Who’s Afraid of Vegan Waffles?

Who’s Afraid of Vegan Waffles
Every job has its hazards. Police officers put themselves in the line of fire. Teachers risk every antibody and white blood cell known to Western medicine. Even the most white-collar professions have job responsibilities that test life and limb. So, when I began working at a gym I expected some test of self: a missed box jump here, a botched Kettlebell demo there–something. Little did I know that my test would arrive on the coattails of a rapidly growing movement–veganism.

After stepping into my new role as Nutrition coach at Cypher, I was determined to understand what all members were experiencing when it came to nutrition. For me, this meant becoming an expert on all parts of the Healthy Steps Nutrition program we recently launched at Cypher Health & Fitness. I made it my job to try all of the recipes and meal plans prescribed in the program as a way to develop some first-hand understanding of what our members would be experiencing. Thankfully, for me, I already had a first-hand experience with most of the program components. I knew how to eat CLEAN. Paleo was almost second nature with the exception of my favorite glazed donuts here and there. I even had a brief stint with vegetarianism in college; it was a time for experimentation after all. But there was still one stone left unturned; I had no experience with veganism.

First, let’s address the humanely treated elephant in the room–What is Veganism? According to the vegetarian resource group or VRG, “In addition to being vegetarian, not eating meat, poultry or fish, vegans do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather fur, silk cosmetics and soaps derived from animal products.”

Why Do people go vegan? According to the VRG people go vegan for a variety of reasons. Most notably, ” environmental, and/or ethical reasons. For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat industry by consuming eggs and dairy products. That is, once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too old to be productive, they are often sold as meat; and since male calves do not produce milk, they usually are raised for veal or other products. Some people avoid these items because of conditions associated with their production.”

Many vegans choose this lifestyle to promote a more humane and caring world and others do it because of simple economics. Eating vegan is just cheaper.

My next step in understanding veganism is to actually become a vegan, after the holidays of course. I need one last hoorah with the butterball centerpiece that has championed the holiday season. But, after that, it’s an all vegan diet for three months with the goal of building understanding and compassion for our food-forward members at Cypher and around the world. How bad can it be? Afterall at least glaze is vegan. Isn’t it?

To Your Continued Success,

Don Gilbert


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