Boston Veggie


Let’s talk substitutes
September 29, 2009, 1:36 am
Filed under: Vegan tips

Let’s talk substitutes

In my own cooking, I don’t usually like to use a lot of fake cheeses and meats. I prefer to cook with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, inevitably, if you are going to choose a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you will encounter substitutes. Lucky for you, I have already done a lot of the leg work over the past two years to weed out the best from the worst. I am not going to list the worst ones here because I don’t want to bash any brands. In fact, you might like some of the brands I don’t, but I do know you’ll probably like the brands I do.

Also, I am going to start posting some recipes that do have the fake stuff, so I want you to know what brand I’m talking about and where you can get it. P.S. forgive my photography. I went into Whole Foods and just started taking pictures, so the lighting wasn’t ideal.

Take a look at all of the meat substitutes that are available at the relatively tiny Whole Foods I have on Westland Avenue in Boston:

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Now take a look at all of the dairy substitutes available:

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When I first went vegan, I was so excited to try all of the fake stuff that I just went to Whole Foods and stocked up on everything out there. When I got home, I was horrified. The cheese didn’t taste like cheese; the cream cheese I got was horrible; and don’t even get me started on the meat. That was when I decided I wasn’t going to base my vegan diet on the substitutes.

However, after a long enough time had passed, I gave the fake stuff another shot. And low and behold I came to love certain vegan substitutes.

I showed you just how many dairy substitutes there are available, but here are the ones I like:

Butter. Butter is a main ingredient in SO many things. Whether it be in pastries or sauces or even just on a piece of toast, butter is crucial. Even on that first visit when I rejected most of the substitutes, these fake butters are even BETTER than real, and have ZERO CHOLESTORAL OR TRANS FAT. Earth Balance is the brand that my Whole Foods carries, and it comes in four varieties:

substitutes 001 (2) substitutes 002 (2)

I’m not 100% sure what the difference between ^^^ those two is, but

substitutes 003 (2) is whipped and

substitutes 004 (2) this one is soy free!

Some people are concerned about soy. Soy is a good source of protein, but may also increase estrogen levels that may lead to feminine cancers. Not enough study has been done on the subject to determine either way (my mantra is that if it grows from the ground, how bad can it be?), but if you are concerned about soy, this is a good butter substitute for you!

Cheese. Oooh glorious cheese. For the most part, I find it easy to avoid cheese. I don’t always need Parmesan on my spaghetti, I don’t need cheese on my enchilada, but when I do want cheese, this is how I do it.

In the vegan community, the ability for a cheese to melt is quite the bragging right. That’s why for things like tofu scrambles and casseroles I use Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternatives.

The cheddar is my favorite:
substitutes 013

But it does come in many varieties like Monterey jack, mozzarella and nacho!
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For times when I don’t really need the cheese to melt SO much, I use Vegan brand cheeses. This cheese doesn’t look like it has melted in the traditional way, but when you taste it after cooking, it is sooo creamy and good. NOTE: DO NOT EAT ANY VEGAN CHEESES RAW. YOU WILL NOT LIKE IT. THEY ARE DELICIOUS WHEN COOKED, BUT NOT SO MUCH RAW.

I use the mozzarella for pizza and lasagna. I prefer it over the Vegan Gourmet Cheese for those purposes.
moz che

I prefer this brand’s American cheese for grilled cheeses as well, but I melt the cheese in the microwave first before throwing it on the grill.

Vegan brand also makes a great Parmesan cheese.
vegan parm

Milk is the least of your vegan worries. Soy milk has come into the mainstream in recent years and you can get a soy latte at many cafes these days. However, there are a zillion milk substitutes that aren’t as main stream. Hemp milk, almond milk, rice milk, are all great alternatives as well.

I like vanilla soy or almond milk in my cereal, but I prefer non-flavored soy milk in my mashed potatoes. I’m not a huge fan of hemp or rice milk, but definitely give almond and soy milks a go.

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Tofutti Sour cream and tofutti cream cheese are amazzzzinggg. I used the tofutti sour cream in my enchilada recipe and I’ve used the cream cheese for bagels AND homemade jalapeño poppers.

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Store bought vegan ice cream is not very successful, especially with the limited varieties I have at my Whole Foods. Purely Decadent is the only brand they have, and it’s okay but Soy Dream is my favorite and they don’t have it at my Whole Foods :-/.

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But Trader Joe’s Brand ice creams are delicious. My favorite is the cherry chocolate chip. This is a brand that you could *trick* the non-vegans into eating and they’d be none-the-wiser.

DSCN0425

Tofutti cuties are like little ice cream sandwiches that come in vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip and peanut butter. I like them from time to time, but it is really easy to overdose and get sick of them. Also, I wouldn’t recommend giving them to your non-vegan friends.

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Soyatoo brand whipped creams are delicious. Great substitutes for the real thing!

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Did you know that Whole Foods makes vegan chocolate and carrot cakes?

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This cake is vegan. Unfortunately, they didn’t have one of the carrot cakes in the window at the time, but they are BETTER than normal carrot cakes. I swear. We served the carrot cake to many an omnivore at my friend’s birthday party and everyone raved, not knowing they were eating veganly! Muah haha!

Did you know Boston Cookies are vegan?  Bet you’ve had one and not even known they were good for you!

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SIDENOTE: Did you know OREO’S are vegan?! And so are some brands of Pillsbury icing?! I’m not saying that makes them good for you, we all know Oreo’s are the devil… but interesting nonetheless!

Let’s face it. Mayonnaise is totally disgusting and horrible for you. It is nothing but raw eggs and hydrogenated oil. But not veganaise! Veganaise is better than the real thing by leaps and bounds. I used it to make potato salad but lied to my family that my cousin made it, and they scarfed it down. Again, people are just so scared of the word “vegan” they don’t understand that it just means “THIS WON’T CAUSE A HEART ATTACK.” So I do have to trick the public from time to time.

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Now to the meat.Veggie burgers, like soy milk, have started coming into the mainstream. However, I don’t like the veggie burgers that try to act like meat. They are heavily soy based with a lot of weird ingredients in them. I prefer veggie burgers that don’t necessarily mimic meat, but rather are just packed with veggies.

The Dr. Praeger’s brand California Veggie burgers contain carrots, onions, string beans, oat bran, soybeans, zucchini, peas, broccoli, corn, spinach, canola oil, red peppers, arrowroot, corn starch, garlic, salt, parsley and black pepper. NO FAKE STUFF, and just tons of vegetables.For that reason, they are my veggie burger of choice.

veg burg

In general, I don’t really like vegan meats, but there are four meat substitutes I love.

Smart Bacon is amazing. I LOVE bacon. Just add a tomato, lettuce, and a little veganaise to two pieces of whole wheat bread and you’ve got yourself a vegan BLT!

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Smart brand also makes Smart Ground meat. I would never recommend eating this stuff plain, but I used it in lasagna and it was amazing. I had to double check that I wasn’t eating real meat, that’s how good it is.

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Morning star riblets. OH. MY. GOD. MORNING STAR RIBLETS. I never really liked barbecue flavored things growing up until I could never eat them, so now I love riblets and barbecue chips. Morning Star Riblets are to die for. Literally, I’d die for them. In a few years time, you are going to hear of the “Church of Morning Star Riblets” founded by the Boston Veggie. MMMMMMMMM.

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I also like these vegan chicken nuggets. I don’t usually have them in the house, but every so often even a Veggie wants some junk food!

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As you can see, the world of vegan substitutes is more extensive than you would have thought. I do have to warn you, STAY AWAY FROM BOXED MACARONI AND CHEESES. I gave up my search for the Holy Grail of vegan mac’n’cheese long ago, and I want to spare you the same heartache I had to go through time and time again. Unfortunately, good vegan mac and cheese does not exist, especially not from a box. I am in the process of trying to find a good one through various experiments and online recipes, but have been unsuccessful up until now. I WILL FIND ONE THOUGH, I swear.

All this talk has made me hungry. I’m going to go make some riblets. Until next time!

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Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas
September 24, 2009, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Recipes
Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas

Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas

I first tried this recipe on Cinco de Mayo and FELL IN LOVE. I wanted to make enchiladas, but all the recipes I found online seemed unnecessarily complicated,  so I just came up with my own. I use zucchini, squash, green peppers and red onions, but you can use whatever combination of vegetables you prefer (or whatever you have lying around in the fridge). These black bean and vegetable enchiladas are so delicious, no one will even notice there’s no cheese or meat! P.S., this is a meal I like to sneak flax seeds into. They don’t add to or detract from the flavor, but they do add to the nutrition.

What you will need:

1 15 oz can black beans (organic if you can)
1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 small squash, sliced and quartered
1 green pepper, diced
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can enchilada sauce (some people make them from scratch, but I find it easier to just get a can)
5-10 whole wheat tortillas
Milled flax seeds, if you so choose

When all is said and done, the vegetable ingredients should look like this:

Veggies

Veggies

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Heat olive oil in non-stick pan.

Heat olive oil in nonstick pan

Heat olive oil in nonstick pan

3. Saute garlic, onion, pepper, zucchini and squash until they have softened.

Saute veggies until they have softened.

Saute veggies until they have softened.

4. Once veggies have softened, set aside in bowl for next step.
5. Have veggies, black beans and whole wheat tortillas ready to be put together.
6. Coat the bottom of a baking dish (the size of the dish depends on how many enchiladas you are making) with enchilada sauce, using about half the can (we will use the rest in a later step). I like this brand, but you can always find a sauce you prefer:

Enchilada sauce

Enchilada sauce

7. Spoon the black beans and vegetables, (and a litttttttle bit of flax seed if you want, about half a tablespoon) into each tortilla.
8. Roll each tortilla into a tight cylinder, enclosing the filling. Repeat with remaining tortillas, until the baking dish is full.
9. Pour the leftover enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas, saturating each enchilada.

Enchiladas right before baking.

Enchiladas right before baking.

10. Bake in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, or until the tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out hot.
11. Once they’re done, enjoy!

Final product

Final product

If you read enough of my blog, you will learn that I LOVE condiments. The more, the merrier. So I like to add salsa, guacamole, hot sauce AND my favorite tofutti sour cream… but not everyone loves condiments as much as I do, so it’s up to you want to add.

And believe it or not, this dish is loaded with nutrition: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Folic Acid, Dietary Fiber, Phosphorous, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Monounsaturated fat, and Polyunsaturated fat. How amazing is that!



Let’s talk nutrition
September 23, 2009, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Vegan tips

In a previous post, I mentioned that vegans can get all the nutrition they need and than some just from the food they eat. While many of my readers are vegetarians (hey guys!), I know some of you aren’t, so I want to take a moment to explain vegan nutrition.

First of all, protein. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me “Well how do you get your protein?” I’d have paid off my college loans by now. I understand the confusion because I used to be an omnivore who believed in the holy trinity of protein, protein and no carbs, but protein is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. In fact, most Americans consume too much protein. Way too much.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that is published every five years by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, “At the 2,000-calorie level, vegetarians could choose about 1.5 ounces of nuts and 2/3 cup legumes instead of 5.5 ounces of meat, poultry, and/or fish. ½ ounce of nuts, or ¼ cup of legumes is considered equivalent to 1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish.” According to the same source, if you do eat meat, you should only eat 6 ounces a day. That is about the size of a deck of cards. Now, if you eat meat, think about how much you’ve eaten today. Probably more than a deck of cards. My favorite vegetarian sources of protein come from beans, whole wheat breads and pastas, nuts, soy or almond milk, peanut butter, quinoa, and lentils. As you can see, it is effortless to get sufficient quantities of protein as a vegan.

Someone once had the nerve to say to me “Well you need to eat cholesterol and fat.” And that person was absolutely right, we need fat just like we need everything else. But we need the cholesterol and mono and polyunsaturated fat that comes from avocados and nuts, not the fat and cholesterol that comes from cheese and meat.

Now that we’ve settled the protein debauchle, there are some things vegans and vegetarians do need to be conscious of. Omega-3’s are essential to heart and overall health. They are the # 1 weapon we have in preventing heart disease; no medicine can even come close to what these fatty acids can do. Aside from preventing heart disease, flax seeds can prevent breast and prostate cancer, alleviate the symptoms of diabetes, and help overall digestion and regulation. Meat eaters get their omega-3’s from salmon and tuna. But even as omnivores, how often do you really eat salmon or tuna? Pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and milled flax seeds (brown and gold) are some of the best sources of Omega-3’s. In fact, flax seeds contain more omega-3’s than anything else on this planet. Anything. So even carnivores should consider incorporating milled flax seeds into their diet (they have to be milled because if you eat them whole, your body won’t be able to digest them). They don’t have much flavor, and just a table spoon a few times a week is enough to keep you going. I like to slip them into various meals, like oatmeal and baked goods, but you can put them in almost anything without detection.

There is one thing that vegetables can’t provide, and that is B12. It is the only thing a vegetable based diet can’t provide. If you want the quick and simple solution, take B12 supplements a few times a week. However, there are products out there fortified with B12. Milk, bread, and even some juices are fortified with B12. I used to take B12 supplements until I realized how much stuff I ate that was fortified with B12. Also, after eating meat for 20 years, it would take 4-5 years before I would even begin experiencing a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Now to everything else. Here is a list of the various nutrients humans need to live, and ways those nutrients can be obtained:

Calcium: almonds, brazil nuts, seeds, soybeans, kale, collard greens, broccoli, kelp, and molasses.

Folic Acid: Leafy green vegetables, carrots, artichokes, fruit, cantaloupe, avocados, apricots, beans, lentils, soybeans, garbanzos, barley, and whole wheat.

Iron: nuts, pumpkin seeds, beans, lentils, whole grains, oatmeal, asparagus, molasses, broccoli, spinach, bok choy, peas, swiss chard, and green beans.

Magnesium: Nuts, seeds, sunflower seeds, green vegetables, and soybeans.

Potassium: bananas, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, tomatoes, watercress, avocados, potatoes, and whole grains.

B vitamins (other than 12): whole wheat, oatmeal, whole grains, brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, bananas and vegetables.

Vitamin C: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, green peppers, spinach, watercress, potatoes, grapefruits, and oranges.

Vitamin D: all you need to get sufficient Vitamin D is get direct sun exposure for 10 minutes a day on your skin.

Vitamin E: whole grains, whole wheat, nuts, leafy greens and sunflower seeds.

Zinc: whole grains, pumpkin seads, seasame seeds and soy beans.

I used to carry around this list with me all day and check to make sure I’d eaten enough iron or zinc or vitamins. But eventually I realized I was meeting these quotas without even really trying. So today, I just make sure to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains and I know I’m getting everything I need without the saturated fat and cholestoral that comes with meat.



Broccoli Tomato Ziti with White Wine Garlic Sauce
September 23, 2009, 12:31 am
Filed under: Recipes
Broccoli tomato ziti with white wine garlic sauce

Broccoli tomato ziti with white wine garlic sauce

This is a meal my Italian mother used to make all the time while I was growing up. It’s a great way to trick kids into eating broccoli, because I know I loved it. She used chicken stock for this recipe, but a simple switch to vegetable stock makes this a vegan delight!

What you will need:

Broccoli (as much as you want)
Grape or cherry tomatoes (as many as you’d like)
Ziti/Penne Pasta (I prefer whole wheat, but that’s up to you)
8 cloves garlic, minced
Vegetable stock (enough to cover broccoli)
About a 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste

1. Begin boiling water for pasta in separate pot, add pasta when it begins to boil, and drain.

Simultaneously,

2. Heat olive oil in non-stick pan.

Heat olive oil

Heat olive oil

3. Add garlic, salt and pepper and saute until garlic begins to brown

Add garlic saute until brown

Add garlic saute until brown

4. Add Broccoli, mix with olive oil and garlic

Add garlic

Add broccoli

5. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the broccoli

Cover broccoli with vegetable stock

Cover broccoli with vegetable stock

6. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Add tomatoes and spices

Add tomatoes and spices

7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for about 10-15 minutes

Cover for 10-15 minutes

Cover for 10-15 minutes

8. Add white wine.
9. Serve by first putting pasta in bowls and then ladling broccoli/tomato/white wine sauce.
10. Enjoy!

If you like garlic, you will looove this dish. It fills your kitchen with the sweet aromas of garlic and is a great way to get non-vegetable lovers to eat their veggies!



Introduction
September 20, 2009, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Personal

My name is Carly and I am a 21-year-old college student in Boston. I’m using this first post to introduce you to me, and my goals for this vegan focused blog.

For 19 years, I was as omniverous as they come. I was brought up in an Italian household, so meat, cheese and empty carbs were common place in my home. Meat lasagna, bolognese sauce, stuffed shells, baked ziti, spaghetti and meat balls… you name it, Mom made it. Don’t get me wrong, I think these things are delicious. Buffalo chicken pizza and cheesy eggs were my favorite meals as a teen. So trust me, I did not grow up on some hippie compound with a bunch of tree huggers. Quite the opposite, actually.

However, as you can probably guess from that short list, most people in my family have a weight problem. Me included. And that led my family and I to constantly be on fad diets. Cabbage soup diet, Atkins, south beach, the lemonade diet, the 7-day-diet, the blood type diet, we tried it all! Some of these diets really do make you lose weight… temporarily. The second we returned to our Italian-American diet routine, the weight all came back and than some. So I grew up pretty confused about food.What was good, what was bad, etc.

From the age of 15 to 19, I was a firm believer in the low-carb-high-protein nonsense that was brought on by the South Beach craze. That’s the diet where you can eat “lean proteins” like tuna and turkey but you can’t have fruit or “carby” vegetables like carrots. Looking back I laugh at how ridiculous the idea is, that you can have turkey with melted cheese and lose weight but don’t touch those carrots! Too many carbs!

But like I said, I followed that way of life for many, many years. No pasta (Oh how I love pasta!), no potatoes (Love those too), no fun :-(. But I convinced myself that I enjoyed egg white omelets and tuna with no mayo and it actually was a great cop-out to not eat any fruit! Gotta watch those carbs, ya know.

So how does a meat, cheese eating Italian go from carnivore to herbivore? On Friday, May 16, 2o08 (yes I remember the date), I made the trek from Boston to Manhattan to visit my best friend from my hometown at NYU. Being such good friends, you can imagine we share similar tastes in food. She was a low carb girl too, but to my great surprise, when I arrived at her apartment she told me she was vegan now. Waaaait a second. Vegan? As in, no cheese? Is that what that means? (What a terrible word vegan is… it does not sound fun at all. If the word were more like “Cuddly Bubbly Sunshine,” I think people wouldn’t be so scared of it). But there I was, looking at her like she had 8 heads, and I just had to ask, “Oh My Goodness WHY?! That sounds terrible.”

She told me her reasons, but I already had my mind made up about this ridiculous notion of no cheese and no meat, so I just figured it was a phase brought on by living in the Village for too long. That weekend, I went to her vegan restaurants with her. They were okay, I didn’t really mind eating veganly. But I didn’t love it either. Overall we had a great weekend and the food thing was quite secondary to the overall situation. But on Sunday as I’m packing my things to go back to Boston, I couldn’t help but delve. She used to be right there with me, melting cheese on bacon on the South Beach kick and I just had to know what made her change. Also, I should mention, she looked AMAZING. She was in such good shape and her skin and her hair was glowing. I really became interested in what she must have done because she looked so good.

So again, she starts spewing stuff about “animal abuse” and “ohh you don’t know the treatment they get” blah blah yadda yadda. I’m not much of an animal lover, I’ll say it right now. I’m a vegan who kind of hates animals, actually. To me they smell, they can’t take care of themselves, they’re loud, and overall I’m just not a fan. So when she tried to appeal to me by talking about animal cruelty, it didn’t work. However, she ended her shpiel by saying “You just have to read ‘Skinny Bitch.'”

Now, as I’ve mentioned, I have been trying to reach an ideal weight for some time. Telling me I could be skinny from this diet, well that appealed to me. She told me the book could explain it better than she ever could, and she leant me the book for my four hour bus ride back to Boston.

Can I just tell you, I could not put the book down. It was funny, it was smart, it was well-researched; it had me laughing and crying and I finally understood. They explained so many things, like how the hormones and steroids that are in most meat could be contributing to America’s obesity problem: Steroids go into the cow to make it larger so it can be mass produced -> you eat the cow with steroids -> steroids make you larger. It also explained that cheese = fat. Human milk is designed to make a baby go through the biggest growth spirt of its life. It is supposed to make a 7 pound newborn turn into a 25 pound baby. That baby is quadrupling its size in a matter of a year or so. Well, cow milk is supposed to do the same thing for baby cows. A 100 pound calve will quadruple its size by drinking milk to become a normal sized adult cow. So, as you can see, milk is designed to make you fat. Plain and simple.

Of course, people can disagree, I’m not here to preach to anyone. I’m just explaining why I made the decision to be vegan. And the book appeals to many different people. To me, the ability to lose weight appealed to me. To my friend at NYU, the animal cruelty it details appealed to her. And for others, the environmental costs of the meat production industry and its affect on global warming (Quoting from  TIME Magazine article “Where’s the Beef?” published 5/27/2009 that you can read, here “According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, meat production accounts for 18% of annual greenhouse-gas emissions — more than transportation, which accounts for roughly 14%”) appeal to them. Anyway, I’m not trying to advertise the book here, I’m just saying that what I’m telling you here is what appealed to me, but if you read it, maybe a different section would appeal to you.

It is important to note that I didn’t just stop eating animal products. I stopped eating crap! I read the ingredients on everything I eat, I avoid sugar, I avoid high fructose corn syrup, I try to eat organically, and I am conscious of how much nutrition I am getting from my food. People always ask, “Well how do you get your protein?” and let me tell you, not only do I get enough protein, I get enough everything! Do you know how many omega-3’s you’ve had today? How about lycopene? Iron? Calcium? Vitamin E? The B’s? C? Antioxidants? Well I do, because I have to. And because my high vegetable, high fruit, low crap diet pretty much does the work for me.

Oh and carbs… I LOVE carbs and finally someone explained it to me: White nutritionless carbs = bad, whole grain/whole wheat carbs = good. FINALLY I could eat pasta again! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise God, praise Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, pick your deity, I can eat carbs again! I could eat pasta and bread, as long as it was whole wheat… FINE with me!

So on May 18, 2008, I boarded a bus to Boston at 11 a.m. as an omnivore and by 3 p.m. when I arrived at South Station I was vegan, to much of the surprise of my friends and family. Let’s just say for now, my veganism was not met with bells and whistles, but that will be for a later post.

So how’s a girl to adjust to a complete life style change? Pretty easily, actually. I thought I would be vegan for a few months until I reached my goal weight and go back to at least eating cheese again. But it just felt SO good to be vegan. I had so much energy, I could tell my skin was better, my hair was nicer, my body just felt so good. And I dropped those pounds. It melted off. Within a month, I had lost close to 15 pounds, which is amazing. My whole life I wanted to drop 15-20 pounds, and finally I did… and it was so easy! I had always worked out, so that wasn’t the problem. In fact, I was always baffled by why my 3 mile runs never worked. But compounded with my new eating habits, I was finally able to get into shape. And it’s been that way ever since.

Unfortunately, at the end of August I went on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and had no choice but to eat cheese. And can you believe it, I gained 10 pounds in ONE week of eating cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely ate a lot of cheese. But I still couldn’t believe how much weight I gained. So now I’m back at school, back in my element, and back to full blown veganism and it feels great. I can’t wait to watch the weight shed again, to feel that energy of being vegan again, and finally go back to being me. Because almost 2 years into it, this lifestyle is part of my identity.

Now, to the blog. I am calling this blog “Boston Veggie” because when I first told one of my friend’s parents that I was the dreaded “V” word, she replied by saying “Oh so you’re a veggie?” I don’t know if she thinks it’s some kind of religion or cult or something, but it sure made me laugh. And since most of my posts will be Boston based, it just made sense. In this blog, I hope to address the many facets of veganism. Of course, there will be recipe posts a plenty, and tips on eating veganly in such a carniverous city like Boston, but sometimes I’ll talk about other things. Like how hard it is to tell your family you’re vegan, how to deal with those issues of acceptance and isolation that come from being the only vegan at the table, and the good, the bad and the ugly about vegan substitutes. I personally don’t love the substitutes, I just embrace eating lots of fruits and veggies, but my friend at NYU loooves her substitutes. So we’ll explore it all, basically. Until next time!