The Vegan Girl Continues


by HealthyLatina in the City

What I have learned about eating vegan:

One big thing that I have learned about being and eating vegan is that the shopping requires a lot of planning and research. Every Sunday morning I go grocery shopping for the entire week, (I have always done this) breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for Sunday-Friday. Planning all my meals in advance helps keep me accountable to sticking to my healthy eating lifestyle especially with the new vegan diet component. For me when I am hungry and do not have good choices at my fingertips I will not make the greatest choices for the moment. So I find planning to be the best tool for my success, even when I was not eating vegan. I plan by creating my menu for the week and then creating a grocery list based off of my menu and then I try my very best to only buy what is on my grocery list.

How I go about eating vegan and staying happy:

Bocca Original Chikn

Photo courtesa of

How to eat vegan without losing the flavor and not feeling deprived is the biggest necessity for me. I find that the best way to eat vegan for me is to eat naturally and try not to eat “fake products” like vegan bacon, vegan cheese or vegan sour cream. Some of the products that I have tried are not that tasty to me, some are ok…but to be honest I would rather not eat it and find other ways to satisfy myself. However there are exceptions and two vegan products that I really like are Bocca Vegan Burgers and Bocca Chik’n patties, which I find to be very tasty. Other things I eat are naturally vegan, meaning that are not made with any animal products regularly (veggie pasta, veggie burrito, salads, veggie sandwiches, veggie stew…etc).

I will say that going out to eat on the weekends is the hardest part about eating vegan. Friday nights were (and are) normally pizza, burgers or sushi night, and I really wanted to keep that tradition. What’s hard is not being able to just walk into a restaurant and order food. I have to look at the menu and consciously decide what I can eat. However, I will say with a little research you can find places that will make you happy and not feel deprived. Many local burger places that we would go to regularly (before the vegan diet) actually have veggie burgers that are really good, add some sweet potato fries and glass  of wine and I am pretty happy. I love japanese food and most japanese restaurants have lots of veggie options: many veggie rolls, veggie tempura, veggie gyoza and veggie udon soup. Also my favorite Salvadorean restaurant in San Francisco makes bean pupusas with no cheese and no meat! I can order those and platanos and be so content. At the end of the day I want to live my life the same way as before (minus the animal products) and be able to enjoy what everyone else enjoys. I will not say that it is always easy and that I do not get frustrated at times but I do feel with a little planning, research and preparation I am able to be happy and successful.

Here are some of my sample meals that I eat on a regular basis:

Sample #1:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal, almond milk, strawberries with a little brown sugar & a banana.
  • Lunch: Brown rice, veggies stir fry (I make this myself with my favorite veggies, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar or some asian style marinade) and grapes.
  • Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with marinara and veggies, green salad and 1 piece of bread.
  • Snacks: Through the day:Orange, apple, pita chips and hummus, dark chocolate
  • Dessert: Soy Vanilla Ice Cream

Sample #2

  • Breakfast: Cereal (Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits Island Vanilla), Vanilla almond milk (Trader Joe’s is my favorite) Chopped strawberries and a banana.
  • Lunch: Homemade Casamiento, (Black beans & rice mixed up), avocado and baked tostones (plantains).
  • Dinner: Homemade pizza, with sauce, veggies and green salad (store bought dough from trader Joe’s).
  • Snacks: Throughout the day: apple, almonds, raisins, veggie chips, cantalope.
  • Dessert: Watermelon and a mini almond milk ice cream sandwich

Here are some sample recipes that I like:

Vegan Pancakes courtesy of:


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup soy milk (I prefer to use vanilla almond milk from Trader Joes)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until well mixed.
  2. Mix in the soy milk and oil and beat together until batter is smooth. Drop 1/4 cup of batter at a time onto a hot oiled griddle, or well greased frying pan over medium high heat. When bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, approximately 3 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for another 2 minutes

Baked Sweet Plantains courtesy of:


  • 4 very ripe plantains ( when the skin is yellow with spots of black they’re perfect)
  • Cooking spray.


Preheat oven to 450°F.Coat a nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut the ends off of the plantains and peel. Cut each plantain on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.Arrange in single layer and coat tops with cooking spray.Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until plantains are golden brown and very tender.

Why do I do this again?

From researching healthy lifestyle options and ideas I have come to learn that eating a vegan diet can have tremendous benefits over our health and that is the biggest reason that keeps me going. But knowing that does not always make it easy all of the time. I have been on this vegan journey for about 4 months and the big question is: How long can I do this? It is not always easy, while I have found ways to make it work and ways to live the lifestyle it is still hard. Over this next month I am going to look into possibly bringing fish back into my diet and really see what other options I have.

I will try not to always talk about veganism in this column, but I do want to take you on my journey of weight loss, maintenance and trying to live a healthy life which can be very challenging in our way of life in 2012. In future articles I want to share my experience of meeting with a naturopathic doctor, where this journey leads and hopefully share with you some new experiences and ideas. I promise that they will all not be about eating vegan.

Healthy Latina in the City is a contributing writer with a personal passion for nutrition and healthy living. While she is not a nutritionist, doctor, or personal trainer she wants to take you on her journey to live a healthy lifestyle and share tips that have worked for her to incorporate good health and nutrition into your life.