Vegan Challenge

Thanks to Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Diet”,” I’ve been dabbling in veganism.  After going a whole week without cheese, I can attest to the fact that it does eventually become less appealing.  Granted everything is relative, and extra sharp cheddar cheese will probably always sound like a good idea to me.  My stomach has been happier while dairy-free though, so I’m going to eat a vegan diet during Lent with the sole exception of birthday cake.  Growing up, I remember a neighbor who always gave up sweets for Lent, with the exception of her daughter’s birthday cake, and that seems like an appropriate compromise to me.

Breakfast and lunch are on my own and easy to veganize.  Green juice, smoothies, oatmeal, and massive salads are pretty simple on their own.  I actually have a pretty good collection of vegan cookbooks as well to try and figure out dinners.  I have generally found vegan cookbooks to be creative and innovative, and when we were just eating a vegetarian diet, it’s easy to add real milk or cheese to un-veganize a recipe if you want.  My favorite vegan recipe is definitely the mushroom and onion gravy from The 30 Minute Vegan; that recipe alone is worth the price of the book, though everything I’ve made from this cookbook has been stellar. 

One thing I worry about with veganism is that it seems like there is a tendency to rely on processed foods like fake cheese, fake meat, and other replacement products.  I feel like vegan cheese and similar products would be a step backwards for me, so I’m going to use this challenge to discover new foods and new recipes, but without relying on replacement or transition products.  One thing I do want to look into is Earth Balance, and figure out what exactly vegan butter is and if it qualifies as a real food or not.  I’m a little skeptical of vegan buttery spread, as we call it in my house. 

Still, I  think my stomach is going to enjoy this challenge, and even if I slip up a little in the cheese department, I’m hopeful that I’ll spend the next 40 days eating even healthier and more creative food than normal.

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