Everyone seems to have an opinion about being a vegan. No one seems to quite know what I eat. I must have been asked this question a dozen times over the first days of coming out as a healthy eater.
No meat or dairy? What do you eat then? Can you eat eggs? Can you eat bread?
All you eat is salad? Is that safe? How do you get protein?
How do you live without beef? Without chicken? Without cheese? Hold the phone; are you saying you can never eat cheese again? Ever? Seriously, is life worth even living then?
Or if they do know what a vegan is, it comes with a disclaimer.
Sounds healthy, but no one can do that forever.
Wish you the best. It’s gonna be hard limiting yourself like that.
Just veggies and fruit? Good luck.
A week ago I was in the same boat. Truthfully, I wasn’t quite sure what I could eat when I decided to try this for a year and take my life back.
Now that I know, let me tell you what I can eat:
I can eat bananas and grapes and oranges and pears. I can snack on fresh strawberries and sweet watermelon that drips down your chin. I can eat plums, nectarines, mango, and raisins. I can have cantaloupe and grapefruit for breakfast and fill the house with the smell of baked apples drizzled in cinnamon and brown sugar for desert.
I can eat oatmeal piled high with blueberries and peaches and maple syrup. I can eat crunchy whole wheat toast thick with melted peanut butter and raspberry jam.
I can eat leaves of all different variety. Spinach and romaine and iceberg and kale and collard greens. I can chop them up and toss in fresh pico de gallo and banana peppers and olives. Or mushrooms and celery and carrots. Or cranberries and walnuts. Or cucumbers and onions. I can eat a different salad every day for a year and still not run out of options.
I can eat roasted zucchini and baked squash and sauteed bell peppers and onions. I can marinate asparagus and mushrooms and cauliflower in a dozen different sauces. I can toss in diced tomatoes and crunchy almonds and serve them over brown rice or in a tortilla or pour the whole mess over a giant baked potato fresh out of the oven.
I can steam broccoli and artichokes and peas and beans. I can eat them plain. Or sprinkle them with fresh herbs. Or add a dollop of cold homemade salsa when they come out of the steam.
I can eat chili sweetened with corn or spicy with jalapenos. Filled with white beans or red beans or black beans. Soup thick with veggies and crackers that clumps together on the spoon or thin broth seasoned just right to kick the cold out with a few spicy sips.
I can even eat things I shouldn’t eat like Fruit Loops and Frito’s and Twizzlers and french fries and a dozen other things I used to eat regularly. But then I find all these delicious recipes I’ve yet to try. Like a Chickpea Salad Sandwich. Or Cheeseless Pizza. Or Roasted Garlic White Bean Hummus. Or these Sophisticated Brownies. Or Chocolate Macaroons.
There’s so much to eat I don’t know how I’m going to get around to making it all. Or eating it all. But I’m sure as hell going to try.