Vegan food for another rainy day bridge inspection

Today I’m sharing with you, the type of veganish food I had today, for another rainy day bridge inspection. Lots of people are experiencing flooding in California USA today. I believe more than 15 people have died in California this week, due to the flooding. I’m thankful that we traveled safely for our inspections today. One of the roads that we tried to use next to the San Francisco Bay was flooded out, but we backed up and were able to go a different way. Thankfully, we made it.

Our bridge inspection today was inside the steel box girders on the left and the right that you see here in this picture.

For breakfast in the morning, I had right rice topped with a white bean, potato and spinach soup that my husband had made. I heated it up in the microwave and ate it on my lap while I was driving myself and two other coworkers more than an hour in the rain to get from San Francisco to the bridge.

While we were getting suited up to with all our gear for the bridge inspection, I downed my Orgain vegan protein shake from Costco along with my vitamins. I also brought one of the Orgain protein shakes with me in my vest and downed it real quick, later on, while we were doing the bridge inspection. We didn’t have time for a break as it was so busy .., we were constantly climbing over stuff, up and down ladders, taking notes, “go go go.” We had a lot of ground to cover.

After the bridge inspection, my coworkers and I stopped at Trader Joe’s for a bathroom because there was no bathroom on site. Note that I wore a diaper today, and I also had my Ella Pee female urinary device with me, which would allow me to pee standing up (still wearing my coveralls) if needed. 

At Trader Joe’s I picked up some extra Trader Joe’s coconut whipped topping, because it’s $3,50 per can (best price I’ve been able to find for vegan whipped cream). The other thing I really like is that this particular whipped cream has never jammed or clogged for me. I have bought other vegan whipped toppings in a can, which would jam after only one or two uses, and I never could use the rest of the contents of the can.

By the way, I do quite enjoy vegan cool whip knock offs, like tru whip, which come in a tub, so there is no issue with clogged dispensers. What l I really like about canned whipped topping is that you can use just a squirt or two and it lasts quite a long time in the refrigerator. I believe that one has the use of those vegan Cool Whip knock offs quite a bit faster than that, is that true? Either that or one has to freeze it and then remember to thaw it out ahead of time … If so, that is is too much for me.

Another thing is that I enjoy the vegan Cool Whip knock offs so much that I can basically eat the entire tub in one sitting. And then it’s not exactly being used for the purpose for which I bought it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

The whipped topping in a can is something that I never grew up having as we used to always have Cool Whip. However, now that I have a vegan canned whipped topping that is cheap enough for me and that allows me to use the whole container (instead of becoming clogged after one or two uses), I quite enjoy it because it helps me with serving sizes. It’s easier for me to simply use a squirt or two and not go overboard. Maybe it’s because I can’t see what’s inside.

While we were driving back home from the bridge, I ate one of the granola bars I had brought. That was the only thing non-vegan I had today. I get the Nature Valley peanut butter dark chocolate protein granola bars which are 190 calories, 3,5 g saturated fat (17% DV), 10 g of protein, 160 mg sodium (7% DV), 15 g total carbs, 6 g fiber and 7 g sugar.

That’s not an impressive amount of protein per calorie, but for granola bars, it’s actually surprisingly more than what one typically sees. Amazingly, granola bars are typically around 200 cal and only 5 g of protein or less .., And they often have something like 20 g of sugar. I get the nature valley protein granola bars because they are better nutrition than any other vegan protein bar that I have seen for the same price. 

If the decision makers designing our food system are genuine about wanting people to switch over to fully animal free options, then they need to put options out there which are comparable, nutritionally, pricewise and taste wise, to products that contain animal products. In the meantime, my philosophy is that people can’t be faulted for choosing the better product when the better product is not Vegan. Doesn’t that make sense?

Furthermore, I truly think it’s not worth bothering about, to avoid products that are mostly vegan and include only a small amount of animal product, especially when such products are superior to the fully vegan options, in terms of nutrition and price.

I just had a chance to look at the ingredient label for the nature valley peanut butter dark chocolate protein bars. It’s “roasted peanuts, soy protein isolate, chicory root extract, semi-sweet chocolate chips [which are vegan], vegetable oils, sugar, corn syrup, whey protein concentrate, fructose, peanut butter, cocoa vegetable glycerin, rice starch, soy lecithin, salt, corn starch, natural flavor.”

Read all those totally vegan ingredients. Out of that entire list, there is just one animal-based ingredient, pretty far down in the list … whey protein. From the ingredient list, it appears to me that nearly all of the protein is coming from the roasted peanuts and the soy protein isolate, which are the first two ingredients.

Lastly, with regards to the granola bars, I have to point out that dairy products are the commonly eaten animal product causing the least amount of harm to animals, on a per-serving basis. As I pointed out above, the nature valley protein bars have very little dairy product in them. Yet, even if this were a full-on milk product, like a chunk of actual dairy-based cheese, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, in the scheme of things. Why?

Here’s the reason: far more animals are harmed per-serving for foods like chicken meat, pig meat, chicken eggs, turkey meat, fish meat, shrimp meat, duck meat, and so on. If a person is avoiding all of those other things but eating full-on dairy products every day, they are eating a diet that requires a lot less harm than someone who does not eat dairy products but who is eating these other things every day.

When I got home, I ate a little bit more of the white bean, potato and spinach soup and I also a great big bowl of this Asian salad that my husband found at Safeway, mixed with a whole bunch of edamame, maybe about a half cup of edamame beans.

The last photo here is when I had already eaten half the salad, and I had added hemp seeds, but I had not yet added the edamame beans.

On my Fitbit, it said that I had only done about 5000 steps with the Bridge inspection and also that I had done very few zone minutes, where one’s heart rate gets above 125 bpm. I will try to do some kind of zone minutes before I go to sleep.

Aside from getting more “zone” minutes, I know I also need to do a lot more stretching. I was doing great about stretching during some of the months of 2022 … Probably only three out of 12 months in 2022, unfortunately… But I suppose stretching for three out of 12 months is better than zero, which is what I have done, sadly, for quite a few of the years of my life. I would love to be more consistent about stretching; it would be so good for me to do! I guess I will just be happy for the periods of time when I am stretching. When I’m in a period of not doing any stretches at all, which is the situation right now, I hope I can remember how good it was and then simply work on getting back on track.

It’s interesting, regarding habits. I’ve been following a 99% to 100% vegan diet for about 20 years, and it’s a consistent habit for me. Although I fall on and off with certain habits like taking my vitamins or being sure to get enough fiber and other aspects of good health and eating, for 20 years, I have not fallen off the wagon when it comes to Vegan eating. I wonder if for other people, who try going for more vegan foods, is it a difficult habit for them to be consistent about, even if they may enjoy it and like it, similar to my experience with stretching?

If so, then I can really understand why so many people struggle to stick with a vegan diet. For example, with stretching, it’s actually not really that much trouble; it would only take me an extra 15 to 30 minutes to do my stretching each day. Indeed, there are times in my life when I’m totally able to fit it in. During those times, I’m doing my stretching routine on an almost daily basis, for several weeks or months or even years. And then, I don’t know what happens, life gets too busy, or sometimes, I just don’t feel like it, and then I will go for many months or even years without doing any kind of stretching at all. Even though I really like it, and even though I know the importance of stretching for maintaining my mobility in my old age and also for preventing injury for exercise or other activities that I want to do in my current life.

I wonder if that’s how it is for some people when it comes to following a mostly vegan diet and generally avoiding animal products. One does indeed need to put some effort in to get something that is different (example: vegan food), just like one does need to put forth some effort to do stretching instead of simply sitting at a computer and getting more work done, or just relaxing and reading a book or whatever it is that somebody might feel like doing at that moment..

I wonder if for some people, it’s like my stretching, it’s something that one can do when one can do it but otherwise, lots of times one can’t be bothered and one just goes with the flow and does whatever is easiest. When life gets busy or hectic, perhaps people feel like it’s easier not to have to bother about getting vegan food.

And then once a person gets off track with it, similar to my stretching, it just doesn’t feel as comfortable to get back into it … therefore, one stays off track.

What do you think?

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