Saturday, December 31, 2011

V Minus 1 Day

I had two restaurant experiences in the last two days. First was Outback Steakhouse. I ordered the Classic Blue Cheese Wedge Salad, minus the cheese and bacon, with tangy tomato dressing. Then a plate of dry fettucini noodles with artichoke and sun-dried tomato topping (if asking for it, they use it on their salmon). It was all rather tasty, and the restaurant was very accommodating.

Tonight we had On the Border. I ordered guacamole with no cheese, black beans with no cheese, and the veggie taco, requesting the veggies be cooked in oil rather than butter. I have to say, I wouldn't recommend the taco. Maybe a taco with black beans, guac, and lettuce and tomatoes would do.

All in all I'm very satisfied with my diet, and I've officially eaten Vegan for a week now, a week ahead of my New Year's Day schedule. I have felt better this week physically, even though I was eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet before. I even had a sleepover at my parent's and took a lunch box of my foods to handle my own meals while there, and it wasn't inconvenient or imposing at all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

V Minus 4 Days

I gave myself two weeks before I would fully commit to a Vegan way of life, because I thought I would need that long get over my former, animal-product ridden life. In fact, I've consciously decided to eat Vegan when going out, or since I've had appropriate foods available at home. This gives me a renewed confidence that this is something I definitely needed to do for myself, besides doing it for animal welfare, of course. And confidence that I have what it takes to make this lifestyle change for the better. I have chosen not to include my almost 3-year-old son in this, as I think any child should have a choice, and he is too young to choose for himself. I hope that my compassion and devotion to this decision will be a positive influence on him once he is able to decide for himself. Even if he does not choose an herbivore lifestyle, I can hope that he will have compassion for all animals through my example.

I am also finding out many things about foods I used to enjoy that are quite disgusting, so I don't think there's anyway I could turn back with the new-found knowledge.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

V Minus 5 Days

Just had a Sukhi's NaanWich, Indian style spinach and tofu, and it was delicious. Definitely going back for more.

Monday, December 26, 2011

V Minus 6 Days

Today had lunch at the Pita Pit, and got a black bean pita with veggies and salsa. Dinner was veggies and fried rice with baked teriyaki tofu. Did research on foods rich in iron and B vitamins. When doing my shopping today, I wasn't able to find the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid I need for my high triglycerides, so I'll check at the Natural Grocers. I picked up a bar of real dark chocolate today when acquiring other Vegan items and it was actually pretty good :) I've never liked other dark chocolate I've tried.

Looking at Vegetarians of Oklahoma's site and found out that McDonald's french fries are coated in beef fat. BEEF FAT. Disgusting. When I informed my boyfriend of this, however, he said, "so that's why they're so tasty." Sigh.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

V Minus 7 Days

I missed a few days from general holiday busyness. In the meantime, I've had a full Vegan day, a friend bringing by several books and lots of podcasts to help me along, and a holiday dinner with no meat. Tomorrow I'll be grocery shopping for the rest of the basics I need. And this week copying down plenty of recipes to get me by while I work out giving up a lot of foods I love. But that's just the problem. We shouldn't have emotion about what we eat.

Had another Vegan day today. Finding that these meat substitutes are really rather tasty, just different in texture. The almond milk is pretty good, which is great since I drink a lot of milk. And, I ordered this belt to replace my leather one. Hopefully it will be here soon, as I do have to wear a belt with my jeans.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

V Minus 11 Days

I went to Homeland today to pick up a prescription - cholesterol medicine to be ironic - and decided to see what, if any, Vegan options they had to offer. I was able to pick up some Tofurkey franks, breakfast links, and sandwich slices, tempeh, Boca burgers and Chikn, black beans, and a few frozen meals to try. Since I have a few items now, I'm making tomorrow a Vegan day. I read that it can make things easier to gradually change your diet. I'm not really planning on a gradual change, but would like to get a feel for some of the things I've picked out. I didn't pick up any tofu because of expiration dates and lack of recipes, but I'll have time to do that before D day.

Now, I've got to research foods rich in iron and vitamin B, and look up some recipes I think I can handle. Then I can finally start making my preliminary grocery list. We'll even be going out to dinner shortly after the first of the year, so I get to use my restaurant locater to find veg-friendly places for us to agree on. Once I've actually tried some of these store-bought meals and restaurants, I'll list recommendations on here so other people in the Oklahoma City area can give it a try.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

V Minus 12 Days

Good news - my Seirus all-weather gloves are synthetic. Bad news - my Rocketdog Hazel winter boots are suede.

I had a little bit of time to go to the grocery store today and picked up what I could: apparently Wal-Mart will not be my one-stop Vegan shoppe. But I did get veg-friendly pretzels and crackers for snacks, oatmeal, un-frosted Pop Tarts, tortilla chips, and stocked up on almond milk. There is a store called Natural Foods several blocks from my home that will have the sustenance I'm looking for. I'm going to take my time some upcoming weeknight, or perhaps the day after christmas since my office is closed, and do the shopping I need and familiarize myself with the store and the products they offer. I've already found Vegan cheeses there for my son, and the store was recommended to me by a friend who's been Vegan for a few years.

My sister, a pharmacist, informed me that many people who switch to a Vegan or Vegetarian diet become iron and vitamin B deficient because those nutrients are primarily found in meat products. I promised that I would research foods that can provide these for me as well as taking nutritional supplements. For anyone reading this who would take an iron supplement, she said that those with ferrous gluconate are easier on the stomach than those with ferrous sulphate. Good to know. I love having smart people in my family :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

V Minus 13 Days

"Every vegetarian saves more than 100 animals a year from horrific cruelty." --PETA website, "A Note About Small Amounts of Animal Products in Foods" article.

I have somewhat of a shopping guide from PETA's Accidentally Vegan list. I've picked out a new, cruelty-free belt that I can order after my next paycheck. I'm kind of headachey right now so I'm not writing a long post. But it was at least a somewhat productive day toward my Vegan life. I chose vegetable lo mein from our Chinese take-out menu, though I've yet to find out if it's Vegan or not. I did find out that many spring rolls are flavored with oyster sauce - bleh.

Going to start drinking my son's almond milk - he's allergic to dairy - and looking up some easy recipes since I'll be cooking Vegan for myself and regular for the rest of the fam. I've made it very clear to them and myself that this decision is for my own peace and they can choose to or not to join with me. Maybe with some luck I'll at least get them to try some of my animal-free dishes ;)

I did find out that the three pair of shoes I wasn't sure about all have leather in them...including my comfy winter boots. So, will be looking for a replacement pair. Still need to fit in some homework and wrapping holiday gifts. Hope to have some more epiphanies tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

V Minus 14 Days

Hello, I'm Heather, and this is my Vegan Diary.

Corny introductions aside, I have, as of this day, decided to practice a Vegan lifestyle beginning January 1, 2012. I've got research and purging to do, and will need lots of support. I've decided to keep this blog as a daily motivator and autobiography and maybe someday it will serve an even better purpose.

In more recent years I have become more and more disgusted with the way we humans treat other animals on this planet, and more revulsed by partaking in the spoils of being higher on the food chain. I haven't done anything about it because I never thought I would have the determination and dedication needed to become Vegan. I read an article that made me feel differently, so I just decided to do it. The worst that can happen is I don't follow through and go back to eating meat and wearing leather. I won't be terribly disappointed if this happens, because all I can do is try my best. I'm approaching this like religion - it isn't for everyone. 

I've asked for support and help as I face this transition with only two weeks to prepare. So far here are the resources I've been given:

  • Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) website with "Forks Over Knives" documentary
  • "The Complete Guide to Vegan Subsitutions" by Celine Steen & Joni Marie Newman
  • PETA's accidentally Vegan list

    I gladly welcome any more resources that will guide me. As for my first official step: I went through the numerous shoes in my closet and bagged all that have leather on them. Twelve pairs. And I need to research three more because the materials aren't listed on the shoes themselves. Next will be handbags and, as soon as I find a replacement, a belt.
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