Thursday, February 28, 2013

Not Only Vegan, Organic!!!

Being Vegan itself isn't really enough to become healthy because I have learned that there are a ton of very unhealthy foods that are technically Vegan.  Like Oreo cookies for example!  They contain no animal products and therefore "technically" Vegan.  This is why I will be focuaing also on an Organic Vegan diet.  So, whats the difference?  Basically by adding the Organic aspect I am eliminating all of the chemicals I eat!!!  Do you know how many freaking chemicals are found in our everyday foods?!?!?!  It's madness.  If after the first couple of ingredients you find a list of twenty others that you can't pronounce the names of then you probably shouldn't be eating it...

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a big offender!!!  I know, I know there is that commercial (paid for by the corn industry) that stated that high fructose corn syrup was all natural because it came from corn but even if that statement were completely accurate and it is simply just natural corn sugar then why the heck do we need to add SUGAR to almost every processed product on the market?  Because sugar is addictive and addicts buy more sugar (trust me because I was completely addicted to Noah's Bagels along with many other processed foods).  Have you ever noticed that when you manage to stop consuming a food you find yourself craving constantly that after a while you no longer crave it?

With the food industries logic in mind you could also surmise that it is OK to consume Cocaine or lets say Heroin because they are also all natural?  Nope, sorry that just doesn't work.  Picking a single chemical complex out of a natural item, synthesizing it and then trying to claim it is still all natural is crazy.

I have to admit though that this will be hard!  No more Noah's Bagels...  Man oh man do I miss cream cheese...   Cheers!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Week One!!!

Well, I'd say week one went pretty well!!!  Most importantly I didn't give up and I didn't feel guilty if my new eating habits weren't perfect.  I'd say I was about 85% Vegan this week.  Not too shabby!  I would say the only hiccoughs was really the whole breakfast thing.  While I felt fabulous after eating oatmeal or malto meal or just some fruit and juice on my days off I did find it a little difficult too ignore my craving for the usual eggs!  I joked with my hubby that we might have to get a very happy chicken to live in our back yard.  But, I am sure in a few more weeks eggs won't even sound good anymore.

I have done A LOT of label reading this week and am becoming more comfortable with skimming through them to make sure that they are animal free.  I learned that Veggie Pizza without cheese is just as good!  Only less gooey...  Haha.  I also am discovering that not all vegan products are created equally and I definitely prefer some brands over others.  Not all veggie patties are made equally either.  I still think I shall just have to learn to live mainly without cheese because the substitutes just don't cut it.  But that's OK.

One really great thing I have noticed is my energy level!!!  I haven't added in daily walks yet but just the diet change has made a huge improvement.  I don't feel like immediately taking a nap after lunch at work anymore like everyone else.  Its fantastic!!!  Well, here is to an even better week two!

Friday, February 22, 2013

To Vegan Cheese

Or Not To Vegan Cheese...

Well. Today I went in my first trip to Lassens. Granted I've been there a few times over the years but this was my first trip in quite some time. For those of you who have no idea what Lassens is, it is a whole foods grocery market with a nice large selection of organic, vegan and vegetarian products. Sadly I must say that my slightly negative opinion of Lassens still holds... It seems to me that the atmosphere there is always a bit unfriendly? A bit stiff and unwelcoming. It's very disheartening because they really do have a wide range of food to offer... Perhaps it is because I always enjoy the very friendly atmosphere of Trader Joes and mistakenly compare them.

Back to my point! One of the things I purchased today was a Vegan version of American cheese. I was craving grilled cheese and excited to experiment. While the vegan butter and sourdough bread both performed and tasted well enough the "made to melt" cheese did not actually melt in the frying pan. Though 35 seconds in the microwave solved the problem I found the flavor to be very earthy? And un cheese like. So my lunch became sourdough toast with avocado and was quite yummy!!!

So far the verdict is still out on vegan cheese. I may just prefer to live without. We shall see!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

So, Why Vegan?

Well, there are a TON of reasons!!!  But really the overall reason is health, the health of me, my family and the planet.  The very basic benefit of a plant based diet is the obvious which is that animals are not suffering and giving their lives for something that we don't need to consume to live.  Sure I suppose possibly long ago this may have not been the case but I wont get into that.  We definitely have many, many (and by many I mean a zillion) other choices for foods these days that (yes) even give us enough protein!!!  There is literally a vegan version of every dairy product on the market and I can't wait to try them all and give my opinions on what hits the spot and what misses the boat!

But back to my health...  I am UNHEALTHY!!!  As are a very large amount of (especially) Americans.  This isn't just an external assumption about weight but even more importantly an internal one. Lets face it, most of us eat like we are actively trying to shorten our life spans.  This day in age it is really difficult to stay away from the chemicals that surround our lives, just stepping outside and breathing can introduce harmful things into your body, but an easy thing to do is control what you literally put into your body via your mouth!  A plant based diet obviously gets you eating more healthy fruits and vegetables (which is never a bad thing) but it also reduces the amount of heart damaging fats that most of us consume WAY too much of (double bacon cheeseburger anyone?)

So, I want to be healthy!!!  I always say that I want to live well into my eighties or nineties as long as I can still take care of myself, well that is absolutely NOT going to happen if I continue to live my life the way that I have been and the way that most of us do.  It's just not possible.  So here is to HEALTH, and being a rocking awesome senior!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hello Veganeers!

Veganiles?  Veganites?  Vegan Vulcans?

Just a little newbie Vegan humor, I am sooo funny.  So, why Vegan you may ask?  (Especially if you know me in real life and with the exception of like one person think I am being a freak).  Well really the answer is very, very simple.  Health.  For the health of the planet and all its living things including yours truly.  It really is that simple.

What this Blog will NOT be is a preachy, judgmental diatribe about how everyone on the planet who chooses to eat meat and consume dairy products are evil, hateful people.  Because I know that this isn't necessarily true.  I myself as of yesterday was living the same kind of lifestyle, not because I was a disgusting human being with a blackened heart but more simply because  there was a total disconnect in my brain that allowed me to naively and comfortably go along enjoying the "food" I had been raised on and accustomed too.  I never really thought about the fact that my food had once had a conscience, breath and possibly a soul.  That what I was consuming had a short and horrifically miserable life before it made it to the supermarket and that it's untimely and brutal death was actually a splendid release.

I also will not be going into any gory details about the horrors of farm life or slaughter houses.  If anyone wants those kinds of details there are many books and documentaries to look up.  I want this Blog to be a positive space where I can share my journey as I become Vegan and begin to live a much more aware and conscience life.  This blog will be a record of the daily changes I make and struggles while completely rethinking the way I consume and helping my family to make some changes as well.

I know that most people in my life will not make this change with me, they will continue to live in the bubble that allows them to be disconnected from the reality of the impact their eating habits have on our planet and all living things as well as their own health.  But that is their right!

As for me let's just say that I chose the red pill and there is no going back!