Veganize it!

Veganize it!

The picture looks yummy, right? Well, it’s vegan! WARNING, all the recipes I post will be vegan. So, this is my maiden-voyage blog giving insight to what it means to be vegan compared to vegetarian or some combination thereof. Also, you will see “YOU DO YOU” a lot. That will become clearer as this goes.

[Note: The recipe in the picture is here if you don’t want to read the blog entry about veganism. Sometimes when I am looking for a quick recipe, I hate having to wade through 10 pages of text before I find the ingredients list. It’s based on Sam Turnbull’s BBQ Tofu @It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. You should look at her blog, too – it’s pretty awesome!]

The “Root” of the recipe…

People become vegans and vegetarians for a host of reasons. Some do it for the health of it and others do it for the heart of it. Most vegans see exploiting the work or flesh of animals as immoral and an extension of the injustices we hurl upon each other and the planet. So, bottom line, a vegan diet is void of absolutely anything associated with animals or animal by-products including dairy, eggs, and honey. Vegetarians, on the other hand, vary a great deal in their scope of what they see as acceptable, or not, in their diet. There are several types of vegetarians:
Lacto Vegetarian:
-No to red or white meat, fish, fowl, or eggs.
-Yes to dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt.

Ovo Vegetarian
-No to red or white meat, fish, fowl, or dairy products.
-Yes to eggs and egg products.

Lactoovo vegetarian (most common type of vegetarian)
-No red or white meat, fish, or fowl.
-Yes to dairy products and eggs/egg products.

Semi-vegetarians (mostly health advocates)
Pescatarian (Pescetarian):
-Not to red meat or white meat and fowl.
-Yes to fish (hence the “pesce”), dairy, and eggs/egg products.

-Not to red meat or white meat and fish.
-Yes to chicken (hence the “pollo”), dairy, and eggs/egg products

Flexitarian (the new one “sprouting” up everywhere):
-Yes to a plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu.
This diet is becoming the “new normal” everywhere. It I NOT a vegetarian diet, of course, but limiting the intake of meat is a step in the right direction in making the planet a better place to be!

Now that you have a list of plant-based and semi-plant-based diet types, I will say this – YOU DO YOU! We all respond, believe, feel, act, react, and think differently. I have no intention of judging your choices; I am just offering some skills and insights here. If you are vegan, or strive to be, let me just say, VEGANS ARE HATED PEOPLE – so be prepared. I have yet to figure out why what I eat, or don’t eat, enrages other folks but it does. It seems that some omnivores believe all vegans are evil and wish death upon them for eating animals. While we do believe that eating animals is cruel and bad for the planet, we wish you no harm. We come in peace. Again, YOU DO YOU!

One of the biggest criticisms of vegans and vegetarians is “if you don’t want to eat meat, then why to you buy fake meat?”  Or, “why do you create recipes that mimic the flavor or texture of meat if you are against eating animals?’ Well, in short, most of us were raised in omnivorous families and grew up eating meat. It’s what we know. It’s what triggers our fond memories just like anyone else. It represents comfort in times of stress. It makes us HAPPY! But, that’s not all. In addition to the positive psychological triggers food gives us, many of the meat substitutes are high is protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient in building muscle mass. While it is most commonly found in animal products, it is also present in other sources, such as nuts and legumes. Many meat substitutions are made of soybean products like tofu and tempeh or other beans like black beans and chickpeas. If choosing to a vegan lifestyle for health, these are great choices because you get the protein without the unhealthy saturated fats. And guess what, they taste really awesome! Much better than a boiled bean.

So, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have an interest in this type of information related to diet and food, follow this blog (see link on the right). I will also evaluate exercise and trends in health promotion…but, I really love food. There will be a lot about food!

Knowledge = Power