On my trip to Kripalu (a Yoga and Retreat center in Massachusetts) I made a decision to stick to a vegan diet, which was not that hard to do given their deliciously healthy food and they had plenty of vegan options. The only thing I ate there that was not vegan was honey and I had to have their pumpkin french toast... Before going to the retreat center I followed a relatively vegetarian diet with the occasional seafood. During my transition at the retreat center I felt like I had a lot more energy, maybe due to the rest and relaxation of the retreat or maybe due to the change in diet...?
To keep up with this lifestyle change I went to the bookstore and bought a couple of vegan cookbooks, included in that was "The Kripalu Kitchen", you can buy that book here, not a totally vegan cookbook but many recipes that were vegetable based and ways to sub in non-animal proteins. After my 6 day stay, with breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared and cooked for me, I was on my own. My first day back I had a date with Aldi, food market, and Shoprite. I gathered 6 recipes to make for the week, compiled a list of ingredients, and I was on my way.
After making these meals I quickly discovered I needed a tofu press and put that on my Christmas list. The next week went the same way, chose recipes, prepared a shopping list and off I went. I enjoy cooking and one thing about being vegan is cooking and preparing meals! There aren't very many vegan options, or ready-to-eat foods, and besides, I don't want to eat more processed foods, even if it is vegan.. I want to eat vegetable-based; where my plate is full of different variety and colors of vegetables. I am currently on my third week, and except for honey in my oatmeal I have kept a completely vegan diet, even during Christmas! I felt like I was doing so well, I didn't want to spoil it just because it was Christmas, so I brought my container of vegan foods, made a vegan almond pound cake and went to Christmas Eve dinner. My family makes the seven fishes and we start with appetizers at 3:00 pm and finish with dessert at 8:30pm. It was difficult, especially when they brought out the kiffles. Christmas Eve is one of the holiday meals that I like, but I promised myself I would keep to this lifestyle.
Oh, yes, I said lifestyle. Veganism is not just about the food, but also the products you use and buy such as clothes and soaps. I have been mindful of the soaps. Some soaps are make of goat's milk and now I pass on those and find one that is completely animal-free.
I will keep you all updated on the progress; three weeks going strong.