Quick vegan leftovers mishmash

I have a lot on my plate right now with work and everything else going on. It’s overwhelming. Right now it does feel like too much. However, I’m feeling very blessed that I’m healthy and able to do it. Here is the leftovers mishmash that I put together this morning to get me going for my busy day today.

Vegan leftovers mishmash!

I know it’s hard to tell what I have in the picture. Here’s what I put in the bowl before I zapped it in the microwave.

  • Seeds of Life Quinoa / Brown Rice heat and serve pouch from Costco (About two dollars per pouch) (My husband and I did a calculation, it is the same price per roughly 200 cal as right rice, with roughly the same amount of sodium, but … The quinoa/brown rice mixture only has about half as much protein like 5 g instead of 10 g, and half as much fiber, like 2.5 g instead of 5 g, compared to right rice. I believe the quinoa/brown rice had more carbs as well … So for our needs, nutritionally, the right rice is better for us. Nonetheless, the quinoa/brown rice mixture is super convenient, as all you have to do is heat up the pouch in the microwave; Plus, it’s a different texture, different flavor, so it’s nice for a change..)
  • The red and white beans with tarragon dish that I made for Christmas and froze in the meantime because we couldn’t eat it all, back then
  • Doctored up canned pinto beans that my husband made
  • Chinese tofu with gai lan (Chinese cabbage-ish? vegetable) that my husband made
  • Tofu Ranchero with a very spicy sauce that my husband made

After taking it out of the microwave, I doused the whole thing in hemp seeds or hemp hearts. For me, the hemp hearts are kind of like a nutty Parmesan style topping, and I like that it had some extra Omegas and other vitamins and minerals.

It’s going to be a busy schedule for me, for the next two years. It’s a bit daunting, thinking about how long the road is ahead of me. On the other hand, if I just hunker down and get things done, I think I will be ready for a much better work-life balance. Two years from now. In the meantime, it’s just a matter of juggling things the best I can.

I’m very thankful that I figured out how to eat nutritious and delicious vegan foods as my normal thing, about 20 years ago with my life was a lot less busy and a lot less hectic. So for me, it’s easy to continue on eating vegan food as my normal thing, even though I’m super busy.

I’ve actually been super busy for the last 11 years. Nonetheless. that didn’t get me off the veganish track. I tbink it’s because I already had about 10 years of experience figuring out how to make vegan or mostly vegan options work. I was lucky enough to have time to experiment and figure it all out when things aren’t quite as nuts, schedule-wise.

I totally understand how most people in the USA struggle with the idea of eating vegan, meatless or mostly vegan meals. High-protein, nutritious vegan food is so different from what the typical person in the USA eats on a regular basis.

For me, I have so much experience and so many different ideas for options and work arounds, for finding nutritious food at whatever grocery store where I may be, and figuring out how to make nutritious foods for camping or staying in a hotel or a dorm room, or at a family gathering. etc, it just comes naturally for me. Sure, it’s a bit of extra work and extra planning, but for me, since I’m used to it, it’s not much trouble.

At the same time, I also make my life easier because I don’t require that all of my food be vegan. I normally have all vegan or at least big-picture-vegan food. However, if I show up somewhere unannounced, and the food they are serving is meat and cheese and eggs or whatever, I can eat it without making a fuss.

I can do that without any guilt at all with regards to the animals because, as I see ir, I would actually be screwing the animals over completely if I did make a fuss. Why? Because then people would say, “Wow, how unfortunate, I’m so glad that I’m not vegan because then I can’t show up somewhere unannounced and eat whatever food is there.” That’s a terrible message for animals, and I believe that’s a prime reason for people not wanting to be vegan. On the other hand, Veganish, for me, means no stress and no unwanted problems. That is such a beautiful thing.

A lot of times people talk about how easy it is to be vegan, and I agree, for myself, it does FEEL EASY to choose vegan options as my normal thing, even though I’m busy as heck. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that I don’t have any food allergies, I don’t have any major medical issues, and honestly, I don’t have any restrictions when it comes to my food budget. Sure, I am frugal, but I’m not counting my pennies. I can afford to pay a few extra dollars for the convenience / nutrition combo of right rice instead of regular brown or white rice, as an example.

By contrast, I can easily imagine that a fully vegan diet would be next to impossible, super inconvenient, and not practical, for someone with multiple food allergies, medical restrictions, financial limitations and so on.

Also, it’s important to point out: if a someone has food allergies or medical restrictions, most likely they can’t show up and just eat whatever, they have to make a fuss. But in that case, everyone understands because it’s an unfortunate situation such as a medical condition that the person has and everyone will feel sorry for the person and sympathize with them.

Very importantly, please remember: someone with food allergies or medical restrictions is not trying to encourage other people to have the same food allergy or medical restriction.

On the other hand, if the person is actually able to eat the food but is not going to eat the food because they think it helps animals, that doesn’t garner any sympathy because everyone can see that it doesn’t help any animals to refuse to eat the food that is already there, especially when no other vegan food is available. When the alternatives are for the person to go hungry or to make a fuss and cause people to use up extra resources to get a separate vegan dish for them, while the extra non-vegan food goes into the trash … it’s obvious to everyone that this doesn’t help animals.

Some vegan and vegetarian to get miffed, saying “If I had a food allergy, everyone will be sympathetic, but since I’m doing this to help animals, people are annoyed.” Well, now you know why. It’s not cognitive dissonance. They are annoyed because you claim to be doing this to help animals, and yet you are insisting on vegan and vegetarian options, even in situations where no animals could possibly be helped.

And remember: just by being vegetarian or vegan as one person, you don’t do a damn thing to help animals. Billions of chickens are being slaughtered in the USA, every year, whether you personally are vegan or vegetarian or not. Trillions of fish are being killed every year, just for people in the USA to eat, regardless of whether you are a vegan or vegetarian. How the trillions of fish and billions of chickens finally get helped is when the other 8 billion people on the planet realize that delicious and nutritious vegan and vegetarian / meatless meals can work for them, too.

If a person is showing up on announced and refusing to eat the food that is there, for the sake of helping animals, that doesn’t earn any sympathy, and it only makes the person look ungracious and wasteful. In my opinion, and from my vantage point, that’s not helpful to animals.

Meanwhile, we frequently hear from vegans that it’s so easy to be vegan, and they don’t understand why everyone else isn’t doing it. I can actually relate to that because it really does feel easy for me to live the way I do. I’m leaving such a fabulous life. I’m very active and healthy at age 48, and I’ve been eating this wonderful nutritious vegan food for 20 years already. No doubt I’m healthier than 99% of the other 48 year old women in the USA. Meanwhile, 99% of those women are eating animal products on a regular basis, and I’m not. So I get it, sometimes it can feel like bizarro world. Many of the women are eating animal products because that’s what they think they need to be healthy, and yet here I am, way healthier than they are, and I don’t eat animal products. All of this brings up a thought for me, on the concept of things being easy or not.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how doing things frequently can make something that is actually quite difficult instead feel easy for someone. Is it a lot of extra work to go for a 3-mile run? Yes, it’s impossible or at least very difficult, arduous and possibly even painful, if you are not used to running. However, if you are used to running that distance on a regular basis or possibly even quite a bit longer, then a 3-mile run can feel blissfully easy. Very strange, isn’t it? That is, how easy a 3-mile run can feel to someone who is used to doing it on a regular basis, even though, in fact, it is quite a lot of work. Running 3 miles is indeed a lot more work than just sitting there.

It speaks to the concept that people get very near-sighted and lacking in perspective, when we feel that something is very easy, just because we have been doing it for such a long time, and it feels easy now. It’s important to remember that it’s not going to feel easy to someone else if they don’t have a lot of experience doing it.

Finding delicious and nutritious vegan meals to eat, three meals a day, like what I’ve been doing for about 20 years now, may feel just as difficult as running 3 miles, to someone who has been sedentary for the past several months or years.

I myself recently started running again after not running much, and it was miserable. I have run a marathon before, and I remember how easy it felt to run 3 miles when I was used to running marathon distances. But now, being totally out of practice, it felt very difficult to even run 3 miles. It was very difficult for me to run the 3 miles, even though I was in good shape, rock climbing, walking for miles, doing my step aerobics, ab workouts and lots of other exercise.

Meanwhile, a 3-mile run is super easy for someone who is used to running longer distances. I remember that myself. When I was training for the marathon, if I ran 3 miles I could just run that without even noticing it. It felt effortless. Even though it wasn’t.

No matter how effortless it may feel, to someone who is accustomed to running that distance, running 3 miles is a lot of work. In a similar way, no matter how effortless it may feel to those of us, who have been doing it for a long time, eating in a way that is so different from the main stream (the way 95% of people are eating, in a place like the USA) is, in fact, quite a lot of work.

Another thought along the same lines, it’s not true that for everyone, that if they just start running and running, for sure they will eventually be able to run 3 miles “easily and effortlessly.” Some people have disabilities, asthma, gout, knee problems, foot problems, and other issues which would prevent them from ever “easily” running the 3 miles. Some people may eventually be able to do it, but it will always be a struggle and a challenge and it will always be painful. Some other people will never be able to do it, period. Some people are amputees and will never be able to take one running step ever (without prosthetics or mobility aids).

That being said, most people do still have both of their legs, and most people do have the ability to run, and they can start out small and start running a little bit, and eventually they can become better at running.

Regardless, if it’s easy for one person to run, it doesn’t make sense to tell everybody else that it should be easy for them, too. In reality, it may be very difficult for someone else to do the same of whatever it is that you are doing that you may find easy.

It might br something as simple as this: perhaps, the other person has the innate ability to do it, but they would need more practice to get good at it. However, their lifestyle may be too busy right now for them to take time out to experiment and learn. So … Unless something changes in their life situation, it’s going to stay difficult for them, as they won’t be able to get the practice that they need to get good at it, and therefore, they aren’t going to do it.

Or it might be that the person will never be able to do it, due to physical barriers … Medical restrictions, disabilities, and more. That being said, I really don’t like to say “never” because even with medical restrictions and disabilities, often times with technology and research, there can be things that can be discovered and/or invented in the future which can help people achieve things that they had assumed would be impossible for them.

On the other hand, I’m also a realist, and I do understand completely that some things are actually impossible for at this particular point in time.

Wow, this was quite a digression with lots of different points being brought up. In summary, I believe it’s very important for people to become more exposed to different types of foods that they could be eating, which do not involve animal products, and which would still be delicious and nutritious and provide them with all the energy that they need to go about their busy day.

However, I also understand that not everybody is in a place right now where they can incorporate these things into their lifestyle. For me, the “ish” in veganish means, meeting everyone where they are right now, and allowing people to explore things at their own pace.

On the other hand, the vegan in veganish comes from my understanding and experience, over the past 20 years, where I have indeed incorporated meatless and vegan meals into my lifestyle, and where I have seen that my health has not deteriorated. I’ve been healthier than 99% of people my age, my whole life. When I was a meat eater, that was true, and now that I am on a vegan diet, that is also true. What it has shown me is that I didn’t need to be eating the animal products that I was eating, to be healthy, when I was doing that.

Once I realized this, then I saw how unnecessary it is for billions of chickens, trillions of fish, millions of pigs, millions of turkeys, and so on, to be killed every year for food for people in the USA. That being said, it doesn’t mean that necessarily ALL of the animals are killed in vain, because perhaps some people cannot thrive on a vegan diet the way I do, but I’m pretty sure that at least half of the billions of chickens, and half of the trillions of fish and half of the millions of pigs and half of the millions of turkeys, and so on, would not need to be raised to be killed. My thought is that most likely, people could at least be swapping out half of their meals for delicious, nutritious vegan / vegetarian / meatless meals.

That is, if they could figure out some options that are tasty, affordable, and attractive to them and which would work for their busy lifestyle. If you would like to share what is working for you, wherever you may be, whether you’re in Libya or Nigeria Would t Greece or Singapore or Afghanistan or Peru or China or Australia or Mexico or Canada, or anywhere else, I invite you to become an author here at Veganish Dot World. By sharing what’s possible for you in your own country, then other people can get inspiration for changing their meals to be not quite as heavy with animal products, too.

In my mind. that would make a huge positive difference. Long story short, this is why I don’t think it’s necessary for anything to be all or nothing. People can do things halfway or partially or in stages or in whatever way that is comfortable for them. If we are changing at least some of our meals from being heavy in animal products to more meatless / veganish, I am optimistic that it’s going to shift things in the direction toward harming fewer animals.

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