I’ve been busier than ever this month, hence I haven’t had time to post! However, my Danish friend Helene wrote me this week and I asked her if I could share her letter with you, so that it would benefit not just her, but someone else out there who is a young busy mom who’s thinking about going plant-based vegan, but doesn’t have time to read a whole bunch. Here’s a section of what my friend wrote:
I’ve been wanting to write you for so long, but something always gets in the way. Time seems to fly with Vega running around and needing attention. She is amazing and at a wonderful age. She understands a lot and does fun things…Time’s flying – she will be two in February! I hope you are doing well – it looks that way. You look healthy and happy! Speaking of healthy, I wanted to hear if you would recommend some good books about “plant-based for beginners”? Something that is easily accessible, with ideas for all three meals. I am still very curious about it, but have not yet dared to take the plunge into it. Kevin is fully supportive of it. It is one thing that keeps “poking” at me in my thoughts. I have no doubt that it is healthier, but momentarily I just feel like it might be really difficult, and that is probably one of the biggest reasons why nothing has come of it yet. And I may be completely wrong? Perhaps it is really simple. I could easily live without meat. It is more cheese, eggs and milk, etc. Doesn’t it take time to get used to not eating these products. Well, I talk, you just got a few of my thoughts. I need a book with recipes, not a lot of theory, I don’t get anything read during this time, period. Now I can hear Vega crying in the background. Time to get her from her nap!
A quick note for now, as I have to go to work. I will write more later! Yes, Helene, it is one of the Best decisions I’ve ever made for myself! Now I wish I’d started in my twenties or even earlier! Difficult? Were there difficult days in the beginning when I first started out? Yes, but most have been surprisingly easy! It has only been a difficult transition when I haven’t taken the time to plan or prep food, which I started doing on Sundays. Since you’re going to be in the United States for Christmas, I’d recommend that you start with a book like, “Everyday Happy Herbivore” by Lindsay Nixon. This one will provide you with all three meals. Another new cookbook is, “The China Study Cookbook” by Leanne Campbell. I just received this one not too long ago, but it also looks really good. I am a huge fan of Jennifer Reilly‘s book, “Cooking with Trader Joe’s – The Skinny Dish”. She’s the mother of two young boys (I believe) and was one of my trainers at PCRM. You do not need a Trader Joe’s to cook from this book. I hope this helps! Gotta run!
Talk later, Nina
Thank you for your speedy response! I will definitely look for the books that you suggested when we come to the United States. I have a couple other questions for you:
What do you do when you’re somewhere where there’s simply only a nasty, unhealthy, non- plant-based option available. For example, at an airport “dead hungry” and/or running short on time. What do you do? Do you compromise, or starve yourself until a better option presents itself? And I can’t get away from the situation where you’re invited to dinner, and the person has done a decent job with a delicious dish, where you then have to say, “Sorry, I cannot eat it!” and what if you unknowingly have eaten an egg in a cake – or something else? Do you get sick or “sour” because you weren’t paying attention? These are in a nutshell issues and problems that I can foresee.
Fine points and questions you bring up Helene! I would say, eat the cake or the dish in that situation as long as it is something you can live with. I mean, what are you going to do if you’ve already eaten the dish, not knowing what was in it? However, some dishes are so obvious! It is easy to say in a social situation, “My doctor has asked me to stay away from eating these products!” Who will argue with that? Not many! Yesterday, I went to a huge Christmas party, but had eaten before I went. (That’s always a good idea, then you don’t get tempted to “sway from the diet”!) There were huge tables set up with the usual big meat spreads, baked goods, candy dishes and only two trays with vegetables! I snacked on the vegetables along with a glass of wine and no one even noticed! I politely declined when other trays came around!
In regards to the airport, I haven’t been in the situation that you described. I would suggest packing snacks (nuts, seeds, fruits, vegan snack bars, etc.) to take along on any trip! I have always found something I could eat in any airport I’ve been in in the past two years! It has not been an issue! Most side dishes are vegan when you think about it. Plus, there’s usually a place to order up a veggie burrito – just ask them to hold the cheese! Or a large salad for that matter! There are vegan cheeses on the market! One of my students recently commented on really liking a certain soy cheese and something else. Some taste great, others don’t! You sort of have to test your way through to find the ones that you like! I used to miss cheese the most, but now, I don’t! As far as eggs are concerned, I have learned how to bake without them and so far I haven’t run into any issues! What deters me from eating them, besides knowing the cruel treatment they undergo, is that one egg equals two Burger King Whoppers in cholesterol and saturated fat! No Thanks!
By the way, when you book your overseas tickets, just ask for the “Strict Vegetarian Meal”! Your meal will arrive before anyone elses…A bonus if you’re hungry! And my experience has been that my seat companion has always either been jealous and/or regretful that they didn’t order what I was having!
I know you didn’t ask me this, but as I mentioned earlier, I would schedule a “prep day” for your fruits and veggies! Mine is usually on Sunday, where I wash, chop and store for the week! This keeps me on track! I love making a big salad with kale, beans, cabbage, beets, and other veggies to take for lunch or simply to snack on! You make amazing salads, Helene! I know that you will make an easy transition into this wonderful world of whole foods plant-based nutrition! There are plenty of sites and free recipes out there for you to check out. Here are links to some of my favorites: