Hello, friends. I know it's been a while since I posted, and I also haven't delivered the Easter dinner blog I promised. I still will, I'm just having trouble getting the pictures of the meal to post. So, in the meantime, I want to write just a quick post to catch up.
The semester is over, but I'm still vegan, and still loving it. I have an energy and zest for life that I haven’t felt in years. In addition to a vegan diet, I've been doing yoga, riding my bike and/or walking long distance every day, and my body is responding so well to all the activity and fresh air and good food. I'm getting stronger, I’m feeling good, and it shows.
I’ve found that after being vegan for a few months, my body is in tune with itself once more, and therefore much more sensitive to certain substances, especially any kind of stimulant. They just kinda make me feel like I’m going to die. Hence, I am having trouble enjoying one of my former favorite beverages: coffee. I can't drink it anymore. It makes me far too anxious and sick. Interestingly enough, my friend Kara, who is also vegan, is experiencing this same problem with coffee lately, even though she's been vegan for years and has been fine with coffee until now. So we've been drinking decaf chai to fill the void, and though we miss coffee, chai suffices. Especially first thing in the morning when you just want a hot beverage to start your day.
Kara and her vegetarian husband Orion are both fantastic cooks, and they provide me with wonderful homemade meals on a regular basis. Kara is a whiz at concocting delicious, hearty soups out of whatever she has on hand. Last Friday she made an exquisite lentil, rice and vegetable stew flavored with dill that she fed me when I was sick, and it just might have been what cured me. (That or the ginger/licorice root/turmeric tea she made me.) Kara also makes amazing vegan pumpkin cookies, which she adapted from her grandmother’s recipe, so between those and Newman-O's, I haven’t been suffering on the baked good front either.
Eating with Kara and Orion inspires me in my own cooking as well. Last week was the first time I made a vegan meal based on something from my own head, rather than from a recipe. I wanted something Thai-inspired, so I boiled some brown rice noodles, then I made a sauce based on the one the vegan pot pie I make calls for, with cornstarch, soy sauce and coconut milk. I added water chestnuts, bean sprouts, lots of spices and other veggies we had in the fridge: corn, a little bit of broccoli, and some snap peas. Then I sprinkled crushed peanuts on the top. It really hit the spot!
One thing that is nice about being vegan is the fact that the people around you end up eating that way sometimes too, and realizing it's not so bad. Last week was my friend Karleen’s birthday and we had a couple vegans (myself and Kara) in the crowd at my mom’s house. So, for Karleen’s birthday cake, my sister made the same chocolate cake we made for our Easter meal, only this one was a double layer and she improvised a frosting out of coconut milk and powdered sugar. It was DELICIOUS and just as good as any non –vegan cake I’ve ever had. And it met with the approval of all the non-vegans—my brother Daniel, Orion, my mother and my sister—in the crowd. Success!
I have a tendency to ramble, since I have so much to say, but I promised I’d keep this short, and so I shall. I will make it a priority to post more regularly, however, because this blog is still important to me and I miss writing it. Until then, adios!