Nope, I’m not actually a vegan and this is why

Since eliminating 99% of meat, egg and dairy from my diet a few months back and now striving for 100%, I’ve been throwing around the word “vegan” a lot. But I realize this is TOTALLY inaccurate and likely offensive to true vegans.

You see, veganism is way more than just what you eat and don’t eat – a huge part of it is about ethics. It’s about completely avoiding the use of animal products in any aspect of your life. And, as you can see from the photo, I still sport my original Birkenstocks (they have a vegan line) and Blundstones – not at the same time, tho!

On top of that, I do still consume bee products: specifically, pollen and honey. Bee pollen has an amazing nutritional profile and is said to have over 250 active substances (source). I’ve seen some call it a “perfect food”. Health benefits include:

  • Immune system builder
  • Brain booster
  • Concentration-helper

I love putting bee pollen in my smoothies so I’m not quite ready to give it up, yet. My clean mascara also includes beeswax.

Obvious but worth mentioning just in case: DO NOT consume or use bee products if you are allergic to bees.

So really I should be saying I am “plant-based”, although I’m not sure how widely recognized that term is. I mostly eat like a vegan but I am NOT a vegan. Until that’s sorted out, please show me the vegan menu items!

Finally, I don’t like to add any kind of overwhelm to my life so I change my daily habits gradually and over time. True veganism may be a pit stop on my continued toxin-free, plant-based journey but I just don’t see it clearly at this point. I will definitely keep you posted…

For you true vegans out there, any tips for us?

M.

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Cinnamon buns (dairy and egg free)

There are a lot of cinnamon bun fans in this house. It’s usually a top choice whenever we visit a bakery.

I’ve tried making some in the past but the recipe included dairy and eggs. I was determined to come up with a recipe with no animal products – except for honey – and here is the result. If you’re a true vegan, you can always sub the TBSP of honey with 2 TBSPs of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 TBSP instant dry yeast
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP sourdough starter
  • 1 cup sucanat
  • 2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

Mix sucanat, cinnamon and 1/4 olive oil in a bowl and set aside. This will be the filling.

In a separate small bowl, mix the chia seeds and 3 TBSP of water and let thicken (about 20 minutes). This will be the egg replacement.

In a separate glass bowl, mix the first three ingredients listed (water, instant dry yeast and honey) and allow yeast to activate for about 5-10 minutes. Add 3 TBSP of olive oil, salt, flour and sourdough starter. Once the egg replacement has thickened, also add it in.

Knead the dough, cover with a warm damp cloth and allow to double in size. This will take a few hours but keep an eye on it. Then, refrigerate for 30 minutes so it’s easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 400F. Take the refrigerated dough and roll it out in a rectangular shape on a lightly floured surface. Add the filling, and roll tightly from the wide side. Cut into rolls.

Bake for 30 minutes on a ceramic pan (might need to bake less if using any other kind of pan). Again, keep an eye on it!

Next time, I plan on cutting them thicker as they were thick with a harder crust than I would like.

Enjoy!

M.

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Liquid sunshine morning drink

I have to say this binge-watching of hardcore juice-pushers and fruitarian-eating YouTube videos is lasting MUCH longer than I expected it to. It’s also having an insane impact on my “diet”.

Only a few months ago, I would have told you I would NEVER remove meat from my “diet”… but ALL animal products (except bee products) have gone out the window these last several weeks except for the very rare occasion.

For the record, I hate the word “diet” which is why it’s in quotation marks. I really, really hate it. Can we remove it from the modern vocabulary?!

I was already eating loads of veggies but I’ve shifted my focus to the fruit – the melons, the berries and the grapes (you can read why here). I’ve even TONED DOWN the veggies.

The ultimate goal is to eventually go 100% raw but I still crave the odd roasted vegetable. We’ll see how my body adjusts to the already drastic changes I’ve done and we’ll go from there. I do see myself (finally!) being able to do a real juice fast and I’m actually excited about it instead of dreading it.

So whether or not this type of eating is good for everyone would certainly spark a huge debate. Always do your research before switching anything up and reach out to your healthcare professional if you have any reason to be concerned.

I’m personally going this route because it makes sense to me that fruit (and some fruits in particular) are highly astringent, cleansing and hydrating compared to most vegetables and the other food groups.

And if the so-called expert sources I’m paying attention to now are correct, all my current health issues center around excess mucus (I know, that sounds gross…). I am voluntarily being a guinea pig to see if I can break it up and eliminate it from my body through these food changes.

I’ve been having good days and bad days but it’s all part of the healing process. I’ve got decades of milk-drinking and salami-eating under my belt so I expect it’ll take a few years to undo it all.

One of my favourite quotes is from actress Kristen Bell’s therapist. She shared that he once told her: “you can’t walk 10 miles into the woods and expect to get out in 5…” It was said in a totally different context but I think it applies really well to health.

What about this liquid sunshine morning drink you ask?! Am I ever going to get around to talking about it???

Well, it’s how I’ve been starting my days on this fruitarian regime. The first thing I’ve been drinking is a mish mash of citrus juices: the ULTIMATE mucus destroyers.

There’s no precise recipe here… I’ll take whatever combo I’m feeling that day of lemon, lime, orange and/or grapefruit, use my citrus press machine and fill up a 6 oz glass. To protect my enamel, I’ll use a straw or chug it so fast down the back of my throat it never gets to touch my teeth.

Side note: depending on your health struggles, high-acid fruit to break your fast in the morning might not be the best option. Some days I’m not feeling the acidity and will reach for watermelon.

I’ll share more about what I’m doing and how things are working as I continue to move forward on this journey. To get the latest blog post updates, make sure you subscribe to my blog so you can get the notifications in your emails. Or, join my mailing list.

Cheers to citrus juice!

M.

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