My Vegan Mantra

Eversince I started my vegan journey towards optimum health last May 28, 2016, I have come to learn, relearn and unlearn many things about nutrition and diet. Learn new recipes; new scientific information about the ill effects of having meat and dairy products in your diet, as evidenced by science; where to get this science-based information (http://nutritionfacts.org); who are the experts you can rely on and most importantly, know the ins and outs of vegan diet thru the help of trusted friends and community (Manila Vegans). Re-learn recipes you’ve come to know that are meat-based; the information that meat is the only source of “good/complete” protein as most nutritionist believe; that good sources of protein actually come from plants and legumes; and that food is medicine and medicine is food in the real sense of it. Un-learn that animal-based milk (cow, carabao, etc.) and all its by-products (dairy), including eggs and meat, are good for your health because they are not; and the current food pyramid.

The last five months of my transitioning from healthy eating (with meat) to vegetarian/vegan diet was not an easy feat. However, because my health journey since 2012 have allowed me to meet new people that turns out to be the correct ones for the path I chose to take, it became a bit easier on my part. In my search for answers to lead me to physical health, I have developed my own vegan mantra as my practical guide in leading a vegan diet, which I will share in this post through photos:

1. Finding. Looking for vegan products here in the Philippines is a bit of a challenge for a beginner. I myself had a tough time because not all vegan products are outright healthy. Good thing that my vegan mentor, Donah, and friends gave me some tips on where to find these babies.

My vegan finds - non-dairy butter (In A Nutshell), non-dairy Smoked Truffle cheese (The Real Happy Cow-TRHC), eggless mayo (TRHC) & vegan tocino, tapa and longganisa (Vegetarian Mom PH)

My vegan finds – non-dairy butter (In A Nutshell), non-dairy Smoked Truffle cheese (The Real Happy Cow-TRHC), eggless mayo (TRHC) & vegan tocino, tapa and longganisa (Vegetarian Mom PH)

2. Veganizing. What is frustrating for transitioning vegans are those times when you seem to can’t find anything you can eat or munch in the very unhealthy environment of fast foods, dairy-based cafe, meat-munching buffet and restos. Thus, vegans should really be extra creative and persistent when asking questions to waiters and baristas. After more than a year of boycotting Starbucks, I had to return because it is the only cafe where I could find breakfast good for vegan with the option of soymilk (oatmeal). And then, I tried one of their cold drinks (Mango and Strawberry yogurt) only that I had it veganized. I asked the barista to remove the yogurt powder and replace it with soymilk. At first, the barista hesitated because he said that the true flavor of the drink will not be achieved without it. However, I said that for him to do as I say and leave the flavor be. I would handle that. True enough, the Mango yogurt without the yogurt tasted yummy just the same with soymilk.

Veganized version of Starbucks' Mango yogurt drink

Veganized version of Starbucks’ Mango yogurt drink

3. Creating. Since I know how to cook and have been getting better everytime I try doing it, I cooked our own vegan food from recipes I have learned from my Manila Vegans community.

Oatmeal cooked in almond milk, cinnamon, a bit coco sugar, topped with strawberries.

What’s for breakfast?: Oatmeal cooked in almond milk, cinnamon, a bit coco sugar, topped with strawberries.

 

Dessert

Dessert 2: Frozen bananas dipped in pure chocolate syrup topped with peanuts.

 

Full meal: my version of instant noodles only healthier. Blanched veggies with vermicelli noddles. Seasoning: Sesame oil with spices (pink salt & chili flakes)

Full meal: my version of instant noodles only healthier. Blanched veggies with vermicelli noodles. Seasoning: Sesame oil with spices (pink salt, chili flakes, pepper & malunggay powder on top).

 

Full Meal 2: Ginataang gulay with brown rice.

Full Meal 2: Ginataang gulay with brown rice.

4. Re-creating. As a former meat-eater, I miss eating the dishes I used to eat so what I did is to re-create them using veggie meats (by Healt-T foods and TRHC) and for some I used my vegan finds (eggless mayo by TRHC).

Re-created sinigang using Non-GMO veggie meat.

Re-created sinigang using non-GMO veggie meat.

 

Re-created Samgyeoupsal using vegchon from TRHC.

Re-created Samgyeoupsal using vegchon from TRHC.

 

My version of potato salad using eggless mayo from TRHC.

My version of potato salad using eggless mayo from TRHC.

 

Scramble but not using eggs but tofu.

Scramble, not using eggs but tofu.

 

Lastly, not all the time, vegans are eating healthy food. We are also human and we do need some comfort. As comfort food, I also look for vegan nomnoms. See below.

Sea salt soy chips and TRHC Smoked Truffle non-dairy cheese

Sea salt soy chips and TRHC Smoked Truffle non-dairy cheese

 

Watch out for my end-year post about my health journey and why I shifted to a vegan diet.

 

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