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On being Vegan and Yummy Plant Based Foods

Friday, January 08, 2016

Food, like religion is always a touchy subject. And I've found the subject of veganism to be one of the most incendiary.

Give up smoking or alcohol, everyone claps their hands on your back and congratulates you.

Give up animal products...not so much.

In fact, the only reason I'm writing about it here is that I'm loathe to tell my real family, so know that I am trusting that my Spark peeps will be gentle with me. I'm coming out of the closet so to speak.

Note: I really don't want to hear about the perceived lack of protein. Or how good bacon tastes. I know pretty much all there is to know at this point emoticon

I just want a safe space to talk to myself, and to you (if you so desire) about "the lifestyle."

I've tried on and off over the years to vary my diet; toggling between omnivore, vegetarian and vegan, low fat, high protein etc. etc. You know the drill.

But I've never felt Happy or really comfortable or committed to any one decision. And I was highly influenced by other's "success" with one thing or another. Good lord knows I buttered my bacon and just about drank mayonnaise on the Atkins diet through several iterations.

If truth be told, most of my choices had a lot to do with what the people around me wanted. Not wanting to offend my Mom at Sunday dinner. Wanting to please my family's tastes. Wanting to get along.

Finally, let's just face it, anything with bacon or mayo or cheese (or all three) does (or at least did) taste damed good.

But, I've unapologetically transitioned to a much more compassionate, hippy drippy lifestyle in the last year or so. It feels authentically like me. The real me. The happy me. Not the people pleasing me. And during that year, I've seen things about Big Farm and Big Pharm that disturb me. I could not un-see or un-feel those things even as I continued to eat animal products, albeit less and less. But I won't talk about those things.

I will talk more about food. Not the food I'm not eating, but the food I AM eating.

Like the Ezekiel bread with the nut butter and banana I had for breakfast.

Or the spicy bean and rice dishes I concoct with loads of veggies.

And I will wax poetic about the virtues of avocados with cilantro and tomatoes and will sing the praises of hummus jazzed up with beans, carrots and turmeric. And don't get me started about ginger tofu or orzo with olives and fresh herbs.

"The Vegan Lifestyle" has so far been fun. And just a little challenging since I'm on the down low about my change in eating habits. And then again, old habits are by definition hard to break.
But luckily for me the beginning of the year is the time that people decline treats for any number of reasons, so I don't have to give any reasons right now.

So here we go Spark world.

For the purposes of the blog and the whole "Spark Streak thing" I'll say it's Day 1 of Yummy Plant Based Foods.

Let's see where this takes me....
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Just found this post (and you) through ROBEC4175's page. As a 5+ year vegan I feel you so hard! Thanks for this excellent post.

    How has it been going for you since? Would you be interested in joining the "Vegan, Plant-Based Life" team? We've changed it up a lot since it was "Vegan Nutrition" years ago. It's fun, lively, kind and supportive with lots of chatty people and recipes and things.

    No matter what, I wish you well on your journey!
    495 days ago
    emoticon It's great to see your enthusiasm in being true to yourself! That's so good.
    1934 days ago
  • 68ANNE
    It is hard that so many people 'look down' on the vegan diets
    Congrats on doing it!
    1954 days ago
    Best wishes to you! I'd love to hear more about what you are eating. I'm puzzled by the number of people who feel the need to tell others what they must eat.
    1955 days ago
    Good luck with your new lifestyle. I agree in that everyone has to do their own thing. Vegan, Vegetarian, Flexarian... It's all up to each individual. No one has the right to tell you otherwise. emoticon I applaud you.
    1955 days ago
    Keep up the great work!
    1956 days ago
    I'm very glad that you have found an eating plan/style (whatever the right word is!) that makes you happy. I hope it continues to do so!
    1956 days ago
    I think it is wonderful Michelle!
    1956 days ago
    That is so exciting, and I'm glad I am not the only one. I haven't successfully transitioned to Vegan as seamlessly as I hoped.. I have had quite a few run ins with cheese. Cheese is the last thing standing in my way and I feel like I can conquer it in time! I have successfully been meatless over 90 days, and I have experienced what you are afraid to have to hear. I didn't announce my meatless at work, but on Halloween at the potluck when they were trying to force feed me ham I snapped "I am not eating meat." At this point it was still realitively new, it had only been a couple weeks. I didn't want to commit to that "I gave up meat" just yet, but I wasn't eating it at the time. So the one food bully continued to ask me if I had eaten meat yet. Nope was always the answer. She said I would HAVE to eat it eventually. I said no I don't, she said it wasn't healthy, I said other things have protein, like beans, and if I were you I wouldn't smell me. What kills me is everyone being so concerned with my health, but when I was eating double cheeseburgers and large fries everyday not one person was worried about my health... and not one person took it upon themselves to say "maybe that's not healthy". So while I can't fully hold the Vegan title, I hope to kick the cheese habit someday soon. I don't care about the Vegan label, and for reasons you mentioned I don't really want it. I am happy to claim the title of vegetarian, because I feel like less people are critical. While I don't care what people think, I don't want unncessary lectures from mean spirited people.

    I am so glad to hear you are doing what you enjoy and what works for you. I too started because i saw a hunting picture my friend posted of a turkey (I had just finished a turkey sandwich) and upon learning about the treatment of the animals wanted to give up all animal products. Hopefully I can get there in time. I also agree there is so much yummy food!!! Keep on rocking, you are emoticon
    1956 days ago
    Good for you!
    I have learned that you have to do what's right for you and not what everyone thinks is right for you.

    1956 days ago
    Ezekiel bread is soooo good.
    No wonder they lived 100s of years old in Biblical times.
    I am sort of flexitarian and the more I eat real simple food the better I feel.
    1956 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon I agree with you that as individuals we need to follow our own path to fulfillment in life. Always follow your bliss. emoticon Thank you for sharing.
    1956 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    "I could not un-see or un-feel those things even as I continued to eat animal products, albeit less and less." You are singing my song!

    emoticon I had my first piece of Ezekiel bread one day ago (with fresh ground peanut butter.) Amazing! This is what FOOD tastes like.

    Look forward to hearing your experiences, including recipes. (I hope.)


    1956 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    1956 days ago
    emoticon blog! I love that you are doing something for YOU! emoticon
    Your recipes sound yummy to me and I love the Ezekiel products. I just got the cereal. I topped my oatmeal with a tablespoon of that this morning. The less meat I eat the better I feel mentally and physically. Best wishes to you on your journey. emoticon
    1956 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3406028
    Good luck! It would be incredibly challenging for me to be vegetarian/vegan, but I make sure that the meat and fish I eat are wild, living out in the open, eating grass like they should. I get my eggs from someone who grows chickens in her backyard. I'm allergic to dairy and soy, and beans in large quantities tend to bother me, so I'm not going to cut out meat and eggs. But I applaud you for doing so! Do what you want to do, not because it's the expectations of others!
    1956 days ago
    Good luck with your new lifestyle.
    1956 days ago
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