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.


Jul 172011

Yea, I know – there’s no zucchini in chick pea salad. There is when you’re eating your harvest and the cukes aren’t ripe yet!  - and it’s actually pretty darned good :)

Chick Pea Salad with Zucchini
1 15 oz can chick peas (garbanzo beans – organic if you can)
1 small onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 basil leaves, torn
1 lemon, juice and zest
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 chive, diced (if you have it)
1 pinch crushed red pepper
salt and black pepper to taste

Put first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Mix next 5 ingredients in a jar and shake to mix. Pour jar into bowl and add salt & pepper as needed.

Great side dish or lunch :)


Jul 162011

I’m really happy with the way I eat, but still not sure I’m really vegan. That said, I had an awesome vegan dinner and desert :)

I made a totally vegan cheeseburger sub – with vegan mayo, tofutti american cheese, and Boca burgers. It was AWESOME :) The chips are UTZ reduced calorie Sour Cream and Onion – made with whey, they actually have protein content. I had peanut butter swirl coconut ice cream for desert and it ROCKED :)
I think you can find products to make anything you want vegan. I was completely satisfied with this Friday night dinner – it’s low calorie, nothing bad for you , and vegan. :)
Jul 102011

I’ve been eating vegetarian again for about 6 months, finally realizing this is who I really am and that it’s okay if Danny wants to eat meat – I don’t have to. Over these last 6 months, I have lost over 40 pounds and 10 inches. I am obviously right about who I am :)

Last month, Dan picked up Kathy Freston’s Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World. So much of what I found in this book rang true to me, from poisons in our food, to the real causes of cancer, and the inhumane treatment of animals. I immediately began rethinking everything I was eating – no longer eating anything made with eggs unless the eggs came from my own coddled hens. Casein became an enemy – causing cancer almost as certainly as bleach will. I even investigated the alcohol we drink – and personal products we are using.

As I started to eat a lot more vegan, I also realized there are some substitutions that don’t make sense to me. I have found artificial colors and trans fats in many substitute products. I am certainly still learning this way of life – even having been vegetarian for several years in the 70′s-80′s, veganism is new to me.

Today I am starting a three week journey into strict veganism. I look at it as an adventure – one that might continue on for the rest of my life. There is a part of me that feels true authenticity can’t be found in substitutes. This doesn’t mean I won’t carry on vegan – but may give up the substitutes altogether.

That said, I’m still looking for a good vegan parmesan cheese ….