Being a Vegan: Day 1

Day 1 of my Vegan Challenge: Completed successfully.  Without pain and frustration? That’s another story.  I started to go through my cupboard last night and decipher the vegan from the non-vegan: I am shocked at how many “sneaky foods” contain dairy, and some that I subconsciously knew but wasn’t ready to admit to (Nutella).  In terms of sneaky foods- I have a few different brands of soy protein powder- both contain dairy.  My PASTRY CRISPS- my sweet crispy delicious 100 calorie treat- “may contain sources of dairy”…. I took that to mean “no-go”.

Throughout the week I am going to discuss different aspects of Vegan-ism, why people go vegan, the benefits, and the risks.  Yes, there are risks if you do not plan accordingly.

For now, I’m going to talk about myself, and give you some background on me- and why doing this will not be an easy task.

I grew up in farm country, in a town that only people who lived in or lived near it knew its name.  I grew up on a farm, in fact I knew how to drive a tractor before a car.  And even though we didn’t raise animals- animals were considered dinner- not pets.

In addition to this, the community I lived in was really big into hunting- and not as much for sport- but more-so for necessity, and using the meat as food year round.  The other thing that many people forget about when animal rights/cruelty are one of the things hunting helps with is controlling a local ecosystem by not letting one specific animal outweigh another.  This is why when people hunt there are specific seasons for specific animals, and tags must be purchased for an animal.  For example when gun season starts, you may (for example) purchase 1 buck tag.  That means you legally can shoot that one buck.  It doesn’t mean you can shoot 3.  It’ a control measure used by the Department of Natural Resources.

Fast forward.  Now I live in Chicago.  No deer.  No tractors.  Lot’s of traffic though.

So I grew up eating meat.  I genuinely like love meat.  Ribs, wings, steaks, chicken, seafood, bacon, oh I also really like cheese, and milk, and chocolate.  As of recent I have been working more with incorporating more vegetable protein, to 1) get more comfortable making recommendations to my patients, 2) to help decrease my carbon footprint 3) to better understand something that many people do- that I am asked about a lot by my patients/understand sources and “sneaky sources” of non-vegan fare.

But 90% of the time I’m like the female Ron Swanson over here.  Looooooooooove meat.

"I will take all of you eggs and bacon"- Ron Swanson
“I will take all of you eggs and bacon”- Ron Swanson

To review.  Those who are Vegan avoid meat, meat products, fish, dairy, and eggs (basically meat or anything that comes from meat).  Some vegans depending on the reason why they chose to be Vegan – may even abstain from wearing certain materials (fur, wool, leather).

So here is what I did today:



Clif Crunch Peanut Butter Bar ** (Sneaky source- realized afterwards that the allergy info indicated that it may contain traces of dairy)

Black coffee


Mid-Morning Snack:

Blueberry muffin Larabar




Sauteed mushrooms

Veggie burger

Pasta with pesto

Couscous with vegetables



Peach Pear La Croix

Tofu Tacos with sweet corn

Tacos included 2 corn/wheat tortillas, tofu that I seasoned with Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle, with Trader Joe’s Frozen “Fire Roasted Veggie blend” with peppers, and onions, some lime juice and cilantro, I also added some soy (non-dairy) cheese and cabbage.

Since my pastry crisps are out I had a plum after dinner.

My tofu tacos turned out better than I anticipated.  They were flavorful, and filling, if anything I got a little carried away with the Mrs. Dash because they were a little spicy- so I will have some leftovers either tomorrow or Wednesday.  Maybe I’ll enjoy the leftovers with a margarita, and some beans 🙂

Tofu Tacos
Tofu Tacos

Wish me luck in entering day two of this endeavor.  I have a couple of ideas for the rest of the week for meal ideas that I am really excited about.  I’ll be back tomorrow to talk more Vegan-ese, and let you know how I am surviving sans bacon.

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