Day 4: Veganism – It Ain’t for Sissies

July 7, 2011 § 3 Comments

Well, I’ve been on a vegan 30 day challenge now for four days and what have I learned? It is tough! You’re probably thinking, ummmm duh! Yes, I knew it would be tough. I knew it would be hard to watch everyone around me eating delicious things I wanted. But I think I still underestimated just how hard it really is.

Did I mention I’m on day 4???

4 of 30.

26 more days to go…

So what’s been going on in the past four days that has already left me counting down as I wrote in my first post I wouldn’t do? Well I’ve cheated twice as it turns out – not fully on purpose but twice nonetheless so I’m feeling a bit defeated at the moment. I’m a perfectionist by nature so I hate to half ass anything. Granted I had the best of intentions but we live in a black and white world and the fact is I’ve slipped twice despite my best attempts truly irritates me.

Where did I falter? Was it that Fourth of July BBQ at my parent’s house? There was an impressive spread there. But no, I didn’t even waiver – though don’t get me wrong, I considered it. But alas, I stood strong and avoided the massive array of temptation that stood before me: mac ‘n cheese oozing with goodness, hot dogs blistered from the grill, an array of salads with gourmet cheeses, decadent chocolate cake, creamy cheesecake, and the list went on and on. Yup, as I said, none of these got me. I looked them all square in the eye and said “I’m a vegan for 30 days baby.” Luckily I brought my own fresh cut corn and cucumber salad and marinated olives as that’s all I ate at that BBQ – oh and quite a few tortilla chips.

So where was the falter? Epcot. Yup, Epcot. We went to see the fireworks and I thought Japan would be my best bet for vegan options. Surely they’d have some nice stir fried veggies right? Wrong. No non-fish options at all. By this point I was ravenous and the most innocent looking thing was the California Roll. While I knew imitation crab was likely still fish – I told myself there was maybe a chance it wasn’t. I know, long shot. A quick google search at the table with a piece of California Roll already in my mouth confirmed what I knew to be true – imitation crab is still fish. Doih.

So that was my first slip. Yesterday I had to meet someone for dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. At lunch I already was getting nervous thinking what on earth would I possibly be able to eat at this dinner? They’re known for handmade pastas full of egg so I knew that would be out of the question. The best decision I made at dinner was just asking the waiter what my options were rather than tempting myself with the menu – even though I basically know it by heart. Options? I had one – the chef would create a vegan meal for me. A pasta (dried not fresh) with a vegetable.

While I waited for my meal I began to wonder why I was even doing this. How silly. I was in one of my favorite restaurants I never get to go to and my dinner partner ordering fish I’d die for and me waiting for my vegan meal.

But alas – hope was restored as my dinner arrived. The waiter placed a beautiful bowl of pasta with the most delicious mushrooms and morels I’ve ever tasted. This dish was so scrumptious I couldn’t help but scrape it clean – and I don’t even like mushrooms! But these were tender and delicious, full of an earthy flavor I really enjoyed. I didn’t even miss the parmesan which I’d previously never considered eating pasta without.

By today I was feeling restored. We went to Pei Wei for dinner and I ordered what I thought to be a vegan option – I know, I know – I got the caramel chicken but no chicken just veggies J The dish was beautiful and even my husband kept eyeing it as he ate his chicken lo mein. However, again, come home to find out after a little googling that this dish likely has fish sauce in it. Oh well. You know what, I gave it my best try.

So in the end I haven’t been 100% vegan for the last few days but pretty darn close. If nothing else I ordered a meal with mushrooms and morels – something I’d never have done before, and I opted for veggies tonight loading up on tons of natural goodness where I previously would have just loaded up on animal protein. I think this challenge will force me to get more creative and think outside the box, which can’t be bad. We went to Whole Foods tonight and I’ve stocked up on all sorts of produce for the next few days to not have any more blunders. Eating in is the easy part – its going out that’s tough. I’ve been researching new recipes and am looking forward to trying some from here, here, and here in the next few days. And for eating out I now have this to reference.

The adventure continues…

Update: See how my 30-day vegan challenge ended and how I’m eating today. 

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