Vegan-ish: Introduction

Growing up, I only knew a handful of people that were vegan. But nowadays, veganism has infiltrated the public psyche in a way I never would have predicted.

Loads of celebrities — Jessica Chastain, Ariana Grande and Woody Harrelson, to name a few — tote the vegan lifestyle. Professional athletes are also switching to plant-based diets to increase performance. For example, the New England Patriots’ star quarterback, Tom Brady, recently won his fourth Superbowl at the age of 39. For a sport where mid-30s is ancient, it’s been suggested that one of the secrets to his longevity is his plant-focused diet.

Whether it’s for dietary, ethical or environmental reasons, more and more people are choosing to cut animal products out of their lives. Marketing has followed suit, with even non-food items such as clothing and cosmetics sporting “VEGAN” on their product labels.

Personally, I’ve always had a difficult time imagining myself becoming a vegetarian, much less a vegan. I know the siren call of a sizzling steak all too well, and if my wife would let me, I’d eat a burger every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fruits and veggies; but if you were to ask me what my last meal on earth would be, it’s Korean barbeque that pops into my head, not a salad bar.

However, as I’ve grown older, I can see the personal and societal reasons to integrate plant-based foods into my life. The negative effects of industrial livestock production on the environment seem undeniable and ensuring ethical treatment of livestock is a difficult task. Even when it comes to high quality, sustainable meat, the simple fact is that I can’t eat like I used to when I was younger. Well, unless I’m willing to ignore my health, weight, mood and general appearance.

A daunting part about plant-based eating is the misconception that a person has to go all in. Truth be told, I’m not particularly interested in being vegan. But that doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate vegan dishes into my lifestyle. If there is food out there that tastes good and is good for me, why wouldn’t I want it?

So for all these reasons and many more, I have decided to embark on a quest to find some vegan dishes that appeal to my tastebuds and share my experience with any other meat-lovers out there who are looking to make some changes in their own life.

The cookbook I’ve chosen for this experiment is “From Plant to Plate” by Tami Bivens, R.D. For the next 10 weeks, I will cook, consume and critique one vegan recipe a week. From entrées and sides to soups and sweets, I’ll put veganism to the test and see what works with a carnivore’s palate.

Is it easy to cook? How did it taste? Would I make it again?

I hope to answer these questions and more! Join me each week as I explore what it’s like to be vegan … ish.

Click to read Jason’s other “Vegan-ish” articles:


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Jason K. Lee

is an attorney for the State of California, an editor and staff writer for Golden State of Mind and a freelance writer. He has a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA and a B.S. in Managerial Economics from the University of California - Davis in Davis, CA. Born in New York City, he follows the New York Giants and New York Yankees, but he also pays homage to his East Bay roots with his allegiance to the Golden State Warriors. In his free time, he enjoys playing sports, watching movies and trying new restaurants. It is his dream to learn how to draw. Jason lives in Sacramento, CA with his beautiful wife, Mary, and their dog, Taylor.

  1. Good luck and God bless! I like your reasons and I hope you find it to be a lifestyle you’re comfortable living with. Go Warriors! 🙂

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