Monday, June 24, 2013

[Un] Vegan, Unprocessed, and a Look at My Pantry

I want to be vegan--vegan AND gluten-free actually. 

Green Smoothie/ Nutriblast in the making: spring salad mix, banana, frozen strawberries, cashews, ground flax, coconut milk, water

It has such a nice "activist" ring to it, like it was meant to be part of my identity--Black, Feminist, Queer, Vegan.

But I just can't hack it yet.

The lady friend and I decided to be vegan for June. She'd been wanting to adopt the lifestyle for a while and, as you know, I have been trying to work my way back to it for a while. One night several months ago we discussed it. I threw in the gluten-free part and she said "Are we really going to be those lesbians?" My simple reply was, "I'm not a lesbian."

"Mannah"--It's gross and not our doing

Ha. Anyway, we did really well for 8 days in June. Due to some extremely unfortunate circumstances, however, we had to put our new adventure on hold.

Vegan french toast, tofu scramble, avocado w/ olive oil, sea salt, and red wine vinegar 

I decided I would get back on track this week. I made a meal plan, went grocery shopping, and made a list of every last thing in my pantry.

My mind is rebelling, however. And what's a gal to do about that?

I really want to eat eggs. And to put 3oz of grilled chicken on my salads. I am OK with abstaining from gluten, dairy, and added sugars (except for a tsp of honey in my green tea) but I am struggling with the idea of completely removing meat from my diet! Why is this happening to me? I used to have such "no-meat" fire!

I currently have no animal products in my freezer or fridge  (although a couple of cans of mackerel and sardines occupy some of my cupboard space) so even though I don't feel like it, I will be vegan for this upcoming week at least.


What I really want is to be consistently healthy. Two years ago, I was convinced that veganism was the only way. I learned about it, I believed in it wholeheartedly, I had to do it. I thought everyone needed to do it. I'm no longer in that place;  I no longer think that way. I have spent over a year repeatedly trying to get back to that place, but I can't yet.

Veggie masala burger, spinach,  and avocado, on top of sauteed onions and wheat berries 

I highly admire the authors of the vegan books and blogs I've read and follow, my militant vegetarian sister, and vegan and vegetarian  friends and friends of friends, but I think I've been comparing myself to them and trying to reach their perfection, mainly because they are noble and impressive to me and I want to appear noble and impressive to others. That wasn't the case in June 2011 when I decided to become vegan, and it wasn't the case for the year that followed that decision, but it would be the case if I were to pursue veganism now. I wouldn't be doing it because I wholeheartedly believe life as a vegan is the all-around best way to live. I would be doing it because I really want other people to admire my life.

That is no bueno.
Rice and peas and fried plantains! 

I'd like to give myself the gift of actually sticking to the things I say I'm going to do, of fully applying the changes I say I am going to make, for more than a week or a month. I can't do that in pursuing veganism right now.

I'm not going to run out and eat a burger now and like I said, I currently have [virtually] no animal products at home. I will be vegan, by default, for a little while longer but I'm going to switch my focus to simply eating an ethical, unprocessed, whole foods diet.

Maybe if I get a handle on that, returning to veganism will become more appealing and happen naturally.

Pride in black and white

Stay Tuned!


See  this article by Dr.Mark Hyman. It directly addresses whether following a specific, restricted diet is necessary to achieve and maintain optimal health--a very timely read for me today!


If you are interested, here is my pantry list:

2 Avocados
2 Ripe Plantains
1 bunch bananas
4 apples
2 lemons
1 pack frozen pineapple
1 pack frozen blueberries
1 pack frozen strawberries
½ pack frozen blackberries
1 mango
Dried Apricots

1 bunch kale
1 head romaine lettuce
1 pack spring mix salad
1 pack spinach
1 cucumber
1 zucchini
2 tomatoes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 red onion
1 head garlic
1 can water chestnuts
¼ pack frozen green beans
¼ pack frozen corn
¼ pack frozen veggies: Mediterranean blend
¾ pack frozen chopped spinach
1 pack frozen stir fry blend
Sea weeds: kombu, dulse, wakame, nori sheets
1 can beets

Grains/ flours
Brown basmati rice
Quinoa- white, red, black
Black “forbidden” rice
Old-fashioned oats
Steel-cut Oats
Brown rice lasagna
2 Gluten free English muffins (frozen)
¼ loaf Ezekiel bread
1 pack cornmeal, fine, gluten free
1/4 pack cornmeal, coarse, gluten free
Brown rice flour
Chick pea flour
Whole wheat flour

Beans/ Bean-based Protein
Black beans
Black eyed peas
Red Kidney beans
Garbanzo beans
Split peas
Pinto beans
Navy beans
Red Lentils
Falafel mix

Nuts /Seeds
Ground chia seeds
Flax seeds
Hemp seeds
Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds
Pumpkin seeds

1 carton soymilk
2 cans coconut milk
1 can salsa verde
1 bag sucanat
1 pack arrowroot starch
1 tub cornstarch
2 cans mackerel
1 can sardines
1 pack of beef flavored Ramen

A shitload of spices
Coconut Aminos
Tamari, gluten free
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Rice Vinegar
Umeboshi Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Braggs Liquid Aminos
Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Anyone want to craft an amazing meal plan for me?