I went Vegan!
The end of Lent is approaching, and I have so many great vegan experiences to share!
Here’s a basic idea of what I ate most days.
Breakfast: plain oatmeal with honey and natural peanut butter added.
Lunch: Brown rice, lots of veggies, piece of fruit.
Dinner: Different almost every night. I had so much fun trying vegan recipes.
Here are some go to recipes that I never would have discovered if I hadn’t been trying to eat Vegan. I used these recipes almost every week, and they were so delicious that I’ll definitely keep making them!
This recipe is so easy, and makes great leftovers! Even my non-veggie loving husband LOVED this. I just substituted the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Mmmmmmmm! It has such a great rich flavor, and adding sriracha sauce made it nice and spicy! :)
2. Vegan Burritos. In the past I always pile TONS of cheese on my mexican food… but what really surprised me is how much I like my burritios with absolutely no dairy or meat! At first I thought, there would be nothing left but condiments… but now I think burritos just taste so crisp and fresh this way, I think I prefer it!
You could make this with most anything you like, but we used: whole wheat tortillas or pita, black beans, brown rice, avacado/guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, and cilantro.
I actually only made this soup once, but it was really good! I was surprised to see how well the cashews worked as an ingredient!
I used to hate salad, but now I love it! Seriously. I had so much fun experimenting with different salads. I found out that a good dressing makes all the difference to me, and I really only like home made dressings. A favorite go-to dressing was this one:
I used honey instead of sugar.
5. Tofu stir fry: I used organic tofu (and we only did this once in a while, b/c of the risks of eating soy. I would fry the tofu in olive oil and then just mix it with a bag of frozen veggies. Much better than it sounds. ;)
Of course, some recipes were a definite flop. I found that recipes that are usually based on a meat were a big disappointment… vegan mushroom stroganoff for example… not so great without the beef! The recipe used cornstarch (ew!) to give it thickness, and it was barely edible.
As to my original posed questions…..
Here are some of my pre-Vegan thoughts that I hope to explore:
1. Will learning to say “no,” to my food impulses give me strength in other areas of my life?
I think so! Its hard to evaluate your own self-control, but it definitely gave me more confidence in my own “power.” I usually don’t tell myself “no,” when it comes to food. Doing so over and over again, made me feel like I have more control over my choices in life. Definitely a confidence booster. It reminded me of a CS Lewis quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ”
2. Will not having the option of emotional junk food eating help me to grow as a person? Will I turn to prayer or meditation, or will I replace my cravings with some other temporary pacifier?
I have to be honest here, and tell you that it did not. I totally caved to my weaknesses, and just found vegan junk food to indulge in. Surprisingly enough oreos are vegan… its a terrible terrible thing!!!! I really admire people who have actually been able to give up all the bad stuff entirely… I’ll take any advice you have to offer. ;)
3. Will I feel any different physically from eating Vegan? Will I have more energy?
Its really hard to say. I’d like to think so… but could be a placebo effect sort of thing. I did always feel extra great when I juiced though. I got super into making green juice (with things like cucumber, celery, kale, and apple)… and every time I drink it I feel a little bit like super woman. Not to mention I can’t get over how pretty it looks in a glass! (Green IS my favorite color.)
4. What will I do when eating over at someone’s house (I’m shy and don’t see myself liking to explain all this to people)?
I guess I don’t have much of a social life, b/c this really wasn’t a big problem lol. It was slightly awkward at my Baptist in-laws, who wanted an explanation of why you would do lent, and didn’t quite understand… but we only had the conversation once.
5. Will I find good Vegan options at restaurants?
YES! Oh my gosh, the asian vegan food was amazing! I tried things I never would have tried before, and let me tell you, it was some of the best food I’ve ever had! Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants have great Vegan options… I only wish I knew how to cook it myself!
6.Will this change the way I eat or view food permanently?
For sure. I realized that I can go without meat pretty easily. I used to see myself as a big meat eater (I even craved rare steaks), but now the idea of eating meat kind of grosses me out… makes me thing of gnawing on muscles. (Sorry I know thats gross!)
7.Is there any (affordable) AND tasty way to drink coffee with cream as a vegan (this is crucial to my happiness ;) ).
No. This is the one thing that was really really hard for me. Coffee is NOT the same without milk!!! I just hate stealing the milk from those baby cows… but its so good….. still not sure what to do about this.
8. How am I ever going to give up Diet Coke????!!!!! Blurg!
Things are looking bleak in this area. Wah Wah Wah.
9.. And of course every girl’s constant question…. will I lose weight? lol.
No… I think it was those darn oreos.
In conclusion.. as Miley Cyrus would say… going vegan was “pretty cool.” You should try it too!
NeverContrary’s sister <3