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A vegan diet is a license for becoming more adventurous with your food

Too cute actress Zooey Deschanel of Failure to Launch, Elf and (500) Days of Summer fame is making news for going off her vegan diet because it’s too limiting. However, what the headline and description doesn’t tell you is that after going vegan Deschanel discovered that she couldn’t eat soy or wheat products due to allergy. So it was the dual difficulty of being vegan and intolerant to gluten that was too limiting. The ploy of the media playing on sensationalist headlines to grab reader’s attention. Although if people only look quickly they’ll file away the tidbit as another piece of stereotyping about what it means to be vegan. Limiting. Without variety. Uninteresting. Boring. A chore.

Like most anything in life, vegan can be anything you make of it: a rich variety or a tired routine. Searching HappyCow for new restaurants to try, experimenting in the kitchen, following vegan blogs, ask others for their ideas, making what and how you eat a priority can all ensure you’re getting a happy, healthy plateful at every meal.

However, as a vegan you need to learn to listen to your body and what it’s asking of you. If due to allergies or illness it’s not possible for you to sustain your vegan ways – that’s okay. Adopting a vegetarian diet to help keep you healthy is okay.

But to help you avoid falling into a rut and to add some variety, here’s some helpful hints.

  • Carb it up – if you always have penne, try wild rice, couscous, quinoa or polenta for something new.
  • Make friends with herbs – you can buy them or grow them but herbs help you play with your taste buds. There’s the old classics like potato and rosemary, and basil on your pizza or you can get adventurous and try making your own herb infused oil for drizzling.
  • Mix it up – if you’re salad is starting to look a little tired, give it new legs by adding raisins, apple chunks or cashews.
  • Buy what you’ve never tried – picking up some veggies that you don’t know what it is or how to cook it can be a good test for your culinary skills and (maybe) can introduce you to a new favorite. With the power of Google and the size of the HappyCow community it’s just too easy to find a recipe for any vegetable.

Limiting what you eat, by only sticking with what you know, can be problematic for your health. To ensure you’re getting the right mix of vitamins and minerals you need to ensure you’re getting the right mix of food. This is as true for a vegan as it is for a fussy meat eater. Going vegan is a license for becoming more adventurous with your food. For anyone new to the vegan lifestyle, being open to new things, helps ease the conversion and stops you getting bored with a diet of the same old.

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  • webmaster (15 comments)
    July 20, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Excellent post Canook, THANK YOU!!!

  • Chia (328 comments)
    July 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Love the title. It’s totally true as far as I’m concerned. Before I became seriously vegetarian and mostly vegan, I didn’t care about what’s in my food or learning about fresh produce and cooking ingredients. But that’s all changed since I became more aware about what I put into my body. Now it’s only (mostly) the GOOD stuff. Wholesome, organic, pure, natural. Carb it up is a great idea. Herbs are awesome. Definitely mix up those salads! Loved those pics, too.

    Canook, I thoroughly enjoy the blog entries you write. Thanks!

  • Canook (4 comments)
    July 27, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks Chia for the thoughtful comment. Glad you’re enjoying – it’s things like these that get me finding the time to write more 😀 Cheers!

  • Bulby (1 comments)
    October 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Great work! These things will help most people how a healthy diet would be. There are 2 kinds of diet, a healthy and unhealthy one. And this one is the healthy guide for a real diet!

  • Donna Connelley (4 comments)
    June 23, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Thanks so much Canook! I always wonder where we are going to end up eating when going out with a group. I am the only vegan among all of us, although they are sensitive to me. Still, it is tiresome so I always carry “provisions” just in case! I always tell them that they would eat a much better meal if they would just let me cook for them!

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