I have had countless people tell me that my lifestyle choice of veganism is extreme, eccentric, unhealthy, and so forth. My response is always, "What's so extreme (etc.) about eating fruits and vegetables?!" I like to think that I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, granted I could exercise more ... better yet, I could actually start exercising. Walking to and from my Keurig coffee maker is not a workout! But hey, we all have to start somewhere.
I had few tests run not too long ago and my results were good. My total cholesterol is 117, my blood glucose is 86 and my blood pressure was 90/73. I think overall that those are some pretty good looking numbers. I won't divulge my weight nor height, but let's just say I am tall and svelte! My doctor told me that my cholesterol, while below the average, was EXCELLENT. This is one of those times in my life where I am happy to be below average! Are those numbers a reflection of my vegan lifestyle? I'd like to think so. High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol runs in my family, not to mention heart disease. I refuse to take a fatalistic approach to my health by letting my family medical history dictate what aliments and diseases I will "inevitably" suffer from.
My lifestyle extreme? I don't think it is extreme. Extreme to me would be having to take numerous prescriptions, with numerous side-effects, throughout the course my life. Or, having to have open-heart surgery — now that's extreme. I believe that my lifestyle, though not for everyone, is a way for me to stay in as healthy a state as possible throughout my years. And you know what, the food I eat is DELICIOUS! I don't miss consuming animal products one iota. You have to keep in mind, I was not raised as a vegetarian or a vegan. It wasn't until I was 18 that I became a vegetarian. So, I have been there, done that with the meat and dairy lifestyle and I have absolutely no intentions of ever reverting back.
I have had family and friends say to me, "Oh, you can't eat that (*referring to some meat or dairy product)?" The best response that I have come up with is, "Oh, I can eat that! I just choose not to!" It seems as though a lot of people are under the misconception that embracing a vegan lifestyle means having a very restrictive diet. When in truth, embracing a vegan lifestyle opens up a world of different tastes and textures — fruits, vegetables, legumes, spices, etc. that one would have otherwise probably never tried. Aside from being a vegan, I eat very, very little processed foods and I rarely add any oils or salt to my meals (including baked goods).
Recipe time! I would like to share with you the recipe for my favorite cookie. The name of this recipe is, "Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles." *Check out my picture uptop* YUM! The first time I made these cookies and took a bite out of one I was in love. This recipe combines cocoa powder and bit of cayenne pepper, and let me tell you, the combination of those two ingredients is phenomenal. I'll admit I was a little skeptical at first. The thought of cocoa powder and cayenne pepper mixed together didn't sound too appealing, but I thought I'd give it a try. I am so glad I did! If you decide to bake up a batch of these cookies let me know what you think!