Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Six and a half weeks into my vegetarian journey merits an update. I'm enjoying eating this way now. I am nearly vegan with a few exceptions: occasional ice cream and baked goods made with eggs, and cheese on pizza or other food eaten in restaurants, such as veggie burgers. For dinners home I eat a gargantuan salad before my main course, unless it is my main course. I have become satisfied with adding balsamic or flavored vinegar or squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some Bragg's as my dressing. It really tastes fresh and appealing this way, although I'm sure I'd prefer "real" dressing.
Basic Graphics
I am eating a lot of canned beans added to a quick veggie stirfry of peppers, onions, peapods and whatever else we have handy. I toss in a half cup of brown rice, quinoa or couscous unless I'm having a whole wheat pita at that meal. Sometimes I throw in some fresh blueberries to the salad or the main course. Usually I end the meal with a big bowl of fresh fruit. Mr. Nature Maven often buys us Dancing Deer brownies and ice cream, and although I'd like to say I don't share with him, I do. A half brownie (about 160 cals) with a smaller dish of fruit is how I handle it. I have been noticing that on the rare occasion when I eat ice cream, I often complain of insomnia and/or a headache later on. Maybe this is revealing lactose intolerance. I'm also learning that a bean meal with huge quantities of raw and cooked veggies can mean bloating and discomfort. My latest reading tells me that having cruciferous veggies (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts) along with legumes is asking for this sort of trouble, so I plan on using tempeh with those veggies instead.

My weight feels pretty stable but looking at the log I'm keeping shows I've lost 2.6 pounds over the past 3 weeks. I didn't track my weight before that, but the total loss is between 3 and 4 pounds. That's good considering I've been enjoying many delicious things off the strict Eat to Live food plan (FYI: Dr. Fuhrman has another 2-volume book out called Eat for Health reviewed on the same link) : pizza, Chinese food, eggplant parmesan, amazing spelt-agave scones from Whole Foods, a Jamba juice only-fruit shake on a hungry workday afternoon, 365-brand "Oreo"-type cookies, and my famous vegan cake.
I can imagine that had I been religiously strict in following Dr. Fuhrman's guidelines, I'd have lost significant weight. But my goal has been to make the transition to vegetarianism, not to get thinner, and I am not significantly overweight, maybe 10 or 15 pounds from my ideal. I focus on weight here only because I feared there would be a gain after I went from Atkins where I sometimes literally had pork at every meal and ate no fruit, to a carb-loaded vegetarian lifestyle with scads of yummy fruit and all sorts of whole grain stuff.
We're on vacation in the country for the next 10 days, so having more time to shop, prepare and cook healthy vegetarian foods will be a joy.
And remember, food is just a part of life, not life itself. But don't try doing without it!

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