Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A note on terminology

As I read more about vegetarianism and veganism, I've come to realize that the terminology that is generally used is not exactly correct.....

Vegetarian - someone who only eats plants, no meat, no dairy
Lacto vegetarian - Someone who eats plants and dairy
Ovo vegetarian - someone who eats plants and eggs
Lacto-ovo vegetarian - someone who eats plants, eggs and dairy (what most people call a "vegetarian"
Vegan - someone who avoids anything coming from animals like food, leather, bone, etc. Very strict vegans won't even eat honey! Most vegans, though, just avoid eating anything from animals.

In the strictest sense, I consider myself an almost vegetarian, not a vegan as I still wear leather, and will consider eating things from animals from time to time. I don't know that I'll ever been 100% strict as that's VERY hard in a small town like this - going out would be next to impossible.

But when I refer to myself, I'll still say I'm vegan as most people see vegan as someone who doesn't eat anything from animals.

Day 36: Going vegan

Wow! I can't believe it's been this long. Amazing! If you had told this steak-aholic that she'd be eating only plants right now, I think she would have slapped you! LOL!

It's actually been pretty easy at home. I haven't even been close to being tempted by meat. Now that I look at anything from animals in a different light, it makes things that much easier. When I go out, it's harder, though. I look at chicken fingers and think, "YUMMMM! One won't kill me, right?" But I'm usually satisfied with just one bite.

I've been experimenting with food a lot, too. And I'm really sick of cleaning and cooking and cleaning and cooking. LOL! I know it'll get easier, but it's kind of a pain. Ah, well, it's worth it.

I've also been reading a lot about soy lately and following up on some things that I'd been meaning to find out. Interesting things out there! I'll add more links as I read them.

One of these days I need to go back and re-read all my posts to make sure I'm not reposting things. LOL! But one of my goals is to send The China Study book out to at least 20 people. I think I've sent it to 7 or 8 people and 3 have gone (or plan to) go vegan, 1 is still reading, but is currently mostly vegan and the others are interested in what the book is saying! It's fun to see that I'm not a complete freak! LOL!

I weighed in yesterday at 173. I was pretty pleased by that as I had thought I'd gained. I'm amazed that I've dropped 7+lbs without really trying. It's amazing and to me, that says that what I'm doing is right if my body is "righting" itself weight-wise.

Oh! And I get my blood tested this weekend. We'll see if my cholesterol has dropped. I sure hope so!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My new project: A self portrait a day

I was running around on DGrin when I ran across a post from a woman who was doing a portrait a day project. I headed over to check it out and was very impressed... She had some great shots and it really got me thinking... Could I do something like that? Hmmm....

So I set out to do it! It's been very interesting and enlightening... Very! Taking photos of yourself is hard. Not only from the standpoint of feeling okay with how you look (or trying, anyway!), but also because coming up with a new idea every day is HARD. Truly....

But it's also fun! I'm really enjoying it because normally I take photos off the cuff, for the most part. I may direct, but I don't really stage photos much. I don't enjoy that. But I end up having to stage myself most of the time - and take many photos over and over to get what I like, quite often. It's definitely stretching me in ways I never expected!

Oh! Wait! You want to know WHERE to see these? You can go here: Andi's Self Portraits


Some interesting links I thought I'd share

This has a lot of numbers and facts about meat eaters vs vegetarians. While I'm sure this isn't the whole story, it still has some interesting numbers!
How To Win An Argument With a Meat-Eater

This article talks about the percetage of vegetarians and the percentage of them that are vegan.
How many vegetarians/vegans are there?

A vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer (From the BBC)
A vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer

Diet, Exercise and Reduced Stress Slow Prostate Cancer, Study Finds


This has a vegetarian spin, but sums up what I've read pretty well:
Milk, Calcium and Bone Density

You may want to skim (no pun intended! LOL!) this one, but it does have some interesting and seemingly unbiased information on milk consumption in children:
Milk: Can a "good" food be so bad?

The last paragraph has a lot of info

"Diets that are high in protein cause more calcium to be lost through the urine. Protein from animal products is much more likely to cause calcium loss than protein from plant foods. This may be one reason that vegetarians tend to have stronger bones than meat-eaters."

Calcium in Plant Based Diets

Quinoa has a tremendous amount of calcium!
"A cup of quinoa has more protein than a quarter-pound hamburger and more calcium than a quart of milk. Yowza. It's also loaded with iron, magnesium, and a bevy of other minerals and B vitamins. No wonder the Incas named it "the mother grain." "
Wonder foods

A lot has been said about soy lately.... I haven't read these links yet, but I'm going to read through and I'll update later on my thoughts, if necessary....

There are a LOT of links and comments on here:
Vegan Lunch Box

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Do you ever have days when you realize....

that the way you've been acting lately has been a bit... self centered? Or at least, not positive and happy? Even though you thought at first it was?

I kind of realized that I'm letting things affect me too much and using them as excuses to be a little down and whiney. And I should be taking charge and being happier and doing things that I am interested in. Only problem - I'm not always sure I know what those are.

I've done a lot lately that's for me - going vegan, portrait a day, trying to get organized - but I'm not enjoying the results like I should. Maybe looking around and still seeing a mess around the house, almost 20 extra pounds on my body and not enough GREAT photos lately is bugging me. But how can I feel good about that stuff when I still don't feel great about me? And there isn't really a good reason NOT to feel good! (Well, there is that whole missing your hubby with your whole being since he's been gone so long thing..... LOL!)

So! I vow to only be POSITIVE tomorrow. Figure out something FUN to do. Spend a LOT of time with my daughters and my mother doing things we all enjoy! And being HAPPY.

And we'll take it from there....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Going Vegan: Day 22

It's been 3 weeks... Feels like a LOT longer, though. Weird.

Anyway, this whole thing has been pretty easy - even when going out. When going out, I am just vegetarian, but request no cheese or meat on my foods. So far so good!

I eat very little processed foods and they have been really good! I bought "The Everyday Vegan" and it's awesome! I've only had one boring recipe out of there so far... Highly recommended!

Things that are good:

  • Still feeling great.
  • Seem to be sleeping better whenI get to sleep, too! That's something that surprising.
  • My skin is looking GREAT! Seriously. Chris has mentioned that I have taken 4-5 years off my face! YAY!
  • I'm eating whatever I want (vegan-wise) and I'm losing weight! It is very slow, but it's coming off. (5lbs in 3 weeks.) I also know that the slower it comes off, the better as it's more likely to stay off.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Going Vegan: Day something. ;)

Well, it's been around 3 weeks and I've eaten very little meat and dairy. I doubt I'll ever go 100% vegan, but man.... it feels good so far!

How? Besides what I've said before, I noticed when I do eat meat (calimari, in this case) I didn't feel good. I just felt heavy and yucky. It was good, but not awesome. Actually, much of the food I've cooked recently has been better. Whoa. Did I just say that?

Skiing the other day I did extremely well for someone who hasn't gone out in more than 3 weeks. I cross country skied about twice as far as I would normally and wasn't all that tired.

I've lost about 5lbs and it's staying off. But the weird thing is, I'm eating a LOT of food. I've been concentrating much more on a whole foods plant diet lately and it seems to be filling me up more, is much more satisfying (from a taste/texture standpoint) and is actually pretty easy to do!

On another note, I've also purchased a few cookbooks so we'll see how they are! I'll tell you about them after I've cooked more.

I've been thinking a LOT about how to present all the things I've read and learned to those who eat meat. It's SO hard. I was there a month ago and I *know* how I sound. I sounds like a born again Christian trying desperately to explain my new views. I sound like a crazy hippie vegan freak extolling the perils of meat and dairy. I sound like a weirdo!

But the scary thing is, I think if people would just listen, read what I've suggested and think about it - they would understand. It's not something intangible with no proof - like religious beliefs. It's something that's been studied and tested and shown to be true.

Anyway, overall I'm doing well. The more I read, the more interested and excited I get about all this. And the more amazed I am that the general public has NO clue how bad their diet is. Just last night I saw a TV station in Denver saying how the Atkins diet is best for women. They kept off more weight. But they do NOT look at the long term implications. Everyone is SO stuck on weight that they forget about health. Just like I did forever.....

I feel very lucky to have figured this out. Now if I can get my husband and my parents to listen. Please wish me luck!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sammie is walking up the stairs....

without holding on! She's so funny. Such a little tiny kiddo that I wasn't sure that she'd ever be able to do that! Ellie did that at about 15-16 months (long legs!) and Sammie is 22 months now. Very cute watching her concentrate on going up!
(Not exactly walking up the stairs, but still cute, eh?)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

More random thoughts...

Sick of my thinking yet? LOL!

Seriously, this is all so new to me that I keep rethinking things and rethinking things..... So you (the one or two of you that ever find this!) get to deal with that thinking.... :)

Anyway, my new thought after eating a fake burger with fake mayo (Vegenaise (sp) - awesome!) last night was that the way to do vegan is NOT to try to fake your old way of eating, but rather eat new things in new ways.

In other words, fake meat isn't the way to go. The way to go is to find new ways to cook. Completely new ways.

Of course, that's what The China Study says.... Eating a "whole foods" diet. But I think that's smart not only from a health standpoint, but also having a more interesting, fulfilling diet standpoint as well!

Take last night, for example. I tried to mimic an old standby: two hamburger patties with may, ketchup and chopped onions with a veggie. (Very low carb!) Last nights version: vegan hamburger patties, vegan mayo, onions, mushrooms and ketchup with broccoli. While it was good, it wasn't great.

Take tonight: risotto with crimini mushrooms, onions and broccoli with garlic and other spices. YUM! I was MUCH more satisfied with that! Or two nights ago: tofu with portabellos (can you tell I LOVE mushrooms?!?), onions, zucchini over a wild rice mix. Another YUM. And once again, far more satisfying. And, of course, they were probably better for me overall....

So if you're thinking of going vegan - or you ARE vegan - definitely try a LOT of different dishes. It will probably be easier for you!!

Last few notes of the evening: I still haven't lost much - 3lbs in 3 weeks or so. But you know what? My hubby noticed that I looked younger (I'm almost 41) and I feel GREAT. Seriously, even when I"m tired, I'm not *tired* like I was. My overall demeanor is much better. And that's why I wanted to do this.

Being vegan isn't nearly as hard as I expected.... *big smile* Huge, huge surprise - and a wonderful one, too!