I’m not quite sure how to make a post about snacking on oranges fun and interesting but I’m going to give it the old college try. Back in the day, before the whole vegan diet thing, when terms like “whole-foods” and “plant-based” were not part of my food vocabulary, one of my sisters became famous in our family for telling me she was full after eating an orange. Not a meal and an orange. Just an orange. While I am a good sister and will never let her live this down, we have both changed tremendously with regard to food (and other areas I hope! Ha.) and I admire her tremendously. She is definitely ahead of me when it comes to trying new produce and making sure she eats plenty of leafy greens and raw foods daily. She also gave up processed white sugar long before I even wanted to contemplate such a “crazy” move. For me, switching cold tofurky from a meat and dairy rich diet to a vegan diet was enough to get used to. I needed some time just to figure out what to eat day to day without having to think about whether or not there was processed sugar in it. Besides, most days I would definitely pick sweet over salty. Whenever it was date night and my husband and I hit up the local Boston Pizza (the only restaurant in our town where there are semi-vegan menu options) I could not resist eating an entire slice of Chocolate Explosion cake, vegan or not. And Christmas time!! Don’t even get me started on that. The first Christmas I was vegan I “allowed” myself to eat plenty of Christmas goodies with dairy in it and paid for it with a washing machine action in my stomach. Last year I found awesome vegan dessert recipes and was even able to find a vegan version of my all-time favourite dessert, magic squares (hello dollies) made with condensed coconut milk (see Oh She Glows for the recipe). Sadly, even though they were vegan they were chock-a-block full of processed sugar and decidedly not healthy. I had no idea how I would ever be able to give up the sweet stuff. It might have been ok if I had some self-control but when it comes to chocolate, I am an all or nothing kinda gal. Does anyone remember that comedy skit from years back where the chocoholic kept trying to resist eating the bar of chocolate that was in the house and how even after throwing it in the garbage and dumping Ajax on it, she was back downstairs, in the garbage, scraping it off and eating it? Yeah, so that’s pretty much me when it comes to chocolate. It can get a bit desperate. This last Christmas I think I gained somewhere between 5 – 10 lbs just from all the yummy vegan desserts. Then in January of this year I just felt ready to deal with the sugar. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution or because my clothes were too tight. I remember just feeling ready instead of stressed or pressured about the idea. It helped that at the same time I joined Canada in Prayer on the 21-day Daniel Fast (see blog-link below) which is pretty much as WFPB as you can get. The Daniel Fast also excludes any sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave or brown rice syrup but fruit is allowed and that is what got me through. After the fast finished, I did begin to allow myself natural sweeteners like those mentioned, as well as date syrup, coconut sugar and honey (I know that honey is not vegan but we still include it in our diet in small amounts) but I have not eaten any processed sugars. And guess what? Now the sweetness of an orange is enough to satisfy my cravings. I was shocked. Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy eating all these new, awesome and healthy vegan desserts that are sweetened with natural sugar but I find I can’t actually eat too much of them. It’s an exciting place to find myself in. When I want dessert, I eat it. I don’t count the calories or limit myself to one piece or square – ask anyone who was at our house last weekend for our dessert night! But tonight an orange or two or maybe even three, is just enough. So there you have it. I am snacking on an orange. Who knew an orange could be so exciting or inspire me to write over 700 words? Lol.
- My Vegan Transition, only a month in… (veganva.wordpress.com)
- Where is the AA group for THIS? (emmaloves07.wordpress.com)