Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vegan Diet, Gluten and Celiac Disease

I've often thought about going Vegan. I've read a lot about a plant based diet and all the reviews are good. Juicing is getting decent reviews too. I'm thinking about doing a day of that just to see how it would feel. (More on Juicing another day)

Back to the Vegan diet. I know I feel better when my diet is heavy on salads and fruit. I have times when I think, "I need a salad." However I'm a lazy cook and I worry I wouldn't be up to making Vegan food that tastes good. I purchased the book, Forks Over Knives for recipes and it's smaller volume, Forks Over Knives How to Companion. The how-to information explained more for the beginning Vegan. There are other books on how to go Vegan but a lot of them are heavy on animal cruelty. I know about that, what I don't know is how to be a successful and happy Vegan. Step into any book store or check out Amazon and you'll find lots of Vegan/Vegetarian cookbooks. I watched the Forks Over Knives video so I decided I'd start with that book.

I worry about protein levels. (Am I going to have to do math?) and the vitamin B12.

From what I'm understanding protein isn't really a problem is you incorporate beans, legumes, nuts into your meal plan. Forks Over Knives tells me that plant food has lots of protein and getting a good level of protein on a Vegan diet is easy.

I don't really worry about B12 but most people should. I have a B12 deficiency. I don't absorb it from my food anyway. Is this due to the Celiac damage? Or is it just genetic? Who knows. I go for B12 shots every two weeks to keep my levels up. All other Vegans should take a B12 supplement.

The difference between Vegan and Vegetarian is Vegans consume no animal products. No dairy, eggs, or (of course,) meat. Vegetarians sometimes consume either dairy or eggs. They describe these as Lacto or Ovo vegetarians.

I recently went to the restaurant, Loving Hut and was really impressed with the food. Each gluten free item on the menu was marked with a little heart. We ordered a few things and shared. First was the Summer Rolls with a miso-honey mustard sauce. This was made with tofu carrots & seasonal veggies and all wrapped with a thin layer of rice paper. They gave you 8 rolls and I could order this appetizer for a meal. Next was the Garlic Seaweed Salad, it wasn't my favorite so I let my dining companion have that dish. I've never been a fan of seaweed. My companion ordered a Chickpea-mushroom soup that was also very good. There was a rice noodle dish with mushrooms and tofu that was also very good. They gave generous portions and we had to ask for a doggie bag. And then there was the gluten free chocolate cake. OMG! Luckily we got the last piece.

After my experience at Loving Hut Vegan-ism is tasting a lot better. So I'm thinking of trying it. My doctor didn't think there was any problem with this diet.
Are you Vegan? Have you ever tried it? Got any advice?

Warning: when eating out anywhere always explain gluten to your server. Make sure they understand this is a major health issue. I also ask again when the food is delivered to make sure they did it right. You can never be too careful. 

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