Wow , time flies ! But you know, at the same time it feels like forever….in a good way. Incorporating a Vegan diet into my life has been much easier than I could have ever imagined. And when I say easier, I am referring to my own desires and will power. Society still makes it a tad difficult, but the options for Vegans are definitely made available to us. My desire for meat is non-existent. I once was the person that had said I could NEVER give up cheese, but I really don’t even crave it. I would love to find a GREAT Vegan cheese, but I’m not sure there is even one out there. I have however found a shredded cheese that I use for several dishes by Daiya (now available at Wegman’s). The cheese transition is just that; a transition. As a some other foods, but now that I have been trying all the different brands I am really learning what I like and *ahem* don’t like.
I still have a long way to go in the cooking process and learning different recipes, but it’s coming along. I have even found some nice cafes that serve Vegan food and can’t wait to hit up my next one ! I have also joined a Vegan meetup group that gets together once or twice a month. My next goal: to actually make it to one of their events !
I do a TON of label reading now and I am learning about all kinds of ingredients that I had NEVER even been aware of ! I feel so ignorant as I move along in this process and yet I am so shocked by other people’s ignorance about health when I speak to them !! What am I supposed to say to the lady that tells me her son eats healthy because she packs his school lunches and puts fruit in them, but then spends his money on McDonalds ! Ewww……Only then do I turn around and see a mother put a lollipop in her 8 months olds mouth….AGHHHHHHH !!! But back to the label reading…it seems as though there is some form of milk in almost everything that is manufactured. From chips to tomato sauce and just because something is labeled Veggy or Lactose free doesn’t mean dairy free ! I had found a cheese (called Veggy Cheese) I really liked and was using for a few weeks before I discovered it contained Casein, a protein found in milk. Casein is used in several types of food and several other products such as paint and cosmetics. This is NOT part of a Vegan diet. I am sure the unknowing consumption of this ingredient played a part in my health as I switched over my diet. Just as a reminder, meat and dairy cause inflammation-one the problems I am facing.
It has been 13 weeks since I have started my Vegan lifestyle and I am happy to report noticeable changes. I five pounds and my body is getting toned. The pain I used to have in my foot is virtually gone ! I think that this pain is the first to go since it was the last one to start. I guess it didn’t have a change to get as far along as my other joint problems have and has reversed itself almost immediately. This is so great ! I can wear shoes again without pain ! It’s too exciting for words. I am noticing a decrease in pain in other areas of my body as well. Unfortunately I still have a lot of inflammation and with that still lingering around, so will the pain. I have started a new vitamin recommended by the doc called Zyflamed. It is an all natural anti inflammatory. All of the ingredients are the same as some of those listed in Dr. Weil’s anti inflammatory diet. Here is a link it…. http://www.drweil.com/drw/ecs/pyramid/press-foodpyramid.html
Lately I haven’t been eating as well as I should be and really need to get back on track and today I discovered this: “The nightshade family of vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, paprika and chili peppers has been linked with increased inflammation since the 1940’s”- www.wisdomofhealing.com Now I have to cut out these yummy veggies too ?? Man my list keeps getting shorter and shorter.
My next challenge is to cut out Gluten. I have been conscious of Gluten and tried to cut it out of my diet as much as possible, but this seems like a nearly impossible task to achieve as a Vegan. So many of the meat supplements contain vital wheat gluten. Which leads me to also contemplate another step…..a raw diet. Oh I don’t know, I love my steamed veggies ! Here is a little info about it…. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/Raw_Food.htm
I think I will work on cutting out the “nightshade family” of veggies for now. Baby steps, baby steps…..haha, although I don’t think becoming Vegan was a baby step at all, more like a giant toddler one !
That’s all for now, on to more research and I promise to get on here a lot more than I have been !