Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ok, so it's been 4 days now that I've been eating like a vegan

So let me start out by saying I went out to The Vegan Society online and took a 7 day pledge to eat vegan. Today is day 4 since I made that pledge. Surprisingly, it has been much easier than I thought it would be. It's not as difficult as some might think...even if the dishes do take some creativity to make. Case in point, tonight we had a vegan mac~n~cheese for dinner with a vegan chocolate cake. The mac~n~cheese passed the kid-test as did the cake. It was actually very good...without an ounce of cheese. You can find the recipe here at this link:

Vegan Mac~n~Cheese

It really is VERY good...truly.

Even the chocolate cake that I baked tonight was good. It was moist and had a fudgy/brownie texture. It was SO yummy! Here's the link for that recipe:

Vegan Chocolate Cake

It just goes to show that veganism is not limited at all...we shall see how all of this pans out when I have completed my pledge period. Oh, and something interested happened to me just yesterday. So the kids and I grabbed lunch at a little restaurant yesterday afternoon. I ordered a vegetable soup. So the waiter brings out our food and I saw the soup - it looked pretty good. So I reached into the soup to take a bite and brought up shredded chicken. That was surprising. What was even MORE surprising was that I was REPULSED by it. I can't explain it and I don't even pretend to understand it. I could NOT bring myself to eat just was not appetizing in the least. I mean it was actually GROSS...I don't get that at all! Especially since I'm not an animal rights activist. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I DON'T CARE - I DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF ANIMALS BEING MISTREATED SO LET ME MAKE THAT PERFECTLY CLEAR. I just mean that I'm not going to be forceful or persistent to others regarding my personal choices. So all of that aside, I found the chicken just gross and unappetizing...honestly it was just odd. Oh well, c'est la vie! Happy life and good health!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hmm, so time to spice things up perhaps?

Ok, so there are many debates about "diets" and "lifestyles" in regards to health and nutrition. I have some thoughts to share on a few topics within these subjects. Personally, I have always been drawn to French cuisine, a vegan lifestyle, and Mediterranean diets in general. So here are my thoughts...

French diets aren't really diets, but a lifestyle, according to Mireille. I would be inclined to agree with this statement. The same can be said for adopting a vegan diet as well as a Mediterranean diet. The question remains, what do you do with what?

To start with, French food is very rich indeed and most of it is truly delicious. There is no denying that the French know food. Personally, after following Mireille's suggestions, I lost a total of about 6 lbs since I started this blog back in February, so clearly, it can work. I never felt deprived and I never felt as though I was missing anything.

In regards to adopting a vegan diet as a way of life, there seem to be many issues surrounding this type of lifestyle. It seems that there is a general belief that vegans are animal rights activists and extremists. While it is true that many vegans ARE animal rights activists and choose to be vegan for the sake of the animals, I think being vegan gets lost in translation. There is much more to veganism in that it is simply a healthy way of living. There have been numerous studies that show adopting a vegan lifestyle can add up to 10-12 years to a person's life. With that said, I have considered adopting a vegan lifestyle for the health benefits. Something interesting is that there are so many options in being vegan. There seems to be a belief in place that a deterrent to being vegan is the lack of variety. That simply is NOT true. Thanks to some friends, I have come across several really wonderful recipes that are vegan that most omnivores would never realize ARE vegan! So just food for thought...veganism is not necessarily about animal rights activism, and being vegan does not mean being limited!

As far as a Mediterranean diet, that usually includes a lot of seafood. It is well known now that seafood is crammed full of DHA and whatnot. From there, it really revolves around what you want to eat and how you cook it to eat it. It has long been touted as a healty lifestyle diet to adopt as it is lean and full of grains, fruits, and veggies. So from a nutritional perspective, it would seem that this could be a viable options if animal rights issues were just not up your alley.

Ok, so the bottom line here is that whatever diet you choose to follow or adapt, the real clincher is ensuring that you take in enough fruits and veggies and just eating in a balanced manner. That's what doctors, experts, and nutritionists have been saying for years. It is no surprise that every single study that comes out about nutrition says that people need to eat more fruits and veggies as well as whole grains.

Another note on veganism...more personal and close to home for me. I have been asked if I am going to have my children adopt a vegan lifestyle should I do it permanently. I honestly do not know the answer to that. I believe making this choice is exactly that, a choice. I do not want to force them to adopt a vegan lifestyle because they are still so young (both under 5 years old). The truth is though that complete nutrition can be accomplished without eating animal products from meats and cheese to dairy and eggs. It's not a question of proper nutrition, but more that they be able to make the choice when they can. My children eat in a healthy and balanced manner - in fact, they love their fruits and veggies!

Some people will even advocate that being vegan is Christian and as such will quote scriptures from Genesis or from the Gospel of Jesus (which by the way, is not widely accepted as part of the Holy Bible as it was found much later and was never associated with the Bible). There are equally as many quotes that contradict that and one story in particular comes to mind. One of the most well-known stories about Jesus was the story of loaves and fishes. There were not enough loaves and fishes for everyone to eat and he told his disciples to feed everyone anyway and there were miraculously enough loaves and fishes to feed the entire crowd. With that said, it would seem that fish are okay to consume if Jesus fed an entire crowd of people in that manner, at least that's what the logical assumption would be from that.

After all is said and done, the way that you choose to eat and live your life is entirely your prerogative. If you choose to be vegan due to animal rights beliefs, great! More power to you in taking a stand for what you believe in! If you choose to eat for health reasons, that's great too and should not be discounted as any less valuable. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing a diet and everyone feels as though they are correct. We, as people, cannot expect that others will think the exact same way because everyone is different. It just isn't possible. With that said, I'll be getting off my soapbox now and simply wish you all the best for your health!