Wow, That Was Hard! Or The Joys and Challenges of my Vegan Month of Food

My month-long commitment to eating vegan has come to an end. While I do not feel moved to make the plunge to a truly vegan lifestyle, I definitely learned a lot from my lil' journey.

Here are my reflections...

1. I canNOT live without vanilla coffee creamer. While it is considered to be "non-dairy," it has a milk derivative in it, so true vegans would stay away. I just can't. I don't think I will ever be able to give this stuff up. A splash in my daily iced coffee, as well as one in my hot oatmeal = AM heaven.

2. Roasted veggies are easy and amazingly delicious. I ate them as my main course many nights as a vegan, and I will continue to do so. They are also pretty cheap, too!

3. Vegetable sushi does not satisfy me the way sushi with fish does. Yes, it's good, but it's not delicious. I missed spicy tuna rolls and salmon sashimi!

4. Baked tofu is amazing on salads! I have actually started baking some myself, and it is easy and super tasty.

5. Vegan substitutes (ie meatless ground and Nayonaise) do not taste the same as the originals (I def couldn't fool Hungry Hubby!), but they are good and sub well in conventional recipes. I also think they would taste better each time, sort of like how people claim that wine and beer are "acquired tastes."

6. Our country's factory farming practices are ATROCIOUS. I was well aware of this fact due to the documentary Food, INC., but I researched some more during my vegan-ness. It is unbelievable that there aren't laws requiring decent treatment of animals we farm for food. It is illegal to neglect dogs and cats, but it's fine to chop off the beaks of little chicks so they don't peck one another in their ridiculously overcrowded cages!?!? I'm so confused!!! While I believe animals were given to us by God to use for food, I think we have a responsibility to treat them with respect while they are alive. And that is def not happening in America!! Google "factory farming" if you want to know more!

7. Being both vegan and gluten-free is SUPER tough! Kudos to all of you who maintain that lifestyle.

I am happy to incorporate my beloved creamer, Laughing Cow cheeses, ice cream, and the occasional chicken dishes back into my diet, but I will definitely be eating vegan meals more often. I also hope to make smarter choices when eating meat (buying from local, humane farmers, for example) and crusade for laws to change regarding our ranching and farming practices. Even if you don't agree with my food choices, I believe its a personal issue, and we all should be OK with what other people want to put in their bodies. You are what you eat! ;)

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