The short answer is I've been Mostly Vegan since February of this year.
The longer answer is that my doctor discovered pretty high blood pressure last December and of course said I needed to lose 20lbs. Plus it seems that in spite of all my denial (and efforts to the contrary), I'm actually aging.
I was alarmed by the blood pressure news and although I still believe the pig is god's most delicious animal, I agreed to try an animal-free diet - provided the food wasn't bland horrible sawdust, or the steady stream of cupcakes and French fries I've seen every other vegan eat. I've spent years delighting in making fun of vegans, so I was as eager as anybody to see how this caper would turn out.
What do you know? There's some really great foods to make and some swell restaurants like Sage, Mohawk Bend, Golden Mean, and even Cafe Gratitude. I cook and portion out (how my OCD loves this!) food for the week, and when I don't feel like a meal I throw some fruit and veggies in the Blendtec and have a delicious smoothie that delivers more protein and vitamins than that steak you'll be digesting for the next three days.
I've lost 10lbs and my blood pressure is down 20 points, into "normal" and sometimes even "optimal" readings. I already hated and avoided fast food, junk food, and most processed foods, so going vegan was a pretty natural progression.
That's my story (and I'm sticking to it). I eat maybe two or three non-vegan meals a month, and I feel GREAT. No more Food Comas. Greatly improved sleep. My skin (which was always lovely) looks better than ever. And when I went in for my "congratulations, you're 50" colonoscopy, both the prep and the test were super easy (and with great results).
The holidays are already posing a challenge - all that wonderful butter - but I'll do my best and that's that. There's no gun to my head, after all, but I have to say this all just makes sense. Plus it's been a lot more enjoyable than I ever imagined it could be.
(Oh and I thoroughly hate these "conversion" movies with all kinds of disgusting footage of animal abuse, but I think "Vegucated" is a pretty good movie - and I fast-forwarded through the brief farm porn. It's streaming on Netflix for free.)