It is now the very last week of my project, and I’m still not sure what the verdict will be at the end. Will I stay vegan? Will I keep some of the habits I’ve made? Will I go back to how I was eating before? I can say with fervent resolution that I will definitely not be eating more meat. If anything, the claimed “healthiest” meats of free-range organic chicken and fresh fish sound a lot less appetizing now. In order to go back to the way I ate before, I’d have to forget many things I’ve found in my research.
The bottom line is that there is no magic diet that will create the perfect harmony for every human being, however that’s no reason not to strive for the very best. My friends and loved ones have been very interested and supportive of my experiment, but I’m mildly concerned it was only because it was an experiment. The hardest thing to face will be home cooked meals by other people. As a southern baptist, some people get extremely offended if you don’t eat what they have prepared. There is a very strong stigma between food and love in the south. I once made a new boyfriend a batch of cookies. He kissed me all the time after that. Anytime my family gets together, we have to eat something. Whether it be out on the town or stay at home pot-luck, my family are big eaters.
Then there’s what I want. How do I feel? To tell you the truth, I don’t really feel all that different. I enjoy my meals more. I love getting to eat more. I never feel nauseated and heavy after a large meal. I’m starting to really enjoy soy milk and tofu. I discovered the other day that chocolate milk is exponentially better with soy milk. The other day, I saw a glob of stretchy cheese, and it actually made me mildly ill. I’m more sensitive to jokes and shenanigans that tease and frustrate animals. I’m not going to start a rally, but I find myself saying more and more often, “That’s not necessary.”
But health-wise, I don’t feel much different. If anything, I find myself fatigued at times. I’m absolutely sleeping better, though. I have less muscle fatigue after strenuous activities. My skin looks healthier. My digestion is better. My weight is better controlled. My blood pressure and blood glucose is improving. I’m more motivated to be productive. I have fewer migraines.
On second thought… maybe this isn’t so bad after all. I will be absolutely giddy to not have to log and report every single day. Even blogging is starting to feel like a chore. But I must finish strong!
Vegan Deli Slices
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1 cup vegan “chicken-style” broth (I used my trusty broth powder to make it)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs agave nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 (14 ounce) package firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- tin foil
1. In a large bowl, add the vital wheat gluten. In a blender, blast all the wet ingredients, nutritional yeast, tofu, and spices until smooth.
2. Pour wet ingredients into the the wheat gluten. Mix well, then knead with hands. It will start to develop and become flexible.
3. Roll into a loaf shape. Loosely wrap foil around the seitan log and twist both ends closed.
4. Place in a pot with several inches water. Boost the loaf from the bottom of the pan so it is not touching the water. I used a small can of corn.
5. Steam for 1 hour. When done, take out of pot, allow to fully cool. When cool, slice thinly like deli meat.
* The only way I might improve this would be to roast it a little after steaming. This will dry it out and make it last longer through the week. The steaming makes the loaf moist and dense and gives it a nice crust. After a few days, though, my loaf became a bit soggy. So roast it for 10-15 minutes at 350 after it steams and cools, or make sure it is all eaten within the first 2 days.
Weight: 210.8 lb (-2.6 change)
Fasting Blood Glucose Level: 90
Blood Pressure: 108/68
Resting Heart Rate: 90
Total Calorie Intake: 1764 261/79/55*
*”Total Calories per Day” “Carbs/Fat/Protein” The ultimate goal is 1800 calories per day with a macronutrient split of 225/60/90.