Saturday, January 19, 2013

Going Vegan

My 200th post! It has been awhile since I have last written, I have been busy working my way through a Master's program, and it has been intense. But I am enjoying every minute and I am grateful.

Approximately fifteen years ago I attended a vegan dinner at a local Indian Restaurant with my father. The food was delicious and I left the meal feeling energized rather than the usual sluggish. I was volunteering at a local shelter working with animals, and I made the decision that night to stop eating meat. I have been a vegetarian since that dinner. I made the choice for ethical as well as health reasons. I lost weight and felt better about my food choices.

Recently I have taken another step, I am attempting to remove all animal products from my diet, including some of my favorites, cheese and ice cream. I haven't had milk since I was a child (with the exception of coffee at restaurants) but dairy products comprised a significant part of my daily protein intake. The ice cream was fairly easy (shocker) with products such as Tofutti frozen dessert and SoDelicious coconut milk products. The cheese was a wee bit harder. I did finally buy vegan cheese and made myself a batch of mac and cheese, melting the shredded "cheese" with Silk creamer and vegan butter. The dish was surprisingly yummy (my twenty year old man child even ate an entire batch.) And for the past few weeks I have actually made myself meals. For anyone who knows me, this might be considered a miracle greater than the whole turning water into wine act.  I have been a prepackaged food gal ever since I can remember. I don't enjoy cooking (it involves cleaning...) But I now have three meals that I have mastered out of Nava Atlas's Vegan Express cookbook. The recipes are fast with few ingredients and super yummy. I have read that for every person who eats a vegan diet, 900 animals are saved. I am not perfect yet, and I still eat cheese whenever there aren't options for me when I am out and about, but so far I haven't purchased any animal products for a few months now. I feel better about my choices, have lost a little more weight and have in the end learned how to be a little more compassionate with myself. Taking care of my body in these ways, eliminating high cholesterol products, and cooking foods that contain real ingredients, is a step in the right direction. This journey is a spiritual one, my connection with the planet has only been amplified. Next step... my shoe obsession. Wish me luck and a vegan shoe store...  

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