Friday, December 27, 2013

My Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas Menu

I became lacto-ovo vegetarian in the year of 2001, about 15 months before I settled in Austria. I decided for it after a trip to Zürich, I was then amazed by some of the Swiss women’s perfect skin. My sister was living there back then and when I asked her if she would know the secret of such great skin, she simply said: “They’re vegetarian!” I said “Really? Why?!” She answered “For some, the meat is too expensive for others it’s a matter of health, freshness or principle.”
We once went for lunch with a friend of my sister, a nutritional doctor. He told me a long story which I now not remember entirely but the only thing I do remember is that he said that some women exaggerate so extreme that they mostly eat low fat yoghurt and fresh pineapple (to simply stay slim). I was horrified but kept in mind that becoming a vegetarian would be a wise decision. As soon as I arrived back to Bucharest I changed my eating habits.

It took 7 months to adjust... it was frustrating, I gained weight, my good skin was not looking well and my moods were terrible. But I didn’t give up! As a result, living in Austria I don’t know the taste of Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, Bratwurst, Schweinsbraten, Leberkässemmel etc. And I have no interest.
There are so many vegetarian dishes around that I never had the desire to try some meat. Despite I don’t like eggs or most of cheeses, I can still cook very diverse and creative.

I went for an improvement after September 2012. Due to my intense working schedule, extreme stress and a couple of negative people around me I was diagnosed with Angina Pectoris, fear disruption and a cholesterol level of 365. I developed noise and light sensitivity, extreme heart pain (that radiated through my left side of the body) and strong suffocations. After I eliminated most and the stress factors (I am still keeping a mobile phone abstinence), cut off all contacts with the negative people and remodelled my working schedule, I started to work on my eating habits. First, I reduced my sugar consumption down to 80%, I then got a juice extractor, I started to daily bake bread (no more other breads) and I am eating as much raw vegan as I wish, about three days a week. I never liked salty foods but since one year I eat even less salt without exception. I love my veggy home-made juices and green smoothies, no matter how tired I am, I always have time to make some.

Luckily, about a month ago, just opposite my atelier opened up a big whole foods store. They even make fresh juices at a decent price and delicious quality. I am so much happier to work on that street!

2013 introduced to me new, inspiring people such as Ligia Pop and Gabriele Danek or to the great information that Dr. Joel Fuhrman provides. And I am looking forward next year to visit a wonderful raw exhibition in Bucharest, Raw Generation Expo.

This year I've changed the traditional Christmas menu to a vegetarian and vegan one. As we didn’t have guests over dinner, I didn’t have to cook what people might expect. My weakness for cozonac was replaced with raw vegan sweets and it is the first time that I feel “light” after Christmas. Sure, even the raw vegan sweets have a big amount of calories but they are healthy and as we all know, no exaggeration is good. I took the desert recipes from here and here but if you don’t have time to prepare, you can buy them from simplyrawbakery in Vienna.

I sometimes feel that my medical condition saved me from something worse. I now feel so much better that I can’t be more thankful. Sure, the good foods cannot eliminate the stress factors, that’s up to my will and power, but I am staying strong and determined. The great thing is that I stopped taking the prescribed medication and I hope that it will stay this way.

Meatless Romanian "Beuf" Salad
Vegetarian Sarmale
Home-baked Bread
Supplies for the Sweets

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