The Vegan Tales — Sampling New Products

My vegan adventure is a little rockier so far than I anticipated. I thought it would be easy for me to go vegan because I’ve been a vegetarian so long. I thought I knew what to eat, and I thought I knew what vegan products tasted like.

I was just a little off on those assumptions.

One thing I didn’t understand was the bread issue. I eat a lot of sandwiches because I’m always eating on the go. Regular bread is not vegan. Who knew? Most commercial breads have some milk products in them. I think bagels and tortillas are the main breads available that don’t routinely use milk. I thought I’d read somewhere that English muffins were safe, but I must have been mistaken because the pack of English muffins I bought has milk listed as an ingredient. Oops! Who wants my barely nibbled English muffins?

I did finally find a load of wheat bread at the regular grocery store that does not appear to have any milk in it. If it does, please don’t tell me. I’m desperate for bread here. The brand is Orowheat. I bought the whole wheat version. I’m giving it a thumbs up. It’s good bread, and it also claims to be free of high fructose corn syrup, which can’t be a bad thing.

I also tried some rice cheese. You need something to put on your sandwich, don’t you? I know I need something, but it will not be rice cheese. That was a real gagger. I spit it out and tossed the whole package in the trash. I’m not the kind of person who usually does that, but this was awful.

Next I tried some vegan margarine. I found this at the Corner Market on the rich end of town. I don’t know if they have it at the other locations or not. First, I melted some on a sweet potato. I put it in the microwave, so it really melted. It was good that way. I very much enjoyed the potato.

I expected I’d enjoy my Orowheat bread toasted with some vegan margarine spread on it the next morning.

Wrong.

It didn’t melt on the toast. It cooled the toast off instead of the toast warming it up. It tasted like I’d spread Crisco on my toast. Considering that it is made entirely from vegetable oils, that may be essentially what I did.

To be fair, I used the stick variety, and they do sell a tub variety for spreading, but I’m not sure I’m ready to put any version of it on toast again. I bought some Smucker’s Simply Fruit, and I’m thinking I’ll be better off to put it and nothing else on my toast.

If the “natural flavors” listed in the Simply Fruit ingredients are not vegan, please don’t tell me. I just don’t need to know.

I know I’ll make it through at least one more week of being vegan. I have my soup that I made on Saturday. I have my sweet potatoes that I baked yesterday. I have a bag of apples. I have this bread that looks like it’s okay to eat. And I have the great new vegan discovery called canned peas.

I’m eating cereal with soy milk, and I like it. I bought some Kashi cereals that I like, but I’ve also discovered that some of my normal standbys like Life cereal are vegan, so that takes care of the breakfast issue.

For the most part, though, dairy substitutes are not cutting it with me. I’ll just have to get my calcium from the dark green leafy things. That ought to help with the weight loss issue. Last I checked, you could eat a lot more spinach per calorie than Cheese Whiz.

Going vegan, it turns out, means not eating so many processed foods in favor of eating more fruits and vegetables. Who knew?

This way to better health #photoaday #project365

This way to better health

248 of 365. Our Daily Challenge — Arrow.

I’m stuck inside today. I didn’t think I was going to even try to do today’s photo challenge, but then I was wondering what kind of arrows I might have around the house while I munched on crackers from the storm supply box, and it suddenly hit me.

Triscuit triangles. They are whole grain, low fat, and vegan. They should be in everyone’s storm supply box.

Thankfully, TS Lee has been kind enough to leave the lights on for us. I didn’t really have to eat out of the storm box this weekend. I just wanted a Triscuit. You probably want one now too, huh?

The Vegan Tales — Soup is Good Food

I decided one day last week to become a vegan for a month. I picked September 1 as the day to start. Why did I pick that day? That’s when my friend Robert St. John started his month of veganism last year, and I got the idea of just doing this for one month from him. Also, starting on the first day of the month seemed like good symmetry.

What do I hope to accomplish? Who knows? Here are some things I wonder. Will I lose weight (yes, of course that’s at the top of my list)? Will I feel better (it could happen)? Will I handle being a vegan well enough to handle staying on the diet longer than a month? I don’t necessarily plan to be a vegan long-term. I only plan to spend a month learning what it is like and learning whether I feel any benefits from it.

So far I’ve learned that this takes some preparation. I haven’t been a very good vegan in my first three days. Yesterday, I ate an English muffin that I thought was vegan and then later discovered was not. All three days, I’ve waited until later in the afternoon to eat lunch because I didn’t have it together to come up with something vegan that I could call a meal. That’s not to say I ate nothing. I grazed. I ate a few raisins here and a few almonds there. And to be fair this is not so much about going vegan as it is about being busy. The day before I went vegan I didn’t have lunch until later either. Instead I ate a Snicker’s bar and some Cheetos. The raisins and almonds may have been an improvement after all. Still, it’s just harder when you’re starting something new to come up with a game plan, and I started this definitely not knowing what my game plan was.

Until I made soup, that is. This afternoon I made a big pot of vegetable soup, and it was good food, and I have a bunch of it in the refrigerator now for the coming week, and I’m thinking I’ll probably make it.

Don’t worry. This soup is not just good. It’s filling too. I started out with a minestrone mix, and I added tomatoes, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, squash, and barley. That bulked it up and provided a variety of nutrients as well.

I still have a lot to learn about how to be a vegan, but at least now I have soup. That and a jar of peanut butter ought to get me through until I can figure out a few more things to eat.

No sun up in the sky #photoaday #project365

Day 246:  No sun up in the sky

246 of 365. Our Daily Challenge — Phobia.

I’m afraid of stormy weather, which is probably because we’ve had a few whoppers around here. I was not quite two for Hurricane Camille. I’m guessing my mother had a panic attack and made me afraid for life. That sounds like as good an explanation as any.

Anyhow, I’m gearing up for a wet weekend, which really sort of calls for a little Billie Holiday…

Enjoy.