7 Days of Salad

Vegan (n.) – a person who doesn’t eat animals and animal byproducts

Last December, after four years and eight months of being vegetarian, I decided to be vegan. That means completely giving up eggs and dairy. That means no more butter in my baking, no more eggs for my sandwich, and no more cheese on my pizza. (No more white sugar, too, since white sugar is generally refined using cows’ bones. Who knew that, right?) Six months later, I am thriving and I still think this is the single bravest decision I’ve made in my life.

Contrary to popular-right-now belief – because if you haven’t been reading the signs correctly the world is going vegan – eschewed by people whose agenda is to sell you their products, vegans and vegetarians do NOT eat only salads. In fact we have veganized everything – from French to Japanese to Filipino to any cuisine you can think of.  (Okay. Mongolia not included.) Most importantly, we eat cake. We’re not particularly healthier, too. We have LOTS of junkfood. Contrary to popular-right-now belief, vegan food isn’t bland and boring.

Having said that, I admit that I am not a huge fan of salads (except of course fruit salad with coconut cream and coconut nectar *drools*). My taste buds haven’t yet adapted to the taste of raw leaves (fruits are not leaves).

But because our office currently has a two-month wellness program and I and Francis have made it our mission to prove you can manage your fat and weight without powdered shakes, I’ve started my personal wellness plan with eating fresh, clean, and whole foods.

This 7-day salad list is the result of that.

Note: There’s not much variety. I make it a point to prefer fruits and vegetables that are readily available in our city. That means Lollo Rosa and Romaine for my greens, cucumber, corn (because my sister from Jeddah sent us lots), and whatever else is in the pantry.

1. Lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin seeds and corn kernels with balsamic-olive oil-garlic dressing

2. Lettuce, raisins, goji berries, sunflower seeds and corncake croutons with dayap juice, balsamic and olive oil

3. Lettuce, cucumber, corn kernels, store-bought salted garlic peanuts

4. Lettuce, black beans, corn, sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds

5. Taco salad with crumbled vegan longganisa with store-bought salsa (best ever!)

6. Boring restaurant salad (Magellan)

7. Lettuce, sunflower seeds, green olives, vegan sausages, olive oil-balsamuc-garlic dressing

The result of my experiment? I lost 1.2 pounds a total of 3 inches around the belly. Not bad for someone whose not counting calories, eh?

Anyway. Angel just got her Nutribullet from Lazada which I’m inheriting when she gets married. Next week I’m going to show you 7 Days of Smoothie. Savvy?

Bonus:

I’m addicted to the dressing I doused on most of my salads and it’s so easy to make. Just mix 1 part extra-virgin olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 part minced native garlic, salt and pepper in a jar, cover tightly, and shake until emulsified. You can use whatever herbs you have but Francis loves garlic and I love Francis.