In Life

What I eat really affects how I look, feel and sleep

Want to know how I:

  • Decreased my undereye circles?
  • Cleared up my acne (it really is linked to diet, although stress & hormones will cause it too)
  • Got better skintone and complexion?
  • Have more energy?
  • Sleep better at night? (Higher quality of sleep, deeper REM cycles)

Well I went semi-vegan (food-only) since about the start of May.

I eat about 99% vegan, 95% at the lowest points (usually when I have to go out and eat with friends that counts towards my weekly / monthly average of being vegan).

I wasn’t eating badly before (far from it, I’m pretty strict), but I was eating more vegetarian than vegan.

WHAT IS A VEGAN?

A vegan in the strictest sense does not eat or wear anything from animals.

That means they do not eat meat (poultry, pork, beef), seafood, dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese), eggs, and honey (it’s made by bees) for instance.

They also don’t wear leather, and don’t wear fabrics like silk (made by silkworms).

O_o

SO YOU ARE NOT A VEGAN THEN? NO.. NOT REALLY!

Actually I wouldn’t even call it being vegan, I’d call it more Okinawan as a diet because I haven’t totally cut out 100% and it only applies to my food:

  • milk — splash in my tea in the mornings, we went from 6L a week to 1L a month
  • eggs — in crepes mostly, or things that need eggs, or sometimes because I want to eat one
  • honey — a touch in my tea in the mornings and in my oatmeal (I’ve been cutting that back too)
  • wearing leather — “vegan” only extends to my food so far, but never say never…?
  • seafood only as a treat — only when I go out to eat with friends, otherwise I eat at vegan restaurants

It sounds like it’s not vegan, but if you read carefully, I am not actively eating like a vegetarian with a LOT of milk, cheese, eggs, yoghurt, as part of my daily diet.

I eat those things on occasion (going out to eat with friends), but not all the time or as part of my meal plan.


In all honesty, I am doing this to feel healthier, better, and I’ve surprised myself along the way.

The happier animals and cleaner environment are just a nice bonus on the side, but not the main reason why I’m doing it.

THE THINGS ABOUT MEAT YOU WISH YOU NEVER KNEW

Did you know that they just throw away the boy chicks and discard them like garbage, live into garbage bags, or ground into mush when they hatch because they’re worthless for meat or eggs?

Yeah. I read that in a vegetarian pamphlet AFTER I had given up eating meat.

At least I didn’t feel sick.

Here’s a few more:

They also cut the tails off pigs who were demoralized in pens to stop them from biting the tails of each other out of frustration and stress….

Cows go on a conveyer belt of death, full of fear to be slaughtered by a nasty looking machine of whirring blades en masse…

UPDATE from @matthewchat:

About cows and the whirling blades o’death – they are killed using something resembling a power drill to the skull. The conveyor belts are only after they are brain dead.

Thanks for clarifying!

Chickens that are inside factories are so under developed and sick that when you lift a chicken up by the legs, their legs fall off from a lack of muscle being built…. (this was actually witnessed by a friend who went to a chicken farm to see how they were raised, and went vegetarian right after).

It’s all quite horrific.

Still, even reading that you might think:

Mmm.. I feel a bit uneasy but not willing to give up nommy roasted chicken.

(I thought that. I’m not ashamed to admit it.)

So even if you watch something like Vegucated, you feel sick, and grossed out enough with the way they treat animals to stop eating them for a while…… but then the lure of meat draws you back in.

Right?

That’s the way I felt too in the past. I could just eat better quality meat from better-treated animals, right?

Then I realized that I cared less about the animals and the environment.

As a selfish human, I cared more about MYSELF, which is why I am eating more vegan now.

What I liked to eat and taste.


So I present to you:

THE HEALTH-BASED reasons to go vegan as much as possible!

Photograph-Grocery-Vegetables-Food-Shopping-Fruit-Peppers

Okay maybe not by eating hot peppers but… aren’t they pretty?

YOU CAN TURN ON AND OFF CANCER WITH THE FOOD YOU EAT

I think if vegans told people how much better they would feel (by showing them Forks Over Knives for instance), and how they could cure so many diseases and prevent many cancers on such a diet, more people would switch. *shrug*

They did a whole study (cited by doctors in the film), that basically outlined the facts in research that 5% casein (found in dairy products), turned OFF cancers, and 20% of casein turned ON many cancers.

Sure you have genetic markers for cancer like Angelina Jolie getting a voluntary mastectomy to lower her chances of breast cancer, but that’s a small percentage of the population, not even 10%.

So why are SO many more of us rife with cancer?

I hear stories about people I know getting cancer ALL THE TIME now, even in my family, we’re full of cancers.

In the film, they also found research that stated the people of Europe who were taken over by the Nazis, had their livestock confiscated so they lived on a diet of mostly plants.

Their cancer rate just PLUMMETED after the Nazis occupied their country.

LESS people died after the Nazis took away their animals to eat for themselves, and I daresay more Nazis died from eating all that meat.

Ironic, no?

UPDATE from @matthewchat:

Regarding the healthful effects from WWII – it was most likely caloric restriction rather than the absence of meat that improved peoples health during that period.

There is the CRON diet – caloric restriction with optimal nutrition – that reduces cancer and most diseases, and most likely extends your life span as well.

The reason vegetarianism improves your health is most likely because of the reduction in overall calories as opposed to getting rid of the unhealthiness of meat. http://www.livestrong.com/article/131737-basics-cron-diet/

Thank you!

YOU CAN SEE & RECOGNIZE NOW, WHO IS SICK..

Now I can recognize the signs of heart disease and high cholesterol in people — the red sort of sweaty, full looking face, the huffing, puffing, struggle to breathe, walk and talk….. it’s all there, plain as day that they need some SERIOUS help.

I saw a guy the other day who looked.. bloated, for lack of a better word. He just did not look fit, full of energy or happy. He just looked sick, sad, and bloated, munching away on his McDonald’s burger.

I thought he would drop on the sidewalk and start having a heart attack and it scared me.

You can SEE it all around you if you pay attention — people are just NOT healthy and it shows.

The skin especially on some people, can really tell you what they’re eating and how badly they’re eating. If you ever watch videos of people in other parts of the world like on the continents of Africa, or in the deep jungles of South America, you will see that not a single person has acne.

Beautiful, clear, smooth, gorgeous skin.

This is a Western, American thing (and now Asian based on what I have observed), to have acne.

Yes, some people are unfortunate to have acne just from hormones alone and not having it based on food (LIKE ME!), but what you eat REALLY shows up on your skin in complexion, tone and pimples 99% of the time.

Once I started eating better (before this vegan thing, about 2 years ago), my acne totally cleared up from my diet. Now I only get pimples because of my screwed up hormones (they show up on my chin).

Eat better, avoid added hormones in food, and you will have perfect skin.

That’s it.

No other way around it.

VEGANS & VEGETARIANS SHOULD SELL THE HEALTH ANGLE, NOT THE ANIMAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL CRUSADES!

Taking the angle of going vegan or vegetarian to save animals or the environment is a harder sell because animals are not humans, and humans are selfish.

So unless our human world goes up in flames, the environment is not a big incentive either because it’s not direct damage, it’s not fast-acting and it doesn’t affect us personally day-to-day (unless you live in China, and even there, people just wear masks against the smog).

MY HEALTH is my incentive to go vegan, not the animals, and not the environment and it’s a far more compelling reason to do so, over eating meat.

Photograph-Grocery-Food-Eating-Shopping-Fruit-Vegetables-Potatoes

WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS I AM FEELING NOW?

I SLEEP BETTER

That’s a big surprise because I always slept well but now I’m REALLY sleeping and my quality of sleep has increased.

I don’t know if this has helped my skintone and undereye bags, but it’s worth noting.


I HAVE MORE ENERGY

I also feel better, and more energetic. I’m not wasting energy digesting all that meat, so I don’t need as many calories, and I don’t get tired or fatigued after eating.

I used to feel like I needed a nap after eating a meal with meat in it.

MY SKIN HEALS BETTER

I feel like my skin cuts heal better. I got a cold sore the other day, and instead of taking 2 weeks to heal without my salting it (yes it hurts like a mofo), it took about a week.

MY SKIN LOOKS BETTER – SKINTONE, LACK OF ACNE, DARK BAGS GONE!

My skin has improved in tone. I look in the mirror and due to the better sleep and better diet, my bags under my eyes have significantly gone down.

They aren’t as dark as they used to be, and are only a few shades darker which is a miracle for me considering what I am used to seeing in the mirror.

My skin feels better, softer and I think it’s definitely due to eating a lot more vegetables and fruit.

I also think the lack of hormones from the meat I ate, has started to detox from my body and I am feeling some acne pop up on my chin, but that could also be because I stopped taking BCPs as well.

APPARENTLY MY HAIR LOOKS THICKER AND SHINIER

BF and my mother has said this.

This one I am less apt to point to diet as the reason for this because I also switched out from using commercial shampoos to using soap nuts to clean my hair.

When I used commercial shampoos, my hair would fall out in small clumps, which never bothered me because I thought that hair was SUPPOSED to fall out, but with soap nuts, there are a few times where I don’t lose ANY hair in the shower.

WHAT ARE SOME CONS TO WHAT I AM FEELING?

Can’t give the pros without the cons, right? I hate it when people only wax poetic about the great benefits of something without telling you what SUCKS about it.

I HAVE TO EAT WAY MORE & REALLY REMEMBER TO EAT

I have to eat a lot more than I thought I did before. With meat, it’s easy to eat that amount and stop, but with vegetables, I need double the food.

I also can’t skip meals. I NEED to eat.

I NEED TO START TAKING B12 SUPPLEMENTS

I am not a fan of vitamins and pills in general, but B12 was the reason why the first 2 weeks of being vegan, I felt like throwing up from being so tired and nauseous all the time.

Then I took the B12 pill and I’m much better now. No more headaches.

I SOMETIMES FEEL LOW IN ENERGY IF I DON’T EAT OFTEN ENOUGH

..which is related to not eating. I just need to eat more, and snack more which was not my habit before.

I HAVE TO EAT SMALLER MEALS MORE OFTEN

I am now eating small meals throughout the day with snacks rather than 3 big ones.

There is only so much oatmeal you can eat before you need to eat again to give yourself energy again.

MY BODY PROCESSES THE FOOD A LOT QUICKER

TMI maybe but I need to go to the bathroom a lot more often on this diet. It’s due to the increased amount of water I am eating in the vegetables and fruits, but also that my body eats the food and then it processes through my system a LOT quicker than before.

There is no lag time in between digesting and the bathroom, which I think is a good thing.

SO WHAT AM I EATING?

I am starting to gain a real affinity for eating beans, and while I am not entirely sure I’ll ever eat beef, chicken or pork again but I can’t say I will NEVER eat it again.

The only times I MAY not eat vegan will be when I go out to eat or when I travel overseas (especially to France with their amazing milk and cheese!!).

I will certainly not eat mass-produced meat again, however. That is for CERTAIN.

The only meat I’d eat has to be from farmers and farms that take care of their animals, let them roam free, and slaughter them as painlessly as possible.

What I’ve cut out completely, 100% for my daily diet:

  • No more beef
  • No more pork
  • No more poultry
  • No more yoghurt — not a big deal for me, as I didn’t eat much of it to begin with
  • No more white breads, pastas or rice (only whole grains now) — this is not necessary to be a vegan, but I thought I’d throw that in there

DON’T YOU MISS MEAT?

Frankly, I don’t miss any of it.

I thought about not eating a steak ever again and it didn’t bother me at all.

The best beef I ever ate was in Texas but compared to heart disease and cancer with the surgeries I’d have to undergo, I’d willingly not eat it except for perhaps ONE steak a year, if that.

I’d rather eat mashed potatoes than steak, to me, and honestly, they are equally as delicious when done right.

MMmmm potatoes….

Meat and poultry is not that flavourful here in Canada, and if I had to give up everything, I could give it all up without a fight except for fish and seafood.

I am tasting my food a lot more, finding more subtle flavours in everything I eat, and fruit is a LOT sweeter to my taste buds now.

I actually CRAVE eating chickpeas now, over any craving for meat.

Sony-RX100-Salad-Food-Photograph-Tomatoes-Eating-Vegan-Meal

A side salad of tomatoes and microgreens.. then I heaped on a whack of miso-whipped potatoes MMmmm… surprisingly filling. I would add chickpeas the next time, however.

WHAT / WHEN I EAT ON OCCASION THAT IS NOT VEGAN:

Sushi on occasion, but even eating outside as a vegan is not that hard these days.

Even that is rife with problems like tuna with high counts of mercury. You can’t eat seafood willy nilly, you have to also limit your intake.

Eating-Out-Photography-Sashimi-Japanese-Food-Meal

A delicious meal I had with Bridget when she visited Toronto

I read an article that said that people who were healthier tended to have MORE problems with higher counts of mercury in their blood because they thought eating fish 2-3 times a week was healthy, but they were just poisoning themselves.

However I will try really hard to eat vegetarian /  vegan even eating outside, and so far, I really like vegan food in restaurants, especially when it’s Mexican cuisine like black beans with brown rice and guacamole (NOM!!!!).

I’ve tried about 3 restaurants now, and they’re pretty filling when they aren’t raw. Raw vegan food is less filling for me but still edible, I just need 2X the amount of food.

An example of a raw vegan burger which was OMG so yummy:

Cruda-Cafe-Food-Raw-Vegan-Burger-Mushroom-Nuts-Salad-Meal-Beets-Meal

I know it looks disgusting but it was SERIOUSLY delicious as a raw vegan “burger” of mushrooms and nuts. I have never had anything so yummy.

I basically inhaled it and then asked for seconds until I realized it would cost $13 per burger.

So, going vegan / Okinawan-ish is not that far of a stretch for me. I just have to learn how to eat new things.

IF YOU WANT TO GO VEGAN…

Let me save you the trouble and tell you ahead of time:

  1. You NEED B12. Take a supplement each day, or drink fortified drinks (soy milk).
  2. You NEED omega-3s, so eat walnuts.
  3. You NEED calcium so eat almonds, or drink fortified drinks like soy milk.
  4. You NEED iron, so eat oatmeal, whole grains and beans.
  5. You NEED beans, they REALLY fill you up like chickpeas, black beans.
  6. You NEED whole grains, they really fill you up as well & are tasty.

That’s about it. It’s an easy transition from being an omnivore to a vegan.

I had to find this all out the hard way (feeling dizzy, throwing up), so hopefully this helps people who are starting out.

I’ve also switched all my Starbucks drinks to fortified soy milk (easy switch, I preferred it anyway, I just didn’t want to pay $0.60 per soy change..)

I feel great. A lot better than before, but I DO need to eat more. So when I say “a bowl of oatmeal” I am not talking about a cup of oatmeal, I’m talking about cooking 2 cups of raw oatmeal and having it expand into a real bowl of food.

Same with the potatoes, I eat double what I would normally eat.

My favourite so far? Eating beans.

I never knew I liked them so much, especially chickpeas.

WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER GOING SOMEWHAT VEGAN?

UPDATE: WHERE TO FIND GREAT VEGAN FAKE LEATHER PURSES

If you are looking to go 100% vegan, as in vegan clothing and wardrobe stuff as well, I recommend the brand Mat and Nat (Canadian-based) that makes recycled plastic faux leather bags that look VERY real.

You can see a vegan leather bag in my post here about what is in my minimalist wardrobe. It’s the large red one, bottom row, second from the right.

It looks so real, people are fooled all the time.



Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

Previous PostWant to make more money as a woman? Don't get married.
Next PostEbates Canada Review: Worth it now what it is Rakuten.ca (Referral Code)

31 Comments

  1. H
    Heather H

    There is as much data out there on why veganism is unhealthy as there on why it is healthy. There are very good debunks of forks over knives, the china study, etc. that show how the data is crap at best. In the end everyone’s data is skewed to their priority which means one has to do a lot of research to separate out what actually makes sense. Personally I think veganism is a terrible imbalanced diet (anything that requires a supplement is).

    What is really bad is factory meat and processed food. Personally we eat local farm meat where I can go and see the animals myself and know the farmers, along with organic fruits and vegetables. Grains are mostly crap in my opinion and we keep them to a minimum. I think eating local farm meat is far more healthy then stripping it out altogether.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I agree with you!

      I find that veganism has helped my skin / body (semi-veganism that is, because I do eat seafood on occasion as well as dairy products), but the worst is not knowing where your meat comes from or your fruit.

      Reply
      1. H
        Heather H

        Thanks for the reply saverspender! I wanted to point out (at the risk of sounding very annoying, sorry) that veganism (as opposed to vegetarianism) means no products coming from a live being whatsoever, the perfect example in my mind is honey being non-vegan because it is produced by bees. Any vegan I have met is so super strict about it and can get a bit ornery on these points. A vegetarian is different and focused primarily on not eating animal flesh specifically. It sounds more like you are more of a a pescetarian, which honestly I think is a far more healthy option than the other two. My original comment though was to do with vegans specifically and that I believe their diet to be very unhealthy. I do think a vegetarian and especially a pescetarian can have a healthy diet though I do believe local farm meat can play an important role nutritionally.

        Reply
        1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

          Yes, you’re totally right 🙂 It’s why I’m trying to tell people I’m “semi-vegan”, and it only applies to my diet… I do wear leather.

          Reply
  2. Michelle

    I will try this again but take the B12. I really did lose so much energy when I did my vegan cleanse. The food was amazing! But, I was so freaking tired all of the time.

    Reply
  3. t
    tordis

    So, you need to eat more – that’s strange. I’m a 99% vegan eater too but I eat the same amount of food than before. There are quite a lot of vegetarians and vegans in my social environment and I’ve never heard of such a thing before.
    Maybe it has something to do with this fact:
    There are metabolisms that get most energy out of carbohydrates and there are metabolisms that get most energy out of fat and protein. That’s why paleo doesn’t work with everybody. I’m definitely a carb-type: my breakfast consists of oatmeal with almond milk and fruit (e.g. berries) – I use 5 table spoons full of uncooked oatmeal. This keeps me satisfied for 5 hours.
    A dear friend of mine has the fat+protein-metabolism. She’s hungry every 2 hours and she really loves fatty (but not unhealthy) food. My breakfast would never satisfy her, she would rather eat non-sweet stuff like cheese and bread. (She’s naturally slender, btw.)
    So maybe you could try eating more protein (scrambled tofu for breakfast?) and especially more fat (oil, “butter”, nuts), if grains don’t keep you satisfied? I don’t know, maybe there’s nothing wrong, instead this is just how your body works 🙂

    Reply
    1. t
      tordis

      Oh I forgot:
      What do you think, is eating vegan cheaper on the whole?

      Reply
      1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

        @tordis: I think because I also switched to whole grains, organic produce, buying a LOT more fruit, and am trying out a new diet (experimentation), it is more expensive for me at the moment.

        I will do a post comparing the two diets when it comes down to the end of the year, but my feeling is that it’s about the same price once I get a routine down.

        Reply
    2. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @tordis: I eat a massive bowl of grains in the morning. About 1 cup – 1.5 cups of uncooked oats (fully cooked), at around 8 a.m. in the morning.

      Then I have a big plate of lunch at noon, followed by a green smoothie. That tides me over until about 4 p.m. when I am hungry again.

      I think I am just like your friend — I am hungry almost all the time (I was like this before), and I’d rather eat non-sweet stuff as meals.

      I am definitely eating more often and more in amounts than before when I just ate meat, but then again, it could just be perspective 🙂

      Reply
      1. t
        tordis

        @saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.:

        yes, sounds a lot like my friend. She went to a TCM doctor spezializing in diet, because she thought maybe there’s something wrong with her because she’s hungry all the time, but he just told her that she has a fat/protein-metabolism and she needs to eat a lot more fat and protein. She needs to eat less often now with all those nuts and avocadoes 😉

        Reply
  4. The Asian Pear

    So you’re not fully vegan yet… YES! We can eat together!!

    (Oh c’mon, you know our friendship is based on blogging, OCD-ness, and FOOD!!!)

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @The Asian Pear: Yes not fully vegan as in 99% vegan.

      I eat seafood when I go out with friends. I try and choose vegetarian options but it usually ends up being sushi.

      Reply
  5. Tania

    Thank you for this, I’ve been mulling over not going vegan completely but incorporating more vegan meals and/or days into my diet. Protein was my biggest concern but what you said about B12 is noted and I can now see that may also help to resolve the low energy fear. I have started on B complex recently to help with my cramping and back issues too. I also dig chickpeas alot but beans not so much but I may need to experiment more.

    Recently my mom started growing basil for her three cashmere lop bunnies (I love that while other women were duking it out on Black Friday at Walmart my mom was at the humane society adopting bunnies). She’s got a green thumb so ending up with way more basil than the furry guys can eat so she asked me what to do, I said make pesto. So, she started making pesto and eating a little every day and her joints no longer ache, she has more energy and is feeling ten times better than she did prior. I wasn’t surprised as basil aids in digestion (so more energy) and is also an inflammatory. That’s just one veggie! It speaks loudly to me as to what a diet full of plants can do.

    I have been looking at vegan bags recently out of curiousity. I don’t plan on giving away or selling any of the leather bags I already own. I found it is hard to find a cute faux leather vegan bag that isn’t made in China. There are many fabric or canvas bags made in the US but I haven’t yet found a good faux smooshy leather substitute bag. I’d be curious to see if you run across any.

    Speaking of Okinawan, do you eat Okinawan sweet potatoes? That’s a staple for Okinawans and Hawaiians in Hawaii and are so filling. I’ve made them plain and fancy (i.e. did double stuffed once, couldn’t even finish 1/2 of one). Sweet potato mashed is also yummy. My German Shepherd also loved it when I stuck chunks of the purple goodness in his toys instead of treats.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tania: B12 is something a lot of vegans/vegetarians miss because they don’t realize that it only comes from animal-based products AND there is a lot of misleading literature out there about how you can find it in soy products (not true).

      You need to eat/drink fortified with B12 soy milk for instance, or just take a supplement like I do.

      My mom is still freaking out that I don’t eat meat because she says things like:

      1. Don’t you think you’ll become stupid and dull without meat?
      2. Don’t you think you’ll lose too much weight and not have energy?
      3. Where are you going to get protein!?

      I’m laughing at these questions but seriously speaking, people don’t know that not eating meat is not the end of the world and is kind of the way we used to eat in the past. Cavemen didn’t always kill a mammoth for meat to eat, it was rare. We ate mostly grains and gathered fruits for our diet, and meat on occasion.

      It’s kind of the path I’m following — meat on occasion, or rather, seafood.

      Protein, Iron and all the things found in meat can be found in beans and grains. B12 is the ONLY vitamin that is vital to our blood that you need to take a supplement for.

      Your mother sounds awesome. I’d love to have a bunny but I’m horribly allergic to anything furry… As for the basil and growing herbs, I’m thinking of doing something similar. It’s so expensive ($2) for a small bunch!

      As for vegan leather bags, you should try Mat and Nat.

      I have a red Samsara (a discontinued sister line) from them that is totally plastic but looks like real leather. People are fooled ALL THE TIME.

      It is in this post bottom row, second from the right:

      What fits into my suitcases from my wardrobe.

      I have no eaten sweet potatoes from Okinawa but I am looking out for them. They sound delicious!

      Reply
  6. Pauline

    So… no more foie gras?? 🙂
    I saw you were using nuts for clothes but am interested to learn more about shampoo nuts.
    Fruits and vegetables are delicious around here, but it is difficult to find a variety of them since we eat in season. Having avocados every day for 3 months is heaven but carrots not so much, and apart from rice and beans it is hard to find lentils and chick peas, let alone quinoa, couscous or other grains. I have cut back a a lot on meat and feel more energetic so I really get your point, although the meat quality is much better here than NA.
    Some of my vegetarian friends look 10 years younger, I don’t think I know any vegan. Mind coming out of the blogging closet so we can check it out? haha.
    Also, I get not eating cheese or milk, but honey, you are not harming anyone, the bees produce it anyway.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Pauline: Pauline, let’s be real. If I go to Europe and I have GOOD foie gras in front of me, I’m going to eat it.

      I will be vegan mostly for my daily diet in Canada. Traveling to Europe is an exception, and a whole other ballgame 😉

      Yes! I have a post coming up on those soap nuts, don’t worry. It’s being posted. I’ll shift it up sooner…

      It’s easy for me to give up meat here because the quality is so bad. If I lived in Texas or Calgary, it would be a lot harder, but not impossible. I always said it was hard to be vegan or vegetarian in Europe.. so thank goodness I’m in Canada.

      BF the other day made a Cassoulet without pork. I inhaled it. It was SO GOOD just with white beans and tomatoes.

      As for looking younger, I’m pretty young as it stands so I still look young, but I’ll send you a picture of myself. 🙂

      Once people stop eating so much meat it’s amazing the energy you feel.

      I thought it was all hogwash because meat = energy for me.

      Turns out meat = NO energy and fatigue.

      I only just went vegan in May so I don’t think the photograph will say anything yet. It might take a while before I really look younger as I age. By the time I’m 45 I am hoping the picture won’t change.

      Yeah bees produce honey anyway I guess vegans just feel bad for stealing it from them because it’s for them and their bee family…

      “Taking food out of the mouth of babes” 🙂

      Reply
  7. Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde)

    I’ve heard really good things about being vegan. I’m glad it’s working for you and that you feel better by doing it!

    Reply
  8. m
    matthewchat

    About cows and the whirling blades o’death – they are killed using something resembling a power drill to the skull. The conveyor belts are only after they are brain dead.

    Regarding the healthful effects from WWII – it was most likely caloric restriction rather than the absence of meat that improved peoples health during that period. There is the CRON diet – caloric restriction with optimal nutrition – that reduces cancer and most diseases, and most likely extends your life span as well. The reason vegetarianism improves your health is most likely because of the reduction in overall calories as opposed to getting rid of the unhealthiness of meat. http://www.livestrong.com/article/131737-basics-cron-diet/

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @matthewchat: Thanks for clarifying!

      Will add that to the post.

      That’s a good point about lower calories. Meat has a lot, right? That would also make sense to me.

      I will note that my great grandparents lived well into their 90s but were really poor. They weren’t fat in the slightest, were super skinny and lived on mostly grains and vegetables. My other richer great grandparents lived until their 70s as they had a lot more food to eat.

      All awesome notes! Thanks for the link.

      Reply
  9. Tammy R

    Our diet during the week is the same, and I feel so much better since we really got serious about it. We eat lots of beans – chickpeas, black, and kidney every day. They really fill us up.

    I do eat an egg every morning for breakfast and chicken once in a while on the weekends, so we are not vegan or vegetarian. We actually crave healthy foods now too. Someone would have to have a gun to my head to get me to eat McDonalds and the like.

    Thank you so much for the bulleted list at the end because you answered many of the questions I had.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tammy R: Beans are the key I find. Without beans, I feel hungry all the time. Or a major starch….

      It’s funny that you mentioned craving healthy foods. I felt that about 3 years ago when I really went off processed/junk foods. I now WANT to eat mangoes and raspberries over something like a Twinkie which is now disgusting to me.

      You’re welcome — hope it helped! It was all trial and error, really.

      Reply
  10. cj

    Bravo!!! If I were to advise anyone on how to improve their lives, I’d begin with diet and fitness would be a close second.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @cj: It makes a big change in your mental outlook and happiness as well. The less fatigued you are, the less angry and frustrated you get, and you just feel better. I noticed that when I stopped eating my weekly pies and went from a Size 8 to a Size 0 (I think I’m a 0 now). I just feel lighter.

      Reply
  11. P
    Paige

    Several months ago Consumer Reports did a big story on the dangerous levels of inorganic arsenic they found in rice. Brown rice had much more than white. Organic didn’t really make much of a difference. I know you eat lots of rice and like to stay informed so I wanted to make sure you knew.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Paige: Ooo thank you!

      I will definitely be careful. Did they mention where the rice was from? I know China had a problem which is why we don’t buy Chinese rice, but try to stick to Thailand.

      I’ll Google it.

      Reply
    2. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Update for anyone wants to read the Consumer Reports article:

      Arsenic found in rice.

      Reply
  12. M
    MelD

    Maybe this is the whole story for North America, but I don’t think it is for Europe. It made me laugh that you think French food is so good – from our point of view, French and German milk, cheese, meat, veg… are nearly all pretty much mass-produced! We are not vegetarian. I don’t eat much meat and hardly ever cook it (so only if I’m eating out) but my husband and daughter do love meat. They wouldn’t if they had to kill it first, I’m guessing. But by sticking to locally produced organic foods, at least we know where it’s coming from and under what conditions it is grown. Then I will even eat horse meat because I pretty much almost know the individual animal and it’s good meat that is not being wasted. Our Swiss cows come from farms where having 30 cows is a big farm; they all spend most of the year outdoors. Pigs less so, I really pay attention to organic, there. Lamb is local, too, boy kids (yes, goats) are a delicacy and it’s best to stick with local chicken and rabbit, too…
    However, I’m not sure all the badness is in the meat. Lately, I’ve been having some trouble with bread, which I do love (I like my carbs!) and have found that white is the worst – that would indicate trouble with the wheat! Wholewheat organic will be the way forward, with caution. Vegetables get sprayed with all kinds of things, too, and some is genetically modified, never mind “hors-sol”, which never tastes of anything. Soy is not always a healthy option, either… Goodness knows what they do to beans and chickpeas in order to harvest them! It makes for a lot of problems for those of us who want to eat healthy – there are some things you simply can’t track (spices?) and at the end of the day, I don’t want to fuss about food endlessly. As with most things, I think it has to do with common sense!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @MelD: HAH! 🙂

      I find French cheese very good, same with milk. I tried Swiss milk once in a package and didn’t like it as much as Le President, although Portugal’s brand Mimosa is still my favourite for milk.

      I think growing up in Switzerland, you might have a shock if you had to come and live here. Your country would be a dream for me.

      Common sense is true. I don’t want to fuss unnecessarily but I do want to be careful that in this day and time, I don’t eat too much fish or now rice, just because of all the toxins that are already present in them.

      Reply
  13. Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    What about butter? You still put a little milk in your tea so do you still put a little butter on those potatoes?

    I used to have my own chickens and they had amazing flavour but I have given up chicken because the stuff from the grocery store has no taste at all. I do eat meat but very seldom due to the cost. I take real yogurt for my lunch at work every day. It is a cheap protein that travels well.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle: No butter in potatoes.

      Just garlic and a bit of olive oil. They’re really delicious. I’m SO SURPRISED I can eat just vegetables and beans and like them.

      Chicken has no flavour in grocery stores, you need to buy it from smaller farms or grow them yourself. That’s the chicken I’d eat however 😛

      Reply

Leave a Reply