My mother got back from CA yesterday, which means that today was DAY ZERO of our mostly vegan diet. I say "mostly" because chances are, if we are confronted by a piece of free, non-vegan birthday cake, or someone takes us out to a nice fish dinner, we are going to cave like dixie cups. But at least we are aware of our weaknesses. That's what counts, right?
I have spent my life sneaking food, afraid of the judgments I'd be faced with if caught with a Snickers bar or mouthful of peanut M&Ms. Turns out, people on the other end of the spectrum are judged just as harshly. The general reaction to my going on a six-week vegan diet has been that I have lost my marbles.
Honestly, I was one of the loudest protesters of this diet a few weeks ago. To me, veganism seemed just as unhealthy as one of those Hollywood liquid diets. But for all the reasons mentioned in my last blog, I have decided to give this a try.
It is one of the ways I am trying to fight cancer, which oftentimes feels like some omnipotent fate-weaving force, not to be looked at directly, nevertheless challenged. Cancer makes you feel vulnerable. It is a betrayal by the body you cannot escape.
The only way to beat cancer is to be healthy. This is not as paradoxical as it sounds. I have an unhealthy (missing, in fact) thyroid. But I have healthy legs because I ride my bike three times a week. I have healthy arms because I lift weights. I have been healthier on the inside because I have been eating whole foods and calorie counting. And I believe I will be healthier still after trying veganism.
Ultimately, both my Mom and I feel that the most important change to our diets that we can make will be reducing our intake of processed foods. And since meat and dairy are often hyper-processed by the time we consume them, they are to be avoided more than other foods. This is an experiment.
Today's experiment went like this:
Breakfast: 1cup of Cheerios with 1/2 cup of almond milk
Lunch: Orange Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Snack: 2 Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (okay, 3)
Dinner: Another cup of Orange QBB Salad
So I think I did pretty well. Except for the whole giving in to my sweet tooth and making a batch of cookies thing.
My mom had a harder time because she didn't have time to cook and just had plain beans and rice to eat for lunch and dinner.
|It tastes much better than it looks, I promise!|
Even my nay-sayer husband said it was delicious.
My downfall today came when I went to Whole Foods fifteen minutes before closing. This sent me into panic mode, which is never a good mode to shop in. I got the fresh fruits and vegetables on my list, some lentils, some millet (pronounced mil-it, unless you are French and then you can probably get away with mil-ay), more quinoa. But then I started just kind of snatching things off the shelf that said "vegan" on them.
I ended up with a bunch of processed vegan foods, which, if I had really thought about it, are not all that essential to this diet, but seemed like must-haves in my supermarket-sweepstakes moment.
Here is the rest of what I bought (the ones with stars by them were actually on my vegan essentials shopping list):
- Vegan Mayo * (I have had unpleasant experiences creating my own mayo when on the no-iodine diet; turns out I have an aversion to the smell of vinegar.)
-Vegan Butter * (I don't actually eat a lot of butter, but I figured I might need to cook with it and I certainly am not about to churn my own, even if it is made from soy.)
-Almond Dream No-Dairy Ice-cream (whoops)
-Gluten-free Organic Graham Crackers (I had a coupon and it didn't occur to me until later that regular graham crackers are vegan anyway.)
-Canned black beans (boo, canned food)
-Frozen mixed veggies * (fresh is wonderful, but goes bad too quickly)
-unsalted cashews *
-2 Amy's frozen burritos
Cheers to all you vegans for letting me hop your bandwagon!
I'll let you know how I'm feeling six weeks from now....