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Vegan doings

July 30th, 2015 at 06:42 pm

I realized I haven't really talked all that much about my vegan ways.

It's a work in progress. It's not unusual for me to stray from strictly vegan, most always when I don't have time to cook and I'm eating out, OR when I'm so hungry at work and either I didn't bring my own lunch or I did, but I'm still hungry. So then I wander down to the cafe and wind up getting something with meat or cheese in it.

Still, I eat healthier than 95% of people I know. Here's what my typical diet might look like:

Breakfast: Almost always cereal, my half and half combo. That means I fill half the bowl with a store-bought cereal, always something healthy like Barbara's or very simple and low sugar, like Cheerios or corn chex. I especially like Uncle Sam's whole wheat cereal. The other half is my homemade granola, which I've been making regularly for years. It's made of old-fashioned oats, flax seed, which I grind up from whole seeds in my little coffee grinder, a heaping tablespoon or two of cocoa powder (you get the flavonoids of dark chocolate without the calories) a bit of honey, raisins or other dried fruit and walnuts, baked in the oven. But wait, there's more. I always top off the cereal with almond milk and berries. In July,when the wineberries ripen in my yard, I pick my own berries, but most of the time it's blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, organic when I find them or feel I can afford it. Organic blueberries are ridiculously priced so I usually just get regular.

Lunch: I have about 15 or so regular recipes I use to make my bring-to-work lunches. One of my favorites is pea soup with parsnip, celery and its leaves and celery root and carrots too. Mmmm. In the summer, I make a cold pea soup which is also very good (mom's recipe, and it's her granola recipe as well). What i like about the cold pea soup is that you cook nothing so you don't heat up the kitchen. The frozen peas don't really need to be cooked, just like frozen corn.

Other workday lunches often include carrot and celery sticks with a small container of hummus (garlic hummus is my favorite). I love to make my own baba gounsch, which is a pureed eggplant in the blender with garlic, tahini and lemon juice, which you eat with very good bread or pita or with veggie sticks. I have a lot of good cold salad recipes, like pasta shells and sun-dried tomatoes, a wheat berry salad and another favorite, black beans and sweet potatoes with a cilantro dressing. I nearly always bring fresh fruit or a homemade fruit salad as well and sometimes a granola or fruit bar.

If I'm working at home, I like to keep Amy's frozen bean burritos on hand so I can heat them in the microwave. Either that, or I'll have a frozen veggie burger. Sometimes, it's as simple as almond butter and preserves on wheat toast.

Dinner:For dinner, this time of year I often have a huge salad with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, croutons and as a treat, a chopped up hard-boiled egg, only from the organic farm. (I realize this isn't vegan.) In cooler weather I'm back to soups like the split pea soup, corn chowder soup, my own veggie soup, etc.

I really don't miss sweets that much. Not too long ago I was eating small pieces of dark chocolate daily, but I don't especially miss it. I'm not much of a cake person, but if I do crave something sweet, I like to have fresh fruit or make something with fruit in it. I do eat a LOT of fruit, maybe too much. This afternoon, for instance, I made a crisp using sliced organic peaches, a bowl of wineberries and blueberries with the oats and walnuts. Much like my morning cereal except this is baked in the oven.

I don't eat much bread, and in recent months I feel I'm eating a lot less oil. I used to cook with a lot of olive oil, which would be the only kind I'd use if I am using oils, but this also will put the weight on you. I love to saute onions in olive oil, for instance.

The one bad habit I haven't been able to break is my love of pasta. Maybe it's the reason why i haven't lost much weight. I'm at about 140 lbs now at 5'4". Not hugely overweight, but not too thin either. I love pasta with a red sauce, a homemade pesto sauce and in cold salads. I'm not crazy about whole wheat pastas. I like the regular. And I could eat it every day.

I also snack a lot on nuts. This is high fat but I won't give it up. And it's the good kind of fat anyway. And as mentioned I do eat eggs, but only from the organic farm down the road.

As far as the vegan part, the only fish I'm allowing myself to eat is the very occasional shrimp and broccoli at the Chinese place on a Friday night and wild Alaskan sockeye salmon. I do my best to avoid eating beef, poultry and cheese.

Another thing I still crave, but only splurge on once every few weeks, is a can of diet Coke. I swear they do something to make it addictive, becus I've gone without it for many months and still felt a craving for it. Nothing refreshes like it, IMO. I crave it just thinking about it now. I won't buy it for home, but I do from time to time get one from the vending machine at work. And to think I didn't drink my first can of soda til i was about 15 years old, at my best friend's f

4 Responses to “Vegan doings”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Do you eat whole grain pasta? I had to switch to that a few years ago and I barely taste the difference, meant to be much healthier

  2. Ima saver Says:

    I never had soda when I was a kid. My mother would not buy it. Once in a while, my father would buy me a cold orange drink at the gas station for a treat. To this day, I do not drink soda, just water. But I love sweets and have a terrible diet. (No furit or vegetables)

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I've been having a really hard time with my evening meals lately. Trying to figure out what I want to eat ... Partly why my spending the last few weeks was out of control. Breakfast and lunch have no issues ... just supper that is a pain. Most nights lately I give up and just make a PBJ and call it enough.

    I like pasta too - both whole wheat and regular. But all I have right now is the regular kind (from packages NE brought over for dinner together. He won't eat whole wheat anything.)

  4. Dido Says:

    Have you tried bean pasta? I recently had some that was very good. Unfortunately I can't share the brand because I threw the package away. I'm going to see if they have it next time I grocery shop.

    I also keep Amy's frozen bean burritos on hand for when I just want to pop something in the microwave.

    When I cook, it's usually with the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker, which I love. That, my Vita-Mix, and my Nu-Wave Oven were all indulgences, but they help me cook more often so are worth it. There are lots of vegan Instant Pot (IP) recipes and a couple of IP Facebook groups. I love the IP because it's really "set it and forget it." I originally bought one about 1.5 years ago, before they came out with the "LUX" model which has the Yogurt function. I wasn't going to upgrade just for the Yogurt function, but then I accidentally ruined the lid by setting the plastic part on fire and I had to upgrade and I was so glad that I did. Making my own soy yogurt is SO cost-effective compared with buying vegan yogurt at the store. And so easy that I even manage to do it during tax season.

    Having the nuts is probably a good habit--both heart-healthy and satiety-promoting. I'm in an eating habit-change program and one of the things I've learned is that protein promotes the most satiety but only for about 3 hours; carbs last only about 3 hours; and fats promote satiety for 4 or more hours....and that, if you want to lose weight, you should eat only 3 or 4 times a day and not snack in between meals and learn to be hungry before you eat for 30-60 minutes. It's feeling that hunger that means that your body is turning from burning your last meal to burning your body's fat...but you shouldn't feel it for too long or you get "hangry" and will overeat. I'm still working on getting the balance right of "eating just enough" so that I feel hungry every 5-6 hours.

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