Trying Something New

By: Sam Marquez

I am a 16 year old female living in Tulare, California and a big part of my life contradicts with where I live. Tulare County alone is one of the top agriculture capitals of the world, we host the annual World Ag Expo, which is the world’s largest annual agricultural exposition. So in turn, Tulare is very focused on its dairymen and so on and so forth. The thing about that is, it stirs up a lot of controversy with my peers because I’ve been vegan for two years.

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So basically everything Tulare stands for, I don’t.

I don’t eat meat, eggs, dairy or anything that comes from an animal.

So in turn, I get A LOT of questions, since it’s quite uncommon where I’m from.

  • Where do you get your protein? 

Where your protein gets its protein from

  • BUT HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT BACON THOUGH?

I’m not trying to convert you to become a herbivore, but…

“Vegans may have fewer nutrient deficiencies than average omnivores while maintaining a lower body weight without losing muscle mass. Those eating plant-based diets appear to experience enhanced athletic recovery without affecting the benefits of exercise. The arteries of vegans appear healthier than even long-distance endurance athletes and those on low-carb diets. In fact, the Paleo Diet may increase the risk of toxin contamination, DNA damage, and cancer.”

Eggs

“Despite the powerful egg industry’s best efforts to put a “healthy” spin on egg consumption, eggs contain high levels of cholesterol and may contain carcinogenic retroviruses, heterocyclic amines, toxic pollutants (such as arsenic, perfluorochemicals like PCB, phthalates, flame retardant chemicals, dioxins), and Salmonella (see here and here). Consuming just one egg per day may significantly shorten our lifespans, increase the levels of the cancer-promoting growth hormone IGF-1, and increase our risk of heart disease, kidney stones, stroke, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and some types of cancer (such as pancreatic, breast, and prostate).” (nutritionfacts.org)

Dairy

“Dairy products are not only high in saturated fat, but they are low in a number of beneficial dietary components such antioxidants, ergothioneine, an amino acid that may help protect our cells; and fiber, a nutrient that 97% of Americans are deficient in. Along with saturated fat, dairy products also contain cholesterol, trans fats, endotoxins, Neu5Gc, choline, all of which may raise the risk of inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and increased overall mortality risk.The hormones in dairy products (including skim milk) may not only promote acne, but also contribute to risk of premature puberty, multiple pregnancies (which are riskier to both mother and children), breast cancer, prostate cancer, other hormone-dependent cancers, declining sperm counts, excess estrogen, and heart disease.”  (nutritionfacts.org)

Dairy products are basically empty calories with little nutritional value, and do more harm than good.

Meat

This is what Dr. Micheal McGreger of nutritionfacts.org had this to say about meat consumption:

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To make a long story short, the World Health Organization classified red meat and processed meat as a Class 1 carcinogen to humans. Meaning that having too much of it, which varies person by person, is associated with many different issues within your body. Such as different types of cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, infertility, and so much more.

And I love my arteries too much.

  • What do you even eat? You can’t eat like anything!

Well dear reader, I’m going to tell you just that!

Breakfast

One serving of plain oatmeal cooked with unsweetened vanilla almondmilk. After cooking I add a tablespoon of chia seeds and flax seeds, a tablespoon of walnuts and add a sweetener. (sugar, agave, maple syrup, etc.) To drink I’ll have a cup or two of almondmilk. On the side, I normally have a serving of fruit and one to two slices of whole wheat toast with vegan “butter”. (one of the two below)

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Lunch

Since my school has not yet provided any options for me to eat (but will soon) I have to pack my lunch. It normally consist of my dinner from the previous night. screenshot-2017-02-15-at-2-03-41-pm

One of my favorite things to make is pasta.

What I’ll do first is, chop up the onions,  tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, then mince the garlic. Bring your sauce pan to medium heat with 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil then sautee your onions until they’re almost golden brown then add in your garlic and tomatoes. Sautee until aromatic (you can smell it) then add in your zucchini and yellow squash. Stir frequently and cook until fork tender. This is when I’ll add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and parsley. If desired add in some fake “meat”balls, I prefer this brand called Gardein you can find most of their products at Target. 82c284e6-07f7-4e39-822e-3de49587df98_2-009b17ecaea3230fa15c7e6e9e36024b

While waiting for your zucchini and such to cook properly, follow the instructions on the back of your pasta box and let that be.

When your zucchini and such is fork tender, add in your marinara sauce.

When everything, including your pasta, is ready combine and enjoy.

Like mentioned before, I normally have this meal for dinner the night before, and I take the leftovers to school the next day.

Snack

I’m an active female, so I’m hungry all of the time, around 10 a.m I’ll have a snack of a fruit and some pretzels.

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Dinner

Since winter is still upon us, there is nothing better to me than soup. (Serves five)screenshot-2017-02-15-at-2-34-03-pmYou will also need a soup pot and lid, 1/2 to a cup of water, one medium zucchini, one medium yellow squash,  garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Start of by sauteeing your onions and garlic like how you did with the pasta. When aromatic and in your lentils for 3 minutes to get them nice and flavorful. Add in sweet potatoes, celery and carrots, cook for another 3 minutes. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth or stock, t1hen the water if need be, zucchini, yellow squash and seasonings to taste. Cover pot with lid when you bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and cover. Make sure to check on stew occasionally, and stir if need be. May take 45-60 minutes to cook. You’ll know when done when sweet potatoes are fork tender.

To make garlic bread, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter your bread with the vegan “butter”  (I prefer sourdough) and sprinkle on garlic powder and salt to taste. Cook for about five-ten minutes.

Dessert

My favorite kinds of cookies are snicker doodles!

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 of almondmilk
  • Vanilla to taste

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda

Mix wet ingredients separately from dry, once individually mixed, combine the two mixtures. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, recipe makes 3 dozen cookies.

For the actual snicker doodle, roll about a tablespoon of the dough into a ball and roll into cinnamon sugar (mix 2 tsp of sugar and cinnamon together on plate to get same results). Then place  balls on parchment paper on a tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes!

So dear reader that’s what this vegan eats!


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