Monthly Archives: September 2010

#4: New Food Yays and Nays

A couple weeks into a kinder diet: a check-in

There are a bunch of new foods in my life: so which ones get the thumbs up so far? Yay for Vegenaise. It’s pricey, but so worth it. Real mayo is pretty sketchy, but Vegenaise has substance and flavor, and of course, is dairy-free! Big huge thumbs up for Whole Soy yogurt. Mmmmmmmm. Love. And oh my gosh, try Trader Joe’s Cherry Chocolate Chip Soy Ice Cream even if you don’t care at all about dairy. It is deLIcious.

As I dabble in the dairy-free cheese category, I’m not quite so dazzled. First we went through some products that were deceptive—we learned that just because a food says soy-based does NOT mean it contains no dairy (why? really—why?). So then we moved on to rice cheese slices and 100% dairy-free shredded cheese. I’m okay with them, but certainly not wowed. I’m tempted to let those slide in future. Dairy-free milk I can do. I’m loving all the different options: rice, soy and almond. I think I’ll stick to rice milk, though, since it’s one thing that’s NOT soy, and it’s made of such basic ingredients. It also tastes very yummy in my oatmeal.

Now we’ve expanded our “kind diet” to phasing out white sugar products, too. Whole wheat graham crackers: yum. Agave syrup: yum. I think our taste buds learn to wrap themselves around the whole wheat, whole grain, brown rice type flavors, such that the old-school, easy and cheap stuff simply doesn’t hold the same place on the flavor pedestal any longer. There is just such an amazing heartiness to the whole grain flavors. I swear I’m not brainwashed, I’m just really tasting things these days! Stay tuned…

#3: Soy: Good or Bad?

Oy. The soy. Now that I’ve started to bring in a few non-dairy “dairy” products, I’m wondering if it’s possible we’ll be taking in too much soy. What to do? Even the vegan babysitter struggles with this dilemma. Now she tells me.

As usual, our answer in this household is moderation. We have decided to be moderate with our use of soy-based products. So if I use soy milk for my coffee and oatmeal, and have tofurkey and soy cheese on my sandwich, I might skip the soy meat product at dinner and just count on my grains and veggies to fill me up. Something like that. It’s working so far, and I’m enjoying the flavors of the new foods I’m bringing into the house very much. This isn’t just about buying soy milk instead of cow’s milk—it’s not so simple. Soy milk is far from perfect. This is the middle ground between cow’s milk and something like rice milk, which is basically shifting from dairy to grain.

This is good. I can tell already. I feel so amazing about what’s going into my body, and about the fact that animals aren’t having to give up their lives to sustain me. Every time I eat a slice of soy cheese, that’s a little less demand on the livestock industry. A little less need to cut down trees to give that livestock a place to graze. But I might switch to rice cheese next week.