Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meatless Meatloaf and Banana Bread

Venturing into vegetarianism/veganism brought out the cook in me today. I put together a vegetarian loaf that looks, smells, and tastes just like meatloaf, and now I have a banana loaf in the oven, which is mostly vegan with no eggs and no butter/margarine. I did have to use organic milk since I drank the rest of my soy milk for breakfast this morning, but all in all, the batter looked and tasted just like regular banana bread batter. My fingers are crossed that the finished product has the texture and taste of a typical banana bread.

So far, the journey into no meat, sometimes no animal products whatsoever, has been going smoothly with just a few bumps here and there. Not having been eating much meat for some time now has helped, I think. I just don't feel the desire to eat meat. I'm drawn to veggies, fruits and breads. I do love cheese. I think that's been the toughest part so far. I found some rice cheese, but the texture and flavor definitely don't compare to that of cow or goat cheese. Part of me wants to rationalize and say cheese is okay to eat, especially organic cheese from animals that are treated humanely. I do think it's okay for each of us to figure out what we're okay with when it comes to what we eat, so if one person wants to meat and only meat, so be it. If another person wants to eat only raw, go for it. I feel comfortable eating cheese, yogurt, and milk, as long as these are organic and come from humanely treated animals. Thinking it through and figuring out what I'm comfortable with has been part of the journey, and though I most likely will never completely be vegan, this is okay.

Today I went back to the organic foods store and found a few more products to keep in my pantry. Building my supplies will definitely take time, and the cost is something I'll constantly have to keep in mind. Organic, vegan foods are not cheap. When I consider the cost of eating the way I want to, I get irritated that eating healthfully can be cost prohibitive. Yes, I could by fruits and veggies at a regular grocery store, but even there I would buy organics which cost more than mass produced fruits and veggies. Since this is how I want to eat, I'm just going to have to adjust how I spend my money. Rather than buying a magazine, I can go to the library and read it, freeing up money to use for the products I want to consume. Rather than buying a new gadget for the kitchen, I can use the many gadgets I now have that sit idle in the cupboards, steering the money saved towards foods that fit the lifestyle I want to live.

The journey will definitely be ongoing, with its hills and valleys, but I look forward to it. I find walking this journey had made me much more mindful of what goes into my body. I'm much more likely now to not eat something that I used to because I'm much more aware of what makes up the food and I don't want to put into my body elements I believe are harmful. I don't know if it's too soon to really have any significant changes taking place, but I have noticed I just don't think about food all that much anymore. Is this due to reducing certain ingredients? I don't know. I do know I've been a little surprised quite a few times lately when it dawns on me that I haven't eaten anything for upwards of five or six hours. I'm okay with this. Intuitive eating is something I've very interested in and I'm wondering if this is the direction my body is going in response to the changes I've been making.

The banana bread aroma is filling the house now. Time to check on it, maybe even test it before calling it a day.

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