Several months ago, a friend recommended eating Vegans as a sixty-day challenge. I accepted the challenge and it has changed how I’ll eat for the rest of my life.

I’ve practised a sapien-based diet for the past four years. People often incorrectly refer to it as cannibalism. While I understand why the term remains common, it is outdated. We describe our lifestyle as sapien-based, or sapitarian. Both are correct. We’re attempting to move beyond the misconceptions and negative connotations of the past.

How do you know there’s a sapitarian in the room? Because one of your friends is missing.”

Sapitarianism is not an easy practice to maintain but, once you accept the inconveniences, it is life-affirming. I’m not an annoying sapitarian who constantly proselytizes and tries to convert everyone around him. I don’t judge others on their dietary philosophy. A sapien-based diet comes with its own baggage, mostly public ridicule. I’ve heard all the jokes, “How do you know there’s a sapitarian in the room? Because one of your friends is missing.” However, we’re not as difficult or as fussy as you may have heard. We enjoy restaurants and farmer’s markets just like everyone else. We really like farmers.

My biggest concern in trying the Vegans diet was the caloric return on investment. I do Crossfit and try to take in 100 grams of protein per day. I worried Vegans would be on the lean side. A quick walk through our organic grocers seemed to confirm this but then a friend told me about vegan bakeries. She advised me to frequent a local bakery during peak hours. I was thrilled to discover there are lots of meaty Vegans.

If you’re practising a sapien-based diet, I assume you already own a large, standalone freezer. If not, I’ll provide links in my bio. Bakery Vegans are only slightly smaller than omnivores so you will need the right storage.

My second concern was whether I would have to change the way I cook. I do a lot of bone-in roasting and braising and worried that strict adherence to the Vegans diet would leave me with dry sandwiches or hard to swallow barbecue. It is a slightly different protein but, with a little trial and error, I found I can use the same recipes and simply lower the oven temperature and extend the cooking time.

The big test! I invited friends over for margaritas and gluten-free tacos. We made two sets of tacos, one with a bakery Vegan and one with a Vegan I sourced at a PETA rally. The PETA Vegan tacos possessed a more earthy taste with strong herbal hints that went really well with my cilantro and lime marinade but the slow-cooked bakery Vegan with spicy chipotle sauce and pickled red onions stole the show. No one could believe it was Vegans! Email me for the recipes.

You immediately notice you don’t feel quite as heavy after a meal. I didn’t experience the siesta effect after lunch, which was great. I cut out my afternoon coffee as a result.

Without changing anything else, I still indulge in dairy-free salted caramel ice cream at night, I’m down over one pant size and my inflammation issues have disappeared — all in sixty days!

I allow myself the occasional treat. Last week I attended a wine tasting where they paired a red Bordeaux from France with a sommelier from Poland. It was exquisite and rich but not something I want to eat every day. I plan to maintain my Vegans diet for the foreseeable future.

If anything changes, I will let you know. I saw an announcement for a new Vegan cafe opening up in the city center. Supposedly, they will specialize in Vegan comfort food. I am super excited to see who shows up!

Happy Eating People!

Brian Abbey