Going Vegan... Sure - Maybe - or No Way?
Several years ago, my husband and I decided that we were going to get serious about eating healthier and eat vegan. Before we go any further, let me say right up front, I’m a “carnivore”… I love meat and red meat in particular. I can’t think of anything that can top a rib-eye… a rare rib-eye!
But, we had just read “The China Study” about how researchers had been able to turn cancer on and off by simply stopping the patients from eating meat and anything with casein in it… casein is mostly in dairy products… cheese, milk, yogurt, etc. And since cancer was rampant in my husband’s family, we would try to reduce his risk as much as possible. And me, being the good wife, would support that decision!
I didn’t know a single vegan, so I bought several vegan cookbooks and printed numerous recipes off the internet. Everything said to clean the kitchen of things you would no longer be eating or using, and by the time I had done that, my kitchen was empty.
I don’t remember how much I spent re-stocking my kitchen, but it was a LOT! I was so sure I would never use another egg, that I bought a whole case of egg replacer.
For the next few months I tried numerous recipes… even making “uncheese”, which turned out tasting pretty good, but didn’t shred or slice very well. I’m sad to say, the majority of things ended up in the garbage can.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, in our local town, held an all-day cooking class and I talked my daughter into going with me. They provided a vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner, and handed out the recipe for each thing we ate. Most everything was really good and I still use several of those recipes. There was a “meatless” meatloaf for dinner that was wonderful and here’s the recipe if you want to try it. (link “here’s the recipe” to meatless-meatloaf)
I found a ton of “burger” recipes, and the majority used black beans, which I don’t care for. I substituted kidney beans, which helped, but the patties were still dry – like eating a piece of bread between a bun. If you have a good “burger” recipe that doesn’t taste that way…. please share it.
And tofu – I won’t go into tofu… but it’s out.
I did lose 10 pounds which wasn’t a bad thing, but being vegan didn’t turn out quite like I had hoped or expected. I was back eating meat… mostly chicken and fish, after 3-4 months. But, like I said earlier, there are several recipes and some really good substitutions that I still use… bananas or applesauce for oil in baking, etc.
One thing that kept bugging me about not eating meat was that we have canine teeth or “fangs” – the teeth that are made for tearing and eating meat. So if I had them, then God intended me to eat meat… right?
Now, before I start getting nasty comments, let me say that just because we have them, doesn’t mean that we are supposed to eat meat 3 meals a day every day. Our hunter-gatherer forefathers lived on plants and berries and eating meat was an occasional thing… and I’m ok with that.
We bombed at being vegan, but we go meatless 4 days a week and eat fish or chicken the other 3. We eat a lot of salads, fresh fruits and vegetables… oh, and beans. A favorite meal is pinto beans, fresh turnip greens, cornbread, and ocassionally – fried ‘taters. It’s been over a year since we’ve eaten red meat except for an occasional trip to town to eat ribs.
The China Study has been debunked thoroughly over and over with substantial backup… but just in case the study was even partially right, we still drink almond or coconut milk, rarely eat cheese, make yogurt with raw goat milk and make our own ice cream with frozen bananas.
If you’ve gone vegan successfully, I can honestly say – I admire you! Is it an acquired taste? Are there things I missed?