I’m more than halfway through my “30 days of Veganism” and wanted to update you guys! If you’re so inclined, you can:
Some of my concerns going into this were:
-Can I live without milk for my morning iced coffee?
-Can I stop eating cheese? I love cheese.
-How will I enjoy eating out at restaurants?
-Will I get enough protein without being able to eat eggs? I eat a lot of eggs.
First of all, I’m learning that for a lot of people the term “vegan” is generally associated with “eww” or avoidance. Not that they’re avoiding me, but as if they avoid any and all foods that may be associated with being vegan because they think they’re “gross.” So I’ve stopped telling people I’m eating “vegan” and instead go with “I don’t eat animal products.” And that’s only if they ask-otherwise I don’t say anything. And if I bring a dish to pass, I don’t tell everyone it’s vegan unless I know they will be open to it.
As for the “diet” itself-and I use the term diet to mean “the foods I consume on a daily basis” and not “what I’m doing to lose weight”-I’ve been finding myself falling into this quite easily. I’m even surprising myself!
The milk thing: After trying many milk alternatives in my morning iced coffee-Almond, Rice, and Coconut-I was not pleased. It wasn’t so much a flavor thing as it was the texture-the “fake” milks were too thick and it was, well, weird. Then it occurred to me I should try soy milk. Long ago I swore off soy milk and I have been, for all intents and purposes, an almond milk kind of girl. I was never a fan of soy anything-milk, yogurt, cheese…blech. But I was on a mission, so I broke down and tried it. And you know what? It’s good! Best milk alternative by far in terms of drinking it straight up (or with a shot-or two-of espresso). I was also told via Twitter that Hemp milk is good-but I haven’t tried it yet.
The cheese thing: I have only had one extreme craving thus far and it was for queso dip. I went out with a couple girlfriends for happy hour and they ordered the chips and queso dip to share. The hot, melty cheese dip looked amazing and I could imagine exactly how creamy and salty and delicious it was. But I restrained myself to some chips. You know it’s a dire situation when you call eating chips “restraining yourself.” And then I went home and looked up “vegan queso dip” to see if there was any alternatives-and there were plenty! I tried this recipe and thought it was delicious-exactly what I’d been craving. In fact, I ate the entire batch myself in 24 hours. Along with an entire bag of blue corn tortilla chips.
I haven’t made it again simply because I have no willpower.
The restaurant thing:I love the entire experience of eating at restaurants. I love the food, the ambiance, and-most of the time-the company. With that being said, since I’m still feeling my way around this “I don’t eat animals thing,” I have mostly been making my own meals at home. However, I have been out a couple of times-the first time was at a Thai restaurant, which I chose mostly because I knew I would have plenty of options. I ordered a pineapple fried rice, without the egg, and made sure that their curry sauce wasn’t made from meat stock. It was amazing! I did have one set back though…after reading a lot of yelp reviews for the restaurant’s Thai Iced Tea, I had to order it.
It arrived looking like tea on the bottom with a white creamy layer on top. I took a sip (it was super sweet but very delicious) and then I thought that what I had assumed was coconut milk might not be. So I questioned the waiter and he told me it was half-n-half.
So, I didn’t drink the rest. Next time I might ask for them to pour some coconut milk on top instead-I bet that would be YUM!I also met Carolyn and a friend of hers for brunch at True Food Kitchen which I knew would have plenty of great options!
It has been a bit of an adjustment, and sometimes if I know I’m meeting friends out for Happy Hour I will eat something before hand. After all, I’m really there for the “friend time” right?
But overall I would say choosing a restaurant you know you can order more than just a salad at is important. However, next week I have a blogger brunch at the Arrogant Butcher, so it might be time to test out the “if you ask, the chef can usually make you something that might not be on the menu” option.
The protein thing: Two words: Sun Warrior. It is, in my opinion, The. Best. Protein. Powder. Ever. I use it mainly for breakfasts-smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes- and it helps to keep me full until lunch! I have yet to get up enough nerve to try a tofu scramble…I’m pretty sure I will hate it. Maybe one day!
Some random observations:
-My cravings for salty foods have increased. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve been fulfilling it with plenty of chips and hummus. Hummus, good. Large quantities of chips? Not so good.
-I think my allergies are better. But I can’t say for sure, need more time to test this out.
-The amount of vegetables that I consume on a daily basis is so much more than I would think!
-Mama Pea has the best vegan recipes I’ve ever tried. Some of my favorites include her dough balls, Mmm sauce, and her white bean and basil burgers. Seriously amazing stuff, even if you’re not “vegan” you will love them! I even ordered her cookbook, which I never do!
-I have actually lost track of how many days it’s been since I started. I’m sure I can calculate it if I look at a calendar, but it’s been so seamless I don’t even feel like much has changed.
Maybe this is more than just a 30 day challenge.