For years I have been saying that there is a vegetarian within me begging to unleash itself. I have tried vegetarian and even some vegan meals which my family have actually enjoyed. After contemplating for so long I thought it was time to take the plunge or let’s say—leap!! I have considered veganism but due to the fact that I like to pace myself and I also have leather shoes, bags etc. I want to but am not ready to make that commitment just yet. With that said, I feel that it is time for me to let my inner vegetarian out while exploring vegan options. What do they call it “vegegan”? lol…Yep, that’s me!! Becoming a vegan is the ultimate goal but I think that lifestyle changes for me are more successful when I ease into them rather than going cold turkey.
For the past three days I have been oil pulling. The objective behind my oil pulling is to detox, improve my oral health and reap other benefits that it is known for. When detoxing it is important to increase your water intake and eat clean foods. It defeats the purpose to continue consuming the same “junk” when you’re trying to clean up your act so to speak by omitting the “bad stuff”. So, in addition to oil pulling I have also been eating plant based foods while drinking solely water and tea. I also took a liking to ginger lemon tea made with fresh ginger, lemon and sweetened with a little honey. When I really want something other than plain water I add lemon or other ingredients like cinnamon, honey, and ginger. That is how I have been getting my water in.
As I mentioned earlier, for several years I have dabbled with the idea of becoming a vegetarian but my issue was giving up chicken. I gave up red meat and pork as a teenager but upon meeting my fiancee’ (now husband) back in 2003 I have dabbled with pork by eating some bacon, pork chops and pepperoni here and there but very little. More recently (within the past few years) I have been more diligent in steering clear of pork as I did in the past. Still, tsk tsk…Veganism is a whole other story. To begin with, giving up dairy specifically cheese and eggs would be a serious challenge. I love omelets, pizza (with cheese obviously), and ice cream!! lol…Never mind all of the other animal by products “hidden” in other foods. Milk was not an issue because I am not a fan. About four years ago almond milk became a favorite milk substitute in my oatmeal, cereal, and other foods. Needless to say I have been easing down the road to becoming a vegetarian for a while now. Still lots to learn and try but I am being optimistic!!
Now as far as the vegan exploration, I have tried some different vegan recipes successfully. I made vegan quesadillas for dinner earlier this week and they were pretty good. The vegan cheese took some getting used to. It wasn’t nasty; just different. I used the Daiya brand Pepperjack shreds. When I reheated them for lunch the next day, I added a little salt to the cheese which I know is not the best thing to do but I really wanted to make it more palatable…lol…Anyway, it worked out and although I think vegan cheese tastes nothing like real cheese the brand I chose was pretty close. It’s kinda hard to have a substitute for dairy that tastes like dairy I guess. Another vegan dish I’ve tried was a vegan potato chowder which is made with blended cashews for the creaminess. Initially when you think of vegan you may think “tasteless” and “bland” but I have found that not to be true. Keeping an open mind is valuable when it comes to trying new things.
I’ll be checking back periodically as I continue this journey which should be interesting which is why I chose to share it. The biggest hurdle for me to get over will be maintaining dinners to accommodate my family who are meat eaters and myself who is going to stick to meatless options. I strongly encourage feedback from anyone who has questions and/or interests in improving their eating habits whether it is just cutting out certain foods, vegetarian, vegan or if you just want to do a more plant based diet. Whenever you plan to make changes it’s important to have support so let’s support one another by generating discussion about the ups and downs of our journeys to an improved lifestyle!!