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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I originally posted this in the Vegan 30 day Challenge but don't want my updates to clog up that thread.

* * *

Well, here we go folks. This meat-eater will take the 30 day challenge. I'll keep you folks posted every day

I've been wanting to go veg for a few months now but haven't really gotten up the nerve yet...I think today is the day!

I've always been an animal lover and starting a few months ago I don't buy cleaning or personal products that contain animal ingredients or that test on animals. Eliminating all animal products seems insurmountable given all the little places animal products "sneak in" - I checked my frosted wheat cereal this morning and it contains gelatin! - but, I will do my best. I had oatmeal with baked apples, walnuts, raisins, and maple syrup for breakfast and it was the best breakfast I've had in months.

I have a lot of motivations for going veg. I believe the animal industry is all interconnected...you can't really separate beef/veal, leather, and milk, or chicken and eggs. It's better ecologically and conserves energy. I'm cheap and can't afford steaks. I love cooking and growing veggies. But most of all I'm adventurous with different kinds of food and I am absolutely sick (literally) to death of chicken and fast food. I'm hoping this will help guide me into better nutrition. Although it's not my predominant goal here I'm hoping this will help me drop some pounds as I've never seen an overweight vegan...

Hubby is a meat eater, and we feed our dog an organic dog food (Timberwolf) that does contain some free-range chicken, which I'm willing to concede as I believe dogs are natural meat-eaters and the food is much more ecologically responsible than, say, Dad's or Old Roy. As for hubby, I don't think I'll ever be able to convert him. The man ate nothing but steaks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 10 days after he got back from his military service. (And by following his eating habits I gained 40 pounds!) He does like fried tofu. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more vegetables in him, though. He'll eat whatever I spoon onto his plate.

Day 1. THE BEGINNING. 240 lbs.

Anyway. Wish me luck...! Advice and cheerleading is always appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
DAY 2

Went to go see 300 yesterday, it was awesome. After which hubby and I were supposed to go to our friend's house for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Before you dismiss me as a geek, the game (if done right) is more about socializing than role-playing. We use the time to connect with our friends, grab a pizza, and play movies in the background. Due to the length of the movie, we had to rush over there without dinner. Anticipating the food in a house shared by 4 college guys, I made my own quickie black bean soup with a can of beans, some ancho chile powder, garlic powder, and herbes de province, and a microwave. Then I made a quick tropical fruit salad with some canned fruits and off we went.

Sure enough, the only thing in the house was some leftover pizza in the fridge and ice cubes...hubby and some of the more health-conscious guys appreciated the tropical fruit salad but also went for the pizza.

The guys were talking about heading out to a comedy club...my first thought was "minimum order"...the comedy club in our town often gives out "free" tickets but requires a drink/food minimum. Since I don't drink alcohol or soda that would leave me with the various pizza snacks, cheese fries, and other artery-clogging options on their menu. Hubby and I were tired and opted not to go anyway. Guess we'll have to leave that conundrum for another day. How would you folks deal with that situation?

I found myself craving a big juicy steak in the middle of the game. Had this little conversation with my head:

"I want a steak."

"No you don't."

"Yes I do."

"You don't want to contribute to the web of unenlightened eating and animal suffering, remember? Not to mention, the only reason you want one is because you have committed to NOT having them anymore."

"Oh. Yeah, that's right. But steaks still taste dee-licious."

Just because I love animals doesn't mean they don't taste good. Ok? I'm not going to pretend.

Then I thought about it. My craving will not go away despite my brain talking me out of it. My food drive is too strong. So I asked myself, what do I REALLY want? I don't want a steak. I want the taste associated with steak. So what kind of tastes am I craving? I want something smoky, something hot, something earthy and hearty. Like a steak. But it doesn't have to be a steak.

Barbeque baked beans fits all those criteria. Got it. So I'm making those today. Problem solved - I think I go this figured out.


My 7-month old bulldog puppy slathered me with sloppy kisses when I woke up this morning. I maintain that it he is serving as the representative of animal-kind.


Weight 238.6 lbs.
 

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Very cool.

Will be interesting to read about your journey. Good luck


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Just because I love animals doesn't mean they don't taste good. Ok? I'm not going to pretend.
It's self control to deny your fleshly desires because your mind/spirit know better. A true sign of strength.

AFAIK Gardenburger short-ribs are vegan. That could satisfy your tastebuds. Many of us use "meat replacers" to make the transition easier. Although expensive and not as healthy as more "whole" foods, they are still pretty yummy. Nice call on the baked beans though


Quote:
Eliminating all animal products seems insurmountable given all the little places animal products "sneak in"
It's sad really. How far reaching the animal industry has ingrained itself into our culture. It's possible, but there is that transition phase that is a little more difficult until you get used to what's good and what's not.

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How would you folks deal with that situation?
If they have a food minimum, then perhaps just get a side? Even the steakiest of steakhouses have corn or beans or something - wait, well except Cracker Barrel, I think they even put lard in the water


Over time my friends have gotten empathetic to my views and ask me if the place is fine before we go, but every so often it comes up. Some city's don't really have many options - so eating before is usually best option - healthier and less expensive too.

In ideal situations I would have "emergency" odwalla bars or something, hah.

Anyhow, it's good to hear the news, and I'm sure the animals thank you for it.


Blessing be with you on your journey! It's an adventure of higher ethics!

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cojo View Post

Anticipating the food in a house shared by 4 college guys, I made my own quickie black bean soup with a can of beans, some ancho chile powder, garlic powder, and herbes de province, and a microwave. Then I made a quick tropical fruit salad with some canned fruits and off we went.
Way to be prepared!


Quote:
Barbeque baked beans fits all those criteria. Got it. So I'm making those today. Problem solved - I think I go this figured out.
I admire that you were able to think your way through the craving and solve it without caving in.
Many people would have taken the "easy way out" instead. Remember that moment of strength - it will help you in the future with challenging situations.

Quote:
How would you folks deal with that situation?
Personally, if I was at a place that required a minimum order and there was nothing suitable for vegans (or easily made vegan), I would explain to the server - and manager if necessary - that I am a vegan and do not wish to order anything from the menu. Perhaps they would accept a donation instead?
If that wouldn't work, I'd let them know I won't be attending in the future.

Quote:
My 7-month old bulldog puppy slathered me with sloppy kisses when I woke up this morning. I maintain that it he is serving as the representative of animal-kind.
How precious!
 

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Good luck!

If it's any motivation, I've been vegan for little over two months and have lost nearly 25 pounds (11 or 12 kilograms). It's pretty cool considering weight was the last thing on my mind when I started the diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Went grocery shopping last night for the week. A grocery bill that normally hits somewhere in the 50-60 dollar range was only $30, and that included items I would normally consider too exotic (and expensive) like soy milk and mangoes. But, if you think about it, you can buy veggies for less than $1 per pound with little waste, whereas even ground beef costs more and due to the fat content wastes more as well. I did buy milk and eggs for hubby. I was very surprised to find soymilk at my store (Save-a-Lot) and thanked the owner, who I know because I work with her on food pantries.

About half the soy milk is gone, and the regular milk hasn't been touched yet. And I haven't had any soy millk yet. Hmmmmmm. Somebody's been sneaking into the fridge. ;D

I did get a massive headache and stomachache yesterday. Went to bed a bit early and felt GREAT this morning, very energetic. Seems like it's too early to be feeling different from what I eat but you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Still at it.

Interview with Braddock the bulldog:

ME: "So, Braddock, what do you think of mom's new vegan diet?"

BRADDOCK: "Hmph. Looks kind of strange...better investigate.."

http://img489.imageshack.us/img489/9905/0000003er8.jpg

ME: "Would a bulldog, dogs which were historically used in bullbaiting for butchers and which historically eat only bones and dead cattle, be willing to support a human in her newfound veggie-ness?"

BRADDOCK: "Can't talk....too busy....mm...enjoying....fruity goodness..."

http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/1663/0000004mh7.jpg

I had to pull the thing away from him. He was not happy.

Since I made the switch Brad has been following me around like...um...a puppy dog. He loves wheat bread and apples with unadulterated passion. We're keeping him away from too much fruit due to the high sugar content, onions, raisins, and the other things dogs are "allergic" to, but he's more than happy with the other stuff!
 

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Way to go, cojo. Keep up the good effort!


Braddock is adorable. Your 2nd link doesn't seem to work though fyi.

I look forward to further updates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Brandon View Post

Way to go, cojo. Keep up the good effort!


Braddock is adorable. Your 2nd link doesn't seem to work though fyi.

I look forward to further updates!
Should work now...I fixed it
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sure! Sorry, I got sucked into a video game yesterday and forgot to post


Still vegan! I went to two restaurants yesterday, an Italian hole-in-the-wall I frequent, and Mighty Taco which is a local Mexican food chain. I was a little too shy to ask about the sauce at the Italian hole-in-the-wall, since it's one of those places where the owner makes his own traditional sauce that he's very proud of, but next time I'll get up the guts to ask. :p Based on my previous tastes of the sauce I suspect it might be vegan - it tastes like just tomato puree, oregano, and garlic, but I want to make sure there's no chicken broth in it. I ordered macaroni and peas, which is pasta, peas, garlic, and olive oil. I was happy to near no chicken broth or butter in it! Very simple but one of my favorite dishes.

Then for dinner I had Mighty Taco with hubby...I have dined with vegetarian friends there who checked to see if the beans have lard, and the answer is a no...which is weird, because they have a "vegetarian taco" that is just cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Who wants that??

I got a bean burrito, no cheese, with lettuce tomato salsa and roasted peppers. It was awesome!!! I also ordered beans on the side but to my dismay they were slathered with cheese. Hubby asked why I pushed them to the side. At this point I mentioned to my husband that I'm trying vegan for 30 days. He said "So...what I'm hearing from you is...I can have the beans?" I laughed and said sure.

By the way, in anticipation of ending up at a fast food restaurant, I worked out a "before" and "after" of what I used to eat at common fast food restaurants...and similar vegan alternatives. I'm still out on whether Pizza Hut has vegan sauce. Websites seem to have conflicting information. But the difference in the nutritional stats is astounding. The vegan alternatives typically have about about 1/10 of the fat and saturated fat, about 1/2 the calories, more fiber, and slightly less protein. I'll post that later if I happen to find my list. I do remember that the steak-and-cheese footlong at Subway I used to order, plus one cookie, was about 1250 calories and 70 grams of fat! (Versus a footlong veggie with onion sauce and baked Lay's, which measures up at something like 500 calories and almost no fat...) Seems pretty clear why I'm losing weight. I didn't even realize I was eating that much.

I should mention that I work at a company that is most famous for a soy product that they make (with no animal products), which is awesome, and they also make organic/vegan breads, but our biggest sellers are our frozen foods, like cheesecakes, cakes, cookies, and pies, which contain animal products (except for some of the pies). The company also has a catering business. So there always seem to be these items around. We joke that there are no meetings without cake. Yesterday there were five huge cheesecakes sitting out on the filing cabinets right in front of my desk. I just breezed on by them. But, this might be tough! So far so good though. I felt really good about not needing to have the cream cheese that comes from cows, maybe even better than actually having the cheesecake.
 

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I just found this thread, and I had to respond. Cojo, thank you so much for sharing this! You're a great writer, and your approach to your new veganism is entertaining and well thought out. You are doing so great! Congratulations!

And Braddock is a doll!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, any ideas for St. Patty's day dinner? Mom is making corned beef and cabbage and root vegetables, but I just know she is cooking them along with the corned beef. My plan is to bring some type of vegan dish, maybe arrive early to help cook and put some of the veggies in a separate dish to roast.

I'm not Irish...anyone have any ideas for St Patty's day foods?
 

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Go, Cojo! Great job!

I just wanted to comment in regard to your feeling kind of sick couple of nights ago - that is something that happens to some people in the first couple of weeks after they switch to a vegan diet. I think it's your body detoxifying and trying to get rid of all the bad stuff. Don't let that put you off! Once the initial period has passed, you will feel much better.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cojo View Post

I I checked my frosted wheat cereal this morning and it contains gelatin!
I've seen people mention on the boards that the Organic frosted mini-wheats are vegan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cojo View Post

So, any ideas for St. Patty's day dinner? Mom is making corned beef and cabbage and root vegetables, but I just know she is cooking them along with the corned beef. My plan is to bring some type of vegan dish, maybe arrive early to help cook and put some of the veggies in a separate dish to roast. I'm not Irish...anyone have any ideas for St Patty's day foods?
What about colcannon? That's easily prepared vegan. There are a gazillion recipes on the net, here's one recently posted here: Colcannon Recipe There are some other ideas there as well.

You seem to have a great attitude and are doing really well. Way to go!
 
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