Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vegan Experiment-Best Vegan Foods

My month long goal of a Vegan, nothing-processed, and Sugar-free diet died after 14 days.  Sad I didn't hold out, but I learned a lot regardless. 

Every day watching my kids eat sandwiches, cookies, donuts, brownies, pizza, burgers, milk, eggs, sausage, bacon, etc., was awesome.  If they made cookies, I hounded them to eat every last one so I wouldn't have to see them. When I went out to lunch with Pat for his birthday, I ordered a salad while he sat next to me and ate a beautiful Croque Madáme.

Making my food wasn't too difficult, but certainly not as easy as eating what everyone else was eating.  That's the cruel thing about moms trying to diet.  We still have to make meals for our families, and then make our own.

Sunday was my downfall.  We had given talks in church that day, staying up late and waking up early to finish them.  I never had time for breakfast.  Pat had early morning meetings and I had to get everyone ready alone.  Once the stress of speaking was over and we all got home, I looked for something to eat and just could not eat the same stuff one more time.

And I was super annoyed because I hadn't lost any weight.  Okay- maybe 5lbs depending on when I weighed myself.   So I said, forget this!  I wasn't in it to lose weight, but that should have been a side effect according to everyone.  Sometimes I wonder if the stress of feeling hungry causes our bodies to gain weight thereby thwarting our efforts.  Maybe I should have had one cheat meal a week so my body wouldn't freak out so much.  But I was trying to get through one completely clean month to see if it made me feel better and see if it made a difference in my skin, etc. Blah.

It's hard to say if it made a difference since I only did 14 days. I did have more energy when I exercised and my nails are stronger, though I don't know if this is the gelatin capsule I take.  It was probably a good diet and I should have kept going but maybe I can just eat more veggies and the occasional bad stuff.  I noticed I had better breath when I was on it; probably because of the no dairy.  I did think it was important to add fish back into my diet and bone broths.  In the end I resolved to still eat my favorite vegan meals and limit my meat, dairy, and sugar as much as possible, but just to live life and not stress. 

If you ever go vegan, or just want some healthy delicious meal ideas to lighten your meat/dairy/sugar load, here's some of my favorite meals below.  Beware, you will be in the bathroom a lot!  Someday I'd better add the recipes too.

Nachos (whole grain chips, black beans, pico de gallo, and "cheese" sauce made of cashews, bell pepper, and nutritional yeast).  Soooooo yummy!

Vegan Tuna wrap.  (Chick-peas, celery, pickles, seaweed, vegan mayo, mustard).  Excellent!
Sea weed comes in small sheets that you just chop and toss in.  Give it that fish taste.  Could also use kelp.

Believe it or not, there's a baked potato underneath all those vegetables.  The big bags of frozen vegetables from Costco were so helpful. This day I added black beans for protein, but I like it better without.
Top with the awesome cheese sauce!  You can also use this cheese sauce on noodles, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.

(Most of these pictures are not mine).

Fajitas with mushrooms instead of meat.

Vegan Chili (or Chili "Cheese" Fries)

Beet Burgers (I've posted these before- make lots and have in freezer).
I even served these to the missionaries since they came over during my experiment.  With vegan potato salad on the side, and a bunch of other non-vegan stuff.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (I just like to eat these w/o bun-also freeze well)

Falafels in Whole Wheat pita (with this sauce)

Indian Lentils-lots of onions

Roasted Root Vegetables (beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots, onion, brussel sprouts, etc.)

Vegan Pasta Salad- whole wheat noodles and a vegan mayo plus vinegar

Vegetable Stir-fry (but do it over brown rice). 

Lentil Potato Soup (I'll still never know how my mamita in Penco made lentils taste so good).

Cheese-less pizza with vegetable toppings (eggplant, cherry tomato, onion, mushroom, pineapple, etc)

Pad Thai style rice noodles with peanut/honey sauce, green onions.

Lentil Tacos (from my cousin Jennifer).

Meatless spaghetti sauce and whole wheat noodles

Mel's Black Bean-Yam-Red Pepper Burritos

Mel's Bean Curry with coconut milk (a meal we have often)-do with brown jasmine rice

Soups- Mexican Bean Soup, Minestrone, Green Minestrone

Mashed Potatoes with Chilean Red Sauce- tomato sauce & broth gravy with cooked onions, peppers
(make potatoes with garlic, olive oil, and no sugar almond milk or cashew cream sauce)

Creamed Spinach (made with rice milk or cashew cream sauce) with Rice and Beans

Big Vegan Sandwich or Wrap (blogged before)

Avocado-Herb and Lemon Pasta

A few breakfast items (though I mostly had sprouted bread toast):

Spelt (or whole wheat) Pancakes (with real maple syrup).  Smear with peanut butter for protein.

Oatmeal with pumpkin seeds, figs, honey (I know), and almond milk.

French Toast made with whole wheat quality bread, dipped in mashed banana, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla, then in almond flour and fried.  Serve with real maple syrup.

Whole Grain, no sugar cereals with almond milk. (Uncle Sam's, Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Ezekiel).

Great vegan snacks:

Popcorn, Green smoothie, Pickles, Olives, Hummus and Mary's Crackers, Whole Wheat Bread, Sweet Potato, Amy's soups, Peanut Butter Toast, or Avocado Toast, Almond Milk (sugar free), Nuts, Edamame, Cowboy Caviar with Chips, Salsa and Chips, corn on the cob.

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