Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Which Milk is the best?

Michness made a good comment on my last post, and I thought the answer was worth explaining in detail. Here's my philosophy on dairy milk replacements: Mix it up. I rotate between Rice, Hemp, Soy, Almond, and Oat Milks. Some work better in particular applications. For example, hemp milk is the thickest, most milk-like of them all, so I like to use it make sauces, mac and cheese, and cereal milk. Rice milk is really thin and is best for smoothies since I like them as thin as possible.

The other major reason I mix them up is for nutrition. I'm not big on taking oral vitamins in pill form for various reasons, so fortified milks are a great way to get vitamins. However, for some reason they all have different balances of vitamins. Hemp milk is high in Omega 3s and 6s, Soy Milk is high in vitamin B12, Almond milk has a wider range of fortified vitamins. So, I figure when I mix them up I am more likely to get what I need.

Lastly, I try not to ingest too much soy, so I wanted soy milk alternatives. When I do buy soy, I make sure it's organic, since the majority of soybeans are genetically modified.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foods I've replaced

Even though I've been eating some meat and dairy, there are foods that have permanently replaced animal products in my kitchen, since they're just as tasty and easily replaced. This is a list of vegan foods I've incorporated into my diet, and the animal products they've replaced. Over time, these small changes I'm sure have added up to a much healthier diet.

1. Earth Balance soy-free spread, replacing butter
2. Almond, Rice, Hemp and Soy Milks, replacing dairy milk
3. Vegan "parmesan", replacing parmesan
4. SO Delicious Coconut milk ice cream, replacing ice cream
5. Vegan vitamins, replacing vitamins
6. Amy's Dairy/Gluten free mac and cheese, replacing Kraft mac and cheese
7. Amy's Dairy free frozen pizzas, replacing frozen pizzas
8. Larabars, replacing various snack bars
9. Nate's Meatless Meatballs, replacing ground turkey

That's all I can think of for now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Starting over, slower

The reason why I started this blog was to document and share my story, good or bad, as I decided to quit eating meat. That quickly turned into being vegan. I wanted to show that it was possible, even for a naysayer like myself who suddenly decided to make a change. Deep inside I was hoping it might inspire somebody to re-think their diet, but I didn't expect anyone to read it except my Mom. Well, now is a good time to check in, because it hasn't been working out. At least not in black and white terms. However, being vegan for a while, and doing all the research I did, my diet is changed forever, for the better.

Before and after my surgery (9 months ago) I started eating animal products again, mainly for nutritional purposes. I talked about it here. I've pretty much been rolling that way ever since. I've had some fully vegan weeks here and there, but that's it. I'm not fully physically healed, but I'm getting there. My body is still in the rebuilding stage, and it's important I continue to get stronger to protect my back from future injury.

Here's the conundrum. I want to be vegan. I want my body to thrive on a vegan diet. I really do. But, I felt myself lose energy. I couldn't put weight on. I lost weight. I felt weak. All the things that I had convinced myself don't happen to vegans. I don't know if I didn't eat a wide enough variety of foods, or if I didn't eat enough, or if my body genetically wasn't meant for veganism. But whatever the problem, it's a problem. And it's one I'm intent on solving. I want this blog to lead to a happy ending, where I figure out the vegan diet I need and can thrive with. I'm a little afraid that it might not happen.

Now that I've had some time to heal, and to think, I've decided to recommit to being vegan. This time though, I'm taking it slower. Instead of stopping all at once, I'm going to phase out animal products. And I'm really going to listen to my body and watch my weight. I will not compromise my health for this. Hopefully it won't come to that.