I'll start by sharing what I don’t eat. These are the things I don’t eat as a vegan for ethical, environmental, and health reasons:
These are plant foods that I don’t eat because I don’t like the taste:
I have always been freaked out by condiments and pre-made jar foods so I never ate, and still don’t eat:
And here’s some things that people may assume that I eat because I’m vegan, but actually don’t:
So what DO I eat??
Here’s a typical day in the life of food for Jen. A little disclaimer: I’m not saying that this is the healthiest way to eat and that everyone should eat exactly like me. But I do think that I have found a way that is sustainable for me because it’s affordable, healthy and pleasurable to my pallet.
Morning: I start the day with one cup of dark roast coffee with brown sugar and soy milk. I don't have a second cup or drink it during the day. When I’m ready for food, I have toast with Miyoko’s Cultured Butter.
Noon: I have a banana berry smoothie with a splash of soy milk and small pour of maple syrup. This gives me energy and doesn’t make me feel heavy or slow me down.
Afternoon: I’m ready for something more filling by this time in the day, and I want to make something fairly simple to put together. Tortilla with beans and avocado and arugula would be my ideal lunch. I also love a simple avocado and cucumber sandwich, or a salad with brown rice.
Snacking: On cold days, I like to bake things to keep the kitchen warm and cozy so I will make baked potatoes, baked tofu or roasted asparagus to eat through out the day. In the summer, I love to eat watermelon, green grapes, peaches, and strawberries.
Dinner: My favorite dinner is pasta with tomatoes. I either use fresh tomatoes or make my own sauce with plain strained tomatoes. Sometimes I add fresh basil, or well cooked leek, or spinach.
More common foods I keep around:
And I also keep things like hemp seeds, chia seeds, and/or walnuts to add additional protein and omegas to my meals.
Suppliments: I take vitamin D and a vitamin B complex.
* I buy organic and fair trade chocolate and coffee so I’m not supporting exploitation of people or the planet. I don’t mind paying more for these items. If I can’t afford it, I’d choose to not buy the chocolate rather than buy a cheap brand with bad ethics. Or, I’d buy the more expensive coffee, and make up for the cost somewhere else in my budget.
1. I keep it clutter free. It’s so much easier to clean this way. And in general, I am more focused and peaceful when I’m not visually distracted.
2. I keep it clean. The kitchen should be clean for obvious sanitary reasons, but I also just love having my kitchen clean and pretty.
3. I use up old stuff to free up space for new stuff so things don’t get crowded, forgotten about, or wasted. If I have a 1/2 cup of polenta, I’m definately going to use that up and free up the jar.
4. I keep the things I use most in reachable places and the things I don’t use much in less reachable places. For example, my thermos is on a high shelf, but my coffee is the easiest to grab so I can access it in my morning haze.
5. I add extra lighting to make my kitchen brighter to work in.
6. I keep a speaker in the kitchen and when I don’t want to do the dishes, I motivate myself with music or a podcast.
7. I have an apron that I love to wear.
8. I keep it stocked with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans. I have one comfort meal on hand (usually pasta) and one sweet treat (usually chocolate chips for thier versatility).
9. I keep an ongoing inventory list.
10. I keep an ongoing shopping list.
11. I keep an ongoing meal plan.
12. I revel in the fact that I have a clean, clutter free, and beautiful kitchen. And that I’m producing delicious healthy food for myself and my family.