Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No, I Haven't Starved To Death

But, I did take my vegan thing beyond the one week mentioned in the previous post. In fact, I'm going on week six. BUT! I'm only doing it during the week. Come the weekends, all bets are off. (Although, I usually end up eating vegan for most of the weekend as well.) I'm allowing myself these weekend breaks because this isn't really an ethical thing for me. (Although, the less I eat meat, the less I see a need to eat it.) I started it just because I wasn't feeling very well in general. I've had digestive issues for over ten years, and while I couldn't pinpoint the problem to one food in particular, I did always feel my worst after eating a particularly rich meal. And rich meals are usually filled with animal fats, in one form or another. Going just plain vegetarian would have resulted in me eating a lot more cheese, which would defeat the purpose. So vegan it was.

Now, I don't want to get gross on you, but I just have to say, for the most part, it has been miraculous in the poop department. (I'll just leave it at that.) And because of that, I feel generally better all around. And I've lost a couple pounds in the process, too.

But here's a few things I've learned in my adventures in veganism:

* There is no such thing as non-dairy cheese. There is stuff that looks like cheese, but there is nothing that isn't cheese that tastes like cheese. I think you can get away with some fake products, like fake ground beef, because most of the time ground beef just ends up tasting like the thing you're cooking it in, and the fake stuff matches the texture enough to be totally adequate. But fake cheese? No. The texture doesn't match, the flavor doesn't match, and it's just. Not. Cheese.

* Rice milk gives me heartburn. I have no idea why. It doesn't seem to make any real sense, but it does. But that's not a big loss, because the stuff sucks anyway. I recently tried almond milk, and it's a whole lot better than the rice milk, but I'm not sure it's all that different from the soy. Regardless, none of these fake milks is anything I would want to drink an entire glass of with a (vegan) chocolate chip cookie, so they're all relegated to my morning coffee and cereal, and they're fine that way.

* Uncle Eddie's Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are like crack.

* I'm still kind of lazy when it comes to cooking, but I've found a vegan diet lends itself much better to laziness. Aside from the chopping that needs to be done to the vegetables, there's a lot less cooking since I'm not frying up or baking any kind of meat.

* Pita, hummus, avocados, and sliced heirloom tomatoes is the perfect lunch.

So, I'm going to keep this up as long as I can. I'll probably fall off when I go on vacation next month, but for the most part, I think this is a pretty good way to eat, and live. I didn't eat red meat for over ten years starting in 1991, and while I don't think I'll be able to kiss bacon or steak good-bye for that long again, I do think I will go back to not eating just any kinds of meats, indiscriminately. If I eat steak, I want it to be grass-fed beef. And if I eat bacon, I want it to come from pigs that haven't had their pigtails clipped to painful nubs because they are packed in so tightly with other pigs that they gnaw each other's tails off. (Yeah, I'm reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" right now. How'd you know?)

And when I DO eat a steak, you better not overcook it. You overcook it, it's no good; it defeats its own purpose.


Ghazala Khan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monique said...

Don't know if you're still going vegan, but the NYT has a bunch of salad ideas.