The “V” Word

I always do this. I ALWAYS stop a blog project that I start. I am the kind of human that lives inside her own head. A daydreamer. I dream of making jewelry, ceramics, doing photography, riding the heck out of my motorcycle, hiking the world, reading every book I can get my hands on. So I’m bound to fail at finishing any project for fear of failure or distraction!

Instead I end up spending my time looking at Instagram…

Well I am here to shed that layer. I am here to stop worrying about what “look” my blog has, what “niche” it feels, and who my audience is.

And specifically I’m here to tell you about my dirty little secret…

Ready?

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I. am. VEGAN!

I know, I know… Those vegans think the whole world wants to know that they are vegan, but really no one cares.

Well then kindly click off! If your knew to your journey, or just curious, go ahead and hang out for a minute.

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Now, if I think back hard enough to 3 months ago… I can recall that I was still a member of a vegan group and I noticed an admin post a new group for NEWBIES. A safe place where the vegan police won’t slit your throat for accidentally eating an Oreo or some crackers laced with milk powder.

I joined, and it stayed in the back of my mind, and then… I just did it. I just stopped eating animal products and started making things with chickpeas. At first chickpeas dominated my protein needs. And I haven’t really looked back. Well, the other day I was remembering how delicious American and Mexican shrimp cocktails are, and then there were some other realizations: 1. do you really want to eat the cockroaches of the sea? 2. you know you’e just craving the horseradish and tomato. So I quickly, read desperately, looked for a way to make a vegan version that wasn’t gazpacho, and friends… Vegans are creative AF.

I definitely had some bumps in the road: 1. stay away from veggie straws and other snacks and treats, 2. keep working out, 3. TAKE YOUR B12!

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Plant Based/Vegan eating is a roller coaster. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED! If I can live in the city that has the two largest beef packing plants in the world in the middle of no where rural America and still manage to eat vegan 90% of the time, so can you. If just takes practice! And even I am still practicing!

I currently own two Thug Kitchen cookbooks as well as the Forks Over Knives cookbooks, and I try to make something out of the FOK book every other time I make dinner because I know how nutritious their recipes are. I also use pinterest for soooome ideas, but I am really inspired by the vegans on ig as well!

So if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I hope to be sharing some of the things that I have made, and I would love to share what I eat during the busy time! (Hello Toast and Muesli!)

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So, here I am today. Ready to share my life with an open heart, and jsut starting off with this tid bit. I used Unsplashed photos because I’m a terrible newbie at running the rebel and I have still don’t know how to work “the cloud” for my phone pics. We’ll get there, friends! also… I’m a little bit weird… (I like tarot cards and other witchy stuff, Harry Potter, motorcycles, thinking about making art, and decorating my home. Oh, and I’m a teacher. So whatever you see on here is really just my life and interests.

Thanks for hanging out!

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Another Vegan Update

Today is day 21 I believe. This is a special day because it is suppose to mark the amount of time that something takes to become a habit. I want to talk a little bit more about my experience and feelings rather than exactly what I’ve been eating, meal-for-meal. Though, I will share some nice pictures with you.

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I have not been perfect. While trying to eat vegan I have eaten eggs and bacon, an ice cream bar, and a bratwurst. And I’ll tell you it was a let down further and further each time until day 19 when I said to Michael, “I don’t want to do the no-meat thing anymore, forget it.” And the next day I continued to try to eat like a vegan. I guess what this means is that you’re going to make mistakes. Not everyone can quit cold turkey.

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I personally think that a wise vegan will slowly take things on and do lots of research. There are so many areas of this lifestyle. For one I am having to cook a lot more, and I am really not very good at it in the first place. This is taking a learning curve. I get flustered easily in the kitchen because things are hot and need chopped. I am learning to sloooowwww down. Another facet about this lifestyle is not only learning how to cook differently, but eat differently as well. Nutrition is so important and it is SO different from what I am used to. I understand that protein builds muscles and you need a certain amount, but then I start freaking out about how many carbs I’m eating or whether I’m getting enough veggies and vitamins, or, or…

You have to stop. You have to take things slowly. Some meals are going to turn out nasty. Some meals are going to have too much rice/wheat. It’s ok, that’s where you learn.

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I personally have been really bad about getting any fitness in this last week. I have not gained or lost any weight, but I started to feel awful again. I don’t feel the vegan glow because I am out of balance. And even that’s ok! It’s all about learning and being gentle with yourself knowing what works for you and what you need to change. Every day is so different and unique from the next. What is going on socially or with the weather can affect the choices you make, or emergency deadlines, or great opportunities. Life is crazy and amazing so embrace it.

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I’m trying to learn to make the cooking process gentle. I am normally a bull in a china shop because, like I said, there are a lot of things going on and I want to get it done NOW! It’s definitely a feeling of defeat when you take 2 hours to make a meal and the whole things gets eaten in five minutes with NO leftovers. But it happens!

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I have been using the Thug Kitchen cookbook to help me out with meals. I am so excited to purchase more vegan cookbooks, but I’m definitely going to work through quite a few more of these recipes before I do. I really loved the Vietnamese noodle bowls, but I want to find a different dressing. And that is the perfect example of learning to cook. What do you like about the meal? the cooking process? What works and what doesn’t work for you? Guys, I am 27 and still learning how to cook. I have never been a comfort food staples kind of girl. Though, we did get on a chili, spaghetti, and casserole kick there for a time!

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Another thing you have to take into consideration is you significant other and family. Thankfully Michael will try something that I make, but I am going to have to be willing to eat conventionally from time-too-time unless Michael begins to change his stance on things. Something I can always do for something like spaghetti is to keep the meat and sauce separate until it is served. I can also use non-dairy butter and other substitutes in conventional recipes. It’s really all about balance other wise you will drive yourself crazy! And this whole thing is about compassion and advocacy! No advocate ever succeeded by being crazy obnoxious.

I’m at day 21 guys. I don’t know if I will actually see day 42, but as of today I know where I stand. And I am proud of the progress and impact I have made. If the numbers are right, at one month I will have saved:

Gallons of water:33,000
Sq.ft of Forest:900
Animal Lives: 30
lbs of Grain: 1,200
lbs of Co2: 600
(Give or take a bratwurst…)
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5 Days as a Vegan

Today is my sixth day of eating like a vegan. I would like to say that it has been all whole foods, but it hasn’t, and there have been a few minor errors, like in the first day with eating a slice of homemade bread, that was gift, that may have had some butter and an egg in it, but I’m not looking at that. I’m looking at the major decisions I made in my diet, because I am NOT going to look a the small mishaps, but rather the big steps I have taken.

Day 2:

Breakfast: Chia pudding (chia, almond milk, raspberries), Kashi vegan blueberry waffles, Silk yogurt. Lunch: Slice of oat bread, Buddha bowl. Dinner: Protein shake, Daiya Alfredoimageimageimage

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Day 3:

Breakfast: Breakfast Quinoa with almond milk, lemon, and blueberries. Lunch: Daiya Alfredo. Snack: Larabar, Strawberries. Dinner:…? I don’t remember! I do remember polishing off the coconut ice cream though!

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Day 4:

Breakfast: The same breakfast quinoa. Lunch: Veggie Hummus wrap. Snack: Protein shake, plums. Dinner: Daiya White cheddar.

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Day 5:

Breakfast: Ezekiel bread with vegan butter and jam. First lunch: Leftover mac, Larabar. Second lunch: Breakfast quinoa with blueberries and strawberries. Snack: Banana. Dinner: Vegan mac with veggie/nutritional yeast sauce.

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So far I have started out my morning with chia pudding and fresh berries and two slices of Ezekiel bread with “butter” and preserves!

It is safe to say that I am really feeling a difference. Everything is still kind of weird because it will take a long time to adjust to the idea of “no dairy” and just eating differently, seeing food differently. The first 2 days were the hardest. I was hungry all the time and felt like crap. My body had had enough and was in shock because I wasn’t feeding it the same, but day 3 was a day off and I was able to get the sleep I needed and take things slow and after that I started noticing a difference. It hasn’t cured my morning problem yet. I am Jekyll and Hyde in the morning. Almost every day I carry the regret of not waking up on time, but I am someone else in my sleep, someone desperate for more rest like their life depends on it, then I snap out of it, only lately after snapping out of it I have pep! I haven’t drank any coffee for a week either!

So this is my testament to you. Give it a REAL try for more than one day. The Meatless Monday is a joke. This is the real deal. Get over you own tastes buds that you have been spoiling your whole life! Get your brain off of sugar!

Watch Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy, read The Omnivore’s Dilema, and it will change they way you make food decisions.

Thug Kitchen is on it’s way to me and I have a list of other cookbooks that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

A Plant Based Day

I decided to try a day of plant based eating. I have gained some weight in my tummy and hips and have been eating like a maniac. (Cake for breakfast AND dessert?!)   It’s high time to whip out the running shoes, weights, and yoga mat and change up this diet!

For breakfast, 8:30, I had Kashi blueberry vegan waffles and So Delicious yogurt. This wasn’t very filling but I decided to cope with water and the understanding that I needed to be a little bit hungry after eating like a pig. Yes you read that, I spent some time hungry today as punishment and I lived to tell about it.

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At 11:00 I was famished so I scarfed down an amazing wrap from TaDah! This wrap has so many tasty good-for-you things about it and at 430 calories was good to keep me going for a while. At about 1:00 I ate a mocha Larabar.

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By 4:30 I was hungry again, and I had been fighting work duties and things to get to some food… you know how it goes. I brought leftovers of my Buddha Bowl dinner: Quinoa, garlic black beans, lettuce greens, light fries, tomato, cucumber, and an AMAZING avocado sauce!!!

Avocado Dressing:

1 avocado, juice of 1 lemon, and these next items to taste: clove of garlic, black pepper, salt, rice milk.

Blend until smooth and creamy.

SOOOOOOO good! even on the fries!

Since I ended up not finishing that meal until 5:15, work you know… I was definitely good until work was over, but as soon as I got home I dug into a mango! Michael hasn’t been eating dinner because of work. I don’t ask too many questions, but it’s usually because they feed him a big lunch and/or he’s so worn out and over heated hes just not hungry. So I look at it as a way to get experiment-y! But the mango was an awesome treat and gave me some sugar to get me pumped up for a little workout. Afterward I drank a plant based protein shake with almond milk and fresh berries. Garden of Life: Fit. It was actually tasty despite the awful reviews. Will be getting lots more this evening!

Before I went home to do my workout, I stopped at GNC and the grocery store. At GNC, to my surprise, I found goji berries and the brand of protein powder I was looking for and an overwhelming amount of other vegan options! At the grocery store I grabbed more quinoa, fresh fruit and avo, peanut butter, tortillas, humus, La Croix sparkling water, some vegan Daiya Alfredo Mac O.M.G!!!! I was so sad when I was thinking about chicken Alfredo and bam! There it was! I hope it’s yummy.

And at the very end of the day, after workout/proteinshake/helping move furniture I cut off a slice of oat bread that was given to us by Michael’s mom… And yes I’m sure there was butter and sugar in the recipe, but let’s not focus too much on it.

This was a heavy day for me. It was full of work nonsense… making the battle for meat and dairy seem even more cruel. If I do this, how am I going to do it?! How am I going to get enough protein and make my macro profiles good for building muscles and burning fat without eating a ton of soy? That’s my biggest question here. So I will continue to experiment with vegan meals and protein powders and snacking on fruits and veggies over cake and candy and in the meantime I will research and not loose my mind if I need to eat a traditional meal… Vegan is a lifestyle, but I see it as grey. To be the perfect vegan you would need to live on a different vegan-only planet. The people-to-people connection on this planet is too great to be absolutely perfect, so I won’t give myself a lot of heat over a lapse. It’s a learning and habit process! But , really, thank heavens for fruit and so many delicious vegan breakfasts and desserts. We can have that at least!

I will also note that I’m not promising myself to this lifestyle yet, I’m only trying things out at this point.

But be happy to know that I have already started Day 2 with a round of yoga, chia pudding with raspberries, kashi waffles, and silk yogurt!