Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wait, did I say VEGAN????

Day 5 of the new year and as Abel and I embark on what I called a "vegan" adventure I realized by Day 2 that we may have bitten off more than we could chew.

I never once stopped to think of checking all of the products in our pantry that I assumed were already naturally vegan. Mainly salsas, marinara and other sauces, not to mention a huge factor like plain sugar.  Clearly I was underestimating how big of a leap the lifestyle change would be. (So much for doing my homework on the matter)

By Wednesday (Jan 2nd) I had worked myself up in a tizzy worrying that we already failed our experiment.

Rather than allow anxieties to build up over whats "right" and "wrong" in our fridge and pantry, I am now more than likely inclined to refer to this plan as more of a transition into plant based eating.

Not that its important to "label" our lifestyle but I do feel its important to pause and rearrange things, to admit we were not prepared if only to say 'hey, this is NOT an easy peasy transition.  And quite frankly, its ok to admit it"

So in terms of where we are going from here we're planning our meals as primarily plant based and for the moment we aren't splitting hairs on whether or not our marinara, salsas or sauces have traces of dairy or sugar in them.  

Aside from that, the only obstacle we are facing is replacing the protein in our breakfasts and snacks.  I'm not a huge fan of soy products or protein powders though we do use a splash of soy milk in our daily cup of joe, its still at minimal use.   In terms of replacing our milk consumption, Abel has found a strong liking to rice milk and its what currently sits in our refrigerator.   Unfortunately the non dairy milks (aside from soy) don't seem to come close to the protein value of dairy milk so we're still going to be looking into other alternatives.

When it comes to lunches and dinners, our bean and veggie intake cover the protein we need wonderfully, its still just the snack and breakfast portions of our days. Considering they are both paired with fruit servings, our protein replacement needs to harmoniously play with fruits.   Tofu and edamame are both options I am aware of but as with soy milk, I'd like to keep that consumption to a minimum.  There are far too many conflicting reports on the benefits of soy consumption so I'm keeping things in a balance.   Well, that and I've never been a fan of edamame and tofu is still a bit daunting.

For now, a side of roasted chickpeas is going to fulfill our protein needs in snacks but if anyone has any other suggestions for snack and breakfast proteins we are all ears.

We're also going to do our best to limit any "faux" store bought meats, primarily because I haven't done much research and am a bit leary of what they consist of and also because of costs.  In the past I've tinkered with seitan recipes and though we love homemade seitan strips for gyros it's still not a product I'd like to use on a regular basis.

Definitely have a  lot more research to do, I probably sound like I'm a little all over the place but that is exactly why we set up this blog in the first place.   To document the trial and error process and learn from it as we babystep our way towards the healthy eating lifestyle.

No shame in this game :)  As I said, any advice, suggestions, comments, sympathy, etc is always welcome!  We'll be updating a little more frequently with the tools we do have to help us along the way.  Books, blogs, spices, resources etc -- anything thats helping us stick to the healthy side of life.