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...Continued from yesterday:
I decided I would try veganism for seven days. Just to see how it would be. Just to see if I could do it. What is life for, if not experimentation?
It turned out that leaping across the divide from carnivore to vegavore was not such a leap after all; that is to say, I didn't realize how close to vegan I already was.
Here, then, is how that leap - or hop, such as it was - transpired.
Day one: Monday, July 5
I decided to track my weight every day before breakfast. On Monday morning I weighed 133.2 lbs in my pajamas, which is about my normal pajama weight.
Oh, what a beautiful morning it was when I realized that I would not have to give up what I loved best of all in the food pyramid: sugar. In fact, it turned out that my usual breakfast of cherry preserves and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light on oatnut toast was acceptable vegan fare,
...paired with my usual glass of iced tea and a side of hot water.
Which brings up an obvious point: Vegan doesn't necessarily mean healthy. And though all vegan foods are cholesterol free, some might not necessarily be good for one's cholesterol count.
Did you know that Oreos are vegan?
And so I expect every vegan must take some considerations into account: as in, am I vegan in order to preserve the planet or to to preserve my health? And how does one reconcile the two?
And then there's the consideration of getting sufficient protein without having to pile on an inordinate number of calories to get it. For example, for lunch I normally have a serving of fat-free cottage cheese piled with fruit. No problem, thought I, when I went vegan: I'd simply switch out the cottage cheese for oatmeal, which I did:
Except that a serving of oatmeal has less than half as much protein as fat-free cottage cheese and almost twice the calories.
In truth I'm not sure I got enough protein on my vegan regimen, though I'm likewise not sure that I didn't. I expect that if one were to take up veganism full-time one would have to study the subject of protein intake more closely than I did.
For dinner that night I fixed burritos,
...having mine without the meat and cheese.
After dinner I faced my biggest challenge of veganism: no ice cream. The thing is, I grew up in a family where no dinner was complete without dessert. Thus to this day I don't feel complete unless I've had some dessert, and ice cream is my fallback.
However, I could have another piece of bread with fake spread and jam for dessert. As I'd had cherry jam on oatnut for breakfast, I decided to go with raspberry jam on multigrain so I wouldn't just feel like I was just eating breakfast again.
I made a serendipitous discovery: If you fold the bread over and really use your imagination, a raspberry jelly bread tastes a little like a jelly donut.
After dinner I felt exhausted. Probably too many carbs, too many beans, too much rice, too much bread. All evening long I felt as if I were about to fall into a food-induced coma. I fought to stay awake until 10 pm, by which time I was feeling a twinge of reflux. I took two tums, turned in, and vowed moving forward to go easier on the beans and rice.
Day 2: Tuesday, July 6
The morning after the previous evening's carbs-a-palooza I feared to step on the scale. Curiously, my weight was down to 132.6 lbs. Even more curiously, I had slept that night like a ton of bricks. My daughter suggested that maybe the cure for my chronic insomnia was this: to sleep like ton of bricks, eat a ton of beans and rice before bed.
Hard pass on that one.
However that night for dinner I mixed together all the non-meat left-overs from the previous night and added some mushrooms and olives sautéed in olive oil.
Now, back in my pre-vegan day I would have added the meat to left-overs. I often shlep together all the left-overs lingering in the fridge into a cassoulet (French for schlepped-together left-overs). I also would have added a little butter to the olive oil in which I sautéed the vegetables. But frankly, I didn't miss having meat or the butter in the mix.
For dessert, another "jelly donut."
Alas, that night the "beans and rice" ploy failed to work as it had the night before on my insomnia and I slept as terribly as usual. I probably didn't eat enough beans and rice.
Day three: Wednesday, June 8
On Wednesday morning I was down to 132 lbs. It occurred to me that maybe I should up my oatmeal game. Or maybe my oatbread game.
So for breakfast I decided to break out the peanut butter. Peanut butter powder, that is.
I'd bought a jar of organic peanut butter powder from Kroger's,
...figuring it would be a good protein source without all the fat and calories of regular peanut butter.
I mixed the powder with water per the instructions on the jar,
...then spread the reconstituted peanut butter on oat bread and topped it off with fresh cherries.
Was it good? OMG, it was soooo good! I vow I'll never go back to fatty old regular peanut butter.
Wednesday afternoon my son Tommy's girlfriend Emily,
...in support of my vegan week, invited me out for lunch at Bibibop,
....where one can find delicious vegan - or non-vegan - fare.
That night I made a pretty traditional dinner.
I just skipped the meat, but rather piled my baked potato with sautéed veggies.
For dessert I cut up a pear and topped it with raspberry jam.
The pear with jam was good, but somehow didn't quite hit the spot. So I made myself a peanut butter powder and strawberry open-facer, which did.
Day 4: Thursday, July 8
This was a day of yet more most serendipitous discoveries.
The first discovery was that a pile of assorted raw vegetables,
...on white bread slathered with yellow mustard,
....makes a fabulously delicious sandwich!
And guess what? Potato chips are vegan! That was my second discovery of the day.
And the third was that a mushroom, garlic, olive and basil pizza without mozzarella and Parmesan is just as delicious as a mushroom, garlic, olive and basil pizza with mozzarella and Parmesan!
To be continued...
by Patti Liszkay
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by Patti Liszkay
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"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
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I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.