My Vegan (And Vegetarian) Journey - SoGirl Blog at - 220194


My vegan (and vegetarian) journey 
Jan. 30, 2011 11:30 am 
Updated: Feb. 1, 2011 11:23 am
Well, it's now a month into my plan to eat vegan and/or vegetarian.  I also continue to do interval training on the treadmill. 

There've been some hits and misses along the way.  Fortunately, more of the former than the latter.  I still can't develop a taste for soy milk or tofu, but I love edamame and tempeh.  Go figure!  I tried seitan for the first time in a stir fry ealier this week.  Not crazy about that, but I plan to make a homemade batch, and I think that will probably make a difference. 

But truly, there's so much variety in vegetables, fruits, grains, beans,etc. that I really don't need to worry about a meat substitute most of the time.  I haven't missed it much at all, although in the interest of fairness, I have eaten some.  My birthday was earlier this month, and the buffet at our favorite local Indian restaurant was the place to celebrate.  I ate one bite of chicken from the Tikka Masala, and it was one bite too much.  My favorite dish from the buffet....the curried turnips.  They were fabulous!!  Between that and the vegetable korma, I was truly satisfied.   And a b-day meal for my husbands's son at our favorite Japanese restaurant included spicy tuna rolls.  I have eaten a small amount of seafood and fish this month, and while I haven't enjoyed the meat, I do still enjoy the seafood for an occasional meal. 

I'm having a much harder time with the dairy than with the meat.  I love cheese and yogurt, and the vegan alternatives just aren't cutting it for me.  So rather than just throw in the towel on all, I've come to the conclusion that it's better for me to strive for a mostly vegan diet with some vegetarian days thrown in.  I don't eat these every day, but when I make a dish that normally calls for cheese or yogurt, I am not satisfield with the results of replacing those. 

So, the plans change some, but I still believe the habits are healthy even with some dairy and fish/seafood thrown in occasionally.  I think as I continue to eat vegan/vegetarian, the cravings for meat will eventually cease altogether.  I hope they do, anyway.  My hits are growing between the vegan and vegetarian options.  Vegetarian chickpea sandwich filling is a winner.  So are black bean burgers and nut burgers (been making the black bean burgers for about 2 years now).  I love, love, love the greens and mole tamale pie.  So much that it's become a regular meal.  I tried roasted beets for the first time recently (was NOT a beet fan) and quite enjoyed them.  Great roasted with onions and served with the sauteed beet greens and red quinoa!  My fridge is full of veggies and fruits, and my sandwich fillings now consist of all manner of sliced and chopped veggies rather than meat.  Sometimes, I thrown on some fresh mozzarella if I'm in a dairy mood.  And a couple of months ago, I discovered smoked olive oil.  OMG...this stuff is food of the gods!!  Between Veganomicon and Vegetarian Times's Everything Vegan, there are so many recipes to choose from.  Throw in the dishes from Vegetarian Times, and my only problem is choosing what to try next. 

Next on my list to is tempeh bacon.  That's another hurdle to get over...I do crave the bacon sometimes. 

All in all, I'm pleased with my efforts and the results so far.  I've lost 2 inches from my waist, and I can tell in my face that I've lost a couple of pounds.  I wore a pair of jeans yesterday that were comfortable instead of uncomfortably tight as they were last time I tried them. 

I'll continue to strive for a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and will continue the exercise plan.  My husband is joining me in the vegetarian plan, and our future will be filled with healthy foods, healthy bodies, and a healthy outlook on life! 

Jan. 30, 2011 2:04 pm
I agree with you on the tofu - I have never had such bland, disgusting food in my life! I am an on again/off again vegetarian, but cannot seem to sacrifice the occasional cheesy pizza or casserole. My congrts on your successes!
Jan. 30, 2011 3:35 pm
I know this may sound a bit nuts, but to train your palette to soy milk, I suggest the following. Try drinking Silk chocolate soy milk first. When you are used to that taste, change to Silk Vanilla soy milk. Eventually, you can wean yourself off the soy milk with the sugar added and drink the soy plain milk. By this time, you will be used to the other soy products.
Jan. 31, 2011 1:49 pm
what a journey you are on! I became a vegetarian about 12 years ago, (I still eat dairy, because for me there is no life without cheese!). I haven't really missed meat, except for BACON!!!! mmmm bacon!!! haven't touched it in 12 years, but oh have I been tempted!!! dh loves it, and cooks it every weekend, and I'm not going to lie to you, my mouth waters when I smell it!! ahh, the challenges in life!! ;) for what it's worth, I use the fake bacon bits now, they have a funny crunchy texture, but the flavor will satisfy the craving! Good luck to you!
Feb. 1, 2011 11:23 am
Cathy C: I agree on the cheesy pizza! I don't think I can give up my pizza. Janet: thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I've tried every possible soy milk flavor from a couple of manufacturers, and I still just don't like the taste. Fortunately, there are other non-dairy beverages that I do like...coconut, almond, etc. Gourmeshand: wow, that's some resolve you have! I don't think I could resist bacon if it's sitting in front of me. The best thing for me to do is to not cook it...or to have it very, very occasionally. I havent' completely eliminated all meat, but I am forgoing most of it. Probably eventually, all will be eliminated. I'll remember the fake bacon bits if I really get a craving, though. : )
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About Me
I'm a born and bred Southerner now living in the Midwest (temporarily!). I learned to cook by watching and helping my grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom were wonderful Southern cooks who cooked by "feel" rather than by measuring. And that's how I cook now, too. Recipes are more of a suggestion than instruction for me. I love to garden and use my fresh veggies in my creations, especially salsa and hot sauce, which are my specialties.
My favorite things to cook
Baked goods (especially yeast breads), soups, pizza, roasted and grilled veggies...
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas candy making with my mom. She lives across the country now, so we haven't been able to do that since I moved..better on the waistlines!
My cooking triumphs
Planning an outdoor party for 20 people where the main course and the main side dish were to be grilled. It was POURING when the time came. I moved everything inside and prepared the food on stovetop and oven, and it turned out beautifully anyway.
My cooking tragedies
Making biscuits at my mom's house one time and accidentally using plain flour instead of self-rising. Needless to say, I had to make another batch of biscuits when I realized what I had done! Otherwise, I've been pretty lucky!
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