With lots to fill you in on, I’ll start from the beginning.
I have dabbled with vegetarian/veganism for several years with some success but would usually fall off the wagon due to feelings of embarrassment in social situations. However, the straw that broke this camels back was an unfavorable blood test back in November. With pretty much every disease a risk for me due to family history it was the first real warning signal from my body. Fortunately I have a wonderful and open-minded doctor who is a cardiologist as well. With his advice to cut out animal products and embrace a plant-based diet, I embarked on a new chapter with food…
Keep in mind the timing of this news was right before holidays when butter, meat and excess are at their peak. I roughed through the holidays with a vegetarian regiment except for the real holiday meals until after the new year and our move. Once settled into our new place I scrapped all the “fat” and headed to the book store.
Now I’m a very visual person, so food has to look AMAZING or my taste buds won’t get excited. I’ve always loved bright colorful dishes and generally cook that way but something in my mind kept telling me this might be harder than before. To my surprise (and my husbands), a plant-based diet has been fun, delicious and easy even when eating at non-vegan restaurants! I even managed to get my 50-year-old parents to try it while visiting us in NY. (Besides, it gave them something to talk about when they returned home, “can you believe we ate tofu sausage!”)
But, I must confess, this isn’t my first rodeo with veganism leaving little shock reason for me. However, I did learn from the last time that you should go easy on the soy products since they tend to pack on the pounds if not balanced with tons of greens and grains.
Armed with several new cookbooks and a few new kitchen items, I made the switch to Vegan. A month and a half has passed with a vibrancy I can’t even begin to explain, oh yeah, and you are going to eat and love hearty breads & grains again…in moderation of course! Just remember, you control your body through the foods you eat so why not give it the best you possibly can?
Here’s my list of books:
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone One of my favorites for those of you dabbling with the idea and all the way to full fledge vegan. Her website is a fabulous resource too… http://www.thekindlife.com/
Detox 4 Women by Natalia Rose The book that changed my thinking and started this path a few years back.
Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow by Matthew Kenney Super delicious and really sexy vegan raw food, a perfect book for those of you foodie types.
BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery by Erin McKenna Honestly, I can’t make enough when I bake from this book. Try the raspberry scones, you won’t be disappointed!
Veganomicon: The ultimate vegan cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz Not a ton of pretty pictures for inspiration however, the “ricotta” recipe can fool any non vegan. Try making lasagna with this next time and you’ll see what I mean…
And my list of cool vegan stuff I’ve found along the way:
Dr. Cow Cheese Ridiculously yummy stuff, try the Go Granola as well as the cheeses!
Korin Japanese Kitchen Tools + Knives This is where you can order your Suribachi!
Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor Your new BFF if you don’t have a neighborhood juice bar…I’ve had my juicer for 4 years now and LOVE it!
Next week, the dish on vegan wines, what that really means and why I don’t worry too much when it doesn’t say that on the label….