You may have heard the news that recently Oprah and 378 of her staff members went vegan for a week. I actually haven't seen the episode, but I've been reading a lot about it on Twitter and other blogs. I think it's wonderful that Oprah is trying to make people more aware of where their food is coming from and what impact it has on the world.
However, I was a little disappointed to hear that there was a lot of emphasis on faux meat products during the show. Many people are turned off by them and think they are all that vegetarians eat. I can see how a new vegetarian may be worried about how to replace meat in their diet, but faux meats are not for everyone...and are definitely not necessary.
The question I get the most about being vegetarian is, "How do you get enough protein?" What I think people don't realize is that protein can be found in many more foods than just meat. Here are some vegetarian protein sources (of course, eggs & dairy are not vegan):
- legumes (beans)
- nuts & seeds
- soy (ex: tofu)
- even vegetables & fruit
I don't eat fake meat products on a regular basis, but they are good in a pinch (there are always veggie burgers in my freezer.) I guess I kind of view them like junk food. There are just so many other, wonderful, tasty foods out there!
Spurred by the excitement surrounding Oprah's challenge, Morgan from Life After Bagels has decided to organize a 7 Day Vegan Challenge of her own! She is encouraging anyone who would like to join to eat a vegan diet from Monday 2/7 through Sunday 2/13 (thoughtfully right between Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine's Day!) You can read her challenge post here. And you can follow along/join in on the Twitter discussion at #7dayvegan.
I have decided to join Morgan, and will be blogging about my experience. I was vegan for about 4 years, so it will be fun to flip through some of my old recipes and cookbooks. Plus, I hope to try some new things!
I have been working on a meal plan and grocery list for the entire week (scary!) It's just about finished, and I'll share it with you then. So far, I'm pretty excited!
Are you vegan? Have you ever considered it? I will admit that it's a lot of work, but it teaches you so much about your food!