Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on March 11, 2009
It’s day ten in the no-eating-animal-products house — which means I’m a third of the way through my plant-based experiment. Five days ago, I pledged not to overdo the 3 “S”s, which were: sugar, soy and seitan. Here’s an update on how that’s going.
Sugar. Wah waaaah. I have definitely been consuming more than I should. It’s not that I’ve been scoffing “G” brownies and soy ice cream all day, but I have been eating my fair share of sugar-laden granola and other breakfast cereals (topped with agave), coffee (with a generous amount of agave), fruit and nut bars, dates, bananas… that kind of thing. Okay, I know that doesn’t sound too bad, but you don’t know about my shady past as a cereal addict of Seinfeld proportions. There was a period in my life — all through college and many embarrassing years beyond — when I literally lived on Sultana Bran.
The problem being, once I start on sweet, I stay sweet. So, for the next twenty, I’ll endeavor to curb my cereal enthusiasm and cozy up to more vegetables instead.
Soy. I’m overdoing this one, too. To keep me from eating every two seconds, I’ve been topping my lunchtime salad of fresh veggies with tofu. Pretty much everyday for the past ten days. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit! Dieticians recommend only 2-4 servings of soy a week. So, I’m switching to beans — pinto, chickpeas, black, you name it — not quite as much protein as soy, but better than a dose of breast cancer.
Seitan. I’ll admit, I was waaay wrong about this one. The stuff is brilliant. It’s made from wheat gluten, which sounds starchy, but is actually the complete opposite. Gluten is the protein portion of wheat. It’s been enjoyed for centuries by vegetarian monks in China and is widespread throughout Japan, Korea, Russia and the Middle East. Gluten is usually flavored using soy sauce, tamari, ginger, garlic and kombu. And best of all, it’s low fat and low carb. Great on its own as a snack or gives a salad or a sandwich a little more ummph. The downside? It’s only available at health food stores.
I’m looking forward to the next 20 days, during which I’ll be eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seitan, nuts and seeds.
And the odd box of Cocoa Pops. I’m kidding. (Hopefully.)