Thursday, July 29, 2010

milk is in everything...!

argh. So far the two things I've found hardest about this experiment have been 1) giving up things I like and 2) realizing just how prevalent milk and eggs are in what we eat!

For instance, my mother-in-law, knowing I was vegan for the moment, bought some awesome hot sauce for me with which to ease my pain (or substitute one kind for another, really). I had it on a bunch of things over one meal and then checked the ingredients... milk products! In hot sauce, I ask you? So I've been reading much more carefully, and have found the ingredient "lactose (from milk" in things like PC Black Bean & Salsa whole grain chips, their Flaxseed tortilla chips, their tomato basil rice cakes... all things I thought would for sure be safe. Then, and this one stung, I have been eating more nuts as part of my diet of late, and I bought some "kettle-cooked" salt and pepper peanuts from Sobeys, unquestioningly inhaling handful after handful. Well... of course, three days in, I checked the ingredient list only to find milk ingredients listed! frack.

As a side note, I have discovered that it would actually be very easy to become a plump vegan. the nuts alone could do it. A cup of sunflower seeds, for instance, has 1000 calories in it! wow. so like, 2 cups would be most people's daily caloric intake. Kinda makes me think maybe instead of rice, which only has about 200 calories per cup, we should be sending over bags and bags of sunflower seeds to people in need. SO much more bang for the buck!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

not my cup of tea (too!)...

so... day 6. I've already eaten more wraps with salsa and tofu than I care to count, and I've watched my family eat things I already miss: mayo, chicken, cheese, milk in my tea (that one was a bit of a blindside)... and I've mistakenly eaten a bunch of non-vegan things: a handful of chips with cheese in them (chips, I thought - potatoes! vegan!), little bits of crumbled cheese from mac & cheese I made for my daughter...

Anyway so being a vegan is not very much fun. At least, not for me. I cannot imagine anyone really enjoying this who really, y'know, likes food. Granted, I haven't started getting into vegan cooking much so to boot I'm essentially also on a rawfood diet, but still.

I just wonder what kind of person is more satisfied with being an ethical eater than with eating stuff that tastes good. But maybe it gets easier...?

Good thing beer's still vegan.

Friday, July 16, 2010

end day 2, day 3, and a list last night's supper was more wraps, but this time with fresh tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, salsa again, kidney beans, and tofu. I also had some organic blue corn chips and not-organic white corn chips, and some peanuts. whee.

I've started a list of what things I can eat as a vegan:
  • nuts
  • veggies
  • potatoes, rice, bread
  • fruit
  • beer & wine
  • soy stuff: soy milk, tofu, fake cheese, tofurkey...
...? anything else you can think of?

...have so far eaten lots of nuts, lots of peanut butter, wraps with tofu and veggies and mustard, rice boiled with vegetable stock, corn-on-the-cob... and I think I've actually gained weight. For the record, I'm at 216 right now. curious what I'll be in a month's time. Predictions? Up? Down?

an experiment in veganism

So I'm reading this book right now - I'm about 50 pages from the end - called The Way We Eat, about the ethics of food and the choices we make about what we put in our mouths. It's been very compelling and very complicating, blurring lots of lines for me between the right and the wrong of organics, local food, seasonal food, meat-eating, GM foods, the environment, etc.

Essentially, though, what the book seems to be leading up to is the conclusion that the most ethical choice we can make - in terms of the treatment of animals, the treatment of people, and the welfare of the planet - is to be vegan.

So I've resolved to try to be vegan for a month, to try it and see what it's like. I'll report in as often as possible, mainly with the rundown of what I've eaten and my victories and defeats in this quest.

I'm on day two right now.

Yesterday after breakfast (eggs, bacon, coffee with milk, berries) I thought I'd try to make a go of it. We were at the cottage and drove back from Muskoka, making a stop at the infamous Weber's burger joint on highway 11. I dutifully ordered the garden burger (mushy beany blech), but then Jen got a hotdog that was waaaaay too big for one person, and Abby wanted a hamburger that she didn't finish. Ethically, I thought it would be worse to waste that food than to eat it, so I finished them off rather than throwing them away.

For supper I had three wraps with beans and salsa, a couple pieces of bread and PB, some hickory-smoked almonds, some apple juice, and cherries for dessert.

Today for breakfast I had more bread and PB and coffee with vanilla soymilk, and then for lunch we were out (Williams Coffee Pub at the harbour) so I ordered a grilled veggie panini with no cheese. They're pre-made, I was told, but the veggie wraps were good. Does it have cheese in it, I wondered? My server asked if I was vegan, so I explained I was trying it out for a month. A sympathetic vegetarian, she said she couldn't imagine trying to go vegan, and that the only other "sauce" I could have for my veggie wrap, besides the cream cheese they normally put in it, was mustard. Okay, I said, I could deal with that. When it finally came, however, it did have the cream cheese! I asked Jen what to do, and she pointed out, again, that it was probably more ethical to eat it than to send it back to be thrown out so they could make me a new one. So day two, halfway through, I've had to compromise twice already. I also had beer with lunch, and a coffee with soy milk, which they did manage to get right.

I'm hungry.