When I started dabbling in veganism, I was lured in by the Raw Till 4 diet…Freelee, Durianrider, Happy Healthy Vegan…that whole crowd.
And you know, at the time, it seemed like a great idea…I mean, LOOK at the size of Freelee’s waist? Tiny AF.
I was also working really hard to become a marketable singer-songwriter in today’s industry…which meant losing weight. And probably being a lot skinnier than anyone in MY family, let alone for my own height and age.
At the time, I had to have been about 20 or 21. Maybe I did carry a little extra…but my mind became fixed on it: working out every day, obsessing over what I was eating.
I wasn’t even really counting calories, it made me too anxious. So I just didn’t eat the things I really wanted to eat and kicked myself if I did.
I’d be online all the time trying to find ways to lose some weight: fad diets, supplements, workouts, all that stuff. And I wasn’t too happy.
I mean, sure, if I felt like I was making progress, I felt proud of myself…but when I wasn’t, I felt like a failure.
I was going through a tough time in my life and had trouble with portion control. Don’t recall ever specifically having trouble with weight gain, but I’m sure I blocked it out if I did.
I didn’t want to see it. Didn’t want any more of a reason to feel bad. I started a pattern of thinking to myself, “Yeah, I’ve got the look. Now if I could only lose some weight…”.
(Still think like that sometimes. I like my face, but I’m not a fan of my body and I wish my waistline was smaller.)
Anyway, I remembered seeing a video of Freelee’s amongst the countless yoga videos recommended to me, so I gave it a watch. By the end of it, I was totally ready to ‘carb the fuck up’.
I mean, it seemed like a dream diet…eat as many raw fruits (and/or veggies) as you want until 4pm , then cook yourself a massive oil-free, salt-free meal? Healthy AND satisfying, right?
Well, for a while, it was…until I had to leave my house and go to work (at a restaurant, btw) and ended up using my employee discount to buy a huge bacon cheeseburger…
Ugh… bad vegan. BAD VEGAN.
Clearly, this wasn’t working. And it wasn’t really saving me money, either.
So I stopped.
I had worked so hard to cut the animal products out of my diet. How much more was I going to restrict myself?
Well, the short answer is, I wasn’t.
Fringe diets and other fads are too restrictive to be sustainable. You can do it for a few weeks, months, years, even…but eventually, you’ll go back to old habits or worse, suffer from malnutrition.
And a vegan diet is already, in essence, a very restrictive diet in comparison with the average American diet. Why would you want to restrict yourself even more?
Since then, I’ve been trying to get a little of everything.
There’s a common misconception out there that “processed” and “unhealthy” have become synonymous, especially in the vegan world.
But this isn’t necessarily true.
Sure, if you’re eating cake and candy with a ton of refined sugar or carbs…like, yeah, that’s really bad.
But olive oil, tofu, and dairy subs all qualify as ‘processed’ foods. Shoot, you can make almond milk at home- just almonds blended in some water and strained- without adding anything and that’s still a form of food processing.
If you want to have a healthy, successful, satisfactory vegan life, you’re gonna need some of these products for balance.
So as a general rule, I do my best to limit added sugars and junky snack foods. Other than that, I just eat.
So here’s about a day’s worth of what I ‘just ate’.
Breakfast- Banana Raspberry Kite Hill Smoothie (And An Alive! Women’s Multivitamin)
I do love a good smoothie.
And ever since the initial Kite Hill smoothies, I’ve been experimenting with different flavors.
The one I made today had 1 peach Kite Hill, a banana, probably ½ cup of raspberries, and a handful of spinach.
So I’m pretty sure this is healthy in comparison with the standard American breakfast, but to be truthful…I’m really not that worried about it.
Other than the nut milks and dairy substitutes I consume (which aren’t many), I’m not in the habit of eating too many processed foods.
I find that simple plant-based foods are absolutely delicious when put together in certain ways.
Because if I’m enjoying my diet, I’ll stick with it.
Now, as healthy as a vegan diet can be, there’s really no way around it: you’re gonna have to take supplements to make up for what you’re not getting from plants.
So I choose to supplement breakfast each day with an Alive! Women’s Energy Multi-Vitamin (by Nature’s Way) that has a bunch of my daily values in it. Probably more than I need, actually, so the rest of the day is mainly about avoiding crappy foods and staying satisfied.
Which means lunch gets to be delicious :).
Lunch- Calzone from HomeSlyce Pizza Bar
HomeSlyce isn’t exclusively vegan, but they are one of the only places near me that offers vegan options and delivers.
You can get creative with a lot of different pizza places…I know this. But unlike them, HomeSlyce offers vegan cheese. And vegan pepperoni.
Hello, Heaven. I think I just died and stepped through your gates.
I ordered online through the HomeSlyce website and built my own calzone.
Picked a whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, broccoli, corn- yes, I’m weird like that– vegan cheese, and vegan pepperoni.
Admittedly, the pricing at this place can be a little steep- I’m talking a minimum delivery total of $18 to $20- so I wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis.
But every once in awhile, it’s worth the price.
Dinner- Everything Bagel with Cucumber, Hummus, and Tofurky Deli Slices
(A few days later)
This isn’t what I actually had for dinner on this day, but I fucked up and forget to write it down when I finally at.
That being said, it is my new favorite.
For starters, it’s got a lot of protein. We vegans shouldn’t skimp on this; we actually need a few more grams of protein per kilogram of body weight than omnivores. I’m not a dietitian, so reference the 3 vegan dietitians I wrote about last week for details.
As for the bagel, I went ahead and Googled the standard ingredients and it’s usually just yeast, wheat dough, water, etc. No dairy. So you should be pretty safe wherever you get them.
I still make a habit of reading the ingredients to be safe.
You can always use Vegannaise if you don’t like hummus…the taste is much lighter. But I love the slightly tart taste of the hummus mixed with the savory taste of the tofurkey.
Oh, by the way, you have GOT to get you some of those deli slices. Tofurky just might be my new favorite meatless-meat brand.
As much as I love my Field Roast sausages, I prefer tofu to seitan. I feel better when I eat tofu. So I’ve been making an effort to eat more of that and less of the gluten products.
All in all, this bagel sandwich is super tasty and satisfying. I’ll be taking it to lunch for the majority of this week.
I give a fuck about my health…so I stopped giving a fuck about what I eat…
Let me explain…I most certainly do give a fuck about what I eat.
What I mean by this is that I don’t worry about following any particular diet beyond staying away from animal products.
Like I said in last Wellness Wednesday’s post, you still require the same nutrients on a vegan diet that you would on an omnivorous diet. You’re not any less human.
So I do my best to eat a little of everything, not restrict myself, and enjoy my food.
What’s your favorite vegan meal/snack?
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