Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eating Out Vegan

Over the weekend, my guys decided they wanted pizza for dinner since we were having company come over. Not a bad idea since that is normally the most cost effective meal for us. But since I am staying away from cheese and dairy products on the 21 day vegan kickstart this was going to be one of my first challenges as a vegan. Luckily, while at work we had a phone book with resteraunt menus. The pizza place across the street actually had a few items on the list that I could purchase.

I called up and order a pepperoni pizza for the guys and a large order of hot wings with garlic knots. For myself, I ordered the Veggie Hero. After not having cheese or meat for a week, the smells of it all did seem tempting. But I held on to my will power. First, I really don't care for pepperoni so the pizza was a turn off. The wings were more tempting as they smelled delicious. But I stayed away.

I opened my Veggie Hero and was surprised to find it packed with lettuce, tomato, onions, black olives and sweet peppers. However, the resteraunt did not put oil and vinegar on it as was stated on the menu. No big loss since I had plenty of dressing options. I put some Italian dressing on the hero and found it was pretty good. A little to heavy on the sweet peppers. It would have been nice to have other veggie options to add without the price going up too.

Overall, it wasn't bad nor was it that difficult to eat out during the weekend. Other options available were Eggplant wraps, Veggie Wraps and Eggplant Hero's.

Temptation did overcome me once though. I ate a garlic knot. It was delicious and worth it. 

On Monday, we went out to do some volunteer work with the Lehigh Valley Donation Center. The boys decided they wanted McDonald's. Another challenge for the vegan me. I was very proud of my youngest son who decided to skip fries and get apples instead with his Happy Meal. I found it very easy to order off the Value Menu. I ordered a side salad with low fat Italian dressing and a small order of fries. I was full when we left. If I go to McDonald's again while on the vegan plan, I will be trying the fruit and walnut salad which looks delicious. A bonus: the side salad has no cheese so no having to pick it off.

I'm 9 days into the plan and have lost 6 pounds. Staying away from dairy products is getting easier with those results.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shopping and a Vegan Dinner

Today, my guy and I, went shopping for items to bring to the Lehigh Valley Donation Center on Monday. We also went shopping for some grocery items and a new shower head. Ours broke while attending our friends wedding in Maryland.

First we purchased a lot of items for the donation center including kitty food, dog food, people food and other stuff that the shelters are in need of. Next on the list was the showerhead and then we were off to find a few vegan products for myself. Lots of my friends on facebook are encouraging, supporting and giving me advice about being vegan. The one big complaint about the two photos I have put up was that I don't have enough protein in the dishes. However, I have been snacking on peanuts, peanut butter, banana chips, and other healthy alternatives that do have protein.

So on our shopping endeavour we went to the new Giant which opened in Tannersville, PA. I have to say I was highly impressed with the choices available. Giant has a couple of aisles devoted to natural, organic, vegan and vegetarian items. I searched at Auldies, Walmart and my local grocery store to find soy yogurt, vegan cheeses and other items such as vegan sausage but if the store had something it was very limited in the options. Giant had a huge selection.

I got soy yogurt in peach and strawberry and vegan American flavored cheese. I have not tried either one yet but plan to do so tomorrow.

Tonight for dinner my guy made an entire vegan dinner for the whole family. I'm not making them do this challenge with me but they have been going along with me for the ride. Tonight's dinner was burritos made with red beans and rice, homemade salsa (tomato, jalepeno, garlic, seasoning) with lettuce, tomato, green and black olives, avocado, green bell peppers, and white mushrooms wrapped in a flour tortilla with a dab of the salsa alongside and extra red beans and rice. We all ate it up! And none of us were hungry after. It was a very good meal that was also satisfying.

The only issue so far with going vegan... the cost of the food! It is more expensive to buy vegan than non-vegan. Other than that it has been relatively easy to cut out animal products as long as you read the labels on products. It is amazing how many products have milk, milk powder, egg or egg yolk. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

5 Days In

After pitching an article series to a website I received the go ahead to take on a self imposed challenge of becoming a vegan for 21 days. Being a vegan means eating no meat, no animal products, no milk or milk products. Lots of the things I love such as steak, eggs, and cheese are out. I am on day 5 have suffered no ill effects of jumping into this challenge.

The hardest part- No cheese! Everything taste better with cheese!

My old man has been helping me with the challenge and we have been getting our kids to try new dishes. So far we have found that the little one hates eggplant and the big one absolutely loves it. I enjoyed the way my guy made it. Since eggs were not allowed to bind the breading we used Italian dressing. It turned out delicious.

Today's lunch was even better though. My guy, who happens to like the kitchen, made me lunch. It was toasted rye bread with a leaf of iceberg lettuce on each slice so it lay like an open faced sandwich. Then he mixed diced tomato and fresh baby spinach with a little bit of Italian dressing. He then layered thin sliced cucumbers on the lettuce and two spoonfuls of the mixed tomato and spinach. Last he put diced avocado on each piece. Tasty!