Saturday, March 16, 2013

Phase 1 COMPLETE!

I am pleased to say that we have completed phase 1.  We do still have 1/2 container of grated Parmesan cheese and some tika masala sauce in a jar I have to figure out what to do with, but other than that we are rid of all animal products.  These were the steps I set for myself

Phase #1
  • go over all food products we have, read labels, and figure out which are not Vegan 
This step was not as hard as I thought. A lot of products say "contains milk or whey" or clearly state they have animal products in them.  A good rule to follow is that if the ingredient is not a food you recognize, don't purchase the product.
  • finish up or give away all food products which contain animal products (no wasting)
The "finish up" part has been hard because we just didn't really want to eat things knowing what's in them now.  The "give away" part was fun.  Not only did I feel good about getting things out of the house, but also that I was helping someone with a need.
  • stop buying food products which contain any type of animal products
Not only have we done this but also have been buying food without other harmful additives and chemicals if we can tell.  The easiest thing to buy is produce.
  • stop buying anything containing high fructose corn syrup
This is not hard to do one you know what staples you have to replace.  We had to give up our favorite Heinz Ketchup, Kraft BBQ sauce and Smucker's Jelly/Jam.  I look forward to trying to make some of these things myself.
  • find substitutes for products we can't live without (for now)
What I have discovered is that not all substitutes are good for you.  I still have a problem with finding canned products without a bunch of sodium.  I also do not like the crazy ingredient lists in those "fake" meat and dairy substitutes either.  We are limiting ourselves with these substitutes and trying to stay away from too much soy. I still need to research the effects of soy because it's in so many "heath food" products.
  • educate self on ingredients to look out for
 THERE ARE SO MANY.  It's very overwhelming when label reading.  Below I'll make a list of things I am completely avoiding or have given up.

  • research local markets to purchase items and price compare
 I was shocked to discover that my regular grocery store carries items at cheaper prices than the health food stores do.  I do know the area produce markets have cheaper prices than the grocery store, but I plan on shopping at local farmers markets to really save on produce.


Other things I have given up / are avoiding:

- Aspartame / Artificial Sweetners

- Caffeine
I also gave up coffee because I don' t care for the taste with the substitutes added in I started drinking 1/2 the amount the first week, and then dropped it completely without having withdraw symptoms.  I can't believe I quit coffee after having it nearly every morning for 15 years, but I don't miss it.  I do realize there is caffeine in chocolate which I do still consume every once in a while.

- Refined Sugar
I do not buy it anymore.  I have a stevia/raw sugar blend I'm using for now, and I also bought some agave syrup.

- Bleached Flour
I have been buying unbleached for about a year now.

- Grains that are not "Whole Grains"

- Products that clearly have MSG (I am still learning how to spot the other names for it)

- Anything that says it has artificial color or flavor

I can't believe we're done with this phase already.  Now time to plan the next one.

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