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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blogger Vegan 4 A Day

When I first heard about Michelle and Katy's Blogger Vegan 4 A Week challenge, it never occurred to me to participate. But the more bloggers I saw getting amped about the idea -- some doing it for a week, many more for just a day -- the more I thought, "Well, I could do it, too, if it's only one day!"

Breakfast: oat bran, a banana, flax, cinnamon, nutmeg and peanut butter.

Caitlin and Leslie both wrote thoughtful posts today summing up my thoughts on vegetarianism and veganism. Whether you're an omnivore or vegetarian/vegan, the most important thing is to be a mindful eater, knowing where your food comes from and how it got from the farm or factory to your plate. The more educated I become about food, the less I can imagine going back to eating conventional meats or dairy. (Just call me John Kerry when it comes to seafood because I keep flip-flopping.)

Lunch, inspired by a similar lunch I had in Sydney: locally-grown butternut squash, cucumber and chickpeas with balsamic on pita, with pita chips and carrots.

Even a tiny change in your diet can make a difference. Whether it's committing to eat less meat -- hence the Meatless Monday campaign --, buying organic and locally-grown produce, meat and dairy (as much as possible) or spreading the word about documentaries like Food, Inc., any small change you can make does send a message.

Snack: Mary's Gone herb crackers, grape tomatoes, cucumber and Trader Joe's tahini-free hummus.

I think being aware is the most important thing -- for instance, I eat seafood knowing both the consequences and benefits, and try to be educated about sustainable seafood.

Tea time: Harvey Nichols' Afternoon Delight, brought back from London.

Going vegan for the day wasn't as difficult as I anticipated, besides having to read ingredient labels more closely. It would be much harder eating at a restaurant but overall, for a day, it was a good experience. I'm certainly not planning to go vegan anytime soon but it certainly provided some food for thought.

Dinner: black bean chili with corn, tomatoes and butternut squash, and homemade cornbread -- both with a few modifications from the original recipes.

Would you ever go vegetarian or vegan? Why or why not? Going vegetarian last spring was a lot easier than I expected; it's only difficult occasionally at restaurants where the only veggie options are pasta or salad.

Dessert: frozen mixed berries.