Vegan Week: Day 7
I dig pizza. . .a lot. And I’m not picky about it, either. Little Ceasar’s “Hot & Ready,” Dominos, Ci-Ci’s buffet, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, etc. — they’re all cool with me; however, I prefer to make my own when I really want to savor the flavor. Vegan Week has been all about trying new and different things, from falafel burgers to tofu scrambles, so it was time to put this lifestyle experiment to the ultimate test by introducing vegan principles to my all-time favorite cuisine.
My wife made vegan pizza with flatbread, pesto, black olives, mushrooms and onions. It was a culinary hat tip to the healthy slices we had at Bombay Pizza Company last summer — the only difference was the cheese (or lack thereof). She bought two (2) brands of vegan mozzarella cheeses to compare: Daiya (the current crowd favorite) vs. Soysations. She sprinkled one side of our 8″ pizzas with each brand. While both of them melted like real cheese, I’m sad to report that Daiya couldn’t hold a torch to Soysations; it wasn’t horrible, but in comparison, it just wasn’t as good. I still ate the whole thing along with my salad (romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onions, green onions and cucumbers) and a huge glass of water.
It’s Day 7 — exactly one week from the moment I made the decision to take this journey. For seven days I haven’t had any meat, eggs or dairy and, on the surface, they may seem restrictive in the environment of the typical, American diet. But you know what else I haven’t had? I haven’t had any Nexium, which I’ve been taking since I was diagnosed with acid reflux in 2004 (sidenote: when I’ve been on the Master Cleanse, I also didn’t have to take any medicine to counteract my acid reflux – coincidence?). I haven’t had any episodes where my stomach churned painfully in an effort to digest the grease from fried foods. And I haven’t had any problems going to the bathroom, which is a bit TMI, but it’s important to cite that my digestive system has been working as God intended and that’s a blessing.
On a spiritual level, I haven’t ingested any “death” into my body for seven days – and while I had to deal with an annoying cold all week, I was able to focus on getting better without the distraction of my body trying to fight the cold and manage the detrimental energy that comes from devouring unhealthy food. I even think my hair grew faster this week because it’s been tickling my shoulders and back since Wednesday *lol*
Now that Vegan Week is over, do I go back to the way I was? Do I have Papa Johns on speed dial? Is it Baconator time? Or am I trading in my Sean John denim and Stacy Adams for knitted pants and hemp moccasins?
I believe Vegan Week was a journey to the extreme of health, which isn’t a bad thing. Not only did I take control of my body and what goes in it, I discovered a network of people who have taken this journey and adapted it to their lifestyle. My wife and I created new memories together through exotic, vegan meals, discussing menus and working together in the kitchen. My trip through veganism put a sparkle of appreciation in the eye of my vegetarian co-worker. I found out one of my favorite vendors was a vegan and she was all too willing to email me different recipes.
I’ve always entertained the idea of veganism, but I know that it was predestined for me to take this journey at this juncture in my life. Meeting Ahmed Sirour face-to-face was the catalyst for me. Our brief interaction during GRAMMY weekend was more about music, but his vegan anecdotes resonated high in my spirit. This was followed by my wife’s interaction with Linda Howard, who coordinated Vegan Week just a week after my conversations with Ahmed. I just paid attention to the signs. I was meant to go through this week in order to receive the transformation that’s supposed to occur at this point in my life.
The last ten (10) years of my life have been more tumultuous than serene. God told me that He was going to give those 10 years back to me and, since that declaration, I’ve seen circumstances presented before me to insure that restoration happens. Vegan Week has been one of those circumstances in that reclaiming 10 years of youth, opportunity and vitality cannot happen in a body that is constantly poisoned.
I am NOT a born-again vegan, but I have decided that vegetarianism is a journey in which I would like to continue further. My body needs the rest from the destruction I’ve put it through over the past 10-20 years. If I am to receive the life I dream about every night, I understand that requires changes that everyone may not understand. But as long as I remain faithful, my wife supports me and my children reaps the benefits of a healthier dad — the rest don’t matter.
Vegan Week has shown me that I have more control that I ever realized over my body, decisions and life in general. It further revealed a scripted plan of success for my life — all I have to do is “remember my lines.” I also understand that, while this is my decision today, it has to be my decision everyday moving forward and by putting my decision into the universe, my accountability is made even greater.
I’ll never be perfect, but I thank God that I’m not as bad as I was a week ago.
*looking for the hummus and pita chips*