Friday, January 2, 2015

whole-foods, plant-based

As I alluded to the other day, C and I are in the process of adopting a "whole-foods, plant-based diet"-- Forks Over Knives's way of saying vegan. I know, I know. Veganism sounds a bit... out there? Extreme? What-the-hell-are-you-thinking? I'm not going to go into all the ways that animal products whack with your body. For that I recommend watching Forks Over Knives or reading The Kind Diet. I'm going to try to document this change-- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's going to be a HUGE lifestyle change for me and C, so it's not going to come without its bumps.

A million years ago, when C and I were still dating (but living together), I read The Kind Diet, and it really kicked my ass. I was ready to go vegan then and there. I went out and bought things like almond milk, egg replacer, and vegan cheese. Alas, it lasted about 5 minutes. I'm not sure I even actually ate any of the vegan food that I bought. The problem was that C was not on board. Like, not even a little. And because I love meat and cheese, I couldn't handle watching him eat it. I also wasn't about to cook 2 dinners. Ain't nobody got time for that. So it died. I ignored all the information I had about factory farming, antibiotics, and what happens to your body when you ingest animal products.

Fast forward to now. C has started going to my primary care doctor (who I absolutely love), and after his initial appointment, she called him back in to have a come-to-jesus meeting with him about his cholesterol. He's always had high cholesterol (so did I, until I had my gall bladder removed), and we were both just like "Give him the statin already." Instead, she called him in and asked him about his diet. He told her honestly that mostly what we eat is various forms of meat, cheese, and pasta. If she was horrified (I bet she was), she hid it well. She told him, though, that she had some homework for him. She wanted him to watch Forks Over Knives and try going meat-free one day a week. When he came home from that appointment, he was all like "I bet she's like totally vegetarian. I mean, maybe we could cool it on the heavy sauces, but whatever."

I made sure that he did his homework though. In fact, we watched the documentary together, and I honestly think that he was blown away. As someone who grew up on a cattle/sheep farm, the thought of slaughtering and consuming meat does not gross him out at all. He really had no idea what effects eating animal products have on the body, though. By the end of the documentary, he was telling me to find some recipes.

So I mobilized! I am in no better form than when I am mobilized on a project. I went and got a bunch of books from the library and started making some new recipes. Nothing has been knock-out-of-the-park delicious yet, but nothing has been terrible either. I'm seriously stretching my comfort zone here-- picky eater alert! Here are some new foods I've tried in the last week:

Since making this choice, I've only had 3 meals (out of 19) that had meat in them. That's pretty good! I also, for the first time in my life, I think, did not buy any cheese at my grocery trip last Saturday. WOAH.

We also took the plunge and bought a Blendtec. So far I'm nothing short of amazed. It's also fantastic that it's self-cleaning. Our old blender (a Hamilton Beach) does not even compare. I made "alfredo" sauce with cauliflower the other night, which is something I do regularly. This sauce was so smooth and creamy, you would have no idea that there was cauliflower in it. Normally it's grainy. Edible, but grainy. I absolutely recommend it. And the recipe book that comes with it is awesome!

There are going to be days soon where I hate this. I hate the substituting and the cooking and the weird ingredients. There are going to be days when we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant and I order chicken fajitas with queso. But I think that as long as we do the plant-based thing most of the time, it'll be a victory. 


  1. You are seriously inspiring me! My biggest thing with trying to go vegan is the same thing - all the foods I've tried aren't awful, they just aren't amazing either. And I like when food tastes really good :/ Weird thing, I used to hate cheese, like I would only eat it on pizza pretty much. Now that I'm vegetarian I LOVE cheese. So obviously that's going to be a BIG problem (I haven't found a vegan cheese that does anything for me). Same with things like sour cream, yogurt, etc….I just don't really care for the vegan versions.
    I have a vegan cookbook that I never use, not because it's vegan but because I only cook like 4 meals (lazy), but I found it the other night and thought about trying to make some recipes from it every now and then. I like your line of thinking, that you don't need to fully commit 100%, but you can at least try to get closer than you've been before.

  2. this is so unbelievably awesome. i think i am going to leave a super long comment, be prepared.
    KC is like the most meat and potatoes guy I have ever met. I have never been a huge fan of meat - only certain meat, like tacos, burgers, pasta etc. But that's because the whole meal tastes good not just the meat. Anyway. I begged and begged KC to try one meatless meal a week - not even a day, just a meal! He was like heck no. I am picky, but he is picky about what his meals contain - like they have to have protein, fibre, fat and carbs to fill him up. it's exhausting trying to find meals he likes so i just fall back on some sort of meat with a side. most of the time i just ate the side with a teensy bit of meat - honestly, i just don't love the taste of meat.
    anyway! about a year ago, i watched Alien with KC. I hate scary movies, and my scare movie level is pretty damn low, so I demanded after I endured that he should have to watch something with me - I chose Forks over Knives, I hadn't seen it but had heard of it. After that, he found another documentary called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and he wanted to watch it straight away. I'm not kidding I was blown away that he was blown away. He is sad for some of the animals, but not all of them, at least that's not what bothers him. It's the body, the science etc that gets him. He wanted to go vegetarian and he lasted like 3 weeks. Then he started eating chicken and turkey. he occasionally has red meat if we go out (so do i, oops) but we don't keep it at home anymore.
    anyway! i am so rambling. i couldn't believe he was on board, he sounds like C.
    For myself.. I am kinda scared of going vegetarian. I just worry that I will want a burger or something. I know thats ridiculous. Thing is, I already have dietary restrictions, so why add more? I don't think I could go vegan - I love sour cream far too much.
    But so far - 2 days in lol - I haven't had any meat this year :)
    Man that blendtec thingy looks amazing... the price tag, not so much.