Thursday, 31 January 2013

I made it!!

So, as you know, if you've been following my blog, I set a 31 day goal for myself: survive on a plant-based diet for the month of January. I did it for a few reasons:
1. Just to challenge myself, test my resolve and see if I could make it without cheating
2. The month of December brought with it a whole host of highly processed, highly unhealthy, sweet and delicious temptations... Which I, for the most part, guilt-fully indulged in. Each time apologizing to my organs and cardio-vascular system.
3. To shake things up and start the year feeling revitalized.

I sort of feel weird even feeling accomplished over this because I know several people who have chosen to live their whole lives this way selflessly and do so happily. My reasons were entirely selfish. I wanted to feel healthier... Mission accomplished! Further, while I could definitely sustain this lifestyle long term, my reasons for choosing not to do so are again: entirely selfish. I found myself feeling very restricted in social situations, at restaurants and bars and cafes... Not even being able to have a muffin or certain kinds of bagels or really much of anything at most mainstream establishments because there just aren't many options that don't contain some kind of animal related ingredient. This not only left me feeling left out and not to mention hungry usually, it also made the people I was with feel uncomfortable at times. My reasons for choosing to open my diet back up to include animal products are not because I found eating vegan boring or unsatisfying, which is a common misperception, I believe. It also has nothing to do with feeling I was lacking anywhere, nutritionally... because as I mentioned, I feel phenomenal. It has much more to do with the lack of availability of vegan friendly dining... And while this is improving, especially in the city, it's still sadly lacking. I also found that when I did find restaurants that offered vegan options that looked good in theory, in practice were disappointing and left me wishing I had just cooked at home. Not always, but a good chunk of the time.

So, there you have it! I plan to retain most of my recipes and shopping habits... The end of the month and diet only brings with it the option to eat a veggie burger, even if the bun has eggs in it... Or enjoy eating anything in public, really, without having to ask: "are the vegetables fried in butter?"

In honour of my month-long detour into vegan-dom and as a toast to my veg-head friends: I leave you with an example of how vegan eating can too be delicious, sweet, indulgent and dessert-happy. When you see the ingredients, your first instinct might be to retract into your mainstream hidey-hole, but I would encourage you to give this one a shot. I promise: it's $&@/ing delicious!!!!

Vegan chocolate pudding:
1 avocado
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa.
Optional: garnish w/ cacao nibs

Mash avocado in a bowl with a fork. Add all ingredients to the bowl and blend with a hand mixer until completely smooth.

Bon app├ętit!

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