Archives for category: Vegetables

A few days ago I wrote about what I’m finding hard, so here, to balance things out, is what I’m loving about this new way of eating.

Simplicity

I’ve always loved food, and have often struggled to resist types of foods which are not necessarily good for you if you eat too much of them.  Somehow, having a rule to live by, makes it much easier to make healthier choices.  On the Guide to Vegan Living website, this is aptly represented in a simple diagram: “Does it come from an Animal?  No = Eat It, Yes = Don’t eat it.”

http://www.guidetoveganliving.org.uk/

It looks simple, and it is simple.  I’m finding it much harder to overeat when eating wholefoods, and cravings I used to get have just dropped away.  I’ve not missed chocolate, I’ve not even missed cheese very much.  Although there is a great abundance in the vegetable world, and I’m loving that, having a definite limit around the types of food I can eat feels very mentally ‘clearing’.  Maybe having boundaries around things just suits my personality.   Anyway, I’m appreciating the discipline at the moment.

Falling in Love with Veg

I’ve never been a veg-hater, and have always enjoyed vegetables and vegetarian meals, so maybe this isn’t such a great leap for me, but it is wonderful to make vegetables the main event.  Making sure that I eat a wide variety of them across the week ensures a feast to the senses, a cornucopia of colour, texture, flavour and scent.  When you bring your attention specifically to the vegetable kingdom you suddenly realise how packed with variety it is.  I love selecting the veg, touching it, imagining how it might be prepared.  In the space of the past few days I’ve eaten asparagus, butternut squash and tomatoes, to name just few things, and you couldn’t get more vividly different colours or flavours.  The flip side of this is that, on occasion, I’ve overdone it, and upset my stomach through eating too much fibre, but it’s easy to get the balance back.  I’m listening to my body and it’s letting me know what is and isn’t ok.  The signals are coming through more clearly than they were in my cheese-laden pizza days.

Trying out New Things

It’s all an education.  I would never have considered drizzling molasses on my breakfast before, or sprinkling on milled linseeds, but now I’m on a quest to make sure I pack in as much nutrition as possible, that becomes a possibility. Grains I’ve not been sure of, and therefore reluctant to try, are recommended as good foods to eat, and so I’m trying them.  Creativity and ‘do-it-yourself’ are the order of the day.  I guess it’s not so long since everybody was doing it themselves (I’m thinking back to my mother and granny in their kitchens), but it’s certainly less the m.o. for people today, in our ‘convenience food’ saturated culture.  I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with food and so it’s a pleasure to be pushed by circumstance to try that now. It’s sort of like taking the sense of adventure you’d willingly engage with when travelling in a different place and bringing it into your everyday life.  On the few occasions when I don’t feel like getting busy in the kitchen, the choice is simple: eat plain, raw vegan foods, or don’t eat.  No succumbing to junk food.   (See ‘Simplicity’ above.)

Conversations with Veg Lovers

Chatting with someone over the ‘Lunch That Wasn’t’ the other day, I learned all about something called ‘Seitan’, which is apparently what you get when you boil dough to extract the gluten.  This is the weird and wonderful world of Vegan, and it’s like meeting other interplanetary travellers who’ve already ventured furthered into its depths than I have.  Some of the things they tell me are useful, others seem quite bizarre and a bit beyond my grasp, but the enthusiasm with which they convey their news is unmistakable. Like any good obsession, be it retro arcade games, cupcake decorating, or train spotting, people pride themselves on their specialist knowledge and clearly derive great pleasure from sharing it.  Out there in the blogosphere there are hundreds of people waxing lyrical over mushrooms and taking seductive photographs of their breakfast to display to the world.  I suppose taking more of a conscious interest in the food you eat, whether Vegan or not, puts you back in touch with something fundamental.

OK.  It’s happened too many times now to just be a coincidence.  The curly kale dream.  In the past month or so, as I’ve been trying out a variety of foods in the run up to going Vegan, I’ve made a number of dishes using curly kale, which is an ingredient I’ve not used much before.  The kale has either been lightly cooked, as in last night’s Colcannon, or raw, in a salad.  Each time, it’s been delicious, but the following night has brought exceptionally vivid dreams, with a slightly hallucinogenic quality to them, and a feeling that my brain is more active during the night, even though I’m sleeping.  It hasn’t only happened to me either; Dan has them too.  They involve quite elemental things, sex and death, and wild and fantastical happenings – last night’s example from Dan being a clear out of rubbish at work resulting in the construction of a theme park quality rollercoaster made from junk and clutter.  Is this an ingredient to be used with care? I would be very interested to hear about others’ experiences.  If you’ve anything to share, please get in touch.

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