Hello Back ;-). It's wonderful to have you with us.
I've been vegan for 1.5 years on March 24. I can thank Facebook for keeping me vegan, believe it or not, because when I approached my 3 month mark without any of those startling convictions held by true zealots I read a newsfeed that said most people who turned (read "tried") vegan or vegetarian living for health reasons reverted back to meat eating within 3 months. Eh? There was a picture of sizzling bacon too, just to add salt. I loathe bacon. (insert Marge Simpson growl).
My 7 day vegan challenge (to empathise with diet-restricted friends) had already morphed into several months of being vegan because it really felt good. I (this might sound odd) felt like I was a better person all-round, not just dietary-speaking so I kept going beyond 7 days.
When I read that FB newsfeed my "don't-tell-me-what-to-do" adolescent self suddenly materialised. I was determined to prove Facebook wrong. Slight problem ... 3 months + 1 day (to "Take that, Facebook") fell on 25 Dec. Damn. On top of this I had my American friend (& ex) visiting me and his birthday was ... you guessed it ... Christmas Day.
One triple whammy later and I knew I was vegan ... even my sheer stubborness couldn't face those odds, so when I stayed vegan throughout, I knew I was more than "trying" to be ... this actually was "me".
There are a couple of books that resonated with me so I will mention them here in case they help you enjoy being vegan even more than you currently do... six months is pretty serious, even by FB "standards" ;-) ... I'm always looking for more books by the way, so feel free to suggest any - I'm not really an Alicia Silverstone fan, but her "The Kind Diet" is a lovely book ... she writes with a voice that makes you feel as if you've just made a good friend. Nobody I know (this forum, excepting) is vegan, btw. Suddenly that sounds like a tragic turtle. Honestly, I'm not. ;-) My diet-restrictive friends eat fish, but no dairy or eggs and/or gluten.
I really like the sassy quality of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who is such as NooYorker, and some of Ani Phyo's raw vegan books have taught me surprising combinations of ingredients ... I thought I knew everything about pesto, but vegan pistachio pesto caught me off-guard ... it is beyond yummy. I am currently back to making my own spice mixes, thanks to a recent, successful search for an out of print Spice book by Christine Manfield. She has a list of all the different curry and spice mixes (wet and dry) used around the world in the front of her book (I don't tend to use her other recipes as they are 1990's meat and fish nouveau/fusion cuisine - think crispy fried fish skin ... gag), These amazingly good spice mixes meld nicely into a vegan lifestyle because they are so different and match well with different vegetables. I used them when I was a meat eater so applying them to a vegan kitchen with the richesse of flavours is exciting.
BTW, is anyone else reading this surprised and delighted by the way mustard seeds pop like popcorn (although to a much tinier effect)? ... I've just been reminded of this with her dry Madras powder recipes.
Anyhow, all recipes aside ... Welcome to the group. I look forward to hearing more from you (& reading your blog in a minute). Hopefully you feel like I do in being so grateful to have made this conversion.
PS: Eat this, Face book! ;-)