I've been trying to go vegan for a long while now and though this year has been much better than the previous one, there were still some challenges and times where I fell off the wagon. I'm aware that there is still the possibility of falling off, but I am having the time of my life with the 30 Day Vegan Challenge .
I have no vegan friends and so it's a bit hard and lonely embarking on something alone. Sure the kids are eating it right along with me, but they are beyond the point of excited. They eat whatever is put before them or purchased and they go along with it. So basically there is no one to walk the road with me and at times hold my hand.
I wished for and prayed for a program of some sort that would "walk" with a person through this vegan journey. Then after days, weeks, and months of searching, I found Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
I read all I could find. Watched all the videos I could find. And then finally she announced that she was starting just the kind of program I was looking for.
So I began my 30 day challenge 9 days ago and it's been extremely fun. I like that she keeps things simple. I think that was one of my biggest problems. I was trying to start this vegan journey and make it so complicated. However, when I stop to think about it, when my mother began teaching me to cook, she didn't tell me my first meal would be a 5 course dinner. No, she started me out simple and eased me into the more difficult, time consuming meals as time went on.
So I've been keeping it simple. Breakfast is by far the easiest. A smoothie M-F, and on the weekends I choose whatever vegan breakfast I want. For lunch, I've had salads, hummus and veggies, fruit, again, whatever I choose. I'm keeping snacks simple also; nuts, fruit, veggies, nut butter with fruit, on and on. I've been keeping my cooking focused on supper and yet I'm keeping that simple as well. Aug. 9, 10, & 11 I had a huge awesome salad and it was so good the first night, I duplicated it 2 more nights after that. Sunday, Aug. 12. I enjoyed a sandwich made with home grown tomatoes and basil. Tuesday we enjoyed fried rice. Wednesday - Sushi, Thursday - roasted broccoli/cauliflower with a hot dipping sauce. I also tried polenta fries as a snack....yummmmm. Tonight was vegan pizza by Tofurky. We tried each one and I am not disappointed what so ever!!! We will be having them again. We've also tried Gimme Lean ground sausage and it was delicious as well.
As I think about this vegan lifestyle, I realize, I've been eating vegan all along to a degree. We don't call apples vegan, but they are. We don't call salads vegan, but in reality that's what they are. I'm only omitting the meat (substituting it sometimes), dairy, and animal products. There are alternatives for everything now days and I'm having a ball exploring them all. There is even a vegan sausage I can use to make gumbo with and vegan seafood!!!!
I think the only hiccup I've found in this is that when people ask how I've lost so much weight (a little over 40 pounds) and I tell them, they immediately become defensive. I'm not asking them to make any lifestyle changes and I'm not telling them animal products are wrong. I've simply answered the question and they feel the need to explain to me why their "diet" works best and how they get to eat all the meat they want to. I'm in no way competing with them or the way they choose to eat, nor am I saying they should switch over to being vegan. That's the only pitiful thing I've experienced thus far.