This journey into a vegan lifestyle has not been easy. Being from the South, meat and cheese
is was a huge part of my diet, specifically barbecue and mac n’ cheese; however, I do remember, in my middle school age, attempting to become a vegetarian. Since I had no money and couldn’t buy my own food, I had to eat what was provided. In a black household, you have no choices. You eat what your mother cooked, or you don’t eat at all! Needless to say, that phase didn’t last long.
About six years ago, I did make the decision to cut out beef and pork, which sucks because I just got a taste of ox tails. I didn’t like the way the meat made me feel afterwards; I immediately needed to sleep and felt heavy. Note: Your food should energize you, not deplete you of energy. I think around a year later, I decided that chicken and turkey needed to go, as well. I think I watched a bit of Food Inc, and saw the conditions the chickens were kept in and the steroids and hormones that were injected into the chicken to speed up growth and create large pieces of meat. I then knew that I didn’t want the junk that was fed to chickens, fed to me. It was obvious that I would not be able to quit all meat “cold turkey”, no pun intended, so I started “Meatless Mondays”; simply no meat on Mondays. After a few weeks of Meatless Mondays, I started to add in Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc, until the elimination of meat became a lifestyle. Don’t be fooled, though, I still ate seafood. If you think bacon was hard, seafood was, and still is, a HUGE challenge for me. When I mentioned that I’m from the south, that means Texas and Louisiana, where cajun and creole food reign supreme! It’s still a struggle for me, but I don’t eat as much as I used to.
Throughout this lackluster journey to a vegan lifestyle, I occasionally ate a barbecued rib (or 2), during the summer backyard parties, or a hot wing (or 8) during Sunday night football, and even a Daryl’s special poboy from Daryl’s in Lake Charles, LA. ( I would provide the contact information, but I’m trying to get you all on this vegan journey with me.) I don’t believe in deprivation, so every now and then, I indulge; however, I still didn’t like the way those foods made me feel afterwards, but I did like the way I felt after a consistent vegan diet. My skin was a lot more clear ( I suffer from eczema). Note: Dairy promotes eczema flairs and acne. Eliminate dairy, eliminate acne (Consult your doctor, though).
I have recently become more vegetarian than vegan, but in an attempt to do better with my life, I’m extending a 30 Day Sistah Vegan Challenge. With this challenge, I will share quick and easy meals, a simple shopping list, and if nothing else, moral support. Please feel free to share your journey with me and the readers! Recipes are welcomed!
Below is a list of a few items I almost always keep in my fridge and/or pantry:
- Pesto sauce or Basil for homemade Pesto
- Mixed veggies
- Almond milk
- Jasmine Rice
- Brussel Sprouts
- Veggie Broth
- Soy Sauce
- Penne Pasta
Two great books to assist you along this journey are listed below, as well. I haven’t read through either, yet, but I have scanned a few pages.
- Sistah Vegan – This book is composed of black female vegans giving their real life experiences on becoming vegan and the benefits of a plant based diet for black women.
- African Holistic Health – This book provides an overview of the foods that are best (and not so good) for people of the African diaspora. Regardless of what is said, we are not all the same. Our bodies cannot process the same food as Europeans. The book also provides great herbal remedies.
I hope you all join me on this 30 Day Challenge starting August 1, 2017. Join the Facebook Group for daily updates!
One of my favorite snacks/light lunches is an Acai bowl, especially on a hot day! The bowl pictured contains the listed below. I also add a spoon of pea protein.
Base Blend (Blended to form a smoothie/Frozen ice cream like substance)
Organic Açaí – Berry that contain antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats