Eating Vegan, Digging Deep

Posted by Wendy Sardarizadeh on

Eating Vegan, Digging Deep

Deciding to go Vegan is a big step for some people, it may seem like it is impossible to find things to eat but once you make that decision and decide to
stick with it, you can start to navigate your way around most menus and also
figure out substitutions at home. At first I thought, how hard can this be?
Basically you take the cheese off of things and don’t eat dairy products. Easy, I can do this.

     I decided to do my research and was shocked at how many products have animal by-products in them. Whey for example is a common ingredient in many foods, especially bread and candies, and is a by-product of cheese making. Whey is the liquid that remains once milk has been curdled, or churned, and then strained. 

     One big shocker for me was wine. I couldn’t believe that most wines are not
vegan! What? How is this possible? Fish bladders, that’s how. Isinglass is a
clarifying agent used when making wine and brewing beer. It is derived from fish
bladders and is therefore not vegan. As I dug deeper I realized that I would really
need to do my research on all ingredients in everything I was eating. L. Cysteine in Bread Products. This ingredient, often sourced from feathers or human hair, is a dough conditioner listed in some pre-packaged breads and baked goods. Ok, I
know this may seem overwhelming but when I thought about the mistreatment of
animals I was determined to change what I could and once I realized all the nasty
things that lurk in food, it was easy to make the healthier choice.

     When I cook at home I can make meals that take time such as a lentil loaf or homemade coffee cake or I will simply get my go to ingredients which is lentils or beans and cook up some cous cous, vegetable and avocado and hummus. I will make big salads and toss in some extra beans or lentils and load up on avocado and my favorite green goddess dressing. Thankfully we are in a time where there are more vegan options available and it makes it easy to figure things out. If I am out and about I can still go to fast food places but for me this is a rare occasion since I really like to know how my food is made and what oils are being used. But this is a journey and you can take your time and decide just how healthy you want to be.

     My best advice is try not to stress yourself out by listing the things you CANT eat, instead, focus on the foods you can enjoy and feel better knowing that you will now control what you put into your body. Remember, every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it. Oh, and stop stressing. That’s bad too. I am still trying to figure that one out!

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