To Vegan? Or Not to Vegan?

I believe Shakespeare was the first to ask this question, am I right?

This is what I have been debating for the past few weeks.  It all started with, well, this blog and our Smoothie Bowl creation(s).  All vegan! Then, my wonderful boyfriend gave me a book called “The Vegetarian Flavor Bible”, which (little did he know) spends the first few chapters expressing the importance and nutritional benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet. Then, as I kept posting more vegan recipes and browsing through more plant-based IG feeds and ideas, I thought to myself… why am I not vegan..why am I not even vegetarian?? Am I a faker?  Here I am , posting about how wonderful plants are and how awesome plants taste and how you can turn plants into Unicorn Food, yet I myself am NOT actually all about this lifestyle?

You’re right, I was giving myself a hard time, I know.  Really, the 3 foods separating me and veganism are:

1. FISH and ALL seafood.. YUM

2. GREEK YOGURT, creamy and protein-y

3. Hard boiled eggs. Not exciting but an easy quick protein filled snack.

SO yeah, I’m getting pretty close. Still, not there yet.

I took a mini-poll on my Facebook, asking friends and family who are veg/vegan about their decisions and motivations regarding their diet.  The question got lots of reflective stories and opinions and they got me thinking..

…thinking about the fish I was eating, the eggs I was hard boiling.. the yogurt I was eating every morning.  I’ve become so invested in what I put into my body – and honestly, I really like knowing where those things are coming from.  Which is why I’ve become interested in crop farming.

But then I thought about the egg I was having for lunch.  Did I know where it was coming from? No. Well, a hen, yes, but where was the hen from? How was this hen treated, what were the conditions like where it lived, what was it being fed, was it a healthy bird? Basically, I started to feel like (FOR ME, this is only MY personal feeling and I 100% do NOT judge anyone who does not share the same dietary feelings as I do.. I am just expressing my own journey here) it was such an ABSTRACT way of eating food.  Just popping this snack down  because it had some protein, I wasn’t really really enjoying it, necessarily, I was just consuming it.  So, one food down. The fish, okay .. so I really like tuna.  Tuna, unfortunately are over harvested and tuna populations are not as stable as the should be.  Now this is something that I went to school for.  Natural resource management.  I knew, everytime I bought a can of Light Tuna at Market Basket, I was voting with my $1.79 and telling the world that I thought it was okay to keep harvesting those tuna.  Even when I sometimes splurged on the $3.29 can of ‘sustainable harvested, pole-caught wild tuna’, it just didn’t feel like enough, and honestly, that’s just too darn expensive to keep up.  So the yogurt.. I recently learned how dairy is produced/how cows are treated to keep them producing milk and it kinda made me squirm.  Now, I LOVE my Cabot Greek Yogurt.  And Cabot is a New England company.. kinda small farmer-esque, right?  Free of hormones and all of that and I bet they do their best to keep their cows happy.  Still, I just want to be true to my values – ethical, environmental, health-wise, etc.  Plus, like Hadley says, I like a challenge too and I want to ‘practice what I preach’ and eat according to the foods/recipes/diets we are posting about here.

Sooo.. dun dun dun.. I am doing a 30 day vegan diet!! Starting.. as soon as I finish the carton of Cabot Greek Yogurt I purchased a day before deciding to do this.  (Sabotage, subconscious sabotage..).  BUT immediately after I finish the greek yogurt, I am starting a full out 30 day vegan diet. NO animal products, no honey, no nothin.

I’m really excited, I’ve already started experimenting with tofu, more beans and just different ways of eating those wonderful fruits and veggies we love.

Rice paper rolls, anyone?

first attempt: filled with sweet potato, green cabbage, beet, onion and curry-spiced baked sprouted tofu. Dressing is a homemade turmeric root/tahini & black sesame seed mix.

first attempt: filled with sweet potato, green cabbage, beet, onion and curry-spiced baked sprouted tofu. Dressing is a homemade turmeric root/tahini & black sesame seed mix.

Will definitely be doing more of these.. thinking savory AND sweet.

All in all, I feel sincerely GOOD about this decision.  I mean, truly in my gut I feel like this decision will bring lots of positive changes and open doors for me.. who knows how much longer after 30 days it will last.. but you never know! Vegan may just stick.

It’s all about a Happy Belly anyways, right?

There’s the answer to your question, Shakespeare.

Today’s recipe:

Vegan raspberry lemon ‘cheese’cake with a pumpkin swirl

to 'cheese'cake? or not to 'cheese'cake?

to ‘cheese’cake? or not to ‘cheese’cake?

Crust

Cashews/almonds/coconut/dates/golden raisins/buckwheat groats

Lemon filling

Lemon juice/soaked cashews&almonds/coconut oil/banana/lemon zest/vanilla powder

Raspberry layer

Cashews/raspberries/lemon/dates/banana/pumpkin puree/salt/water

Tops

Coconut flakes/cacao nibs/raspberries/love💞

Layered one on top of the other, set in the freezer and voila!

one more view..

one more view..

Will keep you all updated on my vegan adventure, made some BOMB hummus yesterday that may appear here soon.. if we don’t eat it all before I get some pictures of it..

Stay happy, bellies ❤
P.S! Check out the HappyBelly Instagram account @happybellybowls
Follow the account for even more happy belly yumminess

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