Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn

Is it too early to be resorting to a blog post? I have only been at work for 1.5 hours. Still trying to work out a viable sleeping plan, since every morning I wake up both late and groggy. Most of the time I feel heavily drugged, and thus, unwilling to greet the new day. This morning, I got up after 6 hours of sleep to use the bathroom, felt fresh and awake, slept for 1 more hour (7 hours) and was fitfully awakened by B's alarms and snoozes, slept for 1 more (8 hours) and fought against a bad pizza dream to drag myself out of bed. By the looks of it, I should aim for that 6 hour mark again. But my bed, with its fluffy down comforter and soft cotton sheets, is so much more alluring than being awake and reading a book, cooking breakfast, surfing the internet, going on a walk, or whatever people do when they get up earlier.

Two things: I have not been truly vegan this past week. I have eaten meat and dairy sparingly, and have mostly stuck with B's diet. And second, his vegan diet officially lasted up until last night, seven days. He hasn't broken it, and he's had a great attitude this whole time, not only staying true to the diet, but also not succumbing to temptation around our friends when they eat meat. But after a discussion sparked by my parents wanting to eat at Salt Lick this weekend but deciding not to because of our diet, we decided that being vegan was not a sustainable option for us. We both dearly missed a combination of the flavors and textures of meat and fats. And that we would aim to eat mostly vegetables and whole grains, and have meat, dairy, fats, and sugars on occasion. "On occasion" is certainly personally defined, so that's what we'll be figuring out. B used to base all of our cooked meals around meat, which I disagreed with. But now we're on the same page. What else did we learn from this experiment? For me, I grew really tired of the same flavors and textures of seitan, miso, vegetable broth... and leafy green vegetables. The taste and mouthfeel of B's favorite veggies, spinach and button mushrooms, are pretty abhorrent to me. I grew up scarfing down greens and ordering salads because my parents taught me that it was the healthy thing to do, but I only now realize that I don't actually enjoy eating them at all. Which just means I have to try harder to eat them more often. But I noticed that I felt really great after each of our meals. No meat-induced heaviness in my belly, but I did get hungry more often.

The bulk of what we ate: miso soup, sprouts, tofu, rolled oats, curry veggie patties, black bean/brown rice veggie patties, brown rice, buckwheat noodles, veggie italian sausage, baked sweet potatoes, hemp milk, seitan, kimchee, kale, bokchoy, spinach, romaine lettuce, button mushrooms, carrots, hummus, green onions, soy sauce, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, oranges, grapefruit, apples. All good stuff that we sort of got sick of. Perhaps we weren't creative enough? I beg to differ, as meat and fats bring depth to food.

We ate at the Wheatsville bulk food bar one day before getting groceries, and it was quite delicious. We accepted the fact that when eating out, most food options contain added oil and sugar. The tastiest dishes? Vegan mac and cheese, eggless tofu salad, and silken tofu mexican chocolate pudding. Vegan does not necessarily mean healthy! I also got a gift certificate to Beets, a raw vegan cafe, whose entree offerings look extremely unappetizing. In the vein of Wasa crackers as sawdust and cardboard. I had compiled short list of vegan-friendly restaurants to re-check out, including Casa de Luz, Aster's Ethiopian and Mr. Natural's. While I have enjoyed eating there in the past with friends, the enjoyment mainly sprung from good company, feeling positive that I was being healthy, and the adventure of eating something unfamiliar. I never thought the food was inherently tasty, and I probably never will. But if it's for health, then I'm totally open.

1 comment:

Rachel B said...

Sounds interesting...I'll learn from your experience and decide that I don't care to eat vegan.