Waking up late for work…
Getting notifications for some not-so-nice comments on blog…
Spilling my oatmeal all over the front seat of my car…
Managing to spread said oatmeal onto EVERY surface of my car…
And getting to work and realizing I was about to miss one of my own deadlines…
Thursday came in like a lion, but then I realized I get to spread the word about the awesome vegan-friendly, Okie-friendly, Southern-friendly dinner I made last night.
The past couple of days, I’ve been trying to make meals from the suggestions the wonderful people who have been following along have sent to me (Really, y’all are awesome.) Tuesday night I made Vegan Cheeseburger soup. Fail. I was trying so hard to be open-minded about it, but it was also my first try at vegan meat & cheese. The smell offended me, but I charged forth on my mission. Upon finishing, I loped some of the concoction into my bowl and carried it to the table. In the short walk from my oven to my table, my soup had “set up” into some type of consistency that would be used best for laying bricks. Horrified, I tried it anyway. Not a fan.
BUT, for anyone that may have thought it sounded good, don’t completely give up on this recipe. Here are my suggestions: use unflavored and/or unsweetened soy milk, and use a higher quality vegan meat & cheese. (Not the, only-option, “hey that’s cheap!” kind your local Walmart has to offer.)
So last night as I looked for ideas, I was kind of wary as to what my other readers may have suggested, but then the Heaven’s opened and shined down (I’m not dramatic, not even the slightest.) on Very Vegan Chili.
Halleluiah! Can I get an Amen? My little Cajun-Okie heart seemed to sing as I took my first bite. I made some vegan cornbread (Because eating chili without cornbread is Un-American.) to go along with it topped with vegan butter and honey (Honey disclaimer at the end.) and for dessert made Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies. (w/o chocolate chips, yeah… I know.)
So moving on past my food Epiphany. Let’s get down to business, the Q&A part of this experiment. I’m just going to cover the frequently asked one’s, as this post might go on for days (more than it already does) if I answered them all.
Q1: What have you missed the most being vegan?
A1: My actual “most missed” item hasn’t been food… it’s been my Cowboy Boots and my hair products. (The higher the hair the closer to God people.)
Q2: Have you noticed a drastic difference in your grocery bill?
A2: Yes, because I typically don’t make full meals every night, and eat something quick and easy before heading to the gym, my grocery bill for a two-week project has totaled what I would normally spend for an entire month of groceries.
Q3: How much has it cost to be vegan?
A3: Y’all are all about price huh? Groceries for two weeks have cost approx. $240.00 and Makeup $50. Ouch, those numbers were painful to calculate and type. The makeup end of this was actually low because I only purchased a few items, since I already owned a lot of Urban Decay, and the grocery part could be lowered over time if you were making a long-term commitment to veganism and could stock up.
Q4: What item was I most surprised wasn’t vegan?
A4: Sugar, I just thought it came straight from the cane, I had never given much thought to the ‘refining process.’ Also alcohol, (it’s a very small list that’s actually vegan, certain flours and vinegars, and honey.
Q5: What items were you surprised to discover they WERE vegan?
A5: Oreos, I’m still kind of confused about that. Certain generic cheese and crackers (not real cheese), a large selection of L’OREAL haircare products, Fritos, Tostito’s Spinach Dip, and the fact that you can purchase vegan makeup at the Dollar Tree.
Q6: Have you lost weight being vegan?
A6: Nope, nothing, notta, zilch. I kind of assumed I would going into this. However, I normally workout 4 days a week, during this project I haven’t worked out at all. Trying to juggle my job and cooking every night put the gym on the back burner. (Oh Elliptical, I miss you so.). Plus there is a whole lot of junk food that is vegan-friendly.
Q7: Are you tired and fatigued?
A7: I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my energy levels during this. For those of you who don’t know I’m hypoglycemic. No big deal, it’s fairly common in women, it just means I need to make sure I’m getting lots of protein. Because of this, I’ve really focused eating lots of plant-based proteins. So have I been tired? Yes, work is busy-busy right now, is it from my diet? No.
Q8: What will you do Monday when you aren’t vegan anymore?
A8: Put on the flashiest pair of cowboy boots I own, apply a whole lot of mascara, blow the dust off my hair products, and march into work, cowhide purse on my shoulder. I’ll probably still have oatmeal for breakfast though, and organic sugar in my coffee… That’s really grown on me.
Q9: What has been the hardest part of the two weeks for you?
A9: I’m going to reiterate the “juggling” analogy again. My job takes me to feed yards, chicken houses, fescue fields, cattle conference, etc. In order to completely stay true to being vegan, I’ve had to turn down invitations to packing plants because they would be serving me “Buffalo Stew” (Still bummed about that, I happen to LOVE buffalo stew, go ahead make jokes about how cliche it is that the part Native American chick loves Buffalo.), and politely decline steak dinners at conferences with “I’m not hungry.” (Lies, all lies)
…and I’m quitting there, because going to an even number 10, would just make too much sense, and well, that’s not in my character.
Honey Disclaimer: Upon researching whether honey is vegan or not I found it’s debatable by many. Determined to stay true to this project, I was not planning on consuming honey. One of my co-workers heard this and informed me she had “vegan honey.” Turns out during a storm one of the trees in their pasture was struck by lightening, as a result of the storm, all the bees had left their hive in this tree. My co-worker and her husband cut down the tree, took the hive and squeezed all the honey from the comb. Since no bees were harmed or effected by their actions, it is in fact organic, all-natural, vegan honey.