Friday, May 3, 2013

Try Vegan Challenge

Lindsay (Lean Green Bean) recently wrote a post on why she doesn't label the way she eats.  As a fellow RD and someone who loves food, I totally related to this post.  Everyone is constantly searching for the "best" diet, when in reality, the "best" diet is whatever works for YOU.  It doesn't really matter if you're paleo, carnivore, vegan, gluten free, etc. unless it is in line with your personal goals/beliefs and helps you live a healthy and happy life!

If I had to put a label on my own diet, I'm a "pescetarian".  What does that even mean, you ask?  Well I haven't eaten meat for almost 3 years now.  I occasionally eat seafood and fish.  I eat eggs.  I eat dairy and use butter.  But I loathe having to clarify my diet that way.  Yet vegetarians are always questioned on their intake and their motivations.

"Why do you not eat meat?"  (Why DO you?)
"You're just one person, are you really going to make a difference?" (I hope so!)
"How do you get your protein?" (Let me worry about that!)

One of my vegetarian lunch specialties
When you hear (or see) that someone DOES eat meat, the next step isn't to rapid-fire question them on specifically what types or cuts of meat they eat.  So why do vegetarian-style eaters face this?  For this reason (and a few others) I try not to discuss my own diet all that often.  As a dietitian, you can imagine this is difficult.  But food is such a sensitive and personal subject.  I don't like having to justify my choices and definitely don't want to push my beliefs on anyone else.   I'm in this field because I love food.  And I understand that most other people do too.  I don't care what your "diet" is, I just love helping others enjoy food while living a healthy life.

With all that being said, I do believe meat, seafood and dairy can all fit into a healthy lifestyle.  I believe some choices are better than others when it comes to meat and dairy.  Most importantly, I also firmly believe that it is possible to meet all of your nutritional needs on a diet that eliminates any or all animal products, if you so choose!

The vegan and vegetarian lifestyle is gaining interest and growing in popularity, especially as more information about our food industry becomes available to the public.  Vegan diets promote compassion for animals and are environmentally friendly.

As for me, I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my beloved Greek yogurt or post-run chocolate milk just yet.  But my interest was piqued (who knew it wasn't peaked?) when I read about a "Try Vegan" Challenge in Food & Nutrition Magazine, a publication of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The contest itself is only open to Academy members, but I'd like to challenge my readers too!  F&N Magazine is asking nutrition professionals to document their effort in trying a vegan diet for 5 days (with a chance to win a Vitamix!).

Although this challenge is for 5 days, anytime in the month of May, I'm actually going to try to "go vegan" for a full week, starting Tuesday May 7th.  I'll be tweeting and posting about the challenge and I invite you to join me!  Will you TRY VEGAN for 5 (or 7 if you're brave) days?!

TELL ME...Do you put a label on your diet?  Are you interested in adopting a vegan diet? Or do you want to stick to your carnivorous ways?  Feel free to ask me questions and update me if you're giving it a shot!


  1. I love this idea! If I did it in May it'd have to be next week, so maybe I'll give it a shot the same week as you!

  2. Beth @RxBethOnTheRunMay 7, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    I love this post! I'm not sure I could live without my beloved Chobani either, but I'm willing to give it a try too! Of course, if you win the Vitamix, I'm clearly going to demand you make me all the cool things it can make ;) Great challenge! You can do it!!!!!!!