My Brother and Me
I am a vegan who is interested in health. I am also a Facebook and Twitter follower and as such, am exposed (in a good way) to lots of info out there about the perfect whole food plant based diet. Whether or not one looks into it is a personal choice.
I became interested in health issues long before I became a vegan. I have felt for a long time that I am just not achieving my potential in the area of health. I have had too many colds that lasted too long, too many aches and pains and too many chronic issues that don’t seem to resolve no matter what I do. And sometimes (too often), I am oh so tired. And I am curious about that and a little mad!!! Why you say?
Because all of the above can hold me back from doing the things I want to do and being the things I want to be. And that just won’t do. No-sir-ee!!!
Dr. Andrew Weil
A couple of years ago, when I was well into my vegan life, I started reading some very interesting and helpful works by Dr. Andrew Weil. He is not vegan, although he does recommend a mostly plant based diet with a little fish and cheese thrown in. It is from Dr. Weil that I learned about what he calls the healthy fats-primarily olive oil. They have a place, he says in in our diet. He says that they lend a certain taste to food that makes it palatable and flavorful. Even thirty to forty percent of the right kind of fat is okay!!
According to him, asking people to eat less than twenty percent of fat in their daily diet increases the likelihood of non compliance in a mainly a whole food, plant based diet. He stresses that the oils we buy should be expeller pressed, organic, unfiltered and unrefined. Any processing of the oils makes them unstable, unhealthy and often rancid before we even get them out of our grocery bags.
Now, I took all of this to heart and went out and purchased oils in the above form. They are more expensive, but, because I really do (did) not use that much oil in my cooking or on my salads, it seemed like an okay purchase for me. I usually have on hand, olive oil, canola oil and toasted sesame oil, all tucked safely away in my fridge.
On the subject of margarine (which is usually not vegan-by virtue of whey) and all artificially hardened fats (sounds gross so when I see it in print). Now, I use Earth Balance and according to the company, their buttery spread and baking sticks are not hydrogenated. Therefore they do not contain the dreaded TFAs
of which Dr. Weil speaks. Presumably Earth Balance can be an acceptable part of a vegan diet. Or can it? It does not contain any products derived from nonhuman animals, so it is vegan. It is, all the same 100% fat. And that concerns me.
I have done a lot more research since I first started reading Dr. Weil, primarily about high carb, low fat, whole food plant based diets. I must say that I am leaning more in this direction. More on that in another post.
But to make a long story short, I have decided to reduce my intake of dietary fat. And this is not easy for me to do. I loved butter and mayo before I became vegan and now I love Vegan spreads and Vegan Mayo. Consequently, I use too much of them in my daily diet. I agree with Dr. Weil. These fat laden condiments add a certain “Je ne sais quoi” to whatever I am eating.
Popcorn and Nutritional Yeast
My Beloved Mayo
Ketchup, mustard, salsa and the like do not hold a candle to my beloved condiments. What is a sandwich without Veganaise (Vegan Mayo) and air popped popcorn without Earth Balance? The Nutritional yeast that I put on my popcorn has nothing to stick to. It sits forlornly in the bottom of the bowl wondering what it is doing there.
But, I am determined. I am sure that I will get used to it and come to really enjoy it.
So, this is what I had for lunch. I had a hankering for a sandwich-a tomato sandwich. I felt myself entering into a dangerous, non compliance zone here. I proceeded cautiously.
I started with two pieces of whole grain bread with no added salt, sugar or oil-so far so good!
Veggie Pate vs Black Beans
Black Beans Win!
I had a choice between Veggie Pate which contains canola oil(don’t know how much) and black beans(low fat, high fibre). Still doing okay. I chose to put the Veggie Pate aside and to mash some black beans with some Organic Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (no anchovies guys, that is what makes it vegan)
No Butter-Boo Hoo!
Piece de Resistance
I sliced some delicious red tomatoes that came in my Lufa box on Friday nite. I toasted my bread, which is the way I always have my sandwiches. Look Ma, no Buttery Spread and Mayo. Yes, I have been known to put both on my sandwiches. Talk about overkill!
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
GRAMMIE ANNIE’S HONEST REVIEW OF MY LOW FAT LUNCH
The first bite seemed mushy and kind of bland. Now, it could not be that the tomato soaked thru the toast because the mashed beans were forming a protective barrier.
I took another bite-still kinda soft and mushy. I checked out the underside of my toast. Yup! I saw the culprit-under toasted toast. And I hate that.
Well, I can’t blame low fat for what amounts to operator error. I should have put that piece of toast in the toaster for another go around.
I finished 3/4’s of the undercooked toast and toppings and put it aside in favor of reviewing, with my taste buds, the second piece of toast and toppings.
It was definitely crispier and I noticed that I was warming up to the subtle flavours of the sandwich. I could taste the slightly snappy taste of Worcestershire Sauce in the mashed beans and the sweetness of the tomato.
Don’t get me wrong. I wanted to smear some(read – a lot of) Vegan Mayo on top of the tomato-right until the very last bite!!!
Perhaps that craving will take some time to subside. But I don’t want to throw in the knife yet, because I know that if I say to myself that I will have only a little bit of Veganaise, I will not stick to it.
Next time, I think that I will add a little more WS to the beans (yes, there will be a next time) and make sure that my toast is well toasted, onto which I will spread a little grainy mustard (which I do enjoy from time to time).
May all beings be happy and free.