[San Francisco Chronicle - opinion]
Vegan for a month
Mention to a few friends that you are going vegan. You'll find out who your friends are pretty quickly, as I did for the month that I adhered to the strict rules of a vegan diet.
I decided to cut out all animal products and go vegan for a month because I felt I couldn't cover the topic without having the experience. A month seemed like an appropriate amount of time, but I discovered it wasn't, especially if I would continue feeling as good as I did.
Vegans get a bad rap, considered fanatics by some because they take vegetarian a step further. While vegetarians generally will consume eggs and dairy, vegans don't eat any product created by an animal. For the strictest vegans, this includes insects, which means no honey. To be a vegan, or at least start on the journey, you really do have to be dedicated. It isn't enough to assume you know what's in the food you eat every day. Start reading package labels and you'll find that dairy appears in many more products than you'd expect.
Yet despite all the hassle and the countless hours spent planning meals, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed being vegan. I won't lie - I made mistakes, such as discovering that the lime-flavored tortilla chips I scarfed down had milk in them, or trying to stay vegan while visiting family in Texas. But I remained fairly diligent.
My body felt great and my skin was shining. I cooked all the time, so not only did I really get into the process of living alone and creating lovely meals for myself, but I was also saving money by not going out or buying processed ingredients.
When I spoke with friends about what I was doing, I did realize one thing: The fact that I knew how to cook, and enjoyed it, certainly helped. Most felt they couldn't make a lifestyle of having to cook all the time. Then they saw my boundless energy, and reconsidered.