bite my words

Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Vegan Like Me

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My great vegan adventure is finally over after 46 days! I must admit, I’m not one of those people who decided to try it and has realised how fab it is and chosen to stick with it permanently. I had thought that I might at least maintain a vegetarian diet following this experience but I think I will return to my original omnivorous/flexitarian ways. I don’t actually eat all that much meat anyway (I’ve been known to go weeks without it) but I do love an occasional serving of bacon. The thing I missed the most was cheese. Oh delicious cheese! Since starting this diet I’ve had a surprising number of discussions about the joys of cheese. First non-vegan dinner was home-made pizza with real cheese. Mmmm…

I have a whole new appreciation for the vegan diet. Before starting this I knew that consuming a nutritionally balanced vegan diet necessitated considerable planning. I failed to take into account the difficulty of consuming a vegan diet when eating out (especially in a small meat-centric city such as the one I’ve been living in throughout this adventure). It was quite the ordeal to find a suitable restaurant for my farewell department lunch last week and I ended-up settling on one that had two vegetarian options that could be made vegan by the elimination of the cheese. My weekly coffee shop break with my coworkers has been marred by the fact that I am forced to drink either a soy milk based beverage (sorry, but I find soy milk even more revolting than cow’s milk) or a cup of tea. Coffee at home has been fine as I’ve been making batches of cashew cream which is actually much nicer than cream just more work (I’m just not down with black coffee and almond milk is far too watery to work in coffee). I have, however, tried a few different things that will definitely be incorporated into my permanent cooking repertoire. The miso gravy I made was delicious – thanks to Dinutrition for the recipe! Nutritional yeast works great to give a cheesy flavour to pesto and I might even make the vegan mac and cheese again. I was also amazed with how well ground flax and water (1 Tbsp to 3 Tbsp) subbed for eggs worked in my baked goods. A great healthy option if you don’t have any eggs on hand but you want to whip up a batch of cookies or muffins. Oh, and I will be sticking with the almond milk.

While I won’t be sticking with my full-on vegan diet I appreciate the perspective it’s provided to me and I hope that it will help me when I’m working with vegan clients. I recommend that all dietitians give it a try, even if only for a week. Perhaps next year I’ll go gluten-free.

Author: diana chard

I'm a registered dietitian living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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