As you guys know, my husband and I are planning our second child. We’re Type-A like that, and yes, we think ahead. We have been “vegan” for about a week now (not long, I know, but we were dabbling before and this is our first week “taking the plunge full in”. We’re liking it. We have more energy, sleep better, etc, but more on that later.
What I wanted to talk about today was that I am thinking that when I have my next child, I want to have a vegan pregnancy. Partly because I don’t want to eat differently as a pregnant person than I would otherwise and MOSTLY because I was a huge bohemoth with my first child (gained 100lbs!!) and I DO NOT, repeat WILL NOT, do that again. I am just now down to my pre-pregnancy weight, and I’d like to stay as close to that number as freaking possible (less would even be great as I wasn’t exactly ideal weight the first time, either). Vegan, all the way, (definitely while preggo).
Realizing that pregnancy involved a lot more nutrients than my every day life (a brand new person is delicate, you know), I checked out this book. And let me start by saying, this author is amazing. Her name is Sayward Rehbal (I secretly think she named herself. perhaps her mom was just terribly insightful?) and she is so much fun. I already loved her blog, so when I found this book separately (amazon search, anyone?) And discovered it to be the same person, well of course I bought it. I’ve read the first two chapters of her book. She’s entertaining, and one of the most real vegan’s I’ve “met”. The best part about her book is that she gives you the facts, without lecturing you, as so many vegan books can. She is fun, confident, super committed, but also super-knowledgable about her lifestyle choice. Which brings me to my question for this post.
Does vegan have to be a lifestyle choice?
For me, choosing vegan was about protecting my heart from cholesterol. It was about losing weight, eating clean, because I want my body to be the best it can be. I feel better eating vegan, I have more energy, I sleep better, and it’s a better way of eating for me. Perhaps my body has just been mistreated for years and it over-loves good food, I don’t know, but I did not choose vegan to save the animals. I like that part of it, of course, I love animals (and the more I learn about the meat industry I have strong opinions there I”ll have to share later, too) but I don’t really look into the details–like whether or not my vitamins are vegan. (The Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide introduced me to this idea that you can take vegan prenatal vitamins). In her book she is very careful about finding non-animal sources for EVERYTHING. Clothing, vitamins, lotions, you name it, it’s a lifestyle choice for her start to finish. I find this level of commitment admirable, but I’m still on the fence about whether or not it is right for me. Changing from being a carnivore into an herbivore has been a tough (But fun!) week of my life, and right now, that hurdle is all I can handle. Once I get acclimated to eating vegan, making vegan dietary choices, and walking away from that cheeseburger I really, really, want–those hurdles, and I give myself 6 weeks to get to that point, then I can look at how vegan I want my lifestyle overall to be.
Can I still consider myself “vegan” even though I only eat vegan? Or is that term you have to adhere to religiously to use?