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“So… What You Been Up To?”

Posted by Spencer Hope Davis on June 22, 2010 in The Road Less Traveled, The Vegan Diaries, Vegan Dining Out |

Trader Joe's 1000 Layer Crackers and Rooibos Tea

Yes, I’ve been off the blog for a while now. I’ve also been on an extended social media fast longer than my usual ones. The plan is to stay off facebook through August, and I’m doing pretty good with that. A distant peek here and there. Can’t say I haven’t surfed the web, but overall I’m not as big of a fiend as I have been. At a social event the other night, a few asked what I had been up to. I’ve been quite busy mining my mind, body, and spirit to find what lies within. I’ve called this my mini eat, pray, love summer. The eating has been fun as I’m learning how to…..

Negotiate being a vegan:
5 months in. Hmm. Not too tough. Many say that the thing they couldn’t give up is cheese. I don’t miss it that much. I don’t eat cheese substitutes that often, although I do enjoy rice vegan cheese on a veggie burger now and then. It’s very good. I’ve found that vegan mayo is tasty. Vegan butter is just fine. I don’t miss meat at all. Grilled the chicken and burgers for guests on Memorial Day and had no yuck reaction, nor did I feel a need to preach. To each his own journey, but let me just say it is so possible to live a healthy and happy vegan life! 15lbs lighter. Doubtful that’s coming back. Feel healthier. Cleaner. Clearer. Feel like my body is able to do its work. Feel like my moral and ethical compass is pointing me in the right direction.

Discover food at home that tastes fantastic:
It’s hard to explain to those who question the taste of vegan food how flavorful it can be if your focus is not on meat and dairy. It’s not what you’re missing, it’s what you have to enjoy. That is the right mind set I think. Discovered that a vegan alfredo sauce poured over fettuccine with fresh grilled eggplant, zucchini, onions, and garlic from the garden could make my day. Chopping more fresh veggies and seeing Rochelle create a vegan tempura batter served with sauce made from ginger slices, scallions, soy sauce, and agave nectar? Delicious!

Eat out and find ‘vegan without trying’ discoveries:
There are lots of foods that are vegan but are “mainstream” everyday foods. Lots of my favorite comfort foods are still on my list as a vegan. I check this website often and love to find many foods and snacks that I can still enjoy. Trader Joe’s is great and they have an online listing of all their vegan products, including the 1000 layer crackers pictured at the top of this blog. Perfect with tea. I thought eating out would be tough, and it does take some planning…but what doesn’t? I have found some great stuff out and about as well: Fruit gelato is a special treat. All I had to do was ask about ingredients. Many are made with vegetable based emulsifiers. Our local favorite is Henry’s at North Hills in Raleigh, but most any gelato shoppe will do the trick. Noodles and Co’s Pasta Fresca dish without cheese? Excellente’! Ordered Carrabbas Margherita Pizza minus the cheese, added kalamata olives, had them substitute fresh herbs for the sprinkled parmesan, and I experienced an incredible flavor burst. Pei Wei adds great 5 spice firm tofu slices to their gee (melted butter) free sweet and sour veggie plate. The Cheesecake Factory’s fresh vegetable salad with asparagus, green beans, tomato, cucumber, roasted beets, apple, edamame, radicchio, romaine and pomegranate vinaigrette goes great with their grilled eggplant sandwich. And, you can never go wrong with a quick stop at Q’dobas for tortilla soup and grilled veggie and black bean tacos.

Henry's Gelato

Noodles and Co.


Grow Veggies in the garden:

Nothing better than going out and picking food for lunch and dinner. It’s been so much fun to peek out every morning and see new things sprouting up. In less than 6 weeks we went from the small starter plants you see below to stuffed stomachs from their harvest. We’ve enjoyed eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, gourmet lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and a handful of herbs. It’s been a wonderful experience. Caring for the garden is relaxing. The difference in the taste of home grown and fresh picked food is enough to make me think about homesteading! Been reading up on it in this great book, and I’m thinking about ways to expand the joys of urban vegan homestead/gardening.

Coming soon…. — Rediscovering Reading, Writing, and Buddhism

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