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Friday, March 26, 2010

8 weeks

So it has officially been 8 weeks since going Vegan and I am loving this lifestyle. The funny thing is, it is moving me more towards a totally natural life style. Gone are any toxic cleaners, replaced by earth friendly and/or homemade safe cleaners. I even bought Soap Nuts for laundry. Soap nuts, what the heck? They are from a tree and they really do clean your clothes. I got them through www.greenvirginproducts.com. If I'm putting better things in my body, I might as well take it further and make sure that toxic crap is not going down my drain!

My dogs are vegan now too! They are eating Natural Balance Vegetarian dog food. They actually love their food and are getting in better shape after being overweight. They even help me eat some of my leftover veggies. Shadow likes veggies more than Truman, but once Truman sees Shadow eating it, he usually joins in. My cats aren't vegan and will not be going the vegan route as they are carnivores. Although Mondavi loves bananas (as long as they are still fairly green) and will come running into the room if he hears me peel the skin off them. Cats surely have bionic ears!


I have replaced almost all my skin/body care items with vegan, animal product free products which I am loving! My favorites so far are MyChelle Dermaceuticals (most are vegan), JulieGabriel Organic SkinCare and jeune d'age organics serum. I'm a total product junkie and love trying out new products, so this has been really fun. What wasn't fun was the 7 weeks it took my skin to detox. Woo, boy I thought I was going through puberty again! Now it's calming down and looking good!

I even detoxed my hair care routine and am using Morrocco Method products, all vegan and natural. It took about 2 weeks to detox my hair, but now it is SO soft and I love it. I even decided to try giving up my hair coloring. I know TOTAL shock huh peeps? I have highlighted my hair since those first irritating gray hairs started popping up in when I was in my mid 20s. So I used the Marigold shade of henna from Morrocco Method and it looks really good. Slowly I might add in some light brown/dark blonde to get back to my natural color, if I can figure out what that is. I was born a toe head blonde and slowly got darker into the light browns. It'll be a fun adventure. 

Getting more veggies into my body using green smoothies which rock! They are such a great way to get a bunch of veggies in one meal.


I had an awesome lunch the other day in Portland at Blossoming Lotus, it's an all vegan restaurant and it was packed. It is a small spot with only 15 tables or so, but on a Thursday at 11:45 am it was fully packed which I thought was just awesome! The ladies sitting next to me, probably in their mid 50's, were so excited they kept asking everyone what they were eating because it all looked so good! It was hard to choose what to eat, but I had the goddess bowl (kale, greens, quinoa, avocado goddess dressing, tempeh). They also do a lot of raw vegan foods which I will try next time I am up there. I'm trying out some different raw recipes at home this weekend and can't wait!

My ghost hunting, vegan buddy Veronica told me I'd feel lighter. And the weird thing is, I do. It is not the weight loss (which is great) but you just feel lighter, less sluggish and just overall better! It has been very interesting when I tell people I'm vegan. The responses have ranged from "Tell me it isn’t true, you aren't turning into a CRAZY?" to "That's awesome, I think that's so cool" to "Good for you". Why such a disparity? Still haven't figured that one out yet! I think it's lack of knowledge of how good a vegetarian or vegan diet can be for you. Or perhaps it is the old idea that the only people who are vegan are hippies. Simply not true. There are actually a lot of athletes who are vegan so when people ask how you can work out and be fit being vegan...let's see Carl Lewis, Olympic track gold medalist, Brendan Brazier Ironman Triathlete, and there are many more.

Even if this doesn't inspire someone to "go veg", maybe it'll make people think and cause them to incorporate more whole foods, veggies and less junky stuff into their diets. 

Eat your veggies, 

Karen









Friday, March 5, 2010

6 weeks and still going!


What's new? hmmm...I didn't post my hemp milk journey on FB so if you missed it it's below this blog entry.

Still going strong on my vegan journey. It's really not hard and no, I'm not starving all the time. Veggies are really filling. I can't get enough collard greens and kale, I think they are my two favorites now. What do people think or say? Don't really care. Has someone said "you're crazy" - yep, heard that. 

So then my question was "why"? Why would you say someone is crazy because they don't eat meat, drink milk or use butter. Personally I think what is crazy is people going through the drive thru at a fast food restaurant several times a week when so much is known about how bad fast food is for you. Why is it crazy to eat wholesome food, but not crazy to eat crap that is soaked in oil, deep fried, full of salt, sugar, etc? I personally don't think it is and to be honest I was a little annoyed by the "crazy" statement. But then I realized that it's due to a lack of knowledge, a lack of knowing how good eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, etc. can be for you. And for that I feel bad. 

I'm not going to get on my soapbox and preach to that person about this, but maybe little by little they will see the difference. There is just too much evidence now to ignore the good that a vegan lifestyle can do. Read "The China Study", it's not a book written by some hack that is just trying to preach their ideas. It's not a diet book telling you how to eat for your blood type, how to lose 10 pounds over the weekend, or saying that you should live on lemon water and cabbage soup.

The China Study, www.thechinastudy.com
The science is clear. The results are unmistakable. Change your diet and dramatically reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Respected nutrition and health researcher, Dr. T. Colin Campbell reveals the truth behind special interest groups, government entities and scientists that have taken Americans down a deadly path.

I haven't gone totally vegan when it comes to my shoes, I simply have way too many pairs that I can't give them away and buy a whole new shoe wardrobe. But will I buy non-leather shoes in the future? Yes. I'll slowly replace things like that to fully embrace being vegan. I can't afford to go out and replace my shoe wardrobe. And oh, yeah those tight leather pants, well...get your mind out of the gutter- I don't have any leather pants. Gave those puppies up in the 80's! ;) But I did donate my leather jacket to goodwill! It was kind of time to anyway as it was getting a bit worn out, but still wearable. 

I read labels, there are a lot of hidden animal products in foods, so it does take a commitment if you buy a lot of processed foods, which I try to stay away from. I also look at what's in it. Is it whole foods or a bunch of things I can barely pronounce? If I can't pronounce it, perhaps I shouldn't eat it! 

I have totally stocked up on a bunch of vegan cookbooks, it's been a blast trying new recipes, so far almost all of them have been hits. There have been a few that I probably won't cook again, but that's the fun in cooking - finding what you like, what you love and what isn't your cup of tea. I'm not a huge tofu person, tempeh is good and I really like seitan. Seitan, what? Is Karen worshiping the devil (and she can't spell)? No! 

Seitan - Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called “wheat meat”, “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”, seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute. Seitan is also high in protein, making it a popular protein source for vegetarians. Asian restaurants often use seitan as a vegetarian mock meat, and seitan is also the base for several commercially available products. It might look a little weird, but the texture is meat like so it works great in stir fry, spaghetti, stews, asian dishes, etc. And I can make my own which makes it dirt cheap! 

And do I feel better for not contributing to the horrible way that animals are treated that are used for meat and dairy?- yes I do. Maybe it took me a long time, but the fact that I am a huge animal lover should mean that I love all animals and not just dogs and cats. Why would I have one type as a pet and eat another, I guess that finally made sense to me - I shouldn't. So, I don't! 
There is a really great post by a 12 year old girl (yep, 12) about the environmental impact of a meat based diet, if you are interested, read on: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/features/ft_eco_living/574


Oh yeah, I am now up to 19 inches lost overall!

Eat your veggies, 

Karen