Another fine question from the comments:
Did you eat eggs and soy during your "experiment?" Any chance you can share your meal plan approach? I know about your What I Eat page, just wondering if you randomly threw together meals based on whatever was in your fridge, or if you did some advance meal planning....? Did you live on banana tacos? :)
I ate whatever I had around and whatever I was hungry for. I didn't eat eggs because I was avoiding animal products. I don't eat a lot of soy because I see it as hormone-tampering goo. The first week, I probably ate more soy than I wanted because I didn't know what to have and I hadn't discovered the alternatives. Once I found veggie burgers made out of veggies, ice cream made out of coconut, and milk made out of almonds, the soy versions I'd used before were mostly out of the picture. Still, I don't freak about having small portions of soy couple of times per week. It's having heaps of the stuff several times per day that will turn you into a pumpkin.
For breakfasts I often had green smoothies with spinach, mango and berries. Or fruit and nuts. Or blueberries, flaxseeds, cereal and almond milk. My "cereal" is often a bowl of berries or sliced banana with like two tablespoons of something crunchy added. If I pour a whole bowl of the stuff, I make sure the bowl is tiny. I like to have Pop-Tarts on Friday mornings. I realize monkeys and cavemen don't eat those, but I enjoy them. Last week I found organic toaster pastries that are like Pop-Tarts but you don't need a chemistry degree to decipher the ingredients. Those do have trace amounts of whey or gelatin in them but I don't stress about traces.
For Lunches (or brunches if I skipped breakfast) I might have a mixed greens salad with lots of veggies, a black bean burger, an ear of corn, and two big handfuls of cherries. Or maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Ezekiel bread with pretzels, carrots, and grapes. Or a bean burrito with avocado, salsa, blue corn tortillas, and a couple of cantaloupe wedges.
Dinners, I usually pack and take to work with me. A lot of times they're some variation of beans and rice, plus a big salad, and fruits and vegetables. Like black beans, rice, red peppers and onions plus pineapple and cherries for dessert. Or lentils and rice, a salad and cantaloupe wedges. Or vegetable rotini pasta with tomatoes, peppers, onions and olive oil, plus a salad, and some fruit. I suck at cooking and kitchen prep, so I shortcut all of this by making one batch of something that I divide up and eat all week. I also buy bagged and washed salad greens and cut and washed fruits and vegetables. That way there's minimal prep time and days of meals.
Snacks, I like vegetables dipped in cucumber hummus. I like blue corn tortilla chips dipped in guacamole and salsa. I make "guacamole" out of a smashed avocado, diced onion and lime juice. It really doesn't need cheese or sour cream. I'll eat a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit. I like Fig Newtons. I love Kombucha tea. I'm a sucker for the freshly baked vegan cookies from Whole Foods. Those don't have any calories, right??? :-P
Restaurants are tough because there is meat and cheese in nearly everything, but for example, I went to Macaroni Grill and ate a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette, Capellini Pomodoro, and some bread and olive oil. That's a meal that would make some people scream, "Aaaaagh! Carbs! Carbs!" But as long as you realize that a typical restaurant entree is FOUR SERVINGS and you don't eat out that often, who cares? Panera has breads, soups and salads that are vegan. Chipotle and On the Border can fix you up with tortilla, bean, rice and vegetable options (which may or may not contain lard). You can order a loaded veggie pizza with no cheese. There's always a way to eat out if you want to but if you're hardcore vegan, it's kind of a pain in the ass.
Because I eat out fairly infrequently, I think those will be occasions where I might choose meat and vegetables, or not care if there's cheese in my salad. My idea of carefree dining does not involve quizzing the server about ingredients, placing complicated special orders and picking my meal apart. I just assume that restaurant food is fairly crappy (recall David Kessler's fat on salt on sugar on fat on salt explanation) so I eat it rarely and in small portions.
If you're looking for vegetarian or vegan meal plans, I think Craig Ballantyne and his veg nutrition expert are working on that very project. I can't wait to see what they come up with. He's taking it a step further by cutting out processed grains and going mainly raw vegan this month. I thought of him while I was eating barbecued ribs yesterday. :-D
Posted by skwigg
at 4:54 PM CDT