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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Vegan Lifestyle?? - Transitioning kids from Vegetarian to Vegan!

Over the past year I have transitioned from being a meat eater to vegetarian. I had always known that was the best way to be and I had already cut out beef and pork from me and my children's diet. We still ate chicken, turkey, and seafood up until earlier this year when I stopped buying any and all kinds of meat. I still bought milk, eggs, cheese, and yogurt until recently and not 100% when I will stop entirely.

I recently started back with an almost daily yoga practice. Something that I have loved to do for years but never did more than once a month after initially starting. In doing yoga and following tons of yogis on Instagram, I came across many, many vegan yogis.

The other day I posted my lunch on Instagram, featuring broccoli, cauliflower, and avocado. It was delicious I must add. I always hashtag myself as #WannabeVegan and a friend of mine commented. It made me realize that I have rarely eaten cheese and have not brought milk into the house for weeks!!

I was subconsciously transitioning to vegan!! So I might as well make it a conscious effort like I did with being vegetarian.

My 18 year old sister didn't really get the point of vegetarian or vegan lifestyles and my kids got it but they were not 100% there yet. I decided to show them the films that made me want to change my eating habits completely in hopes that they would want to change as well.

This past Saturday I started them on Vegucated. This documentary follows 3 New Yorkers who went vegan for 6 weeks. During that time they were also educated about the meat industry and how cruel and inhumane the animals are treated. That alone was enough to open my sisters eyes and make my kids not ask for cow milk anymore.

I had been buying almond and coconut milk and they claimed to not like it. I went to Trader Joes and got soy and rice milk as well to see how they felt about those and I think they are happy with the Vanilla Almond and Coconut milk!! Yay!!

I also stocked up on tons of beans, fruits, and veggies for everyone to eat. I more so lean towards a high carb vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. One thing about this so far is that there are times where I cant control what the kids eat. My kids go to school and there are lunches provided. They also hang out with their friends who do not eat like we do at home. They can ask for salad at school or bring lunch from home, but I can not say that they are absolutely not eating what is being served. And often the salads have ham and cheese of top.

Although, I would love for them to be completely vegan all the way around, I am not militant about it. The other day my daughter went to a birthday party where they had pepperoni pizza and wings, and sausage and eggs for breakfast. I made sure she went there with a watermelon, strawberries, grape juice, whatever she wanted to take, just so she could have the healthy options. I am sure she ate the pizza as well as everything she brought along.

I find that kids are very open to things like this and if they say they don't like veggies then they are eating the wrong ones! Its all about preparation. I find that most veggies taste better if they are cooked just until al dente OR NOT AT ALL. You don't want mushy broccoli! Your kid wont eat it! But if its cooked just right with the right amount of seasoning, they will love it!!

I do not buy any meat at all and I will not be buying anymore milk or cheese either. I do need to find good brands of fake cheese and yogurt though... I just love it too much to completely let it go.

My kids love veggies because they have been exposed to them since birth. If you assume your kid doesn't like veggies and therefore do not give them on a regular basis or only give them in very small portions then how do you expect for you kid to like them??

I have always cooked with meat being a small part of the meal. It was actually quite easy to get rid of it completely! Why do meals have to be centered around meat??

I have successfully been eating vegan  off and on for a while now and have been consistent for a few weeks! I might have had cheese once a week or 2 ago. I am not 100% if I will ever be completely all around vegan, but I will try to get as close as I can.

Chobani, chocolate, and my leather/suede shoes are not out the door just yet. Although I will probably not be buying anymore leather or suede I am definitely not getting rid of anything that I already own. Not yet anyway...(Read: Expensive!)

The Chobani I have cut down on how often I buy it, but I cant say how I will feel next time I walk past it in the store. :)

Best wishes to all the vegetarians, vegans, and wannabe vegans out there!!

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