Optimistic Vegan


What do you eat!?
May 7, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Food, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Personal | Tags: , ,

This is another one of those questions that will inevitably be asked when someone finds out that I’m vegan. This one might not seem like it, but is probably the easiest yet hardest question to answer, especially on the spot.

Usually I’ll say what’s in my lunch and leave it at that, or spew out some random food that they wouldn’t expect to be vegan (oreos!) but I’m going to attempt to give a more complete answer.

First off, it’d probably be easier to say what I don’t eat, because the list of things I do eat is much longer. (I’m assuming you know what I don’t eat, but just to clarify: no meat-cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, etc. and no animal products-honey, milk, cheese, gelatin, etc.) The ideal vegan diet would consist of a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and beans. However, there are also what some people call junkfood vegans who are the ones that eat “accidental” vegan foods like oreos. It’s easy to veer towards this side, just because it’s easier, less of a lifestyle change, etc.

So that laundry list of foods I do eat seems to amount to something the equivalent of a salad. Far from! There are so many delicious foods that are either altered “meat-centered” foods or veggie dishes. A disclaimer about trying to recreate meat based foods: it will not taste the same. Just so you know! I have a pretty bomb recipe for meat loaf (which I never liked when it was the real stuff, but I’m in love with this version!), there’s a billion lunch meat replacements, tofurkey (BEST!), vegan pizza, etc. As great and tasty as these foods are, I’m always a little uncomfortable eating them, because it just shows the attachment to meat that we have. BUT it’s a more compassionate, and healthier version.

Along with “meat-centered” dishes, there are a billion (I swear. A billion.) tasty recipes just surrounding the wonderful array of vegetables. There is this green bean dish at a Chinese restaurant we frequent that is to die for, that is vegan without having to adjust anything. Then there are a large number of soups that are veggie based (many squash ones) or chili or stew. And no one can forget the many different types of salads there are.

If someone asked you what you eat, what would you say? It’s a tough question to answer!

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5 Comments so far
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Kaitie, you are such an awesome person. I know that I was talking about this last year as well, but I am still thinking about going vegan. You are my one vegan friend and to be quite honest, my main inspiration. I mean, you did introduce me to Compassionate Cooks as well! Sadly, introducing my mom to Colleen did not go so well. But anyways. I haven’t made the turn just yet, but I do buy soy milk instead of regular milk, soy cheese most of the time, always check for gelatin, and of course, eat tons of veggie meats like tofurkey (although my favorite is yves).

As for the veggie meat, you brought up a really great point. I have ALWAYS felt kinda guilty for eating it, because it not only shows our dependency on meat-like products, but is often made to taste “just like meat”. I know it doesn’t, but still, that has always gotten me down as well. The thing is, I did like the taste of meat. When its inserted into nearly every meal of your life growing up, the taste grows on you. But obviously you know all the more valid reasons not to eat it, and so now I eat the fake stuff (and actually, sometimes way better) instead. But it still feels wrong, as if in some way I support the idea of meat. I always feel awkward when ordering a veggie burger at a restaurant or something. Vegetarianism/Veganism is so awesome, and in my mind such a higher moral standpoint, I sometimes feel like I should have a sign over my head that says “HEY I don’t eat meat! No carcasses in this body!” But then I see myself through the eyes of people who don’t know I’m veg, and it looks to me like I’m just eating another burger. Moving into college, where no one knows my story, I come our with a veggie dog for dinner or something and nobody can tell the difference. And that also kind of bugs me. I mean, shouldn’t there be more of an effect? Idk. I guess in one way that should be an incentive for people to go veg, that its not that big of a commitment to you but a huge one to the world, but it often feels like that message, being how it is, never really gets presented.

Anyways, now that I’ve written this gigantic long comment, I would like to thank you once again. And you have got to come up to Seattle and we can eat at Pizza Pi, and shop at Sidecar for Pigs Peace, the only vegan grocery store in Washington! Pretty cool.

Comment by Rebecca

@Conradvisionquest-woo! I feel like that might be too much effort for some of the people I meet! I’ll have to check out your blog!
@Becca-Aww thanks! And I’m still tofurkey over yves! BUT yves does have good “meat” crumbles! I don’t think you should feel guilty for eating fake meat. I think that it is true that meat tastes good (well to me it’s unappetizing now) and as sad as it is, that’s just how it is. However, meat isn’t the only thing that tastes good. There are plenty of meat subsitutes that are tasty, but also tasty for your soul-you know you haven’t harmed anyone to eat it. Something you could do is suggest you go to a more veg-friendly place with your friends. I know there’s a billion (kinda pricey though) veggie restaurants in Seattle, and that might open them up to what your values are, and give you a chance to talk to them about it. As good as veggie burgers and hot dogs are, you can only take so many! Did I tell you I almost volunteered at Sidecar? Decided it was too much of a trek. I haven’t been to Pizza Pi in ages!

Comment by krazykaitie

i don’t really say that. that was just a sneaky way to get you to read my blog. HA! it worked. i don’t really get asked “what do you eat” that often. i guess i would say “real food” or “lots of veggies, rice, pasta.”
i really like rebecca’s comment. i can TOTALLY relate to what she is saying. it’s almost as if you are posing as a meat eater by eating the fake stuff. i never talk about being vegan with people unless they ask, but i am always dying for them to ask, and i guess if they think you are eating a burger then they don’t get exposed to the info. good point. i rarely eat fake meat, but i’ve never felt guilty about it (until now!!) gives me something to think about… 😉

Comment by conradvisionquest

Well aren’t you sneaky! Seriously?! Literaly everytime someone finds out I’m vegan they ask me!

Comment by krazykaitie

i’d say, “whatever i want!” and then direct them to my blog. hehe
http://conradvisionquest.wordpress.com/

nice post, now i’m hungry for green beans…
~w

Comment by conradvisionquest




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