It's been 10 months since I became vegan; I can't believe how time flies. The only things I have really missed out on are deep dish pizza and good ol' cheese. But, I have to say that my substitutions for most everything are pretty rocking.Soy milk and soy yogurt are mainstays, but I have been easing off the soy, in an effort to be more balanced. I have enjoyed many nut and rice-based milks and creams; I am especially thrilled to have discovered Mimic Creme, including a whipped cream version and a coffee creamer. Lean plant-based meats like Gardein have allowed me to create quick healthy meals, when I don't have time for a drawn-out dinner production. I've also come to love vegan cheese.
In the short time I have been vegan, Diaya cheese has become somewhat mainstream. You can find it on frozen vegan pizzas, at a number of vegan pizza chains and in several grocery stores, including Sunflower Farmer's Market. Teese cheese, made by Chicago Soy Dairy, is rumored to be coming out with frozen Teese mozzarella cheese sticks. We were lucky enough to try them in Chicago, at the Chicago Diner, and they are just like the real deal! Gardein has been popping up everywhere, including many major chain restaurants like Yardhouse and test-markets for Chipotle. So many of my friends have been contacting me when they see vegan products I might like and the people around me have been super supportive about my veganism.
I am pretty impressed that I haven't wavered, even once, since my vegan journey began. Early on, I did get fooled by a few non-vegan products, like non-dairy creamer and rice cheese, but unless the restaurants where I order vegan food have been serving me animal-based meals, I have been rock solid vegan. I look forward to continuing my vegan journey and sharing my food adventures with whoever wants to listen. Happy VEGANniversay to me (I just googled 'veganniversary' and apparently many people before me have used the word...I thought I was so clever! ;)