The Month is Over!

This was a really difficult, restricting month, but I am very happy that I gave being vegan a try. It may have been inconvenient, but I felt so healthy while putting extra thought into what I put into my mouth. Realistically, moving forward I probably will not stay vegan. However, I do want to attempt to eat mostly vegetarian and vegan as often as possible. I have to say, I did decide to end a few days early since I am leaving Denver today and wanted to eat all the delicious food. I’ve been eating pizza, cream cheese, and even some meat and I feel like a blob! So I plan to “binge” for a another couple of days to get it out of my system and then find a balance that works for me. I think everyone should give it a try to improve their health and diet. If not for a whole month, at least try it gradually with a few meals! It leads to interesting conversations and spreads awareness of this lifestyle. Thanks for reading, it motivated me to stick with it!

Taste the rainbow

I had a family dinner last night and my aunt found a recipe that was deliciously vegan but want even advertised as vegan. It was basically an eggplant stirfry but it called for red wine vinegar and basil to be thrown in at the end before serving. It was a very simple, delicious and healthy meal. We improvised a bit but altogether had eggplant, onion, yellow and green pepper, and also roasted grape tomatoes (sprinkled with olive oil salt pepper and baked for an hour – homemade almost sun-dried tomatoes!) I hope you can see the recipe!

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This is getting easier!

I’m leaning to separate myself from my cheese cravings! You just don’t need it. And after I’m finished with this month I know I’ll stick to almond milk vs dairy milk and also cooking with olive oil instead of butter. I feel like I’m learning some good food discipline and how to make better choices. Last night I went to the baseball game and got a pretzel with mustard instead of cheese, and honestly it was just as satisfying (or maybe I’m starting to brain wash myself!). I do have a deep love of mustard so it was easy to make the switch. And just now I went to noodles and co and they have so many options and modifications for vegans, I had just never had a reason to ask about them before.

Tonight we are having dinner at my aunt’s house (the one where I had the big cheat) and I took the step to remind her I’m vegan so she’s letting me cool a quinoa side to go with the chicken she’s making.

I have just over a week left, I can’t believe it!

Vegan Chili and Vegan Food Trucks!

I made this delicious chili the other night: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/vegetarian-quinoa-chili/ I couldn’t find the quinoa so I made it hawaiian style with some rice. I cooked up some steak on the side for the bf and we both agreed it was super filling and fresh with all the veggies included. It made a ton of chili and the leftovers were great!

Last night we went out in Denver where many bars don’t serve their own food but instead have a food truck outside. I took a look at the menu and thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to eat anything. But upon asking I found out half of it was vegan, it just wasn’t labeled that way! My meat-eating friends ordered the “chicken” sandwich, made of a new soy-protein that has a thicker consistency than tofu. I got a pinto and rice burger, and everything was served on waffles instead of bread! I attached a pic of the menu.

Now I just enjoyed a delicious grilled veggie sandwich with an actual variety of veggies – artichoke hearts, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, peppers, the works! Without the cheese and with the balsamic dressing. YUM!

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Time Out

I promise this blog won’t be just me talking about cheating at being vegan.. But I did take a time out this weekend for a meal at my aunt’s house. I’m not sure if it makes it better or worse, but it was a premeditated cheat. The whole family was over and my aunt is an amazing chef. I really wouldn’t have been able to eat anything (even the veggies and pasta were doused in butter) and also couldn’t resist her cooking. So instead of getting creative I went all in and ate the works: red meat, cheese, butter, and even had ice cream for dessert. I know I’m the worst. But I have to say it sort of re-focused me. I really had a bad stomach ache that started halfway through dinner and kept going for about an hour after. I had sharp pains in my stomach and felt so uncomfortable! Before and after that meal I’ve stuck to my veganism but that was an unexpected side effect of one meal. I didn’t think I’d react like that after just 2 weeks of not eating meat and dairy. Anyway on to a positive note. Last night I made dinner for myself, my boyfriend and a friend. It was vegan chickpea veggie curry and it was delicious! I did add chicken in for the guys after I took my portion out, but they ate it up and even had seconds (the true measure of how good something is, right?)! It was so easy to make too. Here’s the link to a cool easy vegan blog I found on Pinterest. http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/?m=1 I added some extra veggies and used coconut milk instead of yogurt and it was excellent!

And a pic of the recipe to show how easy it is!

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Vegan Risotto

Wow that turned out to be one of the best meals (vegan or not) that I’ve made! Spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, low fat, packed with vitamins and flavor and it even had a creamy consistency to it without any dairy! Yum. I even caught my boyfriend stealing a few bites when I wasn’t looking. He also put some nutritional yeast on his (meaty) chili after reading the label on the back. I had to keep myself from eating the whole pan and can’t wait for lunch leftovers tomorrow. Vegan success!

I keep tempting myself to give up whenever I’m hungry but once I eat I feel so good. I haven’t had that gut bomb feeling this month (except with the vegan pizza) and it feels so good to eat healthy all the time!

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Confessions of a Cheating Vegan..

I messed up. Not too terribly, but again lack of planning makes it harder to be a vegan. I’m sensing this as a common theme this month but am going to try to be better about it! I am staying at a remote cabin and didn’t take the time to stop in town for some vegan staples before arriving. I made it through yesterday being good and eating a hodge podge of food that was available (fig bars, tomato soup, tabouli/salsa and chips, and made a weird tomato/onion stirfry for dinner that was actually pretty good). But this morning I couldn’t get by with just a banana (there is not even peanut butter around) so I “cracked” (pun intended) and made scrambled eggs. But I did NOT eat the bacon that I made for my boyfriend or put milk in the eggs like I normally would. I did put some butter on my toast.. dang it! But later I went to the store and bought all the supplies I’ll need for the next few days: peanut butter, small portion of almond milk, veggies and I finally found some nutritional yeast! I’m really excited to see what all the hype is about. I looked up a recipe online (vegangela.com:¬†http://www.vegangela.com/2011/04/09/easy-baked-tomato-risotto/) for vegan risotto that calls for “nooch”, and I am in the process of making it now. It smells delicious, so I can’t wait to give it a try!