Monday, February 9, 2009

Nothing With a Heart Except Artichokes

So I have been vegetarian since I was in 7th grade. I am now a Junior in college so that comes out to around 8 or 9 years as a vegetarian. What I say is that "I don't eat anything with a heart...except artichokes." It generally works very well for me.

I have periodically tried veganism. That means along with no meat, fish or poultry, there are no dairy products such as milk, cheese, or eggs. For me, the problem with being vegan is that cereal, on of my favorite foods becomes a problem. I'm not really a substitute kind of girl, so soy milk, almond milk and rice milk do not trick my tastebuds. They can trick my eyes, but not the mouth.

People ask me, "How do you get enough protein!?"
The average American consumes 300x the recommended amount of protein. Protein is not like B12 where you need to TRY to get enough. You just will. I don't even think about it. There are plenty of plant based proteins. Beans are my favorite, and when they are combined with rice they make a whole protein. Quinoa (pronounced kEEn-wa) is a great source. So are nuts, seeds, and any grain. Also, most vegans/vegetarians have some source of soy in their diet, which is the only naturally occuring, non-meat whole protien. As long as you have a varied diet, you will be FINE!

My roommate thinks that making food takes too long and is too much of an effort, so she eats out a lot. I never eat out. Tonight I made myself thick, seasoned fries which were delicious. I cut up some potatoes, put them in a bag with some spices and olive oil and shook them up while the oven was heating, tossed them on a pan and put them in the oven. Half an hour later, I came back and they were DELICIOUS. It took maybe 5 minutes time, and they were really healthy. You would take the same amount of time waiting in line at McDonalds, for an inferior fry. Plus, I knew exactly what went into them; there were no trans fats, no lard, nothing that wasn't natural and healthy.

I have been putting more effort into eating healthy and I think after I finish my jug of milk in the fridge (along with my Cheerios) I am going to go vegan again. It only takes 3 weeks to overcome cravings, so if I cut out the milk and cheese for that long I will be home free. (I already don't eat eggs. I'm just not comfortable with it. I wouldn't want someone eating my eggs. That would just be weird).