With experimental vegan month coming to a close and with my celebratory Father’s Office burger already in my sights, I decided to speak with my doctor about the pros and cons of a vegan diet.
In her words, it works for some people.
Keep in mind that it was never my intent to become a permanent vegan. I wanted to be able to write about it from a personal perspective. I can appreciate how difficult and strenuous it can be to stick to a strict vegetarian diet, especially for those of you who do in fact like meat or other animal products. So, while I will continue to seek out animal food that was raised and killed in the most humane and environmentally sensitive manner, I can’t wait to eat some bacon. In fact, I had Huckleberry’s Niman Ranch maple bacon biscuit in mind.
My doc recommended getting some blood work done. Turns out I’m perfectly healthy and my thyroid is still within normal range despite the increase in soy foods. But get this: for the first time ever, I’m vitamin D deficient.
Now, first I thought, how is that possible? D is the sunshine vitamin, I live in Southern California. But, I, like many of you probably, spend the majority of my time in a cubicle with no natural light whatsoever. Other than sunlight, you can probably guess where vitamin D comes from. Animal products: meat, milk, fish and egg yolks.
While there is no way to make an indisputable link between only a few weeks of going vegan to a new vitamin D deficiency, I’ll have my doctor’s blessing going back to my meat, milk, fish and egg yolks (maybe not for the bacon). While I felt no adverse health symptoms, D plays an important role in helping the body absorb calcium and in preventing osteoporosis.
If you don’t get it from food, you can easily take it in pill form. You can also get it from sitting in the sun in most places. However, sitting behind a window apparently doesn’t count and it appears that you’ll also have to go against what your mother, your dermatologist and that weird song from the nineties always told you and not wear sunscreen.
So does this mean I can take a sick day and go to the beach? C’mon, for the sake of my health.