating lots of processed food, especially pizza, veggie burgers, cookies, ice cream and veggie tacos. In 2007, I tried to go vegan, but failed pretty miserably because I had no plan and frankly, no idea what the heck I was doing.
Later I slowly started migrating to remove more animal foods out of my diet. I switched from regular milk to soy milk. I ate vegan versions of food when I could find them and tried out some vegan restaurants (I am lucky enough to live in Austin where we have several). I never liked eggs so that was never a problem. I got mexican food without cheese when I could. I made asymptotic progress to being 99% vegan and stayed that way for years. I wanted to be vegan, but regarded it as something that “I couldn’t do”.
This year however, something clicked and I decided to commit to being vegan. It was an abrupt paradigm shift. When I made the decision to commit, and self-identify as someone who eats only plants, suddenly the way I perceived reality changed. It became easy to be vegan, even when 4 years ago it felt impossible. I found myself spurred to try out several new foods I had never tried before and re-embrace some old ones… like pineapple, I’ve eaten 2 of them today!
Isn’t that a little presumptuous to have a vegan blog at only 6 months?
I’ve been asking myself this from time to time and I think the answer is yes and no. On the one hand, I am somewhat of a n00b at veganism. I’ve only been doing it for a few months and I definitely admire people who’ve been doing it for years or decades. On the other hand, I’ve been almost-vegan for a long time, so I kinda know the deal. Also, this blog is about my journey. I want to be an example to show people that it’s possible to be vegan and thrive, living an active, fit lifestyle. I hope that this journey inspires you.
Whoah wait, raw vegan for 17 days?
Um yeah. I’ve been somewhat in the closet about this, but I am really getting into raw food. Today is day 19 and I feel fantastic, almost indescribable. Right now I am doing a 30-day trial of raw veganism on the 80/10/10 diet. Ironically for me, vegetarianism started as a 30 day trial, but when I went vegan this year it was a step-function leap. On this 19 days of raw I’ve been eating exclusively fruits, vegetables and a small amount of nuts & seeds for the past 19 days. To get to my caloric needs (3300-4400/day depending on activity level) that adds up to A LOT of fruit. I’ve eaten over 30 bananas many days, piles of mangoes, many pineapples and lots of other DELICIOUS fruit. I’ve eaten lots of vegetables too, but since fruit has far more caloric density, it has been my staple. Whether I will continue like this past the 30 days is unclear. I really don’t want this blog to be about raw food, I feel that is somewhat of a tangent of the original idea of this blog, but I may mention it again from time to time.
Vegan Gym Rat is a blog about health, fitness, and pushing your limits on a plant based diet. You can get in touch with me via email ironcladben at mailbolt dot com or on twitter @IronCladBen