It began a few years ago, when I decided to rest on the Thanksgiving holiday. I needed quiet, alone time – and made a choice to skip the big celebrations. In the morning, I went to Whole Foods to collect a delicious feast that I would be cooking up for myself (only the food that I wanted that day!) The supermarket scene was nightmarish – hundreds of people with overflowing carts of food. It looked so gluttonous, and it all felt wrong. I had visions of dinner plates piled high, people stuffing themselves silly, and so much food thrown into the trash.
I bought a giant portabella mushroom and called it a holiday.
I broiled it with some balsamic vinegar, and made a side of spinach. I had a small scoop of lemon sorbet for dessert. I barely finished it – and felt satiated, and proud of my decision. For the next 2 years, I led a relatively Vegetarian life.
My eating habits, over the years have vacillated, and I returned to meat for a while, feeling “cravings”. I’ve considered the Paleo diet, and eating for my blood type.
Now I’m giving the vegan lifestyle a go.
The Secret: Delicious Substitutions.
Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve cut out most dairy. There are hundreds of incredible options that are so delicious, and incredibly healthy. I have coconut spread replacing butter, and Coconut Bliss (“ice cream”) for my sweet cravings. It’s big for me to skip cheese. I’m trying it. I’ve decided to continue my morning shakes, which have dairy, but the rest is gone. I feel a difference.
Guess what – my skin looks GREAT. I’m not bloated! Hmmm – there might be something to this!
To replace meat – I’ve found that it’s all about texture. My favorite new trick is to spice up cashews and give them a quick pan “fry”, and mix them into salads or veggie tosses. Yep – I use nuts in almost everything now, and I feel satiated. When I open my refrigerator, and there’s no dead carcasses in there, I’m happy. Regular elimination makes for a good day (TMI?).
It’s a Process
My friends are teasing me: “REALLY? So NOO meat, no dairy – ever?”. I don’t know. I don’t like labels. I’m not trying to be “Vegan” or a “Vegetarian”. I want to be healthy. I need to have lots of energy. I want to feel GOOD about what I eat and how I choose to fuel my body. I’m a pretty balanced and “regular” girl who is trying to find her way – and let me tell you, it’s a process. Today, my new choices are good for me. It’s going to be an interesting, creative adventure… and I’m always up for a good adventure.