The problem was, I never studied the health implications of being vegan, I never considered what would be missing from my diet and how to substitute it. I never consulted anyone about it, I just started avoiding animal products. I never put veganism into question because I know plenty of vegans that are totally healthy. Being a food lover and cookie fanatic, I tried vegan recipes (this is one of them, if you are interested) and luckily they all were fabulous!
I didn't directly tell my family and I didn't tell any of my friends. But when, about a month ago, I got some blood work done, I found out that I had a Vitamin D deficiency...
And where do you find Vitamin D? Meat (that is out of the question), dairy, and eggs.
This means that I can't be vegan, because at school I can't rely on spinach, french fries and pasta for proper nutrition. I will need the eggs and yogurt proposed to keep me going through the day. I have no other choice.
However, because there are so many vegans out there, I know it is possible to be vegan and healthy, and maybe I will be one day. I figured I'd ask a few vegan bloggers some questions. Today I'm featuring...
Kelly from KZ Cakes!
Kelly is a vegan baker in New Jersey.
Since when have you been vegan, and for what reason(s) did you become vegan?
I had tried to be vegan a few times before actually sticking with it. I hadn't gotten used to reading ingredients in everything before eating things, like I'd be eating a bag of cashews from Trader Joe's, thinking, "these must be vegan", but upon checking, they list buttermilk and honey in the ingredients, and so I'd just throw my hands up and quit, until the desire to change my diet for real would come back. I'd been a vegetarian most of my life, but in college I started reading about issues having to do with factory farming destroying our environment, cruelty and conditions the animals endure there, and the overall long-term negative effects eating meat will seemingly have on your body. With knowledge of these issues, I felt it would be irresponsible to continue eating meat and dairy products. I've been eating exclusively vegan since January 1st, 2011, and have never looked back!
Have you had any nutritional problems (deficiencies...)? (If so, what have you done to solve those problems?)
I had been anemic for 12 years, and the first doctor's appointment I had after going vegan, I was nervous to have my iron tested, thinking it would be even lower. Surprise! Becoming vegan helped me eat a larger variety of nutrient and iron-rich foods like nuts and greens and my iron restored to a normal level for the first time in 12 years, just months after starting a vegan diet. I have since wowed my doctor at every following appointment at how healthy I am. Being vegan makes being healthy pretty easy.
Would you say that baking vegan goods is more of a challenge then baking the traditional way?
Have you had to deal with any prejudice about your baked goods being vegan?
I think baking vegan is way easier than baking non-vegan. It's cheaper, for one. Milk, butter and eggs go bad much faster than apple cider vinegar, almond milk and earth balance. Vegan baked goods are much healthier than dairy-laden baked goods, but also, really taste the same. If I didn't tell my family and friends who I first served my cupcakes to that they were vegan, they surely would have no idea. No one has ever told me that my baking suffers due to a lack of dairy or egg. Vegan baked goods win across the board.
Thank you, Kelly, for letting me interview you!