We have a friend who is vegan.  When I asked what that meant, he said he doesn't eat anything with a face.  I guess that's true, but I had been hoping for a more technical answer.  I wanted to know the difference between vegan and vegetarian.  I don't know if I could do it, but I've heard of so many health benefits, I thought I'd research it and even borrowed a vegan cookbook to see if anything sounded good.

Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Sometimes it also means you don't eat processed foods that use animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. Most vegans also avoid the use of all products tested on animals, as well as animal-derived non-food products, like leather, fur and wool.  If you follow this way of life, you are considered Vegan.

Ken says he could never be vegan because he likes meat too much.  I would like to try veganism.  Not eating meat would be ok, it's the time I have to take trying to figure out if there are eggs in my ranch dressing (there are, btw) or if the sugar in it has been refined that I couldn't handle.  I thought I was doing well calorie counting and making sure I'm choosing healthy less fat snacks.  Plus, it would take me hours to grocery shop.  But, to veganism credit, I hear that people who are vegans are very healthy and that would be nice.

A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits.  Plus, there are lots of foods that are made for vegans, like soy hot dogs, certain cheeses and even desserts.  Desserts???  Well, maybe it's worth checking out :)

Here are three weeks of a Vegan menu I found on Ophra's website from Kathy Freston, take a peek and give it a shot.  Maybe the health benefits will outweigh the extra thought you have to give to your meals.

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