Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spring Cleaning and a Spring Salad

Since becoming a vegan, I have made every effort to eliminate the use of all animal products wherever possible (supposedly tires for your car and even books aren't truly vegan due to the glue they use in the binding!). The food has been the easiest part, I can't even count how many new recipes I've tried over the past 9 months since going vegan!
One thing that I have held on to a bit longer from my previously not-animal friendly life, are non-vegan clothing, shoes, and other random accessories. I only recently (~2 years) joined the business dress workforce, and when I did I went a little bit nuts on shopping. It was one of those times where I thought clothes would make me happier in what I thought to be a less than ideal situation (moving from Boulder, CO to Houston , TX was heartbreaking). Turns out I found my place here in Houston after all, but the result was a closet full of wool and silk pants and knit tops and plenty of leather pointed-toe heels, which now sadden me to think about the animals that had to suffer and die to produce them. After making the move to veganism, I tried to wear these clothes less and less and have slowly been trying to replace them. All the while though, they have been sitting in my closet.
Since it is "spring cleaning" season, and work was having a clothes drive today, I figured it was time to finally get rid of them. So, last night I packed up a few boxes of about 15 pairs of shoes, 25 tops, 10 pairs of pants, 4 skirts, and 2 handbags (the closet photo shows non-vegan work clothes separated on the right, please don't laugh at my fashion choices!). At times I was a little nostalgic, folding up my first real suit, or packing a pair of heels that I had especially loved. It's strange how you can get attached to your clothing (maybe this is more of a girl trait?). My more practical side also was a little frustrated at the money I had poured into purchasing these things, only to get rid of them a year or two later. But after the boxes were packed, sealed, and labeled, I started to feel really good. I know these clothes won't be going to waste, they will be distributed to a women's center and maybe give someone else the confidence to land their first job. For me, it was a form of catharsis. I am not fully there yet, I held onto to a few pairs of shoes (some more sensible flats) and a few wool sweaters that have some sentimental value. Eventually I'd like to get rid of my leather couch as well, but this was a good step. And after all, this gives me a reason to treat myself to a little something new, vegan of course!

On an unrelated note, my food obsession lately has been with mangoes....I think I've had them every day this week. Last night for dinner we dined on a Mango Tomato Salad modified from the Vegetarian Times cookbook. My boyfriend continuously begs for salads, so I was happy to appease him with this one. I added avocado and toasted pepitas, as well as replaced some olive oil in the dressing with flax oil. To share, we also gave the Gardenburger BBQ Riblets a try for the first time. I though the texture was nice and the bbq sauce was quite tasty. A quick and easy way to get some additional protein (since we vegans are sooooo deprived of it....ha!). This weekend I am planning on posting a food log from the past week or two, plus my first attempt at vegan cheesecake for mother's day!


Veg-a-Nut said...

Hi, What a great step in your vegan journey and an awesome gift to the womens shelter.

I have one mango left and I told DH he could have it, but your salad is making me crazy, hungry. Since I was going shopping today I should just buy another mango and please us both.

I had the riblets once and the sauce is delicious, but they were so real like that I couldn't eat them. DH was happy since he loves them. I am going to try Susan's new seitan ribs this weekend. If you haven't seen her post go to I hear they are similar to the riblets and a whole lot cheaper.

I too am a new vegan, 7 months and counting. I have a blast on this journey. Have a great weekend and I am looking forward to reading your blog.

braceyourself said...

So I ate at chipotle today... they have a note now that 25% of their pinto and black beans are organic... that sounded kind of strange to me. But yeah... so when i eat there, I'm eating 25% organic?

Also... they advertise their carnitas as free range pork... what is free range defined as?

one more question... Is it ok to eat an animal if it just falls over and dies?