Jul 312011
 

My three week Vegan trial is over – and here is the result:

I’m not Vegan.

I have learned over the last several weeks what it means to be Vegan. It’s so much more than a way to eat. Animal rights figure into every single decision. I admire the Vegans I have met – while I do believe in most of what they do, I don’t necessarily agree with it all. It’s a hard balance for me – growing up in a way that taught me reverence for every living being did not mean to not eat meat, but to raise the animal humanely and use every bit of it for something when killed for the family table. I did not like meat – and most of our dinners had names – it was a pretty easy jump for me to become Vegetarian almost as soon as I left my parent’s home. What made me every stray, I really don’t know – but I am very happy to be back to full-fledged Vegetarianism.

Here is the real result of my experiment – I have found enough information in the last three weeks to make me realize the health benefits of avoiding dairy and eggs. Honey is a gift from the bees to me and is very healthful. I make many of my herbal preparations with organic, local honey, and will continue to. I will still eat dairy and eggs on occasion, particularly when it appeases family members during holiday meals, etc. When I do, however, I will be sure the animals have been treated well. I am in the process of finding additional sources for small organic humane farm products.

Most of the Vegan options I have found, I will continue to use and like more than the dairy. These include Earth Balance butter replacement – Coconut or Soy milk replacement for half n half – Tofutti sour cream replacer – Tofutti cream cheese replacer – Coconut and Soy ice creams – Daiya cheese replacements. I am still experimenting with cheese replacements and will be posting a comparison soon.

I expect to eat this way at least 98% of the time, but I am not ready to call myself Vegan. Perhaps in the future, maybe even the near future, this will be true.

Peace,
michele

Jul 172011
 

I’m really feeling pretty good – and liking following my own beliefs a lot more. Danny and I have really had a great week, though occasionally stressing a little over ‘what to eat.’ The truth is, when you eat vegetarian, you can make an entire meal out of anything you have a lot of, and other staples from the kitchen. For real, you ALWAYS can make an awesome meal – use your creativity, or search a good vegetarian cookbook.

When eating vegan, it’s almost as easy – check for animal products – dairy, cheese, honey, dry milk, eggs, egg powder or beaters. Veganism goes a lot further than what you eat. There are animal products in body care products, your clothing, household products – a LOT of things. In this way, I am not vegan yet. I have leather shoes, use a lotion I see has dry milk as an ingredient, I haven’t done the research on every single thing I use in my daily life – I did even find my favorite vegetarian cheese contains a bit of casein – which makes it NOT vegan. I’ve been using rice cheese substitutes, and they do not at all compare – don’t believe what is on the package – I haven’t found a rice cheese that melts yet.

Okay, so tonight, we have our first ripe tomato :) It’s a beefsteak, and we’re having  BLTs – I’ve got homemade wheat bread, Lightlife veggie bacon,  and vegan nayonnaise. We’re having homemade french fries (baked potato strips) and vegan cole slaw (previous recipe) and fresh canteloupe.

Two more weeks – who knows?

Peace,
michele

Jul 102011
 

My first wholly vegan day was pretty awesome. For breakfast, I had French toast – homemade ciabatta, dipped in soy milk, and lightly pan fried in Earth Balance. At the last minute, I tossed in some raspberries and blueberries from the garden – poured over the toast and added maple syrup.

For lunch, leftover pizza we made Friday night. We make our own pizza crust and our own sauce. I considered adding a vegan mozzarella – but I have fresh herbs in the garden and I had some leftover olives, so I thought I could make a really tasty pizza with no cheese. And I did :)

Dinner was a Barbeque Tofu and Zucchini sandwich with Vegan Cole Slaw (recipes forthcoming).

No cravings for anything and nothing much different than most days.

Peace,
michele