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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:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A trip and the search for 'cheese'

Well, tomorrow is Lauren's big day. She decided to go vegan for a trial period and we all should wish her well. Go Lauren!
I dove into the vegan lifestyle a week ago today.
It hasn't been easy, but it has gotten easier every day. I am used to soy milk in coffee and really enjoyed some almond milk hot cocoa last night.
But I have to admit again that I began this little journey ill-prepared (which Lauren would never do) and I must warn anyone who decided to try vegan that preparation is likely a key to success.
What I learned in a trip to Trader Joe's this weekend is that there really is some help out there if you ask for it.
It started when I made some veggie soup this weekend in the hope that I could share it with Lauren on Monday - but it was rather a disaster of a combo of ingredients and there's no way I would try to foist it on anyone.
So I had to go back the drawing board and what I decided to make needs to have vegan "cheese" in it.
That where Trader Joe's comes in. (Hope they don't mind I nabbed this image from their Web site) I went there to shop and one of the things they did not have - amid many options for soy cheese - was a vegan product that would resemble cheese.
But it would have been tough for me to figure this out if it were not for the help of Carole, a young woman who really went out of her way to help me and even printed out a copy of the vegan products for me. She consulted with one of her co-workers about the cheese to make sure it was not vegan.
I had known about the list as Lauren blogged about it and Mary Lawrence, our very favorite vegan chef, also left a note about it on this blog. I just didn't bring one with me.
The list is amazing - the treasure being that TJ semi-sweet chocolate chips are vegan!
But it also turns out Trader Joe's has seven lists - including for it's rather impressive stock of gluten-free items. I very well know how tough it can be to find those.
I ended up going to Edge of the Woods in New Haven to get the vegan cheese, which was OK as that's a great store too.
The lesson I learned this week, shopping trips and Starbucks snafus included, is that like anything in life, a change in lifestyle takes time and takes work.
But it's nice to know there are people there to help, including the people who have left advice and encouragement on this blog.

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Blogger AlterEgoChef said...

Man...I wish we had a Trader Joe's somewhere around our little, backward,one-horse (sorry Dobbin) town! Best I can do is stock up when I go to Philly or NYC to see my kiddos!

You are doing a fantastic job, my friend!

February 22, 2010 9:30 PM 
Anonymous KStryker said...

Trader Joe's really is the best!! Are you referring to the one in Orange specifically? They have really cleaned that store up in the past few months and made produce more of a focal point.

March 04, 2010 3:43 PM 
Anonymous Carole M said...


Its Carole from TJ's! I'm so glad I was able to help you and your friends out that day and that you did finds vegan cheese at our lovely New Haven neighbors at Edge of the Woods!
News of your blog, the reference about me and TJ's of course has made it all the way to corporate and back to me and I'm glad we could help out in all of your travels and filling your tummy

See you soon!

March 07, 2010 6:03 PM 

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