Two hundred and twenty-two

After yoga (my brother is now calling me “the health nut”) and a warm salad of veggie dogs sliced and sauteed with garlic, mushrooms and tomato on top of mixed greens (actually really tasty), I’ve spent the day looking for recipes of vegan things I can bring for me to eat at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Every year we all try to get together and have a big Thanksgiving feast with my mom’s side of the family – turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes full of butter and milk, vegetables covered in butter and sometimes bacon, pumpkin pie, ice cream and cake… basically everything I can’t eat. It’s going to be hard to smell to turkey cooking in the oven, watch my cousins, aunts and uncles pour gravy on their mash, have my grandmother upset because I won’t eat her pumpkin pie.  But I am feeling healthier now that the detox is over and I’m not really craving meat (although I could use a little of that pie…)

In fact, yesterday I ate about ten sweet potato fries at work (vegan, although fried in the same oil as chicken, so not sure the rule on that) and I felt like a chunk of lead was sitting in my stomach.  Most of the things I eat now are healthy, not fried, fresh ingredients, so my system did not like those fries!  I know that if I were to gorge on the turkey and gravy or the ice cream, I would feel pretty sick.

A lot of people have asked me to post recipes when I find some good ones.  There are a few websites that I haven’t tried so far, but they look amazing.  Oh She Glows (a popular vegan blog by Angela Liddon) has some last minute vegan Thanksgiving ideas posted that look delicious.  I think I’m going to try the Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream.  A friend sent me over to The Tofu Princess which has a recipe for a Coconut-Apple Crisp that looks divine.  This Super Moist Pumpkin Bread also looks great on Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life.

I know, I’m only naming desserts!  I guess my sweet tooth is really showing here.  My mom is making the mashed potatoes and promised to make a small batch for me without butter and milk, so I’ll have that to eat.  And I’m hoping the veg this year won’t have butter already on it.  This recipe for Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad from PETA.org looks easy to make and transport and good for me to bring that is seasonal and has protein.

Veg.ca, Toronto’s Vegetarian Association, also has tons of links to websites for recipes and places in Toronto you can eat your Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant or buy pre-made vegan Thanksgiving food, if I wanted to do it that way.  I think I should try the cooking thing, though.  We shall see how it goes…

Two hundred and twenty

I’m feeling better today.  The headache is very minimal and a few months ago I bought a coupon/pass for a hot yoga studio in Liberty Village on the group-buying site Living Social (I’m still using what I learned during extreme coupon month), so I started that today.  I figure sweating out the toxins might help speed up the process and yoga generally makes me feel great.  I’m also drinking tons of water, trying to flush out my system.

My friend Chris asked whether I knew in more detail what the toxins are.  I’ve asked an ‘expert’ friend of mine, so I should have an answer about that in the next few days.

The more research I do on the vegan lifestyle, the more overwhelming it gets.  There are so many products – food, cosmetics, toiletries, furniture, clothing, cleaning products, supplements, alcohol, etc – that have animal products in them.  The Vegan Society has a massive list of animal-derived substances.  To fully live a vegan life, you must be diligent at all times.  There are hidden ingredients everywhere.

My way of dealing with this right now is to shop and eat where the research is already done for me.  Panacea is a completely vegan store around Bathurst and Bloor with groceries, health and beauty products, clothing, etc.  Not the cheapest place to get your groceries, but you know that everything is vegan in the store, so it saves times looking at all the labels.  Last night I went to Kale Eatery at Yonge and Eglinton where there is a buffet of vegan food which you pay for by weight.  It was pretty tasty, although it did feel a bit like it was missing the main dish (what would normally be the meat).  I bought a wrap and a couple of muffins to take home with me too and the wrap, which I had for lunch today, was delicious!

As for the products I already use in my house, I’m going to have to start looking through to see if any of them are tested on animals or contain animal-derived substances.  This is a lot of work.