Change for a Year

Take a year. Change your life.

So … what the hell can you eat, anyway?

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?

Eat Your Vegetables, They're Good For You!

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.

4 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh! There is so much good food! I mentioned one of my favorite books in another post but it’s funny, there were new things I discovered like Mochi and Tempeh! I used the tempeh in a mock tuna salad. It was so good! Earth Balance tastes just like butter and veganaise like mayo! You are going vegan for a year, but trust me, it’s hard to go back after you discover how good the vegan food is and how great it makes you feel!

  2. I have written so many posts on these lines, D what DO you eat?

    Here’s one: http://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/questions-not-to-ask-a-vegn/
    Good luck by the way, it is easy.

  3. Dear Jeff, What a celebration of true taste. You seem to have the gift for appreciating the 1,000 wonderful things that you can still eat, and you have an appetite for trying more, and by that time will learn about all new things to try.

    A year ago I started baby steps toward a change (life beyond sugar and chocolate and gluten and dairy) and had no idea what a radical social step that would be, or that I’d ever have a hope of a chance. But by grace it happened. On the hardest days I can go to bed early and think “Maybe tomorrow morning zucchini will taste good.” And it does! And even lettuce leaves start to show all sorts of delicate shy flavors when you nibble on them with appreciation.

    Bon appetit, there is some very pretty landscape and good company ahead for you!
    Mary

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