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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vegan and Careful, Even on Vacation

Good Morning from Maine!
I'm here visiting with family, enjoying the coast during wonderful weather, and enjoying a major change of pace. It was over 500 miles and almost 11 hours of driving through portions of 7 states, in one day! All by my lonesome! I brought my little netbook with me and have wi-fi in my hotel, so I am able to stay connected. I may be on vacation, but I am trying to lose weight sensibly, and I'm committed to my vegan lifestyle. I'm not saying I've been squeaky clean in sticking to my food plan, because measuring has been replaced with eyeballing, and I had to wait until 10pm to enter in yesterday's meals into my food diary. But I was only off by 100 calories, as I figured it, and that's okay.

Here's what I'm doing:

  • Planned ahead: called the hotel (which offers free breakfast) and learned they have vegan granola. I dragged a cooler out of the closet and filled it with soy milk, Bolthouse Farms Soy Vanilla Chai, cut up fruit, raisins, flaxseed meal, Nugo Dark Chocolate Pomegranate bars, juice and Vega Smoothie Infusion. The freezy packs had thawed by the time I got here, but nothing spoiled.
  • Made the smartest choices I could: I knew Burger King offers a BK Veggie Burger that is vegan, so at lunchtime I swung through the drive-through and got one without mayo or cheese, and removed the half of the bun that was loaded with catsup. I treated myself to a small order of fries. I had a bottle of water. I ate a Nugo bar for a snack. Dinner with family was easy. They had a spinach salad with cranberries and walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette, corn on the cob with margarine, sourdough bread, and blueberry pie. They also made a pork tenderloin but as a vegan I didn't even feel tempted. Because I'd had my protein bar, I wasn't worried about getting enough protein. I was just in range when I finally logged my food into my online nutrition tracker.

What I've Learned:

  • When unable to log in, do my best by estimating.
  • Don't beat myself up if my estimating misses the mark.
  • Next time pack a healthy lunch for the road, save that protein bar for later, and skip the pie if I feel I might be over the top with calories (plus I was unsure about the crust being vegan and chose not to ask).
  • Fries are yummy but not needed. They may be vegan, but they're not very healthy.
  • Every interaction can be a teaching moment. I spoke to the hotel desk clerk about being vegan which allowed me to explain what that is and why I'm doing it. I stopped and saw my son and the grandkids along the way and we had an interesting discussion about the perils of factory farming. He buys his eggs from a friend who has a little farm and lets the chickens run around outside. He wanted my approval, I think, and I told him this was a definite improvement and very good for the animals, but I said that I don't choose to have that either. Then over dinner I explained being vegan to my cousins. The 15 year-old was full of questions and opinions about PETA and people who go overboard, etc. It's all good.
  • I'm trying to remember that 12-Step suggestion to"resign from the debating society." I just reiterated how it's better for the animals, the environment, and my health. Everyone can relate to at least one of those things.

I'm so glad to be on vacation in the most beautiful place on earth. I've been coming here since I was 8 years old. My mother was born and died here, and I'm visiting her grave today, going to the beach to look for rocks and shells, walking around this picturesque town, and enjoying feeling good. Tomorrow we're taking a boat trip to Monhegan Island where Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent and the Wyeths, among other great artists, sought inspiration. Today is mine!

"Clear Morning," by Winslow Homer, painted on Monhegan Island, Maine

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