What Exactly Does It Mean To Be Vegucated?

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The other night I finally found myself finished with all my evening To Dos and was able to just stop and breathe for a bit. There was absolutely nothing on TV since we’re in that gray area after all the reruns have run and before the Fall shows start up. For lack of anything better that didn’t require brain power, I decided to check out a documentary that looked promising on Amazon called Vegucated.

The premise was that the documentarist (is that what you call the main person?) decided to become vegan for moral and health purposes and experienced all kinds of benefits – weight loss, increased energy, clearer skin and more. She wanted to share these benefits with others and set out to find 3 test meat eaters to become vegan for 6 weeks and see what happened with them.

She tried to find subjects that were not diet experts and were struggling with what to do to lose weight and get healthy. That definitely got my interest. Disclaimer: I am not vegan but I am not opposed to the idea in any way. The documentary itself was very eye opening about the meat, dairy and egg industries. Be careful watching this in front of impressionable children. I was extremely disappointed though in some of the concepts advocated.

The main medical expert made claims to the testers telling them that you could eat copious amounts of vegan foods without regard to calories and not gain weight. He specifically named things like eggplant and tomatoes. Um, calories don’t count? Yes, I’ll admit that it’s very hard to eat enough calories in vegetables alone to gain weight. You’d be full way before eating that much unless you’re a competitive eater.

That being said, calories do count and last time I checked vegans eat more than only vegetables. Some of the foods are calorie dense like avocado and peanut butter. When you blanket a statement like calories don’t count to beginners, you’re in for a rude awakening. The worst offense of all was when they were “vegucating” the newbie who hates vegetables.

They took her grocery shopping to show her all the surprisingly vegan foods that tasted great. Guess what they showed her to get her excited… pancake mix, oreos, premade cake icing in a tub. I almost rolled off the bed in horror at this point! The point of the documentary was health through veganism. The chemical bombs they promoted are far removed from that concept. Preservatives, trans fats, refined ingredients.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m an anti-pancake/cookie person, know that I’m all for these things but there are much more wholesome choices than tub icing. I easily make dairy free treats for The Kid. And that’s what they should have mentioned along with the idea that they are treats not things to eat at every meal to help with the vegan transition.

Vegan or not, make sure you know what you’re eating and eat foods as close to their original forms as possible. It’s just as easy to do as ripping open a box of pancake mix, adding water, and flipping cakes. To prove it, I threw together this salad in a matter of minutes and it tasted amazing. I loved the gingery spice along with the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I could have eaten the entire thing on my own, but I managed to share with The Kid and have leftovers for today. I used a bag of frozen edamame. I poured out the 2 cups from the bag and let them thaw on the counter while I walked the dog. No cooking required. Simply chop the veggies and protein, add the dressing and toss. Boom, dinner with leftovers!

Grilled Chicken Edamame SaladGrilled Chicken Edamame Salad

  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • 2 cups cucumber
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp minced ginger from a jar
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil mayo
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 lb grilled chicken, sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

If your edamame is frozen, allow enough time to thaw. Slice the cucumber and cut each slice into bite sized pieces. I just chopped my slices into quarters. Slice each tomato into halves.

Throw the edamame, cucumbers, and tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, mayo and mustard to the bowl. Toss well to mix. Divide the salad evenly onto plates and top with the grilled chicken. Makes 4 large servings at approximately 230 calories each – 30g protein, 12g carbs, and 7g fat.

If your family doesn’t like (or is tired of) grilled chicken, change things up by adding steak slices, shrimp, or tofu. You could also just leave the meat out entirely for a vegetarian option.

Have you seen Vegucated? I recommend giving it a watch with an open mind and would love to hear your thoughts.

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