by Alexandra

My Vegan experiment lasted all of three days.

It’s not that I felt deprived under the dietary regulations, or I became tired or I felt unwell, or anything of that sort. Rather, I did some deep thinking and had a sort of revelation.

What is the purpose of food?

Biologically, we eat to sustain life. Through nutrition, we provide our bodies with the building blocks they need to grow, to repair damaged tissues and the nutrients to thrive. Food shouldn’t be overly processed or contain unnatural additives that do more harm than good, in my opinion. It should reach the consumer after coming directly from a pure source, like an organic field or a sustainable farm. There’s something so special about picking an apple straight off the tree or seeing the seeds inside of a pumpkin.

So what about Veganism?

Veganism is pretty interesting — and I commend those who sustain a Vegan lifestyle. For me, though, it’s unnecessary and probably not healthy. I’m an athlete and I’m young. My body is growing and I need far more nutrients now than I will in thirty years. Of course, I could maintain a balanced vegan diet and receive all the needed nutrients, but the purpose of food, in my opinion, is to provide my body with nutrients from natural sources. Chicken is a natural source. Beef is also a natural source. Eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt — they’re all natural sources of nutrients. When those foods are processed into packaged, chemically preserved products is when foods like meat and dairy become a problem.

I know that if I ever became really vegan that I’d end up missing foods like pizza, meatballs or just a good old-fashioned glass of milk. Companies make certain versions of these products, but they’re often overly processed, which is counterproductive when considering my view of food’s purpose.

What about saturated fat?

Our bodies actually need saturated fat. The problems arise when people eat fast food in excess, drown their meals in butter or consume far more animal products than could ever be healthy. For example, a 1/2-lb burger is not a healthy serving of meat! It’s about three servings! In moderate amounts, however, dairy and meat can be very healthy! Greek yogurt, for example, is full of protein and calcium. It’s an excellent addition to breakfast, makes a delicious snack, and is useful in baking.

What about me?

I maintain a very healthy diet, but I like my treats. After experimenting with Veganism for a few days, I learned a lot about what works for me and what’s right for my body and lifestyle. I eat a mostly plant-based diet with moderate amounts of animal products and I plan to do so for the remainder of my life.

What about the blog?

I will continue to post recipes, and some of them might just happen to be vegan. If it’s a favorite recipe, I’ll add it to the recipe page and label it as vegan if appropriate. The same principle can be applied to gluten-free recipes. One of my best friends has a sensitivity to gluten, so I go out of my way to make gluten-free foods for her.