The Writings of Sheri Hooper

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Traveling Vegan


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I have been an on and off Vegetarian since 1983, at the age of fifteen. Time passed, I got married, and soon my eating habits were a reflection of the previous one I had before as a child growing up. In the late 1980’s while pregnant, I went back to being a carnivore. I did so with gusto and a particular craving for fish. The last trimester of pregnancy I ate fish every day. I could not get enough. Soon after motherhood and breastfeeding were over, I was filled with guilt about animals and went back to vegetarianism. Eventually in my later twenties I convinced my husband Rick to do the same and he joined me.

Two years ago, after decades of sustaining myself with this kind of nutrition, I decided to become totally Vegan. I went at it strongly, throwing everything out of the refrigerator, freezer and cabinets that contained any animal products. No dairy, No eggs, anything made with animal by products such as milk, cheese or butter were tossed. Closets were looked through too, not just things to eat. I donated many things I never gave much thought to such as leather shoes, leather purses and angora sweaters. You really cannot be a Vegetarian or Vegan if you are using their dead body parts for food or fashion. There are other options.

The most difficult dairy products for me to give up were cheeses, ice cream, and milk chocolates. Cows milk that is needed for other dishes I found a great replacement, soy milk! Plain Soymilk makes luscious mashed potatoes, soups, and there are dozens of “fake butters” out there too, a favorite of mine is made out of coconut. Speaking of coconut, although I am not really a cereal person, the milks you can purchase are wonderful for people who eat cereals, especially the flavored vanilla or chocolate coconut milks. Children love these! I use mine in coffee or hot tea all day long. Not a coconut person? There are also milks made from Soy Beans, Cashews, Almonds, Hemp Milk (yes, that is marijuana and no it does not make you “high”) there is even Rice Milk! There are alternatives to practically everything even powdered “fake eggs” for baking. No one will ever know the difference unless you tell them.

Dining out is the biggest problem, especially when traveling. Working in the Entertainment Industry, I am often on the go and in another state and sometimes places I am not familiar with. Not knowing where to eat is a problem for many Vegans. There are some tricks I have learned along the way, perhaps they can be of help. You have heard of brown bagging it? Do the same, who cares what others think, pack a suitcase just for your meals stuffed with Vegan foods and drinks. Some restaurants will say they have Vegetarian food on the menu, but that does not mean Vegan, my suggestion is to look them up on the internet and call them. Ask for the Owner or Manager. Do not go on the hosts or servers promises, often they don’t know what a Vegan is, as if we’re Aliens. If you go into an eating establishment you feel comfortable with be sure to ask questions. Should the person taking your order seem irritated or confused ask to speak with the Manager. If that does not make the situation sweet, go to your car, RV, Bus, Hotel or wherever you are staying and open up that Vegan suitcase. I’ve had to do this hundreds of times. I’m not going hungry!

Some restaurants will accommodate to your special diet and go out of their way to please you. I have had chefs make me Brown Rice, and vegetables such as Broccoli, baked potatoes, fresh eggless pasta with tomatoes and no dairy piled on top. Businesses that do this for you be sure to leave a tip, at least 15%, more if it’s really scrumptious and the service divine. Remember where the place is, I have a large collection of business cards for this alone and sometimes join their Facebooks.

Being Vegan makes me happy and healthier. You may get a few strange looks now and then from other people who do not understand vegetarianism or veganism. You may also get some questions asked of you, be prepared, read books, articles, magazines, about becoming Vegan, why you did so, and learn another way of nourishing your body.

Nutritional Wishes and ★☄★☄ Happy Independence Day! ★☄★☄

♣❀♣ GO VEGAN! ♣❀♣

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