What I learned from my Seven Day Vegan challenge is… I really have a lot to learn.
Sure, I ate healthier, by not consuming processed foods, eliminating dairy, and animal byproducts but that was just a tip of the iceberg.
Vegetarianism goes way deeper than just avoiding the consumption of meats, including animal byproducts. I can say with all honesty, I failed horribly at being a Vegan for the following reasons:
1. I still dressed in leather, silks, and wool (on a cool night).
2. I consumed honey (once I learned that was a “no-no” I stopped immediately).
3. I drank caffeinated coffee and with cream (again, a “no-no”) SMH.
However, the good thing is… I’m learning and the more knowledge I obtain, the better I’ll become at practicing the Vegan lifestyle. I can truly say that I agree with the ethical side of being a Vegan and understand that supplements are needed in order to maintain optimal health. Just eating fruits and vegetables (raw or semi-cooked) will not suffice, especially for my busy life.
There are different levels (Lacto vegetarianism, Ovo vegetarianism, Ovo-lacto vegetarianism), to adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. Both have healthy benefits, one is stricter than the other and then there is a little known term called “pescatarian”, which incorporates fish and other seafood (no red meat, pork, or poultry) with the vegetarian diet.
Pescatarians are sometimes described as vegetarian or pesco-vegetarian, but vegetarians commonly do not consider the pescatarian diet to be vegetarian. Because of the ingestion of poultry, fish, and other animal byproducts.
While observing my “flawed” vegan challenge, there were subtle changes in my body that occurred and I quickly made adjustments for. One of the most painful, was cramping in my extremities (legs, and hands). I found it was basically due to lack of sufficient hydration (H20). A minor complication that was easily corrected by drinking more water and less of my favorite beverage “caffeinated coffee”.
The benefits of becoming a Vegan or Vegetarian, definitely have me considering eliminating meat and dairy products altogether due to research studies that indicate higher levels of carcinogens. Namely, “casein” found in animal byproducts and it being attributed to cancer. The “China Study” that the majority of vegans like to use as their “bible” for lack of a better word, uses test animals for their research. Hmm, I thought that cruelty to animals was something totally against the Vegan lifestyle? Wouldn’t testing of animals fall under that category? I suppose some cruelty and loss of life is a justifiable evil. Right?
Well, for the sake of argument, I’ll just say from my own experience avoiding meat and dairy products for seven days has awakened my senses and I prefer a plant-based diet over the consumption of animals and their byproducts simply because I believe it to be “healthier”.
Here are some meal ideas I’ve adopted into my “healthier living” program:
- Bagel with soy cream cheese
- Cereal/granola with Soy/Almond/Rice/Hemp/Flax/Coconut milk
- Fruit smoothie
- Oatmeal made with soy milk and strawberries/ Maple syrup & brown sugar
- Toast with nut butter and jelly
- Toast with nut butter and sprinkled with Cinnamon & Sugar
- Tofu Scrambled with veggie sausage
- Vegan pancakes/French Toast with Potatoes O’Brien
- Vegan Muffin
- Wheat farina
- Ants-on-a-log (Celery with peanut butter and raisins on top)
- Apple with nut butter
- Chips & Salsa, Chips & Guacamole
- Clif Bar, Luna Bar, LÄRABAR
- Crackers and soy cream cheese
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh veggies and non-dairy ranch dressing
- Frozen grapes
- Hummus with carrots or Pita Chips, White Bean Dip and Pita Chips
- Kale Chips
- Peanut Butter & Co. “Dark Chocolate Dreams” on a banana
- Pirate’s Booty -Veggie, Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks
- Pretzels, Popcorn (top with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor)
- Raisins, figs, dried fruits
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Vegan jerky: Stonewall’s Jerquee, Primal Strips
- Baked potatoes and baked beans
- Bean burrito with Spanish Rice
- Beans, rice and salsa tacos
- Dairy-free pizza loaded with veggies (You can top with Daiya cheese, Chicago Soydairy’s Teese, Follow Your Heart Mozzarella,Nutritional Yeast Cheese, or just veggies)
- Falafel in a pita pocket, topped with Tahini paste (Also known as tehina, it is a paste made from ground sesame seeds)
- Pasta with cannellini beans and marinara sauce, Pasta with meatless meatballs
- Peanut butter & jelly sandwich
- Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- Stir fried veggies with Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan or other mock meat
- Taco salad with vegetarian refried beans, salsa, guacamole, vegan sour cream, and taco sauce, over a bed of corn tortilla chips and lettuce
- TLT (tempeh bacon, lettuce and tomato- with Vegenaise) and Sweet Potato Fries
- Vegan Chili
- Vegetable lasagna with tofu “ricotta”
- Vegetarian hotdog, Vegetarian hot dogs wrapped in Crescent Rolls, Chopped vegetarian hot dog with vegetarian baked beans
- Veggie burger: Quinoa Burgers, Black Bean Burgers, Lentil Burgers, Soy Burgers
- Veggie luncheon sandwich (umm, NOT)
- Fruit sorbet
- Soy “cheese” cake
- Soy or coconut milk ice cream
- Soy yogurt and fresh fruit
- Vegan cake, pie, cookies, cupcakes & muffins
- Vegan rice pudding & vegan tapioca pudding
That’s all for now as I continue my life’s journey into health and wealth, make sure to sign up via email to stay abreast of my next “self-discovery/adventure”. Thanks for reading and remember to share, comment, and/or like.
Wishing you peace and prosperity,
Credits and References:
The other day, I had a conversation with a friend about relationships and why some people behave in the mannerisms they do. The best thing that a person can do to improve their relationships with others, is to be authentic with themselves.
I enjoy watching the videos by psychologist Ralph Smart and hope that you experience something new from his talks- I know they’ve helped me out a lot.