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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vegan, Vegetarian, or Straight Up Carnivore

Over a month ago I went vegan for 21 days. If you are wondering why in the world I would ever do such a thing, read my previous post. If you are well aware of my reasons <insert you are my mom or one of the Newman's>, or if really don't care, then continue reading. Anyways, one thing that was really important to me was to not just eat vegan crap (it does exist) or just brown rice, but to eat delicious whole foods. Not to say that I didn't enjoy my fair share of vegan chocolate chip cookies (homemade of course) or vegan coconut ice cream. But I made the effort each week to make recipes that followed all the vegan guidelines and were tasty. I have to say a thank you to pinterest, because literally it gave me tons of recipe ideas. Oh and a thank you to my Sophie Newman, who was my personal vegan guru. Below I posted 9 of my favorite recipes, and I can honestly say that they are all delicious (now I did tweak some recipes to make them entirely vegan).

Pictures were provided via Pinterest, links below  go to all the original sources.
  1. Vegetable Soup
  2. Sweet Potato Fries (I recommend cutting down on the cayenne)
  3. Garlic Mushroom Bruschetta
  4. Tortilla Pie (I used vegan cheese)
  5. Curry
  6. Quinoa and Black Beans
  7. Roasted Vegetables
  8. Whole Wheat Pancakes
  9. Banana Bread (I used regular sugar because I had never even heard of date sugar)
I really did enjoy being vegan. The only thing that kept me from staying vegan was CHEESE. I love cheese. Feta, Colby Jack, Stilton, Munster, Gouda, not blue cheese, but pretty much every other kind. So after my 21 day challenge,  I decided that I was going to be a vegetarian with vegan tendencies. Meaning that I wasn't going to eat meat, eggs, milk, pretty much any dairy products besides cheese and well ice cream (though I must admit that vegan ice cream is quite delicious). Oh and I should also mention that I'm only eating what I like to call happy cheese and happy ice cream. That's cheese and ice cream that is made from cows and goats milk that are happy <insert not being abused and having their babies taken away, to be sold for veal so I can have the milk intended for them...sorry that was the vegan in me typing>. And thankfully these products are relatively easy to find living here in the Midwest. Interestingly though both cheese and ice cream gave me horrible stomach aches, the first time I ate them (and the second, and the third, and actually ice cream still gives me a stomach, but I continued to eat them anyways. And then sadly yesterday <insert me hanging my head in shame> I ate meat. I will say that it was farm fresh meat (the people I had lunch with were farmers) and I thought this would make me feel ok. But afterwards I felt bad physically and emotionally. It's not like I cried or anything, but after I ate the meat, I realized a) it wasn't as good as I remembered and b) it wasn't really worth it. I've made enough meals over the past month, to know that I can be perfectly satisfied with no meat at all.

So the question now is where do I stand when it comes to food...well I've decided to go back to being vegan...for another 30 days. Why the time frame on my eating habits. Well I kind of want to do an experiment. WARNING what you are about to read is incredibly vain and if you are already wavering on whether you like me or not this next passage will definitely tip the scales not in my favor. You've been warned. Anyways I noticed that while I was eating a vegan diet, my skin was really good, I mean like no make up kind of good (ok well I still wore mascara because I can't afford Latisse) . And to be real the first week or so I broke out (I like to think my face was detoxing) but after that my skin was great. I've noticed though, over the past month my skin has developed random red patches, and little bumps on my forehead again. And I wonder if this has to do with the dairy that I've allowed back into my diet. So I've decided to test this hypothesis and see if I can get my clear skin back again. You might be wondering am I actually willing to give up a whole food group just to have nice skin? Yes, yes I am. I already admitted that I am vain, and I'm making no effort to change. So come tomorrow I will be back on the vegan train. And I have to say that I'm actually looking forward to. I'm not nearly as intimidated as I once was. And I loved how I felt those 21 days. So here's to scratching off #24. Be vegan for a one week, on my list of 100 things to do (I have not forgotten about that list, it haunts me daily, and reminds me of a time when I did not have a full time job <insert me sighing>). Well thanks for reading, and I look forward to posting more yummy vegan friendly recipes over the next month. Oh and I'll be sure to let you know if my skin improves, or if Jesus strikes me with some plague to teach me to not be vain. Pray for the latter not to happen. Hope y'all enjoyed!

Oh and P.S. I will be on a cheese binge tonight!


  1. First of all, the Newman shout-out made me laugh! Second, I don't think testing out this complexion thing is vain at falls under the health category! Third, I have always heard that the hardest thing for vegans to give up is cheese!

    And I also have a vegetarian diet with vegan tendencies...I enjoy it immensely. I only eat meat in the rarest of circumstances, and that's because I don't think it's very fair to prepare vegetarian meals every night for my carnivore of a husband. ;)

    1. Oh Carnivore husbands...they will get you. It's crazy how they know the soy burger isn't real meat ;) And I totally agree about the skin thing. But I think sometimes I take it to the extreme. Seeing as I've never had like full blown acne, I shouldn't really complain but I do. Oh well I don't drink coffee, do drugs, or get drunk, so I guess being OCD about my skin can be my vice. Oh that and chocolate and my ability to drink a whole 2 liter of fresca in one night. There's a part of me that hopes my hypothesis is wrong and that it's not the cheeses fault.

  2. Hi, again! (I know it seems like I internet ghost, but recently I've actually had a little time to read blogs and make a comment here and there. Your cheery posts always make me feel like joining in the conversation, even if I hardly ever do it. Anyway...) I have relatives that are vegan, and the results of others doing similar experiments to yours are almost always beneficial. I'm not speaking from personal experience, just observation of others, but my two cents is that you will need more than 30 days to properly watch the results of your skin changes. This is due to our all-mighty female cycle. I know it sounds crazy, but three months will more acurately tell the story. Here's the good part though, you've already done about a month, you can focus on your 30 days, and then you will only have to commit to another 30 after that. You'll probably be fine crossing that bridge when you come to it too. Best of wishes for a successful experiment, with many happy results!

    1. Thanks for joining in! It is always nice to hear peoples responses. I think you're right, I will probably stick with the vegan diet for a while. I know I'm only on day 2 but I really enjoy being creative when it comes to making meals. And also I feel really great physically. I think I'm going to go till my birthday which is in July. Sorry I haven't been over to your blog in a while. If you check out my blog, you will see that I've kind of been out of the blogging world for a while (like 8 months). I'll be sure to stop by soon. Thanks again for your lovely comment!