Monday, May 30, 2011

Becoming Vegan-ish

So for about 9 months I've been really thinking about the idea of becoming a vegan. My bud is vegan, and between watching intently what Alicia Silverstone, Kathy Freston, and Ellen Degeneres say about it and my buds life, I am intrigued.
Now i am an animal lover, but I am not into PETA, or thinking on it because of slaughterhouses.    Although if you saw the Oprah with Lisa Ling, going to a 'better run' slaughterhouse, it really is hard to want to eat meat...although easy to just block that out, and eat ignorantly (or at least that is what I do). And, it's not because I agreed with the book, Skinny Bitch.
What intrigues me is the arguements about what is good for the body, and what is good for the Earth, and connecting, and feeling good about who you are. Taking care of your body and soul. I'm not saying this as a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  It's things like this that I am reding in Kathy Freston's book, "Veganist":
  • most Americans eat twice as much protein as needed...and twice as much as we did in the early 20th century.
  • The American Dietic Association concludes a Vegetarian diet shows lower ishemic heart disease, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower hypertension, and a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes (a clencher for me), prostate, and colon cancer.
  • it takes 16lbs of grain to feed 1lb of beef.
  • Meat stimulates an insulin release (Dr. Barnard). Beef and cheese cause a bigger insulin release than pasta and fish more than popcorn. <~~this catches my attention as I am insulin resistant.
I thought you may be interested in these little factoids, and i may continue sharing them as I come across them.
Another big thing for me, is all the crap they do to meat...I feel like I can't trust it. Lots of chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics going into the animals we are injesting.

Anyway, so what the heck is "leaning in" to "vegani-ish".  "Leaning in" means its not going to happen overnight. This is a lifestyle change not a diet.  I'm not going to hold my feet to the coals to be perfect.  What I am going to do is be concious of my eating, and think about it, and make choices towards vegan. Vegan-ish to me means, I may be a vegetarian, and I may try to avoid dairy....but it may take me some time to give up the cream in my coffee.  And what if that is the 1 thing I hold what. It's not about perfection, its about being concious.

So yesterday, I was a bonafide vegetarian.  I had the following to eat:
Breakfast: Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Scone and a Strawberry Banana Orange Smoothie

Lunch: Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with bean sprouts, avocado, tomato, and spinach

Snack: We went to the Strawberry Festival and I had a Strawberry Taco. Vegetarian....yes. It is a waffle cone, with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Dinner: We grilled some zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, onions and corn, with some teriyaki marinade.  I also had a baked potato with butter (not healthy, nor vegan)

Dessert (I know twice in one day, but it was my anniversary): Some mint chocolate chip Vegan ice cream, made with Coconut Milk....super delicious.

So far today, I've had an Odwalla Bar and smoothie.  We are having black bean burritos for dinner.  I'm going to see if I can try it without cheese or sour cream.  I am hoping the guacamole picks up the slack.


  1. This is such an interesting topic and I am glad you blogged about it.I have severe PCOS and 2 years ago, I was told that I would need to change my lifestyle because PCOS messes up with my insulin level. We also have diabetes running in the family. Since I am all or nothing person, I went vegan cold turkey. I also read Skinny Bitch and even though it promotes heavily a vegan lifestyle, it allowed me to think more of my eating habits.
    A few months later, I really missed ice cream, cream in my coffee (no, coconut milk/rice/almond/hemp milk in coffee is not the same) and I missed cheese. I also have anemia and since I wasn't getting much protein despite all the beans I ate, I had hungry pangs.
    I also missed eating out. I love food! But finding a vegan friendly dish in a restaurant is so difficult!!
    I am lucky I live in a community where you can easily find vegetarian/vegan dishes but when I was traveling or visiting friends I couldn't eat the same thing

    So I didn't go back to my old habits but with the help of a nutritionist, I found a middle ground. I am now vegetarian but with low diary. I still don't eat any meats and I am happier :)

    If family visits, I buy meat in a local farm.As you said, it takes time and it is a lifestyle change. Vegetarian is the best choice for me.
    Now good luck finding a vegetarian meal at the
    I also love the dishes you had. It gave me some recipe ideas.

  2. Amina, great!!!

    I am insulin resistant, but not PCOS. A precursor to diabetes and heart disease.

    BTW also check out my buds blog (upper left) She has vegan meal plans and recipes, savings info, eco friendly tips, and just about a healthy lifestyle.

  3. I'm allergic to dairy. It's gotten worse as I've gotten older (it used to be classified as a whey allergy) and I finally had to cut out all dairy. Then I felt great! After a while, meat started to bother me and I cut that our entirely.

    The key to becoming vegan and sticking with it is doing it in steps, like you said. I have to say, cream in my coffee was the hardest thing to give up because the substitutes aren't really the same but after a while (and after I got rid of the creamer all together) I didn't want it. Now I drink my coffee with just a little sugar!

    As long as you look at it like something you enjoy rather than a punishment, it'll be easier. I love the Kind Diet book (there's a great peach cobbler in there) but also check out Appetite for Reduction. It's my favorite vegan cookbook!

    And lastly check out brown rice syrup... it's awesome and doesn't mess up your blood sugar. Plus, on some non dairy ice cream, it tastes like caramel!

  4. I love this! :) You know I didn't arrive where I am overnight. It started with baby steps before we even met. I'm excited for you! And thanks for the shout out! :)

  5. Tango- I'm using agave nectar right now. but i noticed the Odwalla bar had brown rice syrup in it, so I'll have to check it out.

  6. Thank you for the link. I will check out her blog and also follow Tango and Cashmere advices. I like steps :)

  7. a couple of years ago I got really sick with digestive problems and all my dr did was give me a prescription that he told me I would take for life. So I started doing my own research and found an alkaline eating regime which basically is about proper combinations of food for optimum digestion. This changed my life! It really got me thinking about what I put into my body. Basically animal bi-products are highly acidic and cause all kinds of problems with the body (including cancer, which is my concern). So, now I am about 80+% vegetarian with low dairy intake. But the biggest thing I make sure to avoid is processed food and preservatives. I would rather have local goat cheese or organic half and half in my coffee than processed sugar or meat substitute. Good luck!