Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Becoming Vegan, well....sort of :)

It all started in September.   My cousin Tesha posted a movie recommendation on Facebook, saying that it had motivated her to eat better and following its recommendations she had lost, I think it was, 40 lbs.  Needless to say I was intrigued.  I put it on hold at the library and then one evening, when we had nothing better to do, my husband whom I'll call Iron Man and I sat down and were captivated. So what was the movie you ask?  It is called "Forks Over Knives" and it was pretty compelling!  www.forksoverknives.com  You can even watch the entire documentary online at their website.

 After viewing it we proceeded to toss out all of our menu items that included meat, cheese, dairy and other refined or processed foods.  Which left us with about fifteen options for dinner most of which we would have to make substitutions in and weren't necessarily at the top of the tasty list to begin with.  We gave all of our packaged meats and cheese to Iron Man's employee and before you could say 'hamburger' we became vegan.  Talk about a dramatic change.  Let me tell you when we do something we go whole hog....no gradually easing into anything for us.  Dinner the next evening was, for lack of a better word, interesting.  I found a vegan tamale pie recipe with Cajun flavoring.  I don't think we could have started the diet out worse.  It was terrible and we wondered how we were going to make it work for the next year, which was what our original goal was.  The one exception we made was if we go out to eat or are invited over to someone's house for dinner we would allow ourselves these forbidden foods, in moderation of course.

Things got better.  I think I had an easier time with it than Iron Man.  He can't stand quinoa or hummus and the like.  I made lots of oatmeal, muesli and fruit smoothies for breakfast.  I even put spinach in them(the smoothies that is), and it tasted GOOD!  Lots of spinach salads for lunches and dinners with lentil, bean dishes as the main course.  We have found that Indian food is easily converted to vegan without losing much flavor.  My favorite Indian cookbook is Healthy Indian Cooking, by Shezad Husain(2004).  It offers flavorful dishes without adding a lot of the fat that Indian restaurants here in the U.S. add to their dishes.  It has been a lifesaver for me.
Healthy Indian Cooking
So I was doing pretty well, losing weight, the numbness in my toes went away (I have hereditary issues with circulation and cardiovascular health).  I was feeling great.  Then all of a sudden I felt fatigued, nauseated and hormonal.  Yep, we discovered I was now eating for two!  And the little bean was not thrilled with spinach and legumes.  Oh, boy.  There goes that diet for awhile.  All of the healthy things made me queasy and I ate terribly for a few months.  We're talking Mac & Cheese, Hamburgers, not to mention lots of Halloween candy!  Ugh. Then there was Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of the deliciousness that goes along with them. 
Fortunately last night Iron Man and I found ourselves bored and decided to watch something on Hoopla, and as luck would have it our first selected movie "The Great Buck Howard" decided not to play for us.  We selected Food Inc. and after watching it Iron Man threw out our stash of Sees candy suckers, and we resolved to go back on our almost Vegan diet.  I think I need to watch some food documentary every few months to keep me on track it really works for me!  One other book I would recommend is "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman.  I don't believe in totally cutting out meat, but rather eating it sparingly and this book reinforced that concept for me.  Here's to your health and may you have a prosperous New Year!