Monday, March 26, 2012

One Year VEGANiversary

Happy 1st VEGANiversary to me!!!
A year ago today I made good on the decision I had made during my time abroad in Spain and made the transition and commitment to a vegan diet. Slowly, this way of life has invaded other parts of my life as well, and I have never been happier! More on that in a second, but first, take a look at how I celebrated!

A vegan feast, of course!
I made this delightful dinner for myself using two new vegan eats I had been wanting to try for months!
 First of all, look at that mess. The shear number of pots and dishes this meal made for me makes it special. I'm a one pot girl normally, but this meal called for more clean-up dedication, which I was fine with because I was celebrating!
First up, the vegan pumpkin mac 'n cheeze from Oh She Glows. I have had this recipe bookmarked for months, but whenever I thought to make it, I was missing one or more of the ingredients. By a happy accident today, though, I had everything I needed. I made 1/4 of the recipe, and it was the perfect single portion for me. 

The grade? A solid A-. This was mighty tasty. I actually ate it last- I've always been a save-the-best-for-last kind of person. It would have gotten an A, but honestly, it didn't really taste like mac'n cheese at all. Still, it was a delicious creamy pasta dish, and my taste buds were definitely happy. 

See those strip-like things in the back? Those are Gardein Chick'n Strips.
Every time I go grocery shopping, I take a look at the faux meat products with curiosity. However, my college-girl budget and my dislike for the texture of both meat and the fake stuff has always deterred me. This time though, I had a coupon. Oh, magic of advertising and consumerism. I bit the bullet and bought the box to try out tonight.

The verdict? C- 
Blechg! Not so good. Like I expected, I didn't go for the texture. Too meat-like, maybe. Also, they were kind of bland and tasteless. I will probably finish the box just because my wallet can't bear the sight of me throwing away food, but I won't be using my other coupon for these guys. 

Everything was served alongside some sauteed onions, cabbage, and kale. Gotta get those greens in!

Of course, I had to have a celebratory desert:
Chocolate oats? You betcha! Fancied up with some rainbow sprinkles (I think sprinkles will be a must on all future bowls of choco-oats) and "1" candle we had in a random drawer in the kitchen- a left over from all those 21st bashes we had last year.

As I reflect on this year, I can see that my decision to follow a plant-based diet was one of the best I have ever made. It opened my eyes up to a whole new world of food out there. Food that makes me feel good both physically (and digestively) and emotionally. Because of the research I have been doing ever since I started thinking about the switch, I have learned how food really affects my body. What I need, what I don't, and how to balance it all.

Food has gone from being the enemy to being my best friend. Healthy living is not only an interest anymore, it is a passion, and I think I finally understand what "healthy" means. Yes, as my last post shows, I still struggle sometimes to see the light through all the nonsense that goes on in my head. But, the fact that I recognize it as nonsense and not reality is evidence of the growth I have made in the past year. 

People often ask me if I think I will ever give up veganism. And while I know that I am only 22 and cannot foresee my entire future, right now, I can't see and end to it anytime soon.

Here's to many more VEGANiversaries!
~ Rach

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