It is my goal to be the coolest vegan you know.
When I first started out as a vegan, back in April 2013, I definitely wasn’t that cool. I was overzealous and a bit of a loaded cannon.
But I learned from my mistakes and matured from the process; which is what should happen for those of us (like you reading this) who are indeed the emotionally intelligent human beings we think we are.
I polished up my craft over the years. These days, I can very efficiently explain my unconventional lifestyle when people approach me on the subject; even when people subconsciously try to stump me.
It is my policy to never announce my vegan lifestyle in a conversation; the other person has to be curious about what I am eating and ask me. (But that happens a lot, actually.)
The obvious question is always, “Where do you get your protein?”
I explain: “I have 6 food groups; all of which contain the proper protein and nutrients I need: veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.”
Sometimes the person will follow up with, “How could body builders they be that big if they were vegans?”
I respond that being a big, buff body builder doesn’t necessarily mean that person is actually healthy. I believe many of them are actually unhealthy.
In my mind, it’s simply unnatural that a person must spend so much time working out and taking supplements; some of which are questionable.
Being abnormally strong does not automatically mean a person is actually healthy; especially for the long term.
Personally, I prefer a more natural approach to being physically fit. I take no less than 2 ten minutes walks a day, plus I ride my mountain bike and run throughout the week as well.
From there, the next question I often get is this: “How do you know you’re healthy?”
I explain that just 6 months ago, I had an appointment with Dr. Thomas M. John of Vanderbilt, in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Without even knowing I was a vegan, he confirmed that for my age and height, I am in the ideal weight range and that I am healthier than most 34 year-old men he sees.
I should point out too that my wife and I are expected our 2nd child to be born in April 2016. Even without meat, eggs, and dairy, I am indeed healthy enough to help conceive a child. Being a vegan definitely did not prevent that from happening.
My doctor specifically noted that my cholesterol levels are great.
That leads to this question:
“Where do you get your fats from?”
Out of the 6 vegan food groups I mentioned earlier (veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds), it’s the last two, nuts and seeds, which contain the most fat.
On a daily basis, I consume non-GMO, organic peanut butter in my homemade “vegan protein smoothie.” I also have raw, unsalted sunflower seeds in my salad every night for dinner.
Plus, many the dinners my wife makes contain cashews or avocados in them.
By default, vegans consume 0% of their daily cholesterol allowance. Even plants that are high in fat, like avocados and cashews, still contain less than 1% of the daily cholesterol recommendation.
Try finding a vegan food that ever registers having 1% or higher of the daily cholesterol level on the label. It’s impossible. That doesn’t exist.
Sometimes, people are just sincerely confused on what constitutes as a plant. I have been asked these following questions by several people over the past couple years:
“Can you eat bread?”
The answer is sometimes; as long as it’s not made with eggs, milk, butter, or cheese.
“Can you eat eggs?”
No, they come from an animal; and typically just one egg (!) contains at least 58% of your daily cholesterol. Therefore, eggs are very non-vegan.
“Can you eat fish?”
No, fish is an animal; not a plant. But I can eat potatoes, because they are a plant. (People often ask me that when they ask me about fish; I’m not sure why.)
“I heard vegans can’t eat honey; is that true?”
Yes, it’s true: Vegans technically can’t eat honey. I’m not trying to be funny or gross, but the best way to explain it is this:
Basically, honey is bee vomit. Look it up.
One of the final frequently asked questions I get is this:
“Do you ever just wish you could go back?”
My answer is a firm and quick no.
I suffered for 2 decades with constant sinus pressure, sinusitis, pet allergies, eczema (dyshidrosis), headaches, and acne. (Not to mention, I was about 30 pounds heavier in those days.)
Now that’s all gone. I’m not interested in having those health problems again.
The last question I get is this:
“Sometimes, don’t you just wish you could have a big, juicy burger?”
No, I don’t miss beef at all. What I actually miss tends to gross most people out as soon as I say it:
Yes, greasy ole fish. That’s what I psychologically miss sometimes. But still, there is no true temptation to go back because then I’ll simply adopt all those health problems again.
If I ever were to open the door to fish, I would give in and start eating meat again. I know myself too well.
Being a vegan isn’t that weird. It actually makes a lot of sense once you understand how it works. It’s just uncommon compared to mainstream society.
As a self-proclaimed “cool vegan,” I make it my goal to make myself easily accessible to answer people’s questions without sounding judgmental on my end.
Instead, my goal is to encourage people to be healthier by nixing the animal products they think they need to be healthy; but again, only when they ask me first. I’m not a door-to-do evangelist. You have to come to my tent.
And in case you need a reminder, look at me.
I don’t need milk, yogurt, eggs, fish, or meat to be this healthy. I just need veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Feel free to leave a comment and ask me a frequently wondered question of your own.