Monday, September 6, 2010

Our New (Semi) Vegan Diet

I have a friend at work who has a son that works on some organic farms. The owners of the farms are really into eating healthy and living a vegan lifestyle. They gave my friend's son packets and brochures about vegan-ism and when she started telling me about it I became really interested so she brought me the info to read. And it kind of changed my life.

If you know me then you know I love food. All food. Mass quantities of food. I'm most definitely a "live to eat" person as opposed to one that "eats to live". And I don't think that has changed, but I'm much more aware of what I'm eating now and I'm trying to greatly reduce the amount of animal products that I take in.

I don't want to get all preachy about this because I don't want to be responsible for making someone else change their entire life, but the short version of why this change came about is due to the disgusting things I saw in the literature. I'm definitely not an animal rights activist and feel the need to emphasize this to people when I mention the vegan thing. I feel that the animals are here so that we can eat them, and yes, I feel bad that they live in awful conditions, but that's not what's making me convert. It's the fact that I feel the bad conditions they're living in are gross and I want to ingest as little of it as possible. This does not mean that I'm cutting it out completely and here are reasons why:

1. It's hard. A lot of things have eggs and milk in them and while I am more conscious of how much I'm consuming, I will never cut it out completely.

2. I don't want to be rude. If I go to someones house to eat I will definitely eat anything that is provided. And I'll enjoy it. You only live once and I do intend to still enjoy food, I just hope to become healthier and perhaps live a little longer by eating better.

3. There aren't any vegan restaurants around these parts and let's face it, I'm not going to eat every meal at home. I will make an effort to order more vegetarian meals when we eat out, but I'm not making it a rule to do so on every occasion.

You might be wondering, "how does your poor husband feel about this?" Well he was hesitant about the idea at first, but I think he's willing to give it a shot. And since he's been out of town the past couple of months and his diet has consisted mostly of Burger King and In and Out, I think he's welcoming the idea of change ;)

And to be honest, the changes aren't that big. I've never really purchased red meat or pork and most meals I make are things that work just fine without meat. The hardest thing is that I can't be lazy about dinner anymore. It requires more preparation and actual "cooking." No more frozen pizzas or quick trips to Taco Bell :(

I've actually made a lot of good recipes lately and I'll post some when I have more time, but here's a glimpse at what I purchased at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago:

And here's my review of the products:

  • Soy Pudding: wonderful
  • Soy yogurt: I like the key lime flavor, but not any of the others :(
  • Tofu: not a fan. I've tried it a few different ways and I think I'll continue to use it in recipes that use it as a substitute for cheese, but not as a substitute for meat.
  • Smart Ground and the sausage right underneath it: haven't tried yet
  • Soy Cheese:
  • Mozzarella: good
  • Cheddar: only good in small quantities
  • Almond Milk: wonderful!
  • Earth Balance Butter: good
I recently read that too much soy is bad for you so I suppose I'll be cutting some of this out. We've also been eating a lot of beans and pasta. And vegetables of course.

Unfortunately Whole Foods is about an hour and a half away so I cannot go every week. The local Safeway has some of these products, but not many of them so we'll see how this goes....Wish me luck!


miltay said...

toph, it's not vegan if you are still eating meat, eggs and dairy. But THANK YOU for not eating Taco Bell anymore, or at least I hope this is what that means.

megankl said...

that's why it's "semi" vegan!