So I was tweeting (I was going to say twittering until I was schooled on the correct useage of the word Lol) with a fellow blogger/tweeter Jameil last week and she asked me about different foods I always have now that I didn't have before going vegan. I think Jameil may love food as much as I do. Lol First let me say I don't technically consider myself vegan since I still eat tuna and salmon....but I'm headed in that direction.
Her question got me to really begin thinking about my food journey and all the ups and downs that come along with changing your diet in such a way. It's funny because when people found out I was vegetarian I would always get the same response..."so you only eat fruit and vegetables." I think that's so hilarious. I think people equate VEG with vegetables and think that every thing else is off limits. This is so far from the truth.
I've always, even when I was little, loved fruits, vegetables and grains so when I eliminated meat from my diet it wasn't a huge adjustment. Around the age of 19 or 20 I gave up beef. There were a few times where I would indulge (anytime I went to Benihana) but for the most part only ate chicken and turkey which I eventually gave up in 2009. Shortly after I stopped eating dairy, which was a little more difficult since I LOVED everything dairy. I would use it in excess and am surprised I don't have high cholesterol or heart problems as a result. I loved it so much that even though it would kill my stomach I would still indulge and pay for it seriously later. Crazy right? My daughter has severe allergies and eczema and we've noticed that she's has significantly less trouble with them after giving up dairy. It's funny how changing your diet in small ways can impact your health in such a way.
I've always enjoyed honey. I would eat in on my toast, and love it in my tea. It wasn't until recently that I learned about Blue Agave honey and began to use that and it's become a staple in our house. I've heard recently that it's not too much better than actual sugar, so I'll have to do a little more research and find an alternative. But in the meantime I'll stick with the Agave as my sweetener. I used to always use Turbinado or raw sugar, but we've kind of steered away from using that also.
I wanted to get away from using all purpose white flour and began using Spelt which is a wheat flour that's supposed to have a lower percentage of carbohydrates and fat. I also read somewhere that all purpose flour has a negative impact on joints and since I'm having arthritis issues I thought it best to remove this from my diet. Needless to say Spelt flour is also a staple in our house.
So here is a list of foods that we keep on hand or cook with frequently:
Dayia Cheese shreds
Morning star meat crumbles/burgers/chicken strips & patties and bacon
Follow your heart Vegan sour cream
Nayonaise (vegan mayo)
Earth Balance dairy free butter
EnerG egg replacer
SOdelicious Vegan ice cream (YUM)
and of course there's always fresh fruit and veggies. :)
There are other things but this is all I can really come up with at the moment without running into the kitchen. We eat a lot of the same meals we did before we just substitute or omit the meat from the recipe all together. I'm learning a lot about how my body responds to certain foods I eat. I've noticed how I feel drained and sluggish when eating certain foods or how I feel hungry shortly after eating others down to what foods give me energy and don't have me feening for like a crack head an hour later.
I was also asked what foods I miss since changing my diet. Even though it hasn't been too difficult, there are days when I think about fried chicken, or when we're at the families for the holidays and I'm tempted to eat a piece of turkey and dressing. My dressing was the BOMB!!! And baked macaroni and cheese or ravioli!!! I have been dying for some ravioli for months and am starting to think I'm going to have to break down and buy a pasta maker and make my own. Oh and let me not forget to mention French toast. There's a place here in CO called the Egg & I and I swear they had the best french toast I've ever tasted. I tried making a vegan french toast and.....lets just say it didn't go over too well. Just GROSS! There's somethings that you just cant alter and make them taste good no matter how hard you try. I used to LOVE cheese eggs...so much so that several months after I gave them up decided to try some. Um...yeah...that didn't go over well either. They almost came right back up. I felt sick for hours after and like I was on the verge of losing my lunch. I haven't craved them sense. UGH!!!
So there you have it. A little bit about my food journey. What we do currently works for us and for our family minus the little one and the 20 yr old. The 20 year old will not succumb to the evils of our diet. Lol. He's a funny character. The little one is picky anyway and getting him to eat food PERIOD is a challenge. If someone can help me overcome that little hurdle I'll be a happy person.
That's it for me for now. Back at you all later and in the mean time.....Peace and Blessings.