Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We have reached normalcy

Veganism has become a normal part of my life now. I don't find myself inconvenienced by it, and I am happy I'm doing it. Due to my schedule and constant trips across MI as well as longs days at work on the weekends, my eating schedule is completely messed up. I know I have not been getting enough sleep, or eating enough vegetables and I have not been taking my B complex supplement regularly. This combination has led to me being very tired at night and almost incapable of ripping myself out of bed in the morning. Other than that, I'm still happy with this because I don't get sick! This is really the big thing to me. I did have a stomachache the other day, which I'm not sure as to why, but it was bound to happen at some point. Maybe a spec of dairy snuck into my food. :]

I'm going camping next month and would normally just eat whatever is brought, but because of this vegan eating adventure I have been living, I have to bring all of my own food for those 5 days. It won't be difficult, its just an extra bit of hassle for me to do all the shopping, get a cooler and buy ice everyday. The last thing I wanted to do was be of any inconvenience to my group. I'm sure it will be just fine!

That's about all I have to report on veganism right now. Since this topic has become normal and rather boring to discuss, I guess its time to start talking about other things......

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


For the past 4 days straight, eating vegan has been top notch. I have had full, REAL meals at least once a day and they have all been different and extremely satisfying.

Sat - After graduation, my family and I went to Brick Road Pizza Co on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids. As a vegan, it was fantastic; my two vegetarian parents, two meat eating grandparents and one very open friend equally loved it! I heard about their tasty vegan breadsticks, so I ordered those right away. AMAZING! I could tell my Papa was leery to try them because they were vegan, but I he liked them. My friend and I shared vegan bruschetta which was pretty good, I really didn't dig the vegan cheese though. At least, it just didn't work in that dish. I got a Buffalo Tofu Pizza - YUM, and a vegan cookie with a small scoop of vegan ice cream for dessert. My mom snagged their vegan black bean burger and my dad their vegan philly steak and both were very pleased with their meals. No matter what food you like to eat, GO TO BRICK ROAD!

Sun - Classic Lebanese meal with my family in Sterling Heights where we used to live. Homemade bread and garlic dip, is there anything else necessary in the world? Oh yes - a homemade vegan chocolate cake! AHHHHHHH! I used this recipe and it was the best, by far, cake I have ever had in my life. It only made a tiny 8x8 size pan, which was more than enough for our family of 5. Everyone was oogling over the tastiness of this cake. I have said from the beginning I didn't feel like I was giving anything up being a vegan, and its true!

Mon - My mom and I went to Qdoba for lunch and honestly, I would die if I could never eat there again. I got a naked vegetarian burrito - rice, black beans, pico de gallo, salsa verde, guac and tortilla chips to dip in it. The spices and flavors of all the components melded perfectly to be initially satisfying, and for the duration of the day. That place is the BOMB. I also made a stirfry for dinner; it didn't compare to Qdoba, but it was still really great. I love stirfrys because I can feel the nutrients flooding my body. Yes!

Today - I experimented today and made a Lemon Garlic Pasta for my dad and I for dinner. We also had corn on the cob and fresh bread with olive oil for dipping. The pasta had a tad too much lemon and could have been complimented better with some crisp veggies, but all in all it was a good meal.

Let the amazing meals continue......

Monday, April 25, 2011


Day 24 - 4/24/11
I hope everyone had a Happy Easter celebrating Jesus conquering the grave!

Being that I love pancakes [oh I've missed them so] and eating brunch on Easter, I made these Vegan Pancakes today. One of the comments on the website suggested using chocolate soy milk instead of regular. I prefer almond milk, so I bought Silk's Dark Chocolate Almond Milk and added that to the batter in place of the regular soy milk. WOW! They were a little bit gritty because I used whole wheat flour, but that doesn't bother me at all. The chocolate was not at all overbearing, it added just a nice touch to the overall flavor. Honestly, I did not miss the eggs in these things for one second! I made these for two of my non-vegan friends both really enjoyed them.

I took my chances later today at that sandwich place I had a bad experience at on Day 8. Today's tasty sandwich made up for the previous debacle, that's for sure. They did in fact have the grilled veggies this time, and I added pickles, lettuce, green pepper, banana peppers and italian dressing. This made for a very fine, very satisfying sandwich. They turned Day 8's wrong into Day 24's right!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy day!

Day 22 - 4/22/11
Vegetable Lo Mein + Teavana Chai Tea = Vegan Successes of the day!

Although it has nothing to do with being a vegan, I'm grateful for the people God has placed in my life. And the fact that He sent His son to die for ME and YOU. That's God's success for eternity :]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm so Powerful

Day 19 - 4/19/11
It has been 11 days since my last entry, and that's because there has not been much to report. Things have been going the same as they were 11 days ago. I'm eating the same, feeling the same and pooping the same, woot! I've gotten in the groove of being a vegan and its working for me. I'm still desiring more variety though, but I'll get there.

There is one thing I noticed this weekend. My mom made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies which are my FAVORITE thing in the world. But, I couldn't eat them because they were made with eggs and butter. I noticed that due to this new label "vegan", my willpower has greatly increased. In the past whenever I would limit sweets in my diet, I would make excuses, telling myself that I could nibble on a little cookie or something because I ate a lot of vegetables. But because I'm a vegan, I had no option of nibbling on those cookies, no matter how tasty I knew they were. Its like my own personal wall to put up so I can't make rationalizations and convince myself to eat something. I do, however, need to learn to apply this willpower to oreos. They're just so dang good and so dang vegan.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's not always happy being a vegan

Day 8 - 4/8/11
I'm in this "super frustrated with veganism" mood right now. Like whoa. Allow me to share my experience with you:
My roommate and I went to a place on campus called The Connection to get salads. Unfortunately we were unaware that the salad part closed 15 minutes before we got there. We walked over to Subway only to find it was closed too. Really, close at 8pm on a Friday? So we went back to The Connection and found out we could still get sandwiches. After having a conversation with a guy that worked at the sandwich place, he told me I could have a grilled veggie and hummus sandwich on the wheat bread, perfect! So I ordered the sandwich at the kiosk and waited about 10 minutes for it. Another guy brought me my sandwich and said, "Oh, by the way we ran out of grilled veggies, so I loaded you up with lettuce and tomato." I looked at him completely dumfounded and said, "So there's lettuce, tomato and hummus on this sandwich?" "Yeah." OOOOOOOKAY - wow. I went to pay for my sandwich and the girl asked me if I was able to find something vegan and I explained to her what happened and she kindly didn't charge me for my sandwich. I was grateful for that. I got a pickle with it so I cut it up and opened my sandwich to add some pickle and what did I find? Southwest sauce, which is a mayonnaise; I was officially irate. I took the sandwich back up to him and politely informed him that there was southwest sauce on it when I was certain I asked for mustard. His reply? "The ticket said southwest sauce." So I firmly said, "I can't have dairy, so I wouldn't have ordered it. I asked for mustard." I think he was irritated too, so that room was one big ball of tension. After about 30 minutes of going back and forth and trying to get something to eat, I finally sat down with a wheat sub roll lightly schmeared with hummus, one tomato and about a 1/2 handful of shredded lettuce. Loaded me up, huh?
I am completely dissatisfied and frustrated. I ate hummus twice today and as much as I love it, I need MORE. More variety. I'm just really getting perturbed by this whole thing and need to figure some things out, make my diet more diverse. But all I want to do right now is SCREAM. On the upside, my mom sent me a package of vegan peanut butter cups; I might eat them all tonight.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vegan Update

Day 6 - 4/6/11
Thus far, my energy has been very high. Even though I'm tired, because let's face it - I'm a college student, I haven't been yawning and wishing to be in bed the whole day. This is an amazing feeling I thought I would never have, and I hope it continues. I feel like I accomplish a lot more and I don't enjoy sitting down for long periods of time anymore. Times are a changing people!

As far as food goes, things have been going great. I went on a big vegan shopping trip with my vegan-mentor Jenna and now have a lot of options of things to eat. But, you know those days though, that no matter how much food you have, none of it sounds good? Well that was today. Usually when that happens, I'll pop by jimmy john's or get a $5 pizza. What was I supposed to eat at jimmy john's, a lettuce wrap with sprouts and cucumbers in it? And don't even get my started about the pizza issue! Sheesh. Needless to say, it was a rough evening navigating this problem. I talked to Jenna to get some better ideas of things to eat. As much as I love, I mean LOVE hummus, I can't eat it two times a day for the rest of my life; I need variety. So - I need to get more creative. Unfortunately the duration of my time in college will probably be spent eating the same things everyday, but I think I can handle that because it's not much longer.....we'll see.

Anyways, I'm still very pleased with this journey, I just need to equip myself better to deal with these problems. I also need to get over my chocolate addiction, it's not healthy to eat 3 oreos everyday....sometimes more. :]

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Brown Stuff

Day 3 - 4/3/11
My poop has been normal looking! And coming out regularly!! I love this!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

That Girl

Day 2 - 4/2/11
I don't plan on posting everyday, but I want to talk about the big things. There are two important things that happened today. First of all, I got to call myself a vegan for the first time in public. I was actually quite excited about it! I even turned to one of my friends and did a little "eeeeee!". It was really embarrassing to have to be "that girl" that has to ask about ingredients in EVERYTHING, but it's the nature of this process. As a result of my battery of questions, I got to call myself a vegan and it made it all better; I enjoyed that.

Secondly, I noticed something very interesting as I was running around downtown grand rapids. It was 7pm and I was not nearly wishing I was in my bed as I usually am at this time of day. This is a big deal, ya'll! I was literally running around the streets of grand rapids. Later in the evening I was in a large, open field dancing beneath the stars. I NEVER have energy at nighttime to do these things, yet today I did. I truly believe that even though its been only 48 hours, the lack of dairy and meat intake in those 48 hours has made a difference in my energy level. That made me proud to be giving my body what it needs. Here's to another successful day!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Caught in a dairy hangover

About 10 days ago I finally made the decision - I'm going vegan! The reality of it did not hit me until today approached so quickly.
April 1, 2011 - Day 1 as a vegan!
So I gorged myself on hungry howie's pizza and DQ last night, in preparation for this commitment of mine. That was a TERRIBLE idea, although it reminded me of why it is I'm doing this. I pooped so much after that and battled stomach pains all night and through today. I've pooped a lot today. It tastes so good, but dairy is NOT my friend. So today I woke up and really, it was not unlike any other day for me. I have not used regular milk since, well, probably 5 years ago or more. I have been using either soy or currently, almond milk. Tastes much better anyway. So I had Kashi cereal with almond milk, snacked on almonds, red pepper dipped in hummus, a PB&J and dinner brought a homemade stir fry! Broccoli, red pepper [I ate a whole red pepper in half a day!], bamboo shoots and lots of spices over brown rice! Gosh I love stir fry. So this day did not bring about any challenges in having to turn something down. My roommate and I will be watching a movie later but I have some oreos to snack on because, get this, oreos are vegan! Thanks Jenna for that tip :]

I'm not going to sit here and say that I feel so amazing from being a vegan because, well, 1) its been 21 hours and 2) I'm still feeling the effects of last night. It's like a dairy hangover. BUT, I am optimistic. Especially because of what I'm feeling from last night, I know that eventually my overall feeling can only be better. I'm excited to see where this healthier eating [minus the oreos] will take me. I feel like my journey to a natural life is continuing to expand and change, these are changes I welcome and enjoy.

If you have any vegan recipes, hints or thoughts, please share!
If all you have are negative comments, please do NOT share.
Thanks for joining me on my journey. What does yours look like?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

To Eat, Or Not To Eat?

I used to be a vegetarian. For about 2 years I ate no meat. My reasoning behind this was completely health related. Whenever I ate meat I dealt with severe indigestion which was just not worth it. During this time, I had to deal with my anemia and I craved beef to give me the iron I was lacking. At first I found iron in other sources, but I eventually got lazy. I'll be honest, living the vegetarian lifestyle is not easy - especially in college. All I wanted to do was give my body what it needed, but making a choice like that comes with certain setbacks. Obviously, it costs more to buy organic and healthy vegetarian options, and being away from my family at a university makes money not as readily available. All of these things combined made me slowly deter from my vegetarian lifestyle. I just realized not too long ago that I'm not a vegetarian anymore, while all along I thought I still was. I ate meat from time to time, but those times have become more frequent and I ignored the indigestion. It finally registered that I'm a meat eater. But I told myself, once I graduate from college it will be easier to cook and be creative with my meals. So although I'm failing now, I really want to be a vegetarian but I know that it will be easier when I have more time. I decided to wait until June. I was smacked in the face with reality when I met Jenna.

Jenna goes to the same college as I do and she is a vegan. Here I am excusing my failure at vegetarianism because of being a college student, and a 20 year-old shows me up by being a vegan. WOW was I challenged. I think too many times in life I make excuses for why I cannot do something, like eating as a healthy vegetarian. Jenna completely inspired me to seek out the real reasons for why I'm avoiding delving in and making such a commitment. I have not instantly become a vegan, but it is something I have always looked forward to for the future, but why does it have to be later?

So I leave you with this question, what are you avoiding doing because it seems "inconceivable"?

Check out www.vegan.org if you want more information on being a vegan.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Expanding My Horizons

Hello again. In my blog entry on April 22, 2009 I informed the masses [which at this point probably consist of about zero people] how I had entered a 2-year-long-detour in my path towards Naturopathic Medicine. Nearly 2 years later, I sit here on the horizon of the end of this detour. It's actually quite difficult to believe and take in, but here I am. It's finally time to focus my attention on natural health - an area of my life I have been depriving for quite some time. As a student at a major university trying to fit in to the status-quo, it has been nearly impossible to equally divide my time between classes/natural health/work/friends/sleep/taking care of myself. After much rearranging to fit everything in, natural health fell out the window and has been buried in the snow right next to my car.

Starting in July, when graduation and all my classes are over, the GV chapter of my life closes and the new yet-to-be-named one begins. I'm excited and nervous, not knowing what is to come. Thankfully there are a few landmarks along the way to give me some direction and hope. My first niece is due to be welcomed to the world sometime in late April. In August, my FAVORITE college roommate [Lord knows I've had waaay too many!] Kelsey is getting married, and I have the honor of standing up in her wedding. [thanks for stealing my roommate Kris......] Then in May 2012 I get to stand up in a wedding for the greatest friend I could ever have, Leah. I feel so blessed to have her in my life and am grateful to be apart of such an important day in hers. These and many other events will be landmarks and special things that will help shape my life and continually direct me along the path God has for me.

With all of that said, I am leaving college with an optimistic viewpoint. Beyond moving back in with my parents [sorry guys!], working at my job I've had for 2 years and everything else I just mentioned, I don't have solid plans. I'm still trying to find a school that will be a perfect fit for my needs and desires. Through my research of degree programs and schools, I have narrowed down the fact that I don't want to be a Naturopathic Doctor anymore. All N.D. programs are set-up like med school and therefore cannot be differentiated from an M.D. program by any large means. Not only do I not have the money or patience for med school, I don't have the desire. I want to help and educate people in living and healing naturally; I don't need a doctor title in order to do that. I've found a potential school that looks good and will give me a Holistic Health Practitioner certification. They have a thorough program with internship and job placement opportunities. From this point forward I plan on seeking God, weighing the pros and cons and doing my best to make the right decision.

This journey has had many twists and turns, none of which I was expecting. But since when was anything easy? Through the fog and frustration, God has given me new friends, new experiences and a fresh perspective on the life I've been given. I want this blog to be a way to remember this journey and see how far I've come.

Anything you want to discuss regarding natural health? Post as a comment and we'll get the ball rolling!