2013 has turned into the year of health. I've gotten into the habit of exercising three times a week. For two months I cut out sugar and limited the amount of starchy carbohydrates I consumed. And now, I've decided to give my body a rest and temporarily cut out meat, dairy, and limit my intake of gluten and refined sugar. It's been a week and a half without meat and I haven't had any cravings for it, except for eggs which I've also temporarily cut out. But by far the most surprising information I've learned so far is how much I rely on dairy products. Yogurt, butter, milk, cream. I had no idea how much a part of my diet these were until I restricted myself from them.
Meals have been obviously very vegetable heavy lately. I still don't eat too much refined carbs like white rice or flour, so I've been bulking up my meals with beans, quinoa, and cauliflower rice. Not permitting butter has significantly cut out any urge to bake desserts (for myself, not for my business of course). I have no desire to use margarine, earth balance, or vegetable shortening. Instead, I like to indulge in buying the best fruit of the season. I used to pass on fruits like berries, apricots, and cherries because they can get pricey, but I think replacing butter and flour with fruit is worth the cost!
There are a few reasons why I've decided to temporarily follow a vegan diet (it's just easier to call it that). One is to give my body a break and see how it reacts to a diet without dairy (will my face finally clear up?). Another is to see if I can do it (I like to test myself). And finally, a very large reason is because I am forever contemplating what diet is best not only for my body but for the environment. I try to consume foods that are locally sourced and limit the amount of bananas, coconut milk, and exotic superfoods. I buy pasture raised eggs, organic fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market, and make my own processed foods to reduce packaging. But I know that's not enough. I won't pretend like I know anything about farming, rotating crops, and other sustainable practices. But I do know that monocrops can't be good for the land and that I don't want GMOs anywhere around me. I want to learn more about where my food comes from and how it was grown/raised. I want to know what happened to the male chicks they didn't need and if they were tossed into the chipper. I want to know who picked my fruit and if they were paid fairly. I hope that I do eventually find answers and can share them with you. We'll see where this experiment takes me.