An acquaintance asked me the other day, “Don’t you miss eating normal food? I could never eat such a restrictive diet,” her expression filled with a mix of indignation and curiosity.
We all have our different reasons for why we eat what we eat. Some of us use food as a way to find comfort (fresh baked cookies to cure the blues), while others luxuriate in the physical pleasure of experiencing exotic flavors and textures. There are those that focus on what they can’t eat in order to avoid an allergic reaction or lose those unwanted extra pounds. Food choices are emotional decisions, a way to fill the void when we are feeling lonely or insecure, or as a reward to celebrate an accomplishment.
Just like all the different ways we choose what we eat, there are many ways to be vegan. The interpretations range in extremes from advocating animal rights, to eating imitation meat and dairy replacers in order to hold onto the familiar, to the exclusion of all but raw organic whole foods. For me, being vegan is about consciously choosing what I eat, focusing on foods rich in nutrients that will support my body and its healing process. (more…)