THIS is the challenge I was looking for. It seems that going vegetarian, especially in the summer, is pretty darn easy. But really, I just swapped one animal protein for another. Since trying to up the veggie factor by going vegan 5 meals a week I don’t think I have hit that mark once. 2 maybe 3 meals per week max. Giving up cheese is hard. And I never realized I had such an aversion to product substitutions. Getting a vegan margarine wasn’t so hard, I still have butter for any meal not vegan and I grew up with margarine so going back wasn’t really an issue.

Soy milk however was a hurdle.

Here is how it came about:

– I’m in the grocery store, knowing that I need to try to find a milk substitute. I head over to the section with all the rice milks, almond milks, soy milks and am immediately feeling overwhelmed. There are so many brands, so many different kinds and so many flavours of each kind. Which one to buy?! At over $4 a pop and with about 2L in each container, picking one that I couldn’t stand would mean wasted money and a lot of drinking yucky stuff (I’m not one to waste, and it would really sink in the lesson about which one not to buy again). Finally I decided on chocolate Silk soy milk. I’ve seen commercials for it, it was on sale, and it’s chocolate – so instantly that is a plus.

– I get my purchase home and put it in the fridge. Normally if I buy chocolate milk I’m drinking it right away – but I’m a bit nervous about this. What if I don’t like it? Will I be able to do this vegan thing? And really, if you don’t like the chocolate what hope do you have of liking the original?

– A few hours pass and I figure it’s time to man up. Got to try, I bought it after all. Pour some – looks like chocolate milk. Smells pretty much like chocolate milk. I continue to look at it for the next few minutes. Then decide I’m being silly, close my eyes and take a big sip. Not bad. Another sip… it’s definitely not chocolate milk, but… pretty darn close. Ok I don’t hate it. Relief washes over me.

 

After talking about the experience on twitter I’m told Almond milk is the way to go and the next time I’m in the store I pick some up. Once it’s cold I actually take a sip right out of the container. I’ve come such a long way… just don’t ask me to eat soy cheese. I’m not ready for that yet. But I’m working on getting those vegan meals up to 5 a week. It’s just going to take a little more kitchen creativity and some planning.

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