Happy Halloween, friends! Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this holiday or any holiday for that matter. I think it’s the cynical (some would say party-pooper) side of me where I don’t pay much attention to “special” days. In fact, I really don’t care about celebrating my birthday and probably my anniversary is the only annual event that I truly enjoy.
I’m not a total meanie, though. I couldn’t bring myself to buy Halloween candy to give out tonight, but I got some quarters instead:
On a different subject, I finally made collard wraps!!! I tried this back in March of this year, but accidentally used chard instead of collard greens and it was a disaster.
The collards were so much easier to handle. I cut them off the stem like this:
And put them in a pot of boiling water to soften them and make them more appetizing. They turned a bright green in less than a minute. I rinsed them with cold water to stop them cooking and to make them cool enough to handle:
Then, I laid out the fixins’ including hummus, red pepper strips, avocado and sliced onion:
I was soooo proud of myself. I served the wraps with some chopped up Asian pear. The collard green itself was pretty mild in flavor and had a nice texture. I don’t know how portable this type of wrap would be, I ended up eating it with a fork and knife. I will for sure be making these in the future as an alternative to a regular grain-based wrap.
So as you can tell I managed to squeeze out one more post for this year’s Vegan Mofo. My final tally was 14 posts, my goal had been 20.
I wanted to share this post I wrote about Lessons From Veganism that was posted on the Vida Vegan Con last week. In it, I sum up some things I learned during my first year of being vegan. I hope you enjoy it!
Lessons From Veganism – The First Year
September, 16, 2011 marked my first year of being vegan. To honor the occasion, I thought about some of the lessons I learned during this time. They range from the significant (transforming my health!) to the silly (my obsession with chia pudding). Overall, the changes that veganism has brought to my life have been powerful and I can’t wait to see what the following years bring.
1. Veganism is not about perfection! Turns out there is no vegan police and you don’t have to be a perfect vegan or a perfect anything for that matter. While I am really careful about not consuming animal products, I have only just started weeding out the animal-derived products in my closet. The point is that it’s up to each individual to decide his or her boundaries.
2. If being vegan is not about perfection, then it is about compassion. I’ve become really emotional about animal rights once I thought carefully about what it means to eat or use animal-based products. I believe knowledge is power and as humans we are responsible for showing compassion to not only other people, but to the millions of other species sharing our planet.
3. Eating plant-based foods is also about doing what’s best for our health. Science shows that a plant-based diet is ideal for human health. If you want to say goodbye to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a myriad of other problems, a plant-based diet is your answer. Note: Don’t forget your B12 supplement and be sure to read Ginny Messina’s new book “Vegan for Life.”
4. There is a lot of misinformation out there about nutrition. Most of what we read in the media or learned in school about nutrition has been dictated by industry lobbyists and isn’t based on science! As a future registered dietitian whose professional community has sponsors from all of the big food manufacturers, it’s going to be an uphill battle to educate consumers. But, I have confidence that science will prevail.
5. Whoa, I’m an advocate. Once I discovered my passion for veganism and health, I felt confident to speak my mind. I also learned that advocacy can take many different forms and it’s up to each of us to choose which one works for us. From leaf-letting to sharing a vegan recipe, it all helps the cause.
6. I have influence. It has been incredibly rewarding to have people ask me about what I’m doing and how they can get healthier. Some people still don’t get it, but I decided early on that I’m all about helping people who want to be helped. I consider myself as an example of how energetic, balanced and productive one can be eating a healthy, vegan diet.
7. Vegan food is delicious! Eating fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, seeds and beans is a culinary adventure and not the least bit boring. From a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a gourmet meal at Millennium, the fun never stops with vegan food. I am finding all of the Vida Vegan Con blogs to be really inspiring.
8. A plant-based diet is healing. After I started eating a healthy, plant-based diet, I realized the connection between food and health. I successfully resolved migraines, seasonal allergies, hormonal imbalances and anxiety quickly after becoming a healthy vegan. Animal products, excess fat, sugar and salt make you sick; whole, plant-based foods restore, heal and balance.
9. Vegans are open and supportive. I feel like I can be myself in the vegan community. After attending the 1st Vida Vegan Con in August, 2011, I felt part of a family. I left the conference with new friends who continue to inspire and help me grow.
10. Veganism gave me hope. In this world where sometimes it feels like we’re headed for destruction, I feel positive about the future. The steps we take with our food choices, advocacy and influence are resulting in strides for animal welfare, improving our health and preserving the environment.
What do you think about these lessons, do any resonate with you?