Good News on the Vegan Front
By Omowale Adewale
The first quarter of my 100 vegan campaign is soon coming to an end. I am happy to report on Julie Chang Schulman and Tamrah Little who have been vegan for 74 days and both lost 30lbs and 42lbs respectively. Wow!!
Truth is, I have never met anyone who has turned vegan and adopted an approach that absorbs nutrition from a variety of whole foods and sustains an active lifestyle not lose unwanted weight quickly and naturally.
Tamrah and Julie have thoughtfully credited me and the #GoVeg2014 campaign for inspiring their switch, but the reality is it takes true compassion and love for living things and a strong understanding for justice to make yourself happy. And that inspires me.
Tamrah reported on March 6th after going vegan on January 1, 2014, the launch of #GoVeg2014, “…Though I’ve had plenty of slip ups on this journey so far, I know my health, my family, the planet and of course the animals are benefiting from it.” She also recognized her family and friends as being supportive to her vegan efforts.
These slip ups she revealed are eating products with whey, casein or “natural flavor” (which may mean animal product). These common issues will be ironed out when new vegans become more aware in religiously reading their labels and as we as a community push for more transparency in nutrition labeling with sensible legislation.
Tamrah, like many new vegans also found difficulty in maintaining her new lifestyle outside of the home when she goes out to restaurants. Julie also does what many vegans do in this predicament: eat French fries. But they have stayed true.
This is America and a lifestyle change can have its bumps and bruises. Some American cities are just less vegan-friendly than others, but as time goes on, being vegan does get easier.
Vegans will choose restaurants with less death on their plates; they will ask what’s available and if there are compassionate substitutions. I don’t have to reiterate what the benefit is. However, I will inform you if you’ve been thinking it over with your conscience, resiliency and/or weight management issues you can only win by learning to find solutions in a world of healthy alternatives.
Today, I am over a year being vegan. Although, I have been vegetarian for 20 years prior to, I feel the positive difference immensely. My strength has continued to increase and so has my recovery during training for tonight’s mixed-martial arts fight. This is why professional boxer Timothy Bradley turns vegan during his training and I am hoping he will live a lifestyle this way soon! You feel awesome, but, there’s a game plan.
Many vegans have their favorite foods. However, getting a nutritionally balanced-meal in for the length of the day or week is the key to a long and healthy life. That means raw foods in the morning like cereal made from granola or rolled oats with raisins and bananas helps give you your fruit and grains.
A fun option for lunch can be an eggplant hero w/out cheese, make the cheese yourself from nut-milk or buy a substitute “cheese” from your local supermarket. With your lunch, have a seaweed and sunflower seed salad. Make a bean burrito and or burger out of beans and rice.
Dinner can be a split-pea or lentil soup with onions and tomatoes. This way, vegans not only get their vegetables and legumes, you eat a meal with complete protein and sufficient iron, calcium and b12 for the entire day.
For more background on 100 vegans in 2014 aka #GoVeg2014, check out my new radio interview with Our Hen House. If you are interested in reaping all the reward of going vegan and need support for recipes, exercises, vegan locations in your area and other tips find “Going Vegan 2014” on facebook and register at #GoVeg2014 for live conversations and our mailing list.