Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's my birthday

What does it mean to be a vegan?

It is the three week mark since I embarked on this project. I decided that before I consume any animal products today or thereafter I would put a closing remark down.

I feel as though I have learned a thing or two during this three weeks of restrictive eating. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Thai curries usually come pre-mixed with fish sauce
2. Many people do not know what the word "vegan" means
3. It is easier to stop eating meat than it is to stop eating everything made with the by-products of animals
4. On a plant-based diet I use the restroom more (tmi it's numero dos I'm referring to here)
5. Avocados and hummus go good with everything!
6. When one eats only veggies/fruits/and some other things like potatoes and wraps one can consume entire quantities of veggies from Costco
7. When in doubt I just didn't buy the product
8. Going out to eat is not as fun when you are limited to two to three choices and then still have to ask for two to three ingredients to not be put in your dish
9. Hispanic food is quite accommodating for vegans
10. vegan meat substitutes (and cheese substitutes) are utterly disgusting
11. tofu is meh
12. It really doesn't take any more time and effort as long as you can cook and prepare food yourself
13. Just as there are levels of sexuality/political party affiliation/religiosity so too are there levels of diets.

I would like to take more of a moment to explain that last bullet point. Watching the documentary on the three random persons in NY going vegan for six weeks and the way the documentary explained their dietary choices afterwards I learned that there is no black and white diet. You can be a "mostly vegetarian" or a "somewhat vegan." Just as diet is a choice in general, so too are all the food choices you make throughout the day and week. Every small choice contributes to your overall eating habits and the label you would be given as per your dietary choices. I believe that one does not have to be a vegan in the restrictive sense of no consumption of animal products ever (or even wearing of animal products). This attitude towards eating reminds me of New Year's Resolutions and the psychology behind being able to keep your resolution. If your resolution is so restrictive and strict you are less likely to keep it because once you bend the rules slightly you have no resolution to continue because you've broken your resolution. For example. Your resolution is to not eat chocolate. If you decided impulsively to eat some M&M's at the movie theater that your friend offers you just once then you are probably less likely to continue not eating chocolate because you've already gone down that path. Restrictive diets strike me as similar. Therefore my approach to food is much more lax. I will eat less meat. Eat more veggies. Eat more wholesome (organic) of both. Continue taking natural supplements to augment my diet.

Was my project a success? Looking back at my goals for the three weeks.
A. Health
B. Experience
C. Knowledge

Eating all those good-for-you foods definitely improved my health and well-being, especially paired with my supplements.

I gained experience in the best way possible, first-hand.

I am much more well versed in vegan foods, making healthy choices, and what it takes to cut out animal-products in multiple cities.

Happy 23rd Birthday to me

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dinner Party

Lunch of leftovers and hummus with carrots
I'm very disappointed in my sun dried tomato hummus, definitely not as good as the basil and pesto hummus.
Pre-dinner snackies: guacamole, hummus, salsa and chips

My beautiful dishes!
mashed potatoes, garlic green beans with spinach, almond butter broccoli, brown rice, and the rest of the guacamole 

Wednesday Thai fail

Thai food!

Rice noodles over a bed of spinach topped with a viscous peanut sauce and a few bits and pieces of fried tofu
 I asked about the Panang Curry again and once more I was not able to get it because they pre-mix in fish sauce. Boo.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday and Tuesday for a vegan?

Mashed Potatoes with fresh garlic and soy milk, sauteed green beans, broccoli and spinach with fresh garlic, balsamic, and pepper

Sauteed broccoli with peanut butter, soy milk, and balsamic

I am almost out of my hummus that I bought Saturday (family sized) from Costco. I eat it with and in everything!

Most delicious burrito con vegetables ever! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The end of the weekend

Breakfast: Snack ingredients courtesy of Costco


Stir fry: Sauce based on balsamic, water, almond butter, and fresh garlic
Then you add in your carrots, broccoli, and green beans

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A weekend of vegan

Pre-dinner munchies Friday with some white zinfandel

Dinner Friday was stir fry made by my friend: stir fry veggies, noodles, and some mushrooms with a hint of teriyaki sauce
Lunch from a Greek place: Veggie Gyro without feta, tzatziki, or onions on wheat

Some of my shopping finds from Costco (carrots, garlic, mixed greens, spinach, broccoli, green beans, and brussel sprouts)

Dinner Saturday! Salad of broccoli, tomatoes, and mixed greens, Thai fried rice leftovers, hummus 'n carrots, and pomegranate juice)

Close up of that salad (hummus based dressing with balsamic and ground pepper)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Updates of the past couple of days

How to travel when vegan: Read the label!

I spent Wednesday traveling across the country (FL to WA) and packed myself some nice vegan snacks: a pear, half a pack of cherry tomatoes, rice cakes, and cashews. Nice snacks for snacking but when I travel I get HUNGRY! I ate my leftover Panang Curry Thai food from Tuesday for breakfast so that I would have something filling in my tummy before embarking on my 8+ hour journey. It was difficult to eat a large portion of food that early in the morning (10AM) but I knew that I would not have the time to eat before my flight at noon so I stuffed it in and boy was it delicioso!
FYI Panang Curry usually has fish sauce! Oh my! But they said* that they wouldn't put it in, and that is a hunk of tofu btw
My first flight was none too exciting and I landed in Atlanta with an hour layover. By this time I was roaring hungry and I didn't care for any of my snacks, I wanted to glomp on something fresh and new. I walked past several restaurants and fast food places. Nothing there for me. I walked past a few snack kiosks with sandwiches and the like. I perused their selection. All of them either had meat or cheese (or both) and the only vegetarian selection was on bread (I'm assuming it has eggs or milk) so I stayed away. Two little stands later and I hit the jackpot!

The smoothie was strawberries and peaches, yum!

The only downside was that it was $9

That wrap was the most magnificent thing I have ever eaten in an airport and from such an unlikely pick. I was doubtful but now I am a believer. Good things can come from airports!

The next day: AKA Thursday I stopped into the local mini mart for some groceries and picked out some hummus, carrots, lettuce, and juice. I had bought some wheat thins yesterday that I combined to make this:

Dipped carrots and wheat thins in hummus, and a salad with balsamic and hummus dressing
Dinner was Thai food! Thai fried rice with tofu. Yup those are onions and they were quite tasty (I know!)
 The Thai place did not have vegan Panang curry (the fish sauce was pre-mixed into the sauce unfortunately) but this was a worthy substitute and I quite enjoyed it.