Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Healthy vegan eating = Not a given

I'm trying desperately to find this blog that I was reading yesterday but the internets aren't giving it up! In it, she challenged readers to take a hard look at their diets, and truly up their game for February. She was talking about a nutritional upgrade. Being vegan doesn't necessarily mean healthy. I can't tell you how many times times someone has told me that they used to be vegan/vegetarian but had to start eating meat because they got sick/didn't feel well/weren't healthy. Many times, this lies in the fact that whole nutrition isn't a given, and one can still find vegan options in most mainstream places that are devoid of anything good for you. The following things are vegan: French fries, potato chips, Oreos, pretty much all sodas, sour peaches, watermelons, cherry blasters, lots of dark chocolate, etc etc. The first time I went vegetarian as I teenager, add diet coke and you have just covered all my food groups. I am completely guilty of non nutritive eating still-I have a sweet tooth that rages inside me like a cracked out junkie. I'm constantly making sweets or thinking about making something sweet. I do try to give them away where possible and only eat things I make myself, but still. I keep making better choices as I learn how-and see my kids picking up both my positive and negative eating habits. Bean very much likes the analog products -fake meats, burgers, hot dogs and cheeses. Many new vegetarians use these products often for convenience and to continue cooking foods you and your family are familiar with. Over time, we generally learn new cooking techniques and rely less on these products which are both expensive and processed. For Bean's birthday this month, we had tacos made of fake everything. Turns out they made me feel awful. So I'm going to do it, February I'm getting serious. Whole foods, less packaging and eating foods with ingredients I can pronounce!

Where are you at in your food journey? Do you think you're where you'd like to be to look and feel your best? Where do you start? Where would you put yourself on a scale of one to ten? (One being: fast food frequently, soda, chips and packaged sweets are almost always on your grocery list. Five being: Pretty good. Indulge frequently and don't really pay much attention to labels/nutritional stuff. Ten is: Completely whole foods. You eat while levitating.)

My friend Tricia is a high raw vegan, which means she eats very little food that is cooked. This preserves it's nutritional integrity, and much to my surprise is really delish! I'll post more on raw eating at another time, maybe Tricia can even stop by some time soon. She calls eating raw a nutritional upgrade, and I think that's perfect. Every time you take steps to change your diet for the better-be it learn a new technique, choose to learn more about whats in your food, or try a new X-you've just upgraded baby! February for me means change and challenge! What does it mean for you?


  1. This is so what I have been thinking about lately! I was one of those people who was vegan in my twenties and became so sick I was actually hospitalized. It was totally my fault because I only ate processed noodles with tomato sauce, cheerios and Vegan cookies-- every single day for a year!

    I returned to animal free eating about 8 months ago with the best of intentions but have been eating way too many cupcakes (damn that Isa for her delicious cupcakes!), bread and cookies. I have actually gained 15 lbs as a vegan! I just returned from Whole Foods with only veggies, though and plan to eat a vegetable based diet for the next thirty days. Hoping for a healthier weight and more energy-- if only I can avoid eating the kids' food!

    Love your blog and can't wait to read more about your experience with raw!

  2. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Carolina! Glad to hear that I'm not alone-I f-ing love those cupcakes! Which are your favorite? The cookie book is pretty phenomenal too. If only I could get a really great way to make vegetables taste like dessert ;)

  3. Yes, I totally agree! Vegans everywhere are waking up to this idea! Being nourished should be our primary goal, and understanding how to eat a whole food-plant based diet should be #1.

  4. This so true, a lot of people think they are eating healthy because they omit animal products. But not all vegan products are good for you, look at tofutti products, not good for you at all but tasty.

    I do eat some pre-packaged fake meats, but usually less then once a week. And I eat enough fruits and veggies for 2 people lol.

    I don't know how someone can not feel a difference in their body between eating whole foods, and eating crap.

    I just like to follow intuitive eating, and eat what my body tells me to, and try not to listen to much when I'm PSMing and want to eat a whole vegan ice cream store, bar stools and all!


  5. I'm a little late to stop back by, but your comment reminded me about my favorite desserts-- avocado and banana ice cream (not necessarily together!). So easy and so yum! Just banana and vanilla frozen and vitamixed or avocado, agave and vanilla with the same treatment. My kids have NO idea they are eating their fruits and veggies. They eat their "ice cream" every night after dinner. Those genius vegans :-)