Before getting into my thoughts about being “officially” vegan for one day, let’s start with what I ate. Don’t get too excited.
Yup, you’re seeing that right. My breakfast was coffee (w/ almond milk) and a slice of whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter. Exciting, right? I’m never super hungry in the mornings so I keep my breakfasts small. I also ate a bunch of blueberries too. For lunch I had something I have mentioned a million times now: a sushi bowl. You’re gonna get sick of this. But hey, it’s one of my favorite foods, it’s vegan, and it’s healthy! But, I did make some modifications. I left out Greek yogurt in the sauce and I added way more spinach and used less rice as well. As a side I had some miso soup.
As snacks I had some Skinny Pop (literally just bagged popcorn), blueberries, and an almond milkshake.
Initially I was planning on cooking dinner since M and I went out for dinner last night. But we had to drive to Sacramento to get his debit card that he left there so I Yelp’d a vegan restaurant and we found Coconut Midtown. It’s Thai food that has almost every menu item available as vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten-free. Pretty awesome! It was good, but I’m not sold on coming back––not that it wasn’t good, it just wasn’t to my taste. I ordered vegan “Drunken Noodle” and it was way too gingery for my taste––but the vegetables were delicious. M got eggplant with chicken so I didn’t have any. We also got “fresh rolls” as appetizers which were good, but I’m not a huge fan of peanut sauce either! Oh well. I still enjoyed it for the most part!
Recipe: Raw, Vegan Coconut Banana Cream Pie
Now moving on to something more fun: a vegan dessert recipe. I’ve had his recipe stowed away for a long time now, and I’m so glad I finally made it.
Yeeeeeah. Now you’re interested, aren’t ya?
Here’s how to make this gorgeous slice of heaven, recipe courtesy of the amazing Minimalist Baker. Seriously, go check out their blog, it has some amazing shit on it.
- 1 heaping cup walnuts (I used almonds because I am allergic to walnuts)
- 1 heaping cup pitted dates
- 1.25 cups cashews soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight, then drained
- 3.5 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (I used honey)
- 1 medium just ripe banana (~ 1/2 cup mashed)*
- 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (I scrape the cream off the top for luxurious texture)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
- Place dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
- Process walnuts/almonds until a meal consistency is achieved. Add back in dates and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. When squeezed between two fingers, the crust should stick together and feel moldable. If too dry, add another date or two. If too wet, add a little almond or walnut meal.
- Press into a springform pan, or an 8×8 baking dish or round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. Press until flat, going up the sides about 1/2 inch. Place in freezer to set.
- Add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy – about 1-2 minutes. If it’s having trouble blending, add a little more agave or water to encourage it along. It should be silky smooth when completely combined.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then pour into crust and smooth with a spoon. Tap to release any air bubbles, then cover and freeze until set – about 4-6 hours.
- To serve, let thaw for 5 minutes. Top slices with coconut whipped cream, crushed peanuts and caramel sauce (optional). Should keep in the freezer, covered, for at least 1 week.
I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful this is. Raw, vegan, naturally sweet, and practically good for you! My dad came home from dinner with my mom and proceeded to stand over it with a fork and eat about half of it. My dad’s stomach is super sensitive to desserts, so he always goes nuts when I make a dessert like this that is easy on the tummy and delish!
Reflections on Day 1
First off I want to say that the first day went well. It was really interesting thinking about all the little changes I now had to make.
For example, my mom always keeps candy by the front door. Our usual are Hi-Chews, which are delicious chewy (duh) candies with strong fruit flavor that are found in Asian markets. I eat at least 2-3 a day. But yesterday? Nope. No gelatin. No mini drumsticks. No yogurt. No probiotic drinks. What!
But honestly eating vegan isn’t really that weird for me, besides those little changes. As I’ve said before, I already eat a highly plant-based diet. And I actually thought it was kind of fun looking for a special restaurant to go to and really enjoying eating something that tasted as good as a non-vegan version.
Now the moment of truth: how do I feel after eating a full day of vegan goodness? Really good. But, and that’s a huge but, like 32-24-40 status big but. I’m not totally convinced that I feel so good and high energy from not eating animal products. As of now, I think it’s from what I am eating rather than what I’m not eating. I believe that I feel like this because I’m eating less processed foods, more fresh fruits and veggies, and spent a lot more time focusing on my food rather than just devouring it. In fact, today was all about food. I planned and made all my meals, went to the grocery store, created a new, unique dessert, and found a restaurant that I could eat at. Being vegan really forces you to be more thoughtful about your eating decisions. And that’s what I like about it.
So we’re off to day 2! I doubt it’ll be as interesting as today because I have work, but I’ll still write an update.
Peace, love, and blueberries,