You would think that by now, three days after my 21 day vegan challenge has ended, I would be “face and eyes” (Newfie expression) into a hamburger. But strangely enough, I have no desire to eat meat. In fact, I would have to say that the 21 day challenge was not a “challenge” at all….it was more of a delight! Let me explain…..
First of all, I am not what you would consider a real food lover. I enjoy food, sure, but eating does not usually top my list of things to do. In fact, there are days when I actually forget to eat a meal. It is not unusual during gardening season for me to go outside after breakfast and become so engrossed in my horticultural endeavors that I realize the sun is setting and I have actually forgotten to eat! (I know, Sherry Inkpen, you hate me…) However, since I started eating a plant based diet, I look forward to every meal, and I am actually excited about food for the first time in years!
The second delightful thing about plant based eating is trying new recipes and discovering that traditional Newfoundland meals can easily (and tastily) be adapted to a healthier, plant based version. Case in point: fries and gravy, a Newfie favourite. I consider myself to be somewhat of a gravy connoisseur. Even blindfolded I can tell the difference between chicken gravy, pork gravy and beef gravy. I have even been known to dabble in turr gravy , and you need a seasoned palate for that! Obviously one of the key ingredients in traditional gravy is animal drippings (doesn’t that sound gross?). However, I have discovered a new way to make gravy which rivals any gravy I have ever tasted: mushroom gravy (recipe to follow in my next post). And now for the fries….sweet potato fries, oven roasted with olive oil and a dash of sea salt and pepper. Yummy!
I would be amiss not to mention the third (or turd) delightful thing about plant-based eating: the B.M’s. I’m a little shy about getting into the details of what constitutes a healthy BM, but if you are interested in knowing what your poo says about you, you must read what the Savvy Sister has to say on the topic!
Like my “vegan coach”, Susan, I am not quite comfortable with the term “vegan”. Mainly because it makes one sound like an alien:
Martian: Greetings. I am a Martian who hails from the planet Mars.
Me: Na-nu Na-nu, I am a Vegan who hails from the planet Vegs.
I much prefer the term “plant-based eating”. Being a plant-based eater does not mean that I can’t ever have eggs, cheese, or even a bit of meat on occasion. It just means that my diet is MAINLY plant based. I can do that!
So, to conclude my “challenge” I would like to thank Susan for all the helpful tips and words of encouragement. While she is the epitome of healthy eating, she is never preachy and never hardly ever forces her opinions on others. What says you, Susan?
Thanks Florence! And congratulations on your accomplishment! Please print and proudly display the certificate below (or just read it):
Your lifestyle changes are just that: YOURS. Unfortunately, people have preconceptions about what a vegan diet means and see it as something negative…”I will have to GIVE UP so and so…”
But as Flo has shown us, with eating plant-based, you are getting so much more variety, color, flavor and texture, that you will never get bored. And you will exercise your mind by trying new things. (New experiences create new connections in your brain) For example, I just tried Yacon syrup for the first time yesterday. Yacon syrup is a root (like sweet potato) that is used as a sweetener but it is not like sugar, does not raise your blood sugar, (so diabetics can eat it) it helps build bone, and can help with weight loss!
I think you’ll find Flo that as time goes on, you will continue to feel better, and have more energy and enjoy fixing meals, which will reinforce your decision to remain plant-based.
I invite everyone reading this to go out today and bring home one new item from the produce section and find a way to prepare it. One suggestion is spaghetti squash. There are two recipes on my blog, The Savvy Sister, you can use.
Baby steps now…soon you’ll be running a marathon! And we’ll be here to help you!