Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vegan rambling

On the subject of Cheese:

Hubby really loves cheese. I mean, really.loves.cheese.  So, it's really shocking to me that he decided he no longer wanted to consume dairy products. Ever.  This is the guy that likes his food smothered with cheese.  You know, the sort of guy that puts so much cheese on his pizza that you ask, "Hey, would you like some pizza with that?"

I'm not a big cheese fan.  I had major dairy issues as a kid (stomach problems, plus my throat would begin to close up and my sinuses would go nuts), so I never drank milk and rarely had cheese.  As I've aged, I've been able to handle dairy in moderation, but it tends to be one of those things I could take or leave- and usually leave.  The only exception is icecream and mexican queso.  Queso definitely tops icecream, so I'm hoping I can find an adequate vegan substitute for it.  I like Rice Dream icecream, and I hear Tofutti has a great brand of icecream sandwiches, and I don't really eat icecream a lot anyway... so not a big sacrifice there.

We've done our research on dairy products, and while I had long ago formed the opinion that it would be best for us to limit it, I knew how important it was to Brandon, so I never pressed him on the subject (actually, I never even approached it).  That's why it was so amazing that Brandon decided on his own that he'd like to give it up.  He said something to the effect that he wanted to be completely healthy.

Hopefully, overtime, his craving for it will subside and he'll find dishes more enjoyable without it.  I think he'll find Nutritional Yeast a good Parm substitute.  While doing the raw vegan thing a couple years ago, I came to enjoy homemade vegan "sourcream" (with soaked cashews) which will satisfy my sourcream craving when it comes to pastas, seven layer dips, and such.

I'm still stunned that he is giving up cheese. But hey, life (and people) has been stunning me a lot lately, so I guess I shouldn't be so shocked afterall.

Btw- My friend over at MeloMeals (Vegan for $3.33 a day) shared her queso recipe with me, so I'm passing it along to you!

You will love this queso:

* 1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
* 1/4 Cup Flour
* 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
* 1 teaspoon Salt
* 1 teaspoon Cumin
* 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
* 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
* 1 Cup Water
* 2 Tablespoons Margarine
* 1 ½ c salsa
* 2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard


1. Combine all dry ingredients in a pan
2. Add water to pan, turn on medium heat
3. Stir constantly and once thickened, remove from heat.
4. Add in margarine, salsa and mustard. Stir until margarine is melted.
5. Once margarine has melted, put the pan back on the heat and stir until thickened

(Mmm, can't wait to try it!)

On the subject of Juice Fasting while Nursing:

I haven't had one hot flash since I started  the juice fast.  (We're finished with that now, although we are still having at least one fruit smoothie a day.) I had been having hot flashes for months- horrible, horrible, sweaty hot flashes- which doesn't mix well with this Texas heat. Not only have I been hot-flash-free, but I've also been kind of... chilly... in our house.  We actually turned the A/C up the other day when we were hanging out because both Brandon and I were chilly.  I'm sure that's mainly because our body isn't busy processing heavy foods and meats. I actually like being a bit cold. Definitely beats being hot.  Being outside has been bearable now that I'm not overheating all the time so maybe I'll take the kiddos to the park for a bit.

Evangeline seems to be doing much better too.  She's become more "regular" (if you get what I mean- and boy, was that first big poo a big nasty cloth diaper mess to clean up!), whereas she sometimes was pooing every other day, sometimes two days with no poo. I'm sure some of the stuff I was eating was bothering her stomach.

Nursing is actually going very well.  There are a lot of misconceptions about juice or smoothie fasting.  (Btw, when I say smoothie, there is no milk involved. I know some people equate smoothies with creamy icecream.)  First of all, I am still getting all my calories, but only from juiced or blended fruits and vegetables.  I'm still getting plenty of nutrition.  And, I'm trying to drink plenty of water, which can be hard to do when you're drinking all your meals, I know.  So, my milk supply really hasn't been effected (either by increase or decrease, honestly.)  I sometimes take some Alfalfa (in the form of a pill), and putting alfalfa sprouts in your smoothies would help too.

It occurred to me today that, maybe, one of the reasons Evie wasn't feeling so well the last week was because she too was having caffeine withdraws. Caffeine does transfer through breastmilk, and since I had developed a slight habit there (and I didn't feel so great coming off of it either), I'm sure it affected her as well. It's not like I was one of those people who drinks 6 cups a day.  I would normally drink a large mug of coffee in the morning and a small cup of coffee in the evening.  Still, I forget how sensitive babies can be to such things.

Some of you commented that you'd like to do a juice fast, but you're worried about your milk supply. I really can't make you any promises, but there are a bunch of tips you can follow to make sure your supply flourishes through it.  Adding in an avocado to your smoothies will not only make them creamy, but add some of that healthy fat your body needs to enrich your milk.  You can get PLENTY of calories from juice fasting (easily!). People like to think calories are all the same, but really a 600 calories from a couple donuts are not the same as 300 calories from blended fruit and vegetables. (Oh why did I have to use donuts as an example. Now I'm craving Shipley's Donuts!)

Breastfeeding research tells us that short-term fasting (not eating) will not decrease milk supply, but that severe dehydration can decrease milk supply. Fasting does affect the biochemical/nutrient content of breastmilk to a certain extent.    -KellyMom.com

It is so, so, so important to drink lots and lots of water, even if you aren't nursing, but especially if you are!  It is possible to become dehydrated while doing a juice or smoothie fast.  And, drinking lots of water helps the toxins to move through your body quicker (which will also allow your baby to process them quicker). 

I actually think it's a little silly that people are so against short term fasting while nursing- believing that the baby won't be able to handle the toxins.  I mean, if you're on heavy medications or have certain health issues like diabetes, then you might want to seek medical help (someone who is into homeopathic, natural methods) or avoid fasting until you've finished nursing, so of course there are exceptions! I believe, it may be that you baby also needs to detox and will be able to detox a bit as well as you change your diet and cleanse your system.  Also, drinking more water helps it move through your system quicker so less of it reaches the baby.  That's another reason why water is so important.  If you've been eating like crap while nursing then you can bet your baby has some of that same toxic funk in her body as well.

This is not the first time I've fasted (although it has been a while), I pretty much made this drastic change. I went from eating whatever to eating practically nothing, which was very tough on my stomach. I'm not saying it was unhealthy, but it was definitely the hard way to go.  I'm glad I gently moved into this fast- first by limiting my food intake (I cut out snacks), working in smoothies, slowly cutting out meats, eating more fresh foods and salads, etc.  I did that for a couple weeks before starting the three day fast.  Of course, the first week was unintentional. I was K.O.ed by the sickies. I pretty much lost my appetite and felt like sleeping all the time, but after several days of that, I realized I needed to get my body in gear and used that time to prepare for a fast.  I know it made it much easier for me mentally and physically to move into a three day juice fast as my stomach had already begun to shrink, and I was already becoming used to not stuffing myself full.

My milk really hasn't been effected at all.  As I mentioned, I take an Alfalfa pill now and then, which definitely helps. Take one daily if you are worried about it.

(But hey, let's remember, I'm not a doctor, so if you fast, and your milk goes kaput, please don't gripe at me.)

1 comment:

amy D said...

my husband and i have been trying to get back to eating vegan again as well. for my hubby, ice cream is definitely the biggest hang up! i'll have to try the rice dream kind!