Eighteen days into the Vegan Challenge and this is really becoming less and less of a "challenge." I'm still enjoying the vegan diet and haven't really struggled to find enough good things to eat.
The only tough meal last week was a surprising one. Elizabeth and I both got home from work late one night so I decided I'd run over to Whole Foods and grab dinner from their prepared foods section. I figured that for certain Whole Foods would have a bunch of vegan options. Maybe I picked the wrong night, but the vegan choices were few and far between and pretty disappointing. The basic salad bar is fine, but I can do that easily at home. There was a lentil salad and an edamame salad and some dry-as-cardboard vegan meatballs, but that was about it. Everything else that was meat-free (including the quinoa burgers and veggie burgers) had dairy and/or eggs. I ended up with a big salad, including some of the lentils and edamame. It was fine, but I was expecting more from Whole Foods. I was going to write "lesson learned" but I'm not sure what that lesson is!
We were at home in San Diego last weekend and my mom indulged us with a delicious vegan dinner - cold mango soup and roasted veggies and orzo. That dinner totally deserved a picture to post on the blog. Oops!
And yesterday, I met Pete at Native Foods in Culver City for lunch. On our way in, we ran into Tanya Petrovna, the chef and founder of Native Foods. She was super cool and gave us a quick lesson about how they make tempeh. I could definitely eat there every day. Yum!
In the "confessions" section of this update, I do have one to make. For years, my favorite cereals have been Kashi GoLean and Kashi GoLean Crunch. They're delicious, have a bunch of soy protein and seem relatively healthy for breakfast or a snack. I just assumed they were vegan. Silly me. In fact, they are sweetened, in part, with honey. It's pretty far down the ingredients list, but it's still there. This "revelation" brought up an interesting question for me - Is avoiding honey going "too far"? To my mind, meat and dairy and eggs are all in the same family of animal products, but if I'm doing this Vegan Challenge primarily for health, as opposed to moral, reasons, do I need to also cut out all honey? And what about all refined sugar. In truth, both honey and refined sugar are a minuscule part of my diet, but is eating any of it "cheating" or somehow diminishing my Vegan Challenge goals? For now, at least, I say "No". Or am I just rationalizing now so I can "cheat"?
As for how I'm feeling, it's tough to tell. At the same time I started the diet, I started ramping up my training in preparation for SOS. So while I feel leaner and more fit every day, what portion of that is due to diet and what portion to the training? Either way, I do feel better about myself. I like having the fruit and veggie shake nearly every morning. I like eating tons of fruit and veggies. I like filling up shopping bags at the local farmers' market at least once a week. And I've been having fun exploring on-line resources and talking to people about veganism.