Vegan Update

posted by Momo Fali on May 31, 2012

I have had a lot of people asking me how the vegan “thing” is going, so I thought it was time for an update. I started this animal-free journey back in February at the suggestion of my doctor and a friend of mine named, High Cholesterol. I have not had any animal products since Valentine’s Day when we went out for seafood!

Well, that’s not exactly true.

I did have some egg whites on Mother’s Day when my kids made my breakfast, and there was a nibble of beef at that Mexican restaurant when my husband said, “Just take one bite” which I did, and then he said, “Don’t you think it tastes funny?”

But, other than that, unless I mistakenly ate something of which I was not aware (I’m talking to you, Ambien), I haven’t strayed. Why? Because my doctor said so, and you know what? My doctor was right.

In three months, my cholesterol dropped close to 170 points. For you people who are young enough to not understand that, I will just say that’s like, totally, a lot.

That covers the question I get most often; which is, “Is it working?” Yes. Yes, it is.

The next most frequent question is, “What the heck do you eat?” It may surprise you, but you can actually eat a lot. If it comes from the ground, it’s fair game (so to speak).

Of course, while you’re eating, some people will tell you that you are crazy and that what you’re doing isn’t normal, but I suppose that’s based on perception. It has NEVER been normal to me that we drink breastmilk from an animal and said breastmilk was designed for the health and growth OF A CALF. So, vegan isn’t abnormal in my mind. Just sayin’. Man, I love italics.

Without further ado, here is a peek into the mysterious diet of a vegan:

Breakfast: Cereal w/ soy, almond or coconut milk, oatmeal, fresh fruit, or (GASP!) pancakes or waffles that are made vegan-style with REAL maple syrup. YUM.

Lunch: Tortilla with brown-rice and beans, salad loaded with veggies, or (GASP!) a PB&J. Yes, I said it. If I really, really want to, I can even stuff it with potato chips like I did when I was a kid. On the go? A banana or Larabar (buy these for your kids instead of granola bars, the kind I get have four ingredients; cashews, dates, chocolate chips and sea salt) (Hint: Target sells ’em cheap.)

Dinner: I am downright addicted to these noodles (I make them with whole-wheat spaghetti, throw in onions and mushrooms and then steak for my husband…yes, steak…I’m not anti-meat, my blood is), baked potato or sweet potato, my neighbor’s fabulous pot-pie, pizza with whole-wheat crust, lots of sauce, covered with artichokes, mushrooms, olives and peppers (just no cheese), stir-fry with brown rice, veggies and bean curd, or spaghetti with tomato sauce. I also have an amazing recipe for chili-mac that tastes just like chili. JUST LIKE CHILI, I SAID.

Dessert: My daughter makes amazing vegan pumpkin bread, and I can eat fresh fruit or sorbetto (in which I like to toss a handful of dairy-free chocolate chips). And, there may or may not be a vegan bakery down the street from me that makes chocolate chip cookies that are DEE-LIGHT-FUL. Also, OREOs. They are vegan. Yes, they are.

Also, and this is a big deal, I can still drink beer and eat peanuts. Take that, Major League Baseball.

Overall, I am less tired and bloated and my heart is a lot less angry with me. I have heard that vegans lose weight, but before you go expecting it of me, please see that beer and peanuts thing. I have lost 13 pounds, but this is not nearly enough. *steps away from the hummus*

So, there you have it. Changing my diet hasn’t been a big deal and it has resulted in excellent health benefits. Have I wanted a cheeseburger? Yes, but only for a minute.

And, if veggie burgers were readily available at Wendy’s I wouldn’t have craved one at all.


  • Melisa

    I admire you so much for taking this leap. Truly. And YOU GO, GIRL!!!! xo

  • FireMom

    Hummus makes me happy.

    Some days I think I could go veg — I was for years in hs/college. I don’t know if I could go full vegan, though I really, really do like almond milk. (I had very big lactose problems after Munchkin. I’m just odd!)

    And, ha, yes, beer.

    Congrats on 13 pounds and 170 points, yo!

  • burghbaby

    I totally have a beef with Wendy’s because they suck for veggies/vegans.

  • Tara R.

    Wow! That’s an amazing result… good for you! ‘

    (I love hummus!)

  • San Diego Momma

    I’m so glad to hear this is going well for you.
    I love the meal suggestions (those noodles will take over my life) and that you’re feeling more…better.
    Last month I gave up gluten, dairy, sugar, and caffeine. I don’t tend to like meat, but damn, what else is there? My stomach is full of beans.
    And finally (I do know that none of these thoughts have been related), I do so wish that fast food restaurants served more options for vegetarians/vegans/gluten-frees.
    Oh! And I wanted to tell you what I’ve been eating for lunch: A whole wheat pita, spread with tomato paste, chopped garlic, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s great and tasty to the max.

  • Angela

    I’ve been doing the vegetarian thing for two years, and the vegan thing one day each week. I believe you just inspired me to up it to two or three days each week. You’re so awesome.

  • Happiechick/Magee

    Way to go! I’m not entirely vegan, but I applaud all vegetarians/vegans!!!! 🙂

  • Headless Mom

    Mmmmmm, humus.

  • Headless Mom

    Oh, and I think I found your 13 lbs. Want it back? I’ll gladly part with it.

  • Vicki


  • Amie

    You lost me at bean curd.

  • dysfunctional mom

    I think this is amazing! I went vegetarian for a month. I fell off the wagon HARD. I wanted to chew on a live cow. When I think of going vegan, I think of not eating cheese, and I cry.

  • Michelle

    Awesome, go you! 170 points down is … amazing. It’s amazing how changing your diet makes a difference. And yes, we make a ton of things altered to be vegan because of Little Miss’s dairy allergy, so if you ever want any ideas, let me know. I made an amazing couscous salad last week that is sooooo good. Just watch the soy – it changes to estrogen when we eat it, and you don’t want too much 🙂

    PS I made coconut milk ice cream this weekend. And Callebaut chips are dairy free, too – way cheaper than the ones marketed as dairy free. My Costco has only a few bags left!

  • pam davis

    Do the kids have to eat “VEGAN” too?

    • Momo Fali

      Oh, gosh no. They would miss their beloved cheeseburgers!

  • Anne (@notasupermom)

    We’ve been on the same journey. My cholesterol is really good, but my blood sugar and blood pressure is high and I need to lose weight.

    We started eating vegan during the week and eating local, good-quality meat and dairy on the weekends.

    It’s been great for us, but I’d like to go seven days a week. I really enjoy eating this way and feel so much better.

    Glad you’ve so improved your cholesterol numbers. You are way too young to have to worry about that.

  • mare ball

    I gave up meat in 2010, due to cholesterol as well. I dropped 13 lbs as well. I felt better too…and don’t think I’ll ever be a carnivore again. The past six months, I’m slowly gaining my weight back, not b/c I’ve gone back to meat, but b/c I’m eating crap. It’s always something! So glad you’re feeling better. I discovered I love fish (especially salmon) and don’t miss meat AT ALL.

  • Varda (SquashedMom)

    You go girl! And when you come to New York for BlogHer this summer, I will get you a list of great vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in this city – you’re coming to the right place for Vegan Gourmet Cuisine!

  • Julie H

    Way to go Diane!!! So very proud of you!! Keep up the good work!

  • Missy

    Please share the Chili Mac recipe! 170 points is such a significant drop that vegan sounds pretty darn good.

  • Moon HalloranLeady

    Good for you! So happy to hear you are having great results 🙂

    Here is a vegan chili recipe (and no…I am not a vegan…but this is so yummy that even carnivores won’t miss the meat!)

    3 cans each ~ black, kidney, pinto beans
    1 can diced tomatoes (with the peppers in it if you like that
    1 can corn
    4 bell peppers chopped coarsely, one of each ~ green, red, yellow, orange
    as much chopped onion as you like
    1 small bottle of V-8 (I use spicy….)
    some diced garlic
    a splash of vinegar…or beer…or pepper juice

    Saute the onions….garlic…then the peppers.

    Add the juice. Stir.

    Add the beans. Stir.

    Add the corn. Stir.

    Add the tomatoes. Stir. Simmer. Wait.

    Doesn’t take long 🙂

    • Moon HalloranLeady

      actually…make that ONE can each of those three beans above….yikes! sorry

  • Patty

    How AWESOME! Congratulations! It’s something I have been considering as well. Doing research on it now.

  • meleah rebeccah

    Good for you, for sticking with it! I wouldn’t be able to be that disciplined.

  • Laura in Little Rock

    Congrats. I don’t doubt the commitment nor the results.

    So far, my cholestoral/blood pressure/heart statistics are doing fine. Give me a few more years… and the brutal family history of heart attack and stroke may catch me. I’ll survive on my consolation prize of wine and beer and be scrounging frantically for vegan recipes. Thank god- I love Indian and other cuisine. Too bad my husband and kiddos don’t.

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