Question: Can a CFer be vegan without negative health consequences?
I propose to find an answer to this, at least for me. I don't want to be preachy about my reasons for wanting to do this but, since people will want some kind of explanation I'll just say that I have a strong moral objection to the way animals are raised and especially slaughtered in this country. If you want details on the way this happens then I invite you to visit our good friend Google. Or read Skinny Bitch, the list of things I would do to get those visuals out of my head is LONG.
So, the issue is; how do I manage this and not completely screw up my nutrition? In case you didn't already know CFers have special dietary needs. Basically the CF diet is: EAT ALL THE THINGS! Seriously: high calorie, high fat, high protein. So, how to eliminate animal products but replace the calories, fat, and protein?
Protein: Non-animal protein sources are abundant. Protein hangs out in all kinds of things you wouldn't normally think of. Many whole grains have a decent amount, not to mention the fiber in them! Beans are another good source. Also nuts!
Of course there are all the soy products available these days. Soy milk, yogurt, and tofu are all packed with protein. I personally don't care for soy milk but tofu is great! It doesn't taste like much by itself so it just picks up the flavor of whatever you put it in. Some people are turned off by the texture of tofu but soft tofu just about disintegrates so you won't even notice it. You can even use silken tofu as an egg replacement in baking. It works best for recipes when the finished product is supposed to be dense like brownies or "cheese"cake. I haven't tried making a vegan cheesecake yet but its on my list.
For most people I wouldn't say you need a protein powder suppliment because generally people think you need way more protein than you actually do. For CFers though its probably a good idea, if you want vegan though just make sure you read your labels.
As far as fat and calories go the best thing I've found so far is coconut milk! It has loads of fat in it and is fabulous in smoothies! The really thick stuff can even be whipped like cream. I put it in strawberry crepes and I have to say it was deeeeeelish! Avacados are also a great source of fats, and yummy too! Nuts are a good source of fats too.
So far I've been vegetarian since I moved into my new apartment at the begining of this month. That means I haven't eaten anything that an animal was killed for. I'm working on cutting back on my dairy. I know that its important for me to make this transition slowly so as not to upset the GI Gods. CFers have touchy GI systems. I have less of a problem with dairy than I do meat and other things that animals are killed for. If I find that I cannot totally cut out dairy without losing too much weight then I will stick with locally produced, organic milk from farms that have good reputations for treating their animals humanely. I might even go visit some farms just to see for myself.
Stay tuned for further developments on the Vegan Experiment. I've set a goal for myself to be totally vegan by the first of May.