Yes I would sometimes get fish when I go out, mostly traveling because Vegan options can be few and far between. And I am known for getting a california roll when I am in a big hurry. When I did eat fish I would feel insanely full and get very bloated. My rational for eating fish was I could catch a fish and kill it myself. If you’re not willing to kill the animal yourself you shouldn’t be allowed to eat it, I still firmly believe this. But just because for survival I could kill a fish, doesn’t mean I have to. I am not on the brink of survival, I have options. And If traveling and food is an issue, thats on me to plan better. I can do better research before hand or have snacks handy so I am not forced into a situation like being in no where wisconsin and the only thing I can eat is like a fish fillet at mc donalds. Gross.
But here is the thing. I think I was wrong to eat fish before. And not to punish myself or something but to recognize my shitty behavior and change it is growth. I don’t think I can in good conscious eat fish anymore. If you have seen me eat fish in the past, that is who I used to be. I can’t change my past but I can change my future. I am acknowledging my inconsistent behavior and doing something about it.
Except for those living in coastal communities — or even inland if we’re talking freshwater species — for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They’re part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean. They are carbon-based units, conduits for nutrients, and critical elements in ocean food webs. If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful. It isn’t just a matter of caring about the fish or the corals, but also about all the things that are destroyed in the process of capturing ocean wildlife.
I used to justify the eating of fish by it being this occasional thing that i did but I seriously had to ask myself: is it more important that I consume fish, or to think of them as being here for a larger purpose? Today, marine fish are being caught with methods that our predecessors could not even imagine. Our use of large-scale extraction of wildlife from the sea is profoundly detrimental to the environment. We’re using modern techniques capable of taking far more than our natural systems can replenish. Think about it — the factory ships that use enormous nets or log lines, some of which are 50- to 60-miles long, with baited hooks every few feet, they take more than can be replenished naturally, and they take indiscriminately. Worst of all are the bottom trawls that scoop up the whole ecosystem. And most of what’s taken in them is simply discarded. With respect to the ocean systems, they’re just leaving a hole. A huge space that is not going to be filled overnight. It’s not eco-conscious to eat tuna — maybe thousands of plants make a single pound of Blue Fin Tuna. It’s also difficult to replenish that species of fish, as they take years to mature. Not to mention that you’re consuming all of the toxins that the fish has consumed over the years.
Fish’s Flesh Contains Toxic Chemicals
The consumption of fish flesh is also harmful to humans. Both wild and farmed fish live in increasingly polluted waters, and their flesh rapidly accumulates high levels of dangerous toxins. The most prominent of these are polychlorinated biphenals (PCB) and mercury, which can harm the brain of anyone who eats them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that fish can accumulate thousands of times the level of cancer-causing PCBs found in the water in which they live. And according to TheNew England Journal of Medicine, fish “are the main if not the only source of methyl mercury,” a substance that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, fetal brain damage, blindness, deafness, and problems with motor skills, language, and attention span. As if all that weren’t enough to make your stomach turn, remember that seafood is also the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States!
Read more about going Vegan on my blog.
Interested in starting a vegan lifestyle?
I am a Vegan Health coach and I am currently taking new clients!
The best way to get people to trust in vegans is to provide access to yummy food. If people could see how tasty and easy it is to go vegan, I think we’d have a lot more vegans!
I always get asked, WHAT DO YOU EAT. And here is literally a guide to a yummy enjoyable thanksgiving that is cruelty free!
If you’re wanting to go vegan this thanksgiving but planning on going to families house, don’t stress! Bring new dishes and if you’re going to a group thanksgiving bring a side that won’t be competing with someones famous recipe. In my experience, if there are two dishes that are the same, but one is vegan and the other is not, you might as well decorate your serving bowl with caution tape. A lot of people won’t be going past it. I’ve heard that children have to be introduced to a food 13 times before they try it. Sometimes I don’t think adults are that far off. People tend to gravitate towards what is familiar. If you give them the option of what they have always had or something new, most people will pick the former. If you just say, hey, it’s gravy, and there aren’t any classifications, people are more likely to just try it and like it. Also, in my experience people seem less hesitant about trying store-bought items. Maybe they already trust Trader Joe’s? Or the local take-out place already seen as legitimate? For whatever reason, I’ve found that if I bring a prepared item still in its container or takeout packaging, people are more willing to try it.
Remember you don’t have to eat everything on thanksgiving and focusing on enjoying the time with your loved ones is much more important that how much food is on your plate. Don’t feel pressured to eat meat for the sake of “tradition.”
Besides your obvious: Roasted green beans, mash potatoes, and bread. A super easy option is to bring hummus or dips and a plethora of veggies to dip! The more dips the better! There are almond butter”cheese” spreads and bean dips, as well as vegan ranch dressing. Bring veggies and vegan dips to a thanksgiving is great because everyone can enjoy them!
Sigh. Mashed potatoes. They’re as much a part of Thanksgiving dinner as pumpkin pie. You can get so many amazing Vegan potato recipes. this guide includes my favorites! An easy way to make your favorite recipe vegan is swap out half and half with a plant based option and get some vegan butter. Potatoes are so yummy and this little swap is so easy to get your thanksgiving more ethical!
Grilled Tofu! Easiest option is grill a block of Tofu!
Buy a premade Tofurkey meat in the health section of the grocery store, like $12 at Smiths! Tofurky, the brilliant brand name that revolutionized Thanksgiving and mock meats forever, makes a lot more than a tofu turkey. Or their competitor Meatless brand. From the makers of Gardein brand plant-based meats comes this seasonal product, Plant-Based Turk’y Roast, a “boneless” breaded fake turkey roll stuffed with cranberry rice dressing.
Make your own Tofurkey! A homemade turkey alternative can be a fun and healthy addition to your meatless Thanksgiving table. In just a few steps you can have a stuffed tofu “turkey” breast to impress any guest. The tofu is blended until smooth, seasoned with herbs, and pressed and chilled. Then it is stuffed with your choice of vegan stuffing, formed into a log shape, and basted with a vinegar-Dijon-soy sauce mixture while it bakes, resulting in a beautiful golden color similar to roasted turkey skin.
Focus on the stuffing, a dinner of sides is still awesome and theres going to be tons of protien in the vegetables youre eating. The Veggies with the highest protein are Spinach, Asparagus, mustard greens, collard Greens, broccoli, peas!
Beans! Make a vegan chili!
Sauté the base veggies (onion, celery, peppers) and spices to create great flavor. Try adding corn and squash, maybe even pupkin for a real fall theme)
Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and vegetable broth, then simmer until all the flavors combine. Try black beans, northern beans and pinto beans. Optional add a vegan “beef” crumble. Add green chili if you’re in New Mexico!
Top as desired ( frietos, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese), then serve and enjoy!
Mash potatoes are super easy to prepare the night before. The wonderful thing about mashed potatoes is, they can be made ahead of time, then warmed in the oven when you’re ready.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Thinly slice the potatoes into ⅛-inch rounds. (food processor, by hand, precut) I like to keep the peels on for nutrition and time-saving reasons, but you’re welcome to peel them first.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the vegan butter. Whisk in the flour and stir until the sauce thickens and becomes a roux, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Whisk the plant-based milk and vegetable broth into the roux. Stir in the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt until the sauce thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Layer half of the potatoes in the casserole dish, pour half of the sauce spreading evenly over the potatoes and allowing it to seep through the cracks. Layer the rest of the potatoes and spread the rest of the sauce over them evenly. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Uncover the casserole and bake for another 35 minutes
Best Vegan latkes
I make really great latkes!!
MAke the Latkah Base
First get a big bag of potatoes! Onions, flour, flaxseed, parsley, salt, garlic vegetable oil! First, Grate the Potatoes & Onion. Next, Strain the Grated Potato & Onions. Keep the film from the potatoes, toss only the water. Add All The Ingredients to One Bowl Take the strained grated potatoes & onions and add them to a large mixing bowl. Then, add in the rest of the ingredients including the flour, flax eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic powder. At this point, you’re also going to dump out the water that was strained from the potatoes. At the bottom of the bowl, there will be a layer of potato starch.
How to fry vegan latkes:
Once the batter is ready, the second step is frying the eggless potato pancakes. Here are a few tips for frying crispy potato latkes every time!
First, use the right oil.
That means soybean oil, canola oil, or any oil with a high burning point. This is definitely not the time to use olive oil. Though I almost always go for avocado oil when roasted vegetables, I use soybean oil for frying as it is a lot less expensive.
Also, use the right pan
For frying, I always use a cast iron skillet with higher edges to help avoid oil splattering all over the place. Plus, cast iron helps to distribute heat evenly.
Make sure the oil is HOT before adding the latke batter in
To test if the oil is hot, stick in a wooden utensil. If the oil is hot, it will bubble around the wood.
Don’t make latkes too thick
Add the latke batter to the pan with hot oil and then immediately press the batter down to flatten it. If the batter is too thick, the inside won’t cook enough.
Fry the Latkes On Each Side for 2-5 minutes
It doesn’t take too much time to get a good crispy vegan latke! Each latke should be browned and crispy on the outside while cooked, but soft, in the center. The amount of time to fry each latke will depend on how hot your oil is, so make sure to watch for when the latkes get browned.
Lastly, place immediately on a plate covered with paper towels
The paper towels will soak up any of the excess oil making for latkes that are crispy and not soggy. Latkes are best enjoyed warm so leave them on the paper towels for just 1-2 minutes before serving!
Whether its a faux meat substitute or just extra vegan sides, having options available for different taste is a great idea. And if you’re going to a vegan dinner make sure to bring your favorite vegan dish!
Buy Oat milk, Vegan butter, make vegan gravy and have vegan whip cream!
The best Vegan Stuffing!
Get bread you like toast it and cube it! Can be handmade or from a box!
Cook your lentils( 3/4 cup) rinse lentils in cold water, then add to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Also prepare flax egg and set aside. ( flax egg is just it mixed with water and set aside until it solutes.)
Sauté onion and celery and your other favorite veggies in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sage, cooked veggies, flax egg, and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf: Moist but not soggy. It should hold its shape if formed into a shape but liquid shouldn’t squeeze out of it. Too dry and it will be really dry after cooking. Too wet and it will be soggy and never get any crisp texture. If too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread.
Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the top layer of foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.
Add vegan butter slices to the top.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or oven, though best when fresh.
Add your favorite vegan gravy recipe
My favorite side is green bean casserole!
2 cans of green beans
1 can of vegan cream of mushroom soup (or make your own)
A bag of fried onion salad topper – make sure it doesnt have any weird ingredients like milk fat
Thinly chopped mushrooms
A little bit of flour
In a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add vegan butter or olive oil and shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add mushrooms and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes more or until lightly browned.
Sprinkle in flour and whisk to stir and coat the veggies. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly add in veggie stock, whisking to incorporate.
Add almond milk next and whisk to stir again. Season with a touch more salt and pepper and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low to thicken. Cook for 5-7 minutes more, or until thick and bubbly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Remove from heat and add 1/3 of the fried onions (1/2 cup as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and all of the cooked green beans. Toss to coat well, and top with remaining fried onions.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until warmed through and bubbly and slightly browned on top. Serve immediately (handle pan carefully).
Leftovers store well in the fridge for up to a few days.
There is a plethora of information about going vegan available. Whether its health statistics showing you how healthier it is to be vegan; or its the animal cruelty tolerated. Whatever your reason for going vegan. Let it be yours! Let’s all be more conscious and ethical in our choices! Thank you for taking the time to read about becoming more vegan! Your planet and animal friends thank you! If you want any more information or you’re ready to start your vegan journey and would like a coach to guide you through the process, I am a certified Nutrition vegan health coach and I would love to help make the best decision of your life easier!