Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 3

Okay. It pains me to say this but this does not suck.

My son, Quattro and I have two days of vegan (plant based) eating under our belts.
This thing all started when I was reading about Jay Z and Beyonce going on a 21 day vegan "cleanse".
You can read all about it in a previous post, but basically I challenged myself after a friend pointed out how easy this diet/cleanse/whatever would be for someone like them. They don't shop, cook, clean or have to wrangle the whole deal with their kids climbing up their leg while they are trying to rinse the quinoa or the fact that they don't have three kids that need to eat before they have time to make their "green monster" drink.

SO, anyway... I got to thinking that it must be hard for people, normal people, to get this kind of lifestyle under their belts. Whether it be for a lifetime or for a little time. I have been on a quest to find something that will help me lose weight, as with my third child I just sort of got stuck with some lbs that I loathe. I don't hate the way I look but this is not my body... it just isn't.

Okay. Back to the food.

I went to the store set out to fill my house with things that are strictly plant based and living in Seattle, there are so many options, it is a wonder why it would ever be a problem. The closer I looked at stuff labeled "vegan" and "gluten free", I noticed that it was full of other crap. Chemicals in fact. So this quickly changed the way I wanted to do things. I went from being curious about ready to eat, so I could actually accomplish this "challenge", to knowing that I would be making everything.  Like, everything.
My diet is consisting of almond, rice and soy milk. I use it to make things more than eat, so I know that I am getting calcium but there's nothing like cow milk. I love it. Lots of greens. Spinach to cooking nad for the morning smoothie. Quinoa and lots and lots of veggies and beans.
I made a huge batch of hummus. I didn't have any tahini so I just used a little grape seed oil and 2 lemons, roasted red pepper. It was amazing. I am eating some right now with plantain chips and carrots.

I am going to stop right here and just say that I know how this sounds. It sounds crazy and a month ago I never thought about animal products being "bad" and I don't think they are bad but I do think (hope) that they are linked to my lack of weight loss. That is what this is about. I want to shed pounds to feel better. My baby is 20 months old. I am still breastfeeding so dieting isn't something I feel comfortable doing- I don't believe diets work. I think if you change the problem you change the outcome.
Will I become vegan forever. No. Probably not. Will I have a better sense of what is working for my body and what isn't? I hope so.

So back to the food...

Starting with cheese. There are many vegan "cheese" products and they sound disgusting. After a little research I found that if you soak cashews (or any raw nut) that you can blend the shit out of it with some nutritional yeast (weird?) and a little water and lemon, you can have some "veese" as we are calling it. It is gross right off the bat but when you get it nice and cold, it changes it's texture and therefore the experience is better. It's rich and that is a good sub for cheese. Is it better? Hell no.

Sauteed cabbage is one of my favorite things. I slice it thick and use balsamic and oil and put it with everything. Over quinoa is my favorite right now.
Yesterday we made split pea "stew". I used one whole sweet onion with olive oil and chili powder. I added two sweet potatoes, a bag of dried split peas, large can of my favorite tomatoes, 4 cups of water and it was amazing. Amazing. The kids made crispy cornbread, so we all ate vegan and gluten free and it was simply delicious. (the only thing we did different was when we flipped it, I put it directly on the oven rack and let it broil until it was starting to char- about 8 minutes).

I have three kids, so ridding my house of dairy, meat and wheat isn't something I can do. Although we do eat a relatively clean diet, animal products are a plenty. Kids drink milk, eat yogurt by the tub. And cheese? Please. It goes on everything. So this journey is more about not eating it than not having it. Making the kids eggs in the morning is rough and the quesadilla was looking pretty good but I am determined to make this work. I want to know if it works.

The one thing I know for sure is that I feel less bloated. That's gross but I do. My stomach feels lighter and I am not lacking energy at all. I need to drink more water, I need to do that for sure.

Stay tuned.

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  1. I eat vegan 90% of the time and I feel pretty darn good. Not so good when I look at what's in some of the stuff I sometimes buy (vegan mozzarella, soy sausage) but over all, vegan makes me feel better. It has also made me appreciate and respect my ingredients a lot more because I don't use as much shit/additives and a side is not just a sidedish but a main.

    But the rest of the 100%? That's cheese. Vegan cheese ain't got nothing on a good camembert or a mature cheddar.

  2. Nooch (nutritional yeast) definitely has its place, like coating homemade kale chips (basically, the blend you mention, plus red peppers, smushed onto kale leaves that are dehydrated in a dehydrator or the oven), after which its place becomes "In my belly". I'm going to be trying the "veese" though because I love me some nooch. There's lots of stuff I can't eat because of allergies and gluten and lactose issues, but I just can't quit cheese. It's too damn tasty.