When it comes to eating meat, I live by the “it’s an instinct, not a choice!” school of thought. I love meat, poultry, fish, dairy- as far as I’m concerned, PETA stands for People Eat Tasty Animals. I seriously drool at the thought of a good steak or tasty hamburger- I love hamburgers so much, I started another blog just to document my goal of trying every single burger here in Oakland! On long car rides, when we see cows grazing, I taught my kids to say “Hamburgers!” and to baby cows, “Sliders!” (I highly doubt my vegetarian friends appreciate that joke- sorry!)
You can’t really get away from all the press surrounding meat in the past few years and I’ve read my fair share of articles warning of the ill effect of eating too much red meat- high fat content leading to heart and cholesterol problems; cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s risks; and of course Mad Cow Disease, just to name a few. Yeah, I get it. Everything in moderation, the leaner the cut the better. I even joined a meat/poultry and fish CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) just to ensure that I’m only buying local meat and fish that has been farm-raised ethically, sustainably, and humanely.
I also read a lot of articles about runners powered by nothing other than vegan food– they claim it fuels their bodies better than any meat ever could and have basically turned super human as a result, running hundreds of miles without injury, with minimal recovery time. So in my attempt to stick with my New Year resolutions this year, I’m dabbling in a bit of flexi-vegetarian-veganism not just to lose weight but to also become a better runner (the “flexi” part promising a burger every now and then!).
Hubby got me a super awesome Amazon Kindle for my birthday and one of the first books I downloaded was Mark Bittman’s “VB6: Vegan Before 6“. Bittman had spent most of his life as a food writer for the New York Times, indulging in some of the finest and meatiest foods from all over the world; but, by age 57 he was diagnosed with pre-diabetic, pre-heart disease symptoms. As a result, his doctor suggested a vegan diet. Still wanting to enjoy eating meat sometimes, Bittman developed the VB6 diet: no animal products, alcohol, junk food and/or processed foods before 6pm, after 6pm you eat pretty much whatever you want, in- of course- moderation.
When I consider my own diet, I notice that I typically eat vegetarian for most of the day anyway- breakfast is oatmeal/fruit/nuts, lunch is salad and a meat-based protein is always included with dinner. Taking that next step to go completely vegan means no more post-run lattes, no eggs for breakfast, no turkey sandwiches for lunch… all of which is honestly a bit hard for me to do! I just love a good hard boiled egg after my morning run sometimes!
But I am trying… although this morning, I got coffee and habitually poured milk into it and the VB6 day was ruined. One good point Bittman makes in the book is that you can’t ALWAYS be vegan and you can’t force your veganism on others as most social gatherings and family meals usually have lots of meat-based foods. Bittman advises to fill your plate up with veggies, try a little of everything, and be sure to return to your vegan ways at the next meal! I LOVE THAT COMPROMISE!
Bittman’s recipes are fairly simple yet tasty, even the meat-based ones- I’m still making my way through all the recipes in the book but so far, so good!
I happened upon this 30-day Green Smoothie challenge and figured that fit perfectly into my flexiveganism (pretty sure that’s not a word, pretty sure I made that up, pretty sure I’m okay with that!)- these smoothies are so nutritious, delicious, filling and 100% vegan! Sign up for the challenge and they send a nice PDF with recipes, grocery lists, blending tips, and tool suggestions (yes, it helps to have a little more than a normal ol’ blender, they even have discount codes to purchase your very own Vitamix or Blendtec!).
My Vitamix has NEVER seen this much action! I’ve blended every day since 1/1/14 like a champ and even got the kids to try them- they say it tastes like Jamba Juice but so much better and I agree! Spinach, carrots, orange juice, bananas, strawberries and blueberries and within a couple whirs of the blender, you’ve got a plant-powered, super hydrating green drink packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Let me know if you try it- I swear you’ll like it!!!
Vegetarian-veganism is great and all but when it comes to my desserts, I’m all about the dairy- ice cream, whipped cream, pudding, cheesecake, mousse, ahhhhhhh… if I’m eating any of that after 6pm, according to Mark Bittman, it’s totally fine but I still want to try to incorporate vegetarian foods into every part of my diet, even my desserts.
Coincidentally, I was contacted by the good people of NadaMoo to try some of their gluten-free, non-dairy, coconut milk-based ice cream, I jumped at chance and ran out to my local store to pick up every single flavor they make and not one disappointed! NadaMoo tastes very similar to ice cream, the texture is just as smooth and creamy and the flavors are very rich and delicious, just a hint of coconut- so far, our favorite flavor is Lotta Mint Chip.
Hubby is completely dairy-free and now demands that NadaMoo be constantly stocked in our freezer- he hadn’t had ice cream in over a year, but one taste of NadaMoo and he was hooked! I didn’t even get to try the Chocolate Almond Chip as he polished it off in one sitting! (We’re still working on the whole “moderation” thing, obviously.)
And now for the GIVEAWAY… thanks to NadaMoo, two lucky winners will win vouchers to try all the NadaMoo flavors for free! YUM, YUM, YUM!!!
All entries must be accounted for by Rafflecopter. To earn entries, just follow all the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget: like Running4theReason on Facebook, like NadaMoo on Facebook, leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite vegetarian dessert is and/or what flavor of NadaMoo you most want to try, and tweet about the giveaway with tags to @LauraRunning and @NadaMoo to earn entries.
Please be sure to count each of your entries (you can enter daily!) in the Rafflecopter widget. I will email the lucky winners next Monday, January 13th and his/her names will appear here on the Rafflecopter widget. GOOD LUCK and HAPPY MEATLESS MONDAY!!!