Monday, May 2, 2011

I had cause to celebrate today, and for just a split second, considered going to Braum's Ice Cream store to get myself a Mint Chocolate Chip cone.  But it didn't take me long to realize that I would rather celebrate the vegan way.  So I had a Newman's Own chocolate creme cookie instead.  And it was delicious and quite the friendly cookie as it is organic and animal-product free!  I would definitely recommend! It's comforting to know that even in moments of weakness I am finding the strength to stick to my guns.  Hope this Monday finds you well....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Am I Vegan?

So, after careful consideration, I changed my blog name this evening.  And I may change it again- who knows?  Just the fact that I'm writing a blog is a miracle.  Asking me to decide on a blog name and not change it time and time again before I've actually decided, that would be the day when pigs not only fly, but also aren't eaten by humans.  I settled (for now anyway) on "Am I Vegan?" because I don't think I can call myself vegan quite yet.  First of all, it's only been three days.  Second, I'm still in the process of discovering how to be one.  I know I want to be a vegan, but I have some learning to do.  Maybe after what I feel is a significant amount of time I'll change my blog title to: I Am Vegan.  Again, who know?  I'm a strange creature. :)

Random Question:

As I wrote this post my dog threw up on the floor.  I decided to let her out in case she did it again.  When she went outside she vigorously started eating part of the bush by our front porch.  When I say vigorously, I mean she almost swallowed it whole.  I've seen her eat grass before, but this was ridiculous.  When I called her to come back in she hesitated and stood there whining.  Usually when I call her in she comes right away. Any ideas on why she would act this way?  Obviously she doesn't feel well, but her behavior was very curious. I hope my baby feels okay.  :(

Restaurant recommendation for Okie folks...

For dinner tonight I was blessed with the presence of a dear friend who recently moved back to Oklahoma City from Houston. Not only was her company much needed and appreciated- and not to mention missed!- but she restored my faith in non-vegans who are open-minded and easy to talk to about my new lifestyle.  Lots of questions- but in a non-confrontational, I'm just curious kind of way. When we discussed dinner, she had no qualms about eating somewhere options would be available to me, and we decided on Coolgreens, a make your own salad and wrap place.  The food was healthy, fresh, and there were tons of options to choose from for meat eaters and veg heads alike.  You start off choosing a wrap or salad, then you get to add a type of lettuce/salad mix, 3 fruit/veggie toppings, 1 crunch (think croutons, chow mein noodles, nuts) topping, 1 protein, and your choice of dressing.  I decided on a whole wheat wrap with spinach, edamame, sliced carrots, mushrooms, tofu, almonds, and a ginger and sesame vinaigrette. It was delicious! 

Looking forward to the weekend- good night!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Accidental Stumbles....

So today I had an accidental non-vegan moment.  I didn't go grocery shopping again yesterday, due to time constraints and my paranoid yet healthy fear of going to stores by myself at night.  So I left for work with the same dilemma of nothing on hand to eat for lunch.  At school we offer garden wraps and veggie burgers every day for the vegetarian kiddos, so I decided to try a burger.  Unbeknownst to me, it contained dairy products.  But I'm choosing to look at this positively.  If I beat myself up over innocent mistakes I will subconsciously be teaching myself to fail all of the time- and it's okay to stumble every once in awhile.  The most important thing is that I'm trying. I was reading a book last night that I had on a shelf collecting dust from college days, and it gave some really good insight on how to overcome the general worry that new vegans have about making mistakes, telling others about their new lifestyle, etc.  It's called: "Being Vegan: Living with Conscience, Conviction, and Compassion" by Joanne Stepaniak. I needed the advice today, not only to combat the veggie burger issue, but also to deal with the questions I am getting from coworkers and friends about my new vegan philosophy.  Not everybody has been supportive.  For many reasons, vegan-ism is questionable for some people- they don't understand why people would live this way, and they struggle with accepting it. They believe that in my crusade to "save the planet," I'm being judgmental of them, which isn't the case.  Then there are those who have educated themselves about the cause, and have no problem telling me why I'm wrong and why they're right- even when their opinion has been unsolicited. In today's instance, I was innocently fixing to take a large and rather unladylike bite of my food, when suddenly a state of war was declared. My first instinct was to say- "Will you just let me eat, please? I know you don't see a dead cow or a hunk of cheese on my plate and it upsets you, but my stomach is growling and I would like to enjoy my meal, K?" But I held myself in check.  I ate my damn burger and with a good-natured smile told them to mind their own business.  That seemed to do the trick. My only goal right now is to help myself understand this new road I'm on- not to create enemies. Soon I will hopefully be at a place where explaining my lifestyle is easy, and less threatening to the non-vegans of the world.

Dinner tonight is brown rice with cabbage sauteed with onion, black pepper, garlic, coriander, thyme, and cinnamon.  Simple yet satisfying, and definitely vegan. :) Have a good night.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day One- Much easier than I thought it was going to be...

So today I didn't struggle at all!! I left for work this morning on an empty stomach because I didn't go grocery shopping yesterday for all my new vegan fare. However, I was able to find a satisfying breakfast at the corner gas station rather easily. After quickly scanning the ingredient lists on the different breakfast bars they had in stock I was pleased to find that Nature's Valley granola bars are vegan, so I got one of those and a banana from a basket of fresh fruit they had on their counter. Score! I thought lunch was going to be a struggle as well, but fortunately at school we had a salsa/nacho bar set up for the kids so I made nachos with fat-free refried beans, homemade corn and black bean salsa, black olives, and diced onion. I didn't miss the sour cream or cheese at all. For dinner I had leftover linguine pasta that my Mom made for Easter yesterday. Her original recipe called for heavy whipping cream so she substituted cashew cream instead, and it was delicious yesterday and the second time around tonight. My Mom has been a long-time vegetarian but also decided to become a full-fledged vegan recently, so we are on this journey together. It's comforting to know I have a friend to share my new lifestyle with- I have a feeling I'll need lots of support, and she has lots of great tips and a good eye for tasty vegan recipes.

The recipe for the cashew cream she made is below, and it was yummy tossed with whole grain linguine, carrots, and broccoli. Bon appetit!

Cashew Cream

* 2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water

1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (If you’re not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)
3. To make thick cashew cream, which some of the recipes in this book call for, simply reduce the amount of water when they are placed in the blender, so that the water just slightly covers the cashews.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking overnight.

The recipe was taken from the book "The Conscious Cook" by Tal Ronnen. His website is

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I used to be a full-time vegetarian for several years in college. I did it for various reasons and at the time I was very dedicated to that lifestyle. I never went fully vegan but intended to. Unfortunately, I forgot why I had made a mission out of not eating meat and slowly started the shift toward unconscious choices again. Today my eyes have been opened again by "Earthlings," a powerful video that had me blubbering, crying, and in genuine angst because of the total apathy I've shown toward animals as of late. The video has inspired me to go vegan again and I'll be posting my experiences on this blog. I hope this video touches you as it did for me, and I hope it helps you transition toward a more humble way of eating.