(Veganism – No Meat and Fish, No Animal Products of any kind like Eggs and Dairy)
WHY do I eat vegan on certain days?
1. I want to eat vegan sometimes, why not?
2. I respect and try to honor in this way my culture’s tradition. Veganism is one traditional way of becoming more self-aware in many world cultures. Anybody can use that, me, too.
Beyond the spiritual effects of this diet, people who practice INTERMITTENT veganism testify that it is also a healthy habit. Those who followed the suggested 6 weeks of proper veganism, the magic 42 days of reset and purification, felt their health status improving. Moreover, the intermittent veganism in this particular form was tested for thousands of years in the culture I grew up in, it passed the test of time, it is perfectly safe. That puts down my doctor’s arguments and fear for nutrients imbalance.
On a personal note I also witnessed this practice in my family throughout the years. It is working. Those who practiced intermittent veganism in my family lived longer and enjoyed a better life quality, against the odds.
3. Some of the medical research I came across revealed that it may have health benefits. “Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial”.
4. I get to eat yummy things that I wouldn’t eat otherwise and makes me appreciate better the food, the days, all things in my life. It is the perfect way to learn and practice gratitude and is one of the paths to self-awareness.
Then WHY NOT eat Intermittently Vegan?
To make sure your vegan experience is good, pleasant and healthy this are 3 important things to consider
- Avoid to eat vegan food prepared outside, especially the fast food type
I cannot think of a more unhealthy food, presented to you with a healthy make up, than the food served in the vegan fast foods. Few points to my argument:
- if the beans are not soaked properly over night, sprouted, to increase nutrient absorption, which otherwise is very low,
- if the toxic foam coming on top when cooking the beans is not collected,
- if the fat that should come from healthy nuts and seeds is coming from a flood of vegetable oils of unknown provenience and quality,
- if the nuts and seeds are rancid when processed,
one may be eating an unhealthy, harmful meal instead of a healthy one. Veganism is a very serious matter and it needs a serious, responsible approach. Preferably you cook your meals yourself.
- Eat intermittently vegan
Take it as a spiritual journey, a self-discovery journey as much as food discovery. Start with 1, 2 days of vegan food per week. Gradually, when you learned enough recipes and how your body reacts to the new food, you can increase slowly, to one week, then 2 weeks, up to 42 days in a row, which you can do twice in a year. Try not to do this more than 3 months at a time (“to save the planet” or for healthy reasons), unless you do it under professional guidance.
If you are a spiritually evolved being, this timeline may not apply to you.
Here is one more thing to consider on this matter, why veganism needs to be taken seriously and practiced with care, intermittently. Veganism is a diet lacking vitamin B12 and folic acid, which are two essential nutrients in our diet, that we can not make. We need to bring essential nutrients through food in order to maintain our health. Our liver has some reserve on these two very important nutrients, but the reserves will finish within 3-5 years for B12 and within 12 months for folate. This is especially important when it concerns children and women trying to conceive.
- Plan well
Think ahead what food would you like to eat and how will you have it, meal by meal. Prepare your ingredients at least one day in advance.
Here are 12 points to have in mind when you prepare for Vegan Days
- Take with you home cooked food if you have to eat out, or research beforehand the quality of the food and the cooking manner in your choice restaurant. Don’t hesitate to ask them directly.
- Make sure you have a good variety of food.
- Do the proper soaking for grains and beans.
- Eat whole grains soaked overnight. Don’t eat processed and refined carbs like commercial bread, cereals, white rice etc. or other industrially processed food.
- Say No to Vegetable Oils. Don’t make up for the fat you are missing by gorging on vegetable oils (the source of the bad fat: the rancid and the trans fats). Read the labels for all the food that is served to you and was not cooked by you. If you have to eat it, go for extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed, organic, certified, or coconut oil, or sesame oil under the same characteristics.
- Plan to have a balanced and good amount of protein and fat; this will protect you from an unhealthy, ravishing hunger. Combine beans and lentils (have more) with grains (have less) to improve the biological value of the proteins.
- Make the quality of your fat/food a priority, because old, rancid fat is toxic. Make sure you don’t buy rancid nuts, see my previous article on “good nuts, bad nuts“. Soak the nuts and seeds also, do it properly to increase the digestibility of the nutrients.
- Here are your best fat sources: olives, avocados, coconuts – the flesh, walnuts, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds. You should have this daily, they protect you from hunger. Occasionally and in little amount, less than 30 gr./day, other nuts and seeds, with a less friendly ratio omega 3/6, like for example almonds, are fine, too.
- Cook simple. Boil the ingredients with little salt and add less spices and more herbs. Use plenty of lime or lemon juice for their great flavor and to stimulate your intestinal juices secretion and improve digestion. Add a bit of great quality oil if you feel the need, just before you serve the food, and as much salt (sea salt) as you need/like.
- Eat mindfully. Eat slowly, gratefully, chew well, and pay attention how the food makes you feel.
- It might feel very weird in the beginning. That doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong or it doesn’t work for you. Your body recognizes that your diet is different and is trying to adapt. Be patient, it might take a while.
- Don’t give up if you had a bad day. You can call it “detox”. Repeat the experience better prepared. Allow yourself to go through it for 2 weeks before you put a label on it. And even then, keep your mind open and avoid labels.
There are many things you could learn from this experience. Think about it and improve. Read more on the topic and keep in mind the points highlighted here.
Here are some sample menus during some of my vegan days, a food that I totally enjoyed!
- Green Soup with watercress, spinach, celery onion avocado and dry herbs and a drop of certified EVOO.
- Sweet potato garnished with raisins and mint leafs and sprouted quinoa with boiled ladyfingers and black olives.
- Sauce for the ladyfingers (soy sauce naturally brewed, chilly flakes and lime juice)
- A dry snack gift received from a dear friend: banana, bitter gourd and moong dal.
- Chana dal topped generously with fresh coriander
- Sourdough bread
- Black olives
- Teff grains, cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon, honey dessert
- Aloe Vera
- baby spinach
- organic broccoli
- lime juice
- Chana dal with tomatoes garlic and onion and parsley garnished with homemade cucumber pickles
- Germinated rice with 10 Grains mix topped with black olives
- Thai salad with beetroots, carrot, paprika parsley, EVOO and a lot of limejuice
- Walnuts and few fruits on a bed of fresh greens
- Mix of pulses and moong dal
- Sprouted quinoa
- Plenty of coriander, green garnish and red onion
- Certified EVOO and sea salt
Desserts and Snacks
- coconut water and pulp
- drops of pure honey
- mint leaf
- 2 walnuts
- 2 teaspoons of pure organic honey with lime juice, mint leafs and water
- sourdough bread
- 2-3 walnuts
- small apple (This is snack I am very fond of. It was one of my grandma preferred, simple, yummy snacks, to take away. Sometimes she did not have time for cooking, she had to hurry back to the farm’s work and will get this in her pockets and share it with me, when I was around to help her. Then and there, it felt like this is the best food on Earth.)
Few other things to have in mind when going vegan:
If your stomach is sensitive to raw food – cook your vegetables, eat like a baby, soft, mushy food: porridges, purees, cream soups.
Don’t start on vegan diet if you are under big stress at work. When you do this, you should reserve some space and time for being with yourself, for self-reflection.
Vegan can be healthy and fun, if you are aware of this things and try to apply these points.
Being vegan it will make you more aware and appreciative of many wonderful things in life. It is a great experience. I hope you will try it and enjoy it.
Let me know.