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On Being a Mostly Vegan

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I've always been a cheese lover. My high school boyfriend asked me to prom by offering me a one pound block of cheddar cheese and a single tulip. Needless to say I accepted. It never crossed my mind that I would choose to give up all the creamy deliciousness of my favorite food to become a vegan, but here I am, meat, cheese and dairy-product free.

It all started one night when I was browsing Netflix. I came across a nutrition documentary called Forks Over Knives. I'd recommend it to anyone. Forks Over Knives suggests that animal products lead to chronic illnesses. It said I'd feel better physically and mentally and that I'd get sick less often. Who can argue with that? I decided to give it a try. The first day of my vegan diet was, ironically, Thanksgiving, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, it hasn't been hard at all.

Cutting out meat was easy, I'd only ever eaten it at restaurants or barbeques and while I missed cheese, the documentary was right, I did feel better. Instead of putting cheese on my sandwiches, I add avocado which is just as creamy and filling. A few months after the switch I got a cold but it went away after a day or two, and it was the most comfortable cold I'd ever had (how many times have you heard that?!). My mind didn't feel cloudy and my nose wasn't as congested or runny. Overall, I just feel better.

But I call myself a mostly vegan for a reason. I decided to become a vegan for health reasons and I promised myself I wasn't going to feel bad if I slipped up or changed my mind. Eating is a social thing and I love to make dinner or go out with my friends. I know that when I eat out there's going to be butter and cheese and all sorts of yummy things snuck into my food, and that's ok. I gave myself two exceptions, sushi (I love sushi) and half and half for my morning coffee. As time went on I realized I didn't want a lot of animal products. When I had a slice of pizza with cheese on it, I felt heavy and uncomfortable. After a while the half and the half in my coffee felt like too much and I switched to coconut milk. I never needed to hold myself accountable, my body acclimated to the switch, and I liked it.

When I first became a vegan I was worried about letting people know. I knew my family and friends would be supportive but it was the new people I was worried about; the cute boy on our first dinner date, going out with new co-workers. I thought they'd think I was high-maintenance or just plain crazy. But that hasn't been the case. The word "vegan" has some pretty strong connotations, but we're not all tree-hugging, paint-throwing, fanatical activists. I just feel better cutting some foods out.

It's about listening to my body and being healthy, if I eat butter or cheese one night, who cares?

I haven't met a lot of other mostly-vegans. Do you know a mostly vegan? What do you think? Willing to give it a try? Comment below.