I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Nick and I did not travel this year for the holidays, nor did we visit family again. We had a low-key Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and the highlight of our celebration was eating good food! Speaking of food, I’m sharing some of the things we had over the holidays to also promote Veganuary. If you don’t know about Veganuary, it is a promotional pledge offered and aimed to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January. I think it’s great when anyone chooses to go vegan, but from a health perspective, I’d like to say that eating a whole-food, low-fat, plant-based diet is the healthiest choice. With that said, I know that during travels and over holidays can be a little trickier and harder to be picky about what you eat. Even I tend to let a little loose and be naughty sometimes, but I’d like to mention that there’s always a better and healthier way to eat everything — that includes even the unhealthiest foods such as doughnuts, fries, cakes, for example. But aside from that, eating plant-based, from a health perspective, means that you’re not eating cholesterol, which is only good for you. Plus if you eat mostly whole food and eat a variety — vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds — you’ll get a well-balanced diet. Ever since we’ve gone plant-based five years ago, our taste buds are clean and can actually taste the flavors of food in ways we didn’t before. Eating has never been so exciting — and healthy!
The number one question to a vegan diet is, “where do you get your protein?” Well, just about everything has protein: fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. I actually get more protein now on a plant-based diet than when I wasn’t a vegan. As long as you’re eating enough calories and a variety of food, you will get an abundance of nutrients. We don’t supplement for anything except Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Everything else we get from food. We just got a comprehensive biochemistry blood work and other various tests done, and our numbers are excellent in every category. I was told by the doctor that I am both a boring and poster-child patient, because she couldn’t correct me with anything. And Nick was asked if he is a runner. Far from it. He sits for work all day and only works out three days a week, but his cardio and pulse says he’s been running for years! I can go on and on on this subject matter and all its amazing health benefits, but the point I want to make is this: aim to eat healthier this month by incorporating more whole food plant-based products. You deserve it. Start this year off by treating your body right.
Now on to the holiday feasting… Again, we had ordered a holiday meal from our favorite vegan restaurant in Austin, Counter Culture, for Christmas day. Unlike on Thanksgiving, we ordered the same meal of black bean chili tamale torte with spicy chile sauce, roasted cauliflower and lima bean pilaf with tahini sauce, and a butternut squash and kale salad. The meal was delicious, with a good spicy kick to it. And we both agreed the salad and tamale torte were our favorite.
For dessert, Nick passed and I took advantage of having my first vegan flan ever. I didn’t actually eat it until the day afterward because I was too full and we went to go see Star Wars right after dinner. But come next day, that flan was mighty scrumptious!
New Year’s Eve was less exciting. I had planned on cooking my lentil and veggie shepherd’s pie recipe, but at the last minute we were too lazy to deal with cooking and being in the kitchen. Very typical of us during the holidays, so then we picked up a large pizza from Hoboken Pie, and I had a surprisingly super yummy blueberry “cheesecake” from an all vegan bakery, Capital City Bakery. I’ve never been a huge cheesecake fan, but I definitely enjoyed this vegan cheezecake; however, I still didn’t manage to eat it all.
So there goes our food experience over the holidays. I hope some of you take a look at Veganuary for your health, for the animals, or for the environment. If not for the full month, at least try something plant-based at least once this month. Check out a local vegan restaurant and try something new. Feel free to ask me whatever questions you may have. And in light of Veganuary, I’ll be sharing one or two recipes next week as well.
I wish you all a great new start to the year. And cheers to your health!