Making the truly life-altering change to 'become' vegan is challenging on many levels. And we really do become something different - it's not a simple grocery-list adjustment. This change comes from a freshly opened mind to a concept you may have never considered previously. And if you're not consistently eating from non-animal sources, just remember that every meal you eat -- No -- every portion of every meal that you've exchanged for a non-animal source product, you are making a difference. You are adding to the demand. You're probably also, whether you realize it or not, making a positive impact on someone you know.
It's against our gregarious human nature to go against the flow, so it's no wonder that only 1% of the US population is vegan and 10% that do not consume flesh. Every time you take a step in the direction away from the majority, you are relying on your own mental capacity as an animal with a cerebrum and not on your caveman instincts. You're leaving conformity behind and stepping into your brain's shoes and evolving - go you!
If we are 'supposed' to eat flesh and therefore we 'should', then should we not also crap where we want and breed indiscriminately? You tell me. We're an evolved species with the resources to eat to our optimum health without requiring animals as a source of any nutrition.
It just so happens that I am currently re-living that life-changing experience of a diet change. I've been vegan for nearly four years and during that time I've probably consumed 80% starchy vegetables and grains (potatoes, rice, pasta), 10% beans, 9% fruit, and maybe 1% leafy greens or other veggies. I'm serious! I am an unhealthy vegan! There. I said it. And boy, it's not easy.
So after much research (just like when I was discovering the atrocities of factory farming and the alternatives to a Standard American Diet before choosing a vegan lifestyle) I have decided to try eating raw foods. My goal is to ease into the exclusively raw diet over a period of 30-45 days and then 'go raw' for 12 weeks. I won't be disappointed if I do not succeed because I'm not causing any suffering by not eating my daily spinach. But I would enjoy the benefits of a healthier body and vitality. So fingers crossed.
Here is my favorite raw recipe from the book, "Thrive, The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life" by Brendan Brazier (vegan triathlete):
Blueberry Rooibos Antioxidant Smoothie (antioxident rich)
2 c cold water (or 1.5 c water plus 1 cup ice)
1/2 c blueberries
1 tbs ground flax
1tbs hemp protein
1 tbs agave nectar
1 tbs hemp oil
2 tsp ground rooibos (leave this out to make it raw)
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Makes 2 large servings.