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Fears About Becoming Vegan & Apple Spice Bread

Fears About Becoming Vegan

Many folks have valid fears about transitioning to a plant-based or vegan diet.  How will you deal with family, friends or peers?  What will you eat when you’re on-the-go?  How do you answer all of the questions that people will ask you when they hear you’re living a vegan lifestyle?  Won’t my child be ostracized if they’re the only vegan child at school?

For some people, making the change to live vegan is because they’ve heard about the cruelty associated with factory farming (that’s why I wrote this book).  For others, it has nothing to do with animals but they do it for health reasons or environmental causes.  And for some, they just feel a pull in that direction and think the time is right.

Although there are so many excuses (and reasons) why more people aren’t eating a vegan or even vegetarian diet, once you make the change, the tradeoff is well worth it.

-you somehow feel more at peace
-you somehow feel more in touch with nature (weird, but true!)
-you walk around feeling cleaner and lighter
-a whole new world of food opens up

How Will I Deal With Family Members, Friends, etc.?

In dealing with family members, friends, coworkers or peers, arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.  Be prepared to answer questions like “where do you get your protein from?”, “so you’re a tree-hugger now?”, “what do you eat?” and even “how can I eat a more plant-based diet too?”.

A great general answer to those who are wondering if you’ve gone off the deep end is to simply say you want to be healthier.  And the great part about that is you’re not only honestly treating your body better, but you are also being better to the Earth and to animals.  It’s a win-win-win!

If you want to convince others to become vegans too, one of the best ways to go about it is through their stomachs!  Spewing vegan facts about why someone should or shouldn’t eat meat or dairy without them asking you first is an invitation for conflict.  Most people will be offended if you offer up plant-based wisdom and advice without being prompted to do so.  Remember that non-vegans are still good folks, they just don’t have the information and knowledge yet to make the decision for themselves.

The next time you have an opportunity to cook for someone, whether it be a potluck, classroom snack or dinner party, bring your favorite vegan dish.  I’ve found it best not to mention it’s a “plant-based” item until after they’ve tried it.  Most of the time, people will be pleasantly surprised!

What Can I Eat When I’m On The Go?
Preparation is the key here.  If you want to eat healthier, cleaner food, you’ve got to keep some staples on hand both in your home and in your car or bag.  Think simple, whole foods here.  Obviously fresh fruits and raw veggies are the best choice but things like granola bars (just check the ingredients as there is a huge range of healthy to junky bars out there), mixed nuts and seeds, dried fruit are good options. Or make a trail mix to take with you.
I also love having hummus on hand in small containers that are easy to grab out of the ‘fridge and pack in your bag along with bell pepper and carrot slices.
Peanut or almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) with whole wheat crackers or celery sticks is another easy and tasty snack idea.
If you have time to do some baking, stock up on your baked goods and freeze some for later.  In my house, we usually keep healthy cookies (cookie recipe here) and muffins (muffin recipe here) on the counter at all times.  (Yes, I’m usually the one sneaking bites of them at wee hours of the evening after the kids have gone to bed!)
Sandwiches and sushi rolls are another great easy-to-travel with item.  Use whole wheat tortillas or pita pockets to roll up or stuff with veggies.  Nori is also easy to roll up with veggies.  Or make your own veggie sushi rolls with brown rice, avocado, or whatever you like (recipe here).
Cold pasta salad loaded with olives, peppers, tomatoes, peas, etc. is a great meal-to-go as well (recipe here).  Just don’t forget to bring the fork!
 
Will My Child Be Ostracized if He/She is Vegan?

Probably not.  Kids are such curious creatures that ask lots of questions.  Prepare your child for such questions from peers by doing some practice roll-playing.  Like “So, what would you say if kids asked why you weren’t eating the yogurt tubes or cheese sticks at snack time?” or “How would you handle it if your friend ate a piece of salami or hamburger while sitting next to you at lunchtime?”
I’ve overheard my own kids at school lunch time and snack time after sports games when they’re faced with questions like “Why don’t you eat meat? Are you allergic to it or something?”  They usually simply say “It’s not good for your body.  I’m vegan so I don’t eat things that come from animals.  Plus, the animals are treated badly.”  Nine times out of ten, the kid asking the question will be satisfied with the answer and the topic is changed.  I’ve noticed that kids don’t really dwell on things like that the way adults might.

Also, it might be a good idea to have a talk with your pediatrician or doctor about your new lifestyle choices.  Many doctors (even the great ones) just don’t have the knowledge base to fully support your decision.  Maybe you could go in armed with the nutritional facts you’ve learned so far or a book you recommend and start a discussion.

Did you know that in America, doctors receive only a few hours of nutrition training during their many years of medical school?  Don’t believe me?  Check out this NY Times Article written by a doctor.  Shocking, in my opinion.  It doesn’t really support the famous Hippocrates quote “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” now does it?

In my own personal experience, I give my older two kids the freedom to choose if they want to be vegan or not by allowing them to make their food choices on their own (for the most part).  They seem to be trained now to ask if there are any animal products in foods they’re uncertain of.  I do remind them to be kind if someone next to them is eating meat or peeling a cheese stick.  No need to make anyone feel badly about their decisions.  I honestly don’t think my vegan kids feel left out.  If anything, they feel proactive and proud about making a personal decision that has such positive effects on the world.

Here are my favorite recommended resources:
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin (don’t let the name fool you, there are some great facts, recipes and tips in there!)
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell (he also was a huge part of Forks Over Knives, the documentary)

The Food Revolution by John Robbins

PCRM.org

Veggie-Kids.com

This article can also be viewed at Technorati.com.

And now, for a long awaited recipe…since fall is in the air (barely where I live, but I think I saw a few leaves drop today…okay, so maybe my toddler was shaking the branch, but still…) I thought this Apple Spice Bread would be the perfect snack, breakfast or dessert treat right now!

Apple Spice Bread
yields 1 loaf, 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins
Sugar and spice and everything nice!  This apple spiced bread is sure to please.  With fall just around the corner I can’t help but get a jump start on an autumn apple recipe.

1 C. dairy-free milk
1 Tb. apple cider vinegar
2 C. whole wheat flour (or spelt…)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 C. applesauce, unsweetened
1 Tb. canola oil
3/4 C. date sugar
1/4 C. dairy-free apple or vanilla yogurt (although plain works too)
2 apples, peeled, cored and pureed or finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In small bowl, combine milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside (this will magically turn into “buttermilk” by curdling a bit)

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

In large bowl, mix together applesauce, oil, sugar and yogurt until well incorporated.

Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until just combined.

Stir in apples.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool on wire cooling rack 10 minutes, then slice and spread with Earth Balance butter…mmm!

Store in plastic ziplock bag or airtight container once completely cooled.  (Easy to freeze too!)

*These would make great muffins or mini-muffins too!  Just cook them for 18-20 minutes instead.


*You could also add a streusal topping to this (1 C. flour, 1/2 C. date sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 C. vegan butter, melted: combine all ingredients in medium bowl and sprinkle on top when 10 minutes of baking time are remaining)

 

Fears About Becoming Vegan & Apple Spice Bread
Serves: yields 1 loaf, 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins
 
Sugar and spice and everything nice!  This apple spiced bread is sure to please.  With fall just around the corner I can't help but get a jump start on an autumn apple recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 C. dairy-free milk
  • 1 Tb. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 C. whole wheat flour (or spelt...)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ C. applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 Tb. canola oil
  • ¾ C. date sugar
  • ¼ C. dairy-free apple or vanilla yogurt (although plain works too)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and pureed or finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 9" x 5" loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In small bowl, combine milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside (this will magically turn into "buttermilk" by curdling a bit)
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  4. In large bowl, mix together applesauce, oil, sugar and yogurt until well incorporated.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until just combined.
  6. Stir in apples.
  7. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on wire cooling rack 10 minutes, then slice and spread with Earth Balance butter...mmm!
  9. Store in plastic ziplock bag or airtight container once completely cooled.  (Easy to freeze too!)
  10. *These would make great muffins or mini-muffins too!  Just cook them for 18-20 minutes instead.
  11. *You could also add a streusal topping to this (1 C. flour, ½ C. date sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, ½ C. vegan butter, melted: combine all ingredients in medium bowl and sprinkle on top when 10 minutes of baking time are remaining)

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