Saturday, January 3, 2015

My 1st Week

January 1st started the first week of me changing my diet over to Vegan.  I'd have to say that some things are a lot easier to notice than others and that having a Whole Foods or Sprouts grocery store (west coast USA) makes things a little easier.  While Safeway has a few Vegan options, most things they have are too hard to figure out and you end up having to spend an extra hour just reading labels.  I did manage to find a few things though that I think that I'm going to buy more often.

I'm sure that people who have the time or who enjoy cooking 100% of the time won't be buying any processed foods while Vegan, but for the rest of us or those who are having a lazy day, pre-packaged it is.  I'll be doing some of my shopping at my local Safeway (it's only about a 20 minute walk from my apartment) and Sprouts (this is 40 minutes away) when I can.  Obviously, Sprouts will be easier as it's a health food store and has lots and lots of Vegan options.

First off, my first purchases were the soy vanilla "ice cream" and veggie chips.  I wanted to test these out first since most people, especially Omnivores, can't live without a little snacking every now and then.  I really wanted to find a substitute for ice cream that tasted really good and something crunchy that would take away the need for other chips.  It's easier to see yourself sticking to a lifestyle choice when you can have your favorites, just in another form.

  • So Delicious Soymilk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert - Creamy Vanilla : I used a scoop of this to eat the rest of my apple pie leftover from the holidays.  If you've ever had soy milk, it tastes somewhere between that if you were to freeze it and light milk ice cream.  I thought it was rather delicious, but not so sweet that I'm going to go crazy and over indulge.  Also, since it's not made from an animal product, the dietary label is different.  It's still about the same calories as a normal 1/2 cup of your favorite vanilla ice cream, though it has iron and fiber in it instead the normal calcium.  I'd rate it a 3 out of 5 compared to normal ice cream and would definitely buy it again if it's the best option out there, though I'll make sure to review another brand later on for those of you who aren't convinced it's the answer to your cold creamy cravings.  Note: I bought this at Safeway for $4.99/1 QT. Carton.  No price for Sprouts.  For some reason I totally skipped the dessert area.  Oops...
  • Popchips Tuscan Herb Veggie Chips : I know veggie chips are a little odd for some people to purchase, let alone a flavor that nobody would normally think of purchasing... but hear me out on this when I say I went to Safeway first and they only had two flavors of popchips.  The other flavor of the normal potato kind did not have the Vegan logo on the back.  I bought them, I tried them, and I have to say I am now totally addicted!  They have a bold spice flavor that has just the tiniest hint of sweetness.  They were a great switch up from the normal sour cream & onion chips I buy.  I'd give them a 4 out of 5 for their awesome flavor and crunchy and would suggest you go pick up a pack.  Did I mention you get 23 chips for about the same nutrition as 12-15 normal potato chips?  Yay!  Though I only ate 1/2 of a serving and was satisfied with the amount.  Note: I bought these at Safeway for $2.50/3 oz Bag (about 69 chips).  I did find these at Sprouts on my night trip and they were $2.69/3 oz Bag.  Safeway is cheaper on this one.
I somehow convinced myself to take a walk to Sprouts even though it was cold outside and I've been sick for a while now.  I had to check out their selection seeing as I just knew I'd see more Vegan options than I'd know what to do with, and I was right.  I took pictures of the isles so that I'd have a log of what the prices were for the next time I went to Safeway to go shopping.  There was so much, I wasn't sure what to get, especially since I only had about $7 to my name.  My little guy kept bugging me for pizza because we always do pizza on Friday nights, so that's what we got.  After much staring at the freezer case, I decided to get the one I saw first because that's just how I roll.
  • American Flatbread Vegan Harvest : The cook time on this was a lot less than a normal pizza, so I did it at maximum suggested time to see how things went.  It was done when the time was up, but it is a little different than a normal pizza.  First of all, Vegan cheese does not melt.  I have no clue as to why this is, but it keeps the same form as when you put it in the oven, it might have expanded a microscopic amount, but I didn't see much difference.  There is also not too much cheese on it for those who love cheese.  The flavor though was nice and much better than expected when you think of the words Vegan and Pizza in the same sentence.  It overall had a sort of sweet, herby flavor to it that I liked.  The bread was a little fluffy and pretty easy to cut.  It doesn't really crisp up like some thinner pizzas, but that didn't bother me.  I'd have to say that I give this one a 3 out of 5 only because I'm a cheese person and it needed more cheese.  I might buy some Vegan cheese to sprinkle on this before making it next time.  Which I will be buying it again.  This one was $6.99 at Sprouts and made about 4 medium slices.  They did not have any Vegan pizzas at my local Safeway.
I didn't go shopping at all yesterday do to the walk from the other day pushing me back health wise.  I did however head over to Fry's and Safeway with my little sister today.  Do to her having a car and mom's credit card, I decided to buy a few more groceries than I would have otherwise (which would probably have been none).  I got some orange juice, soymilk, tangelos, and almond yogurt.
  • Disney Donald Duck Original No Pulp Orange Juice : Pretty much all orange juice is Vegan unless you can find one otherwise, but being that it's so expensive I bought this one.  It tastes just like pretty much any other orange juice you would buy and was at Fry's for $2.50/59 oz.  The cheapest orange juice at Safeway today was $2.89/59 oz and Sprouts was $2.50/64 oz, but I didn't want to bug her to drive there just to get the orange juice cheaper.
  • Simple Truth Organic Playing Soymilk : This taste just like pretty much any other plain soymilk.  I don't know if I've grown accustom to the taste or if it's actually just tasty, but I like the flavor.  Plain is best to get if you bake, cook, or do pretty much anything else with milk besides drink it.  You can drink it too, but I know some people prefer vanilla for drinking.  This was at Fry's for $2.50/0.5 Gal.  The cheapest soymilk at both Sprouts and Safeway is $2.99/0.5 Gal.
  • Tangelos : These are just another basic thing that is always Vegan and always taste pretty much the same as long as you get them fresh.  Right now they were $0.49/lb. at Fry's, so I just thought to pick a couple up for snacking on.
  • Almond Dream Almond Non-Dairy Yogurt Mixed Berry : I don't eat yogurt, so this was my little man doing the test.  Just looking at it, it looked a lot thicker than even greek yogurt, like almost Jell-O consistency.  It smelled about the same as other flavored berry yogurt, he ate the whole thing and he seemed to like it, so I'm going to have to say that it's about the same as anything else.  It was $1.49/6 oz at Safeway.
Well, that's it for my lovely grocery finds for the first week of the year and my first week starting a Vegan diet.  I'll post my finds for next week as well as maybe a recipe or two in the coming week.  Any other Vegans out there who would like to make some suggestions, that would be great and good luck to those who are just now changing over their eating habits.  For those who haven't yet, check out the Veganuary website for more information on going Vegan this 2015.

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