What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Day -8: I am not a Hip Chick

I've taken a break from blogging for the last few days, trying to absorb all the reading I've done. I've also struggled with more migraines than I'd like to admit, which tends to slow me down.

The first book I read to try and prep for our experiment was The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics:

I really thought I'd love this one. And it is a good reference for cooking different whole grains and such. And it does have lots of yummy-looking recipes, like ...
  • Mediterranean Barley Salad,
  • Millet-and-Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes" with Mushroom Gravy,
  • Vegan Lasagna,
  • Pumpkin-Seed Salad Dressing, and
  • Lots more that I'll have to try!
And ... well, first let me say that I really think I read it with an open mind, although an "open mind" for me means, "Could this Eastern philosophy conceivably be explained in a Western scientific way, at least in the future?" (Eastern-origin treatments that I think Western science should look at more closely include yoga, acupuncture, and such.)

But I read way too many statements like,
  • "Throw out the microwave. . . . The electromagnetic radiation necesary for microwave cooking is so intense and so yin (whereas normal heat comes from yang energy) that it is weakening to the blood and produces chaotic energy."
    .... HUH? This really bugged my science teacher self. Microwaves, in fact, are electromagnetic waves -- LIGHT that our human eyes just happen not to be able to see. They are of a wavelength right in between RADIO waves and INFRARED waves. Infrared waves are coming out of our bodies all the time, since we are warm-blooded. Night-vision goggles usually detect infrared heat. And radio waves ... well, those are all around us too. Microwave ovens work by taking liquid in food and speeding up the molecules, which makes them hotter. Regular ovens do the same thing, but with a different type of wave that feels "hot" to us. That's it.
  • And, "Go out and get an apple. And a saltine cracker. Put them next to each other and just relax. Let your inner compass feel if there is any relationship between them. . . . " If this statement resonates with you, blog reader, please go out and take the advice. Let me know what your inner compass tells you about the apple and the saltine. I'm trying not to say anything TOO snarky here, . . . so I'll just stop.
After I was done reading through the book, I said to D, "I just can't buy in. I don't think the macrobiotic thing is going to work for me at all, except that I'll get some good recipes out of it. This is just not how I view the world."

And then I read the second book I had bought, and . . . WOW. More on that in my next post!


  1. I placed the apple next to the saltine about three months ago. Their obvious attraction is noticeable now. The apple has some white stuff on it (salt?) and the saltine has some green stuff growing on it (apple skin?). I think they might be having an affair.

  2. You've no doubt heard it all before but I avoid tyramine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foods_containing_tyramine

    But what has really saevd my life is a medication known over here as Imigran (contains the active ingredient sumatriptan, which is a type of medicine called a serotonin). Taken at the first signs of a migraine it often works.

    May 2009 prove migraine free.

  3. You sound a lot like Jeff (that's a compliment). :) He gets SO annoyed when people/companies try to pass off questionable or blatantly incorrect statements as science by using fancy words. Glad you found at least one good book though! By the way Molly is adorable in her dress in front of the Christmas tree.

  4. Scriptor Senex - yes, I'm hoping I don't have to go that drastic with the diet, but am willing to try avoiding tyramine in the future if necessary. Imigran in the States is called Imitrex, and has an unfortunate side effect on some people (me included) - it tightens the chest and throat. It makes me feel like I have a cement block on my ribcage. It was, amazingly, uncomfortable enough that I couldn't take the medicine anymore ... even though it got rid of the migraine. Oh well!

    Janell - Donal is the same way! I think his influence has encouraged a very healthy cynicism / skepticism.


I love it when people come back and tell me how the recipes turned out - please consider doing so! Thanks!


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