It’s been 4 weeks since my post, (The Reluctant Vegan) about my primarily, plant-based diet. And yes, I’m still following it.
I’m not Vegan vegan. If you know what I mean. I don’t wear hemp, I will eat honey and I cheat with seafood from time to time. I am following the Engine 2 diet.
But I’ve stayed true to no milk, butter, cream, eggs, cheese, fowl or beef. My palette almost feels cleansed. Like what a smoker must feel like when they’ve given up smoking and their senses return. Foods taste richer now. And I enjoy the vegetables and grains I eat. I eat organic as much as possible and fresh, not canned and frozen only occasionally. Which is fine, since most freezing of vegetables is done right after harvesting and you are getting quite a fresh product. I read labels all the time. I look for non GMO. But don’t send the junk food police because there is a box of Pop Tarts in my pantry along with a bag of Ruffles. Yeah, whatever- sue me.
Also- a big part of this diet- nothing processed or fried. You don’t just go out for sushi and have tempura vegetables instead. Too much fat. Not that I wouldn’t, just saying, that’s not part of the plan.
Kale chips are a huge part of my daily snacking. I make a fresh batch a few times a week. A drizzle of lemon juice, sea salt, olive oil baked until they are just crisp but still bright green- are so good. They do get stuck in your teeth so do a quick mirror check before answering the door or going out to the school bus stop. You’ll look like this if you don’t:
Another fun snack is popcorn. I make it on the stove. I don’t have an air popper, but if I did, that would be awesome.
Whole Foods has these bean chips and rice and lentil chips. They are so good. I still try not to go overboard though. Just because they are ‘healthy’, doesn’t mean you eat the whole bag!
Emma and I did go out for southwest mexican the other day, and they had fresh deep fried corn tortillas. You bet your sweet Paula Deen ass, I ate those! The salsa was freshly made too- so good and smokey. Oh and I had fish tacos- the fish was fried. No cheese or anything though. But it was a cheat day. And I felt B L O A T E D that night. Just sharing.
I went to a neighborhood ale house, The Whistle Stop and enjoyed the portobello burger they had. It was juicy and flavorful. I went to dinner with friends to a local restaurant called Tilth. It was heaven. Everything was so fresh and delicious. They had a vegan and vegetarian menu to choose from aside from their main menu. The smoked bean cassoulet with mushrooms was outstanding!! The hazlenut chocolate sorbet was so good, I licked the bowl. It’s nice that there’s restaurants out there like this where I live. I like supporting small and local. We don’t always need to be eating good in the neighborhood with the chains, you know.
Beef and meat in general is getting a lot of bad press. And you don’t need a PhD in nutrition to agree with the information out there. Ammonia was accepted by our FDA as an additive in Ground beef. Lovely. Chicken nuggets at McDonald’s were made with pink ooze. They say they’ve stopped now. I just won’t eat there anymore. Even my kids don’t want to. But those that do, I’m not judging. We just prefer Five Guys, Chipotle or other local ‘fast food’ options that aren’t the big chains with mystery meat.
An article in Huffington Post was called, Meat is the New Tobacco. I won’t go as far as to say I categorically agree with that statement, BUT and I mean a BIG Pork ‘BUT’, I do feel we have been duped by the meat and dairy industries and our FDA. There is big money in beef and cheese. Lentils are cheap. Let’s hope they stay that way.
Considering the top killers in our society today are diet related, – obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, don’t you think we have an epidemic when it comes to food? We are literally poisoning ourselves. Processed, GMO, chemically treated, hydrogenated-this, bleached-that, sodium, refined sugar… ugh.
For those of you who are worried about my nutrition, I haven’t felt better. And I take my vitamins. It takes research, time and effort to stick to a diet like this and get the most from it. I don’t just have a salad and bread for dinner. My lunch can be braised brussel sprouts, black beans on pita bread with avocado. My snacks are fruit, nuts and LARA bars; kale chips, popcorn, squares of dark chocolate as a treat. Dinner might be couscous with a saute of mushrooms, onions and spinach or lentils. There’s so much out there. Mix it up, keep it colorful and cook fresh. A simple equation.
Isn’t it weird that milk has more sodium than calories? Have you ever read the label? Almond milk has less calories, more calcium and very little sodium than cow’s milk.
Bottom line- I’m eating to live better. I want to prevent cancer and disease. I want my kids to develop healthy eating habits. To cook their own food, to know where their food comes from. To eat kind.
Here’s an interesting article relating meat consumption to cancer: Cancer project.org
I’m not here to say I will never eat meat or dairy again. I’ve had baked goods here and there, bites of meat now and then. I’m doing what makes me happy. (Psst, even my husband says he would like to try eating less meat and more plants.) Shh, you didn’t hear that from me.
So don’t mail me some pig head or drop off some cow’s hoof on my front porch to protest my new habits. If I said, I’m going to eat Pop Tarts and only foods that come in a box or package for two weeks, people wouldn’t bat an eye. But tell them you aren’t eating meat or dairy, their jaws drop. The only thing I like dropping is my blood pressure, cancer risk, and cholesterol.
Okay, it’s time for my Circle Of Moms contest plug. And not like Hair Plugs for Men, all you have to do is click here and vote for me- I think the prize is a new Mercedes, or a fridge magnet, I don’t remember.