Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What the heck is a vegan? VeganMoFo #3

I'm a Veganwannabe: Post #3

What the heck is a vegan? That’s a good question! In a nutshell, vegans do not eat any animal products….that means no meat, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, etc. I understand the many vegans do not eat honey or even Worcestershire sauce – there are anchovies in there, did you know that?

As I look out across October and consider eating vegan for one month, I feel most worried about eliminating cheese from my diet. I love it. Not that I eat a lot of cheese, but man, when I want some, I gotta have it. Eggs also…sometimes, I simply crave them.

We have pretty well eliminated red meat from the menu, and we have already added lots more fish to our diet. In fact, there are lots and lots of weeks that we eat mainly vegetarian meals, and I have refried beans down to a science! Seriously! The beauty of vegetarianism, for me,  is the inclusion of cheese, eggs, butter, yogurt¸ sour cream, and ice cream.

So what do vegans eat? Well, I’m not 100% sure….I know they eat grains, beans, lentils, nuts, veggies, fruits and other whole foods.  And then there’s soy. Some vegans eat soy and some do not eat much soy. I have been reading about the health benefits and health concerns surrounding eating soy….Not sure yet how I feel about it. I think as in all parts of life, moderation is the key. A diet filled with soy products is probably not too healthy, especially if the soy is highly processed, but eating small amounts of whole soy (think edamame ) is fine. 

And then there is the super scary and foreign product that vegans call ‘Nutritional Yeast.’ I actually bought some in preparation for my VeganMoFo journey….….Have no idea what to do with it….. ! 

Check back tomorrow for a great way to enhance boring white rice. 


  1. Super Scary, huh?! I LOVE Nutritional Yeast. It's good on popcorn and good as a sprinkle on things you would normally want to put parmesan on. Just a thought ;) Loved your post, it made me laugh!

  2. I am a person who is embarking on MoFo as a wannabe also and I will say I have become a huge fan of cashew cheese thanks to nutrional yeast, so yummy!

  3. My favorite thing to use nutritional yeast for is to put it on top of spaghetti & marinara sauce. So good! If you want to ease into it, try it on top of some popcorn. You won't even need butter!

  4. Vegans eat plants, girl, plants! Grains (pastas, rices, breads, etc.) greens, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, all that good stuff. :-) And cheese. Tons of Cashew Cheese! And tofu, seitan, tempeh, and beans. Always more beans! :-) And there are tons of great more "processed" vegan foods on the market, too, too many to list!

    Nutritional yeast is awesome, but start off with small quantities if you are scared! It took me a minute to get on board with it, but I loved it after about 2 months vegan.

    Here's a post I did on it as a young vegan and a young blogger, haha:

    It can take 3-6 weeks or more to rid yourself of animal food cravings (cheese, eggs, etc.) but if you do stick to a vegan diet for that time, you will absolutely see a reduction, if not an elimination of cravings! The longer you stay on the diet, the fewer your cravings will be (and you will start craving vegan foods!). Dr. Neil Barnard wrote a great book on this called, "Breaking the Food Seduction." Highly recommend!

    So proud of you, Tracy! Go with the 'Fo! haha


  5. So what you are saying is vegans have major gas issues, lol. I"m just kidding. I have to hand it to you for trying. I'd never give up my Italian truffle cheese, ever!

  6. I agree with everything Dawn says on the other comment. Use nutritional yeast in sauces and dips. Off the top of my head I use it in my Butternut Mac & Cheese sauce, Cashew cheese, hummus dip, stir it into soups & chowders for a cheesy taste. My husband's all-time favorite meal is my Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, and I home cook every single day. So that say's a lot for how yummy nutritional yeast is! My view on soy is it's okay every once in a while, but don't make it part of your daily vegan diet.

  7. You should check out Veggie Girl ( she has some delicious "cheese" recipes.
    Some use nooch and they really are VERY similar to the real deal.
    By the end of MoFo you just might be indoctrinated and using nooch everyday.


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