Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trying to be vegetarian this October

Looking at my blog archives, I see a long history of trying to eat healthy. Some years ago, close to ten, I tried a 30-day juice fast. Then I intermittently stayed away from refined carbs and sugar. More recently, but also too long ago, I also tried eating raw for 30 days. I believe I also avoided red meat for close to a year. I also tried intermittent fasting (14:10) for a couple of months.

Both 30-day experiments were more for cleansing than weight loss, but I did lose a couple of pounds along the way. Still, considering my overall health now, everything that I did hasn't led to any long-lasting success. Eating healthy has, and always will be, difficult for me. I should consider myself always in recovery.

While I have managed to stay away from a lot of bad sugar and junk food since I arrived from the US (that was early in July), I still ate a lot of bad food (bacon, my forever Waterloo).

Then there's the matter of exercise. I've tried going to the gym, boxing, and walking. I also recently bought a refurbished folding bike (I've been using it, though I haven't gone very far). Exercise worked for me, but I also didn't last long with it.

Recently, I've been feeling my age. I'll be 38 in a few weeks and I have to admit I am in my worst shape ever. I want to put a change to that.

Also, I've been considering veganism after meeting up with my old college friend, Jimple, in Albay last April. He's now a vegan, and I marveled at his compassion and discipline when we ate out several times. Another old friend, Joel, whom I've known almost as long as Jimple, is also vegan.

Then more recently, I got to talk to two vegans at a trade fair in Festival Mall in Alabang. They were giving out samples of "Seacharon," seaweed chicharon, and I had a quick chat with them about their lifestyle. One of them invited me to the Manila Vegans Facebook page, and I've been a member since.

I've asked a couple of questions on that page, and I've also been reading up on other vegan's posts. I agree that eating should be cruelty-free and that animals are sentient beings, like humans. My heart breaks at the discovery of the extremely cruel conditions of the animal food industry. But I do not know yet if I can be vegan.

First, I use a lot of leather. I like leather. Second, I do not know if I can let go of eggs and dairy. Most important of all, I am still not convinced that it is unnatural for humans to eat meat. Cruel, yes, but unnatural? I can't wrap my head around it yet.

So, in attempt to improve my health and check if I can live happily as a vegan (as I also try read more literature on it and talk to more vegans about their experience), I am committing to 30 days as a vegetarian (with some room for dairy, eggs and some seafood--if it's part of a spring roll that's largely plant-based).

I'm on Day 4 today, and I've learned that I should definitely learn how to prepare more vegetarian dishes. If my taste buds are happy, I can definitely go veg.