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Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Progress Report: Week One

Happy snowy Friday everyone!

I'm pleased to report that I've made it through the first week (well, the first work week) of the Great Vegan Experiment, and am feeling really good about my decision to do this! For the most part, I've been satisfied with what I've been eating, and I'm excited to go grocery shopping again this weekend and try some new dishes. My sister-in-law gave me this cookbook, Vegan Fire & Spice, which has lots of tasty looking recipes. I'm feeling more and more like I'm going to stick with this after the three-week trial period is up.

There were only a couple hiccups during the week. Of the two big dishes I made Sunday night to last me all week, one of them I couldn't stomach. Turns out I'd eaten one too many lentils in the past few weeks, and need a break from them. Helen was kind enough to take the lentils off my hands so they didn't go to waste. That meant I had to find something else to eat for the rest of the week. Luckily, I found a wonderful recipe for spicy marinated tofu, for which I already had all the ingredients in the house. The experience reinforced for me the need to plan ahead and have plenty of vegan food options.

My resolve was tested early in the week when I attended an evening event for work, and was pretty hungry after not eating most of my dinner (the aforementioned lentils). Two types of homemade cake were being served, which some kind folks repeatedly offered to me. It was probably the most difficult thing I did this week to say, "No thank you." (As I'm writing this, someone just brought a box of Dunkin Donuts munchkins to the office. Alas, I'm tested again.)

I also learned this week that I like soy milk--something I've never cared for in the past--at least in the form of iced lattes from Starbucks. That was reassuring, as lattes were one of the things I was most sad to leave behind.

I shied away from things like vegan cheese, yogurt, mayo and other "mock" foods this week, but I think I may try some next week. Any favorites?

My favorite thing about this week is that I've felt good about everything I put in my mouth. It's all pretty much real, healthy food (except maybe the Oreos). I'm not sure I'm ready to declare that I have more energy, but I'm feeling good. I've also really enjoyed having Helen around to talk to about all this. Being a vegan can be very isolating, and Helen has been enormously supportive and helpful. Congratulations to her on completing week 2 as a vegan!

Something that I initially didn't think would be a concern, but now I'm starting to worry about a little, is how much soy I'm consuming. Three soy milk lattes and two servings of tofu so far this week. I've realized that I really like tofu and would like to rely on it more as a protein source, but I've seen warnings that it can increase the risk of certain cancers. Does anyone know about the health benefits/dangers of soy, or is the jury still out?

If anyone is interesting in joining Helen and me in our journey, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program officially starts March 1. I rediscovered their Web site a few days ago, forgetting that Helen had previously blogged about it, and it has a lot of good resources.

To our readers: are there any questions you have for us, or a subject you'd like us to write about?

Happy weekend!

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Anonymous Rich said...

Congratulations! You guys are really doing it. You are both such an inspiration. I don't think you need to worry too much about the soy thing. I say that with a little bit of a caveat - anything done to extreme can be bad, so I would opt for some semblance of moderation. Having said that, you should be able to find articles about soy on PCRM. You can also check out the two articles on my site - the interviews with Neal Barnard and Mark Messina. The one with Mark speaks more to the whole soy issue than the other. Yes, there has been a lot of mis-information about soy. People cite studies but check a couple of things. One - most if not all the studies that take a negative view of soy were done in the 50's - 70's. They are old science. Newer techniques, better study methods and basically "newer science" have all come about since then - and they seem to contradict the negatives previously thought to be inherent to soy products.

The second thing I would say is that many of those studies done years ago were funded by the meat industry, which obviously has a vested interest in not promoting meat alternatives.

Anyway, peruse PCRM and the interviews on our site and hopefully that will put your mind at ease with regard to this question anyway.

Again, kudos to you both for your terrific accomplishment!


February 27, 2010 1:32 AM 

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