Yesterday marked two weeks being animal product free. Although we haven’t been fully McDougall compliant yet. Especially this past weekend in Nebraska. We just stuck to vegan and tried to incorporate as many fruits and veggies around the junk we ate as much as possible. In my family particularly my sibling in-laws on my side give a lot of crap to things they think are ridiculous. My anti-milk, anti-cheese hippie ways are a hard sell for them. Part of me doesn’t blame them. After all it took half a year for the information I learned to truly sink down and for me to accept it. I used to loooove milk hell I still do I just don’t drink it anymore. And if you think I don’t miss cheese you’re nuts. No one wants to hear that their favorite foods are exteremely unhealthy. Especially the foods they feed their children and the foods that mainstream folk including maintstream doctors tell us are healthy! I get it we sound crazy. And that’s why I don’t like to answer questions about, “what’s wrong with this food?”. I’d rather you start to read about or watch some documentaries on the topic yourself so you can hear from real, highly regarded professionals not me who spits it out in chunks and has a hard time figuring out the best way to represent the information. At the same time though we came right out and said please don’t let our food choices effect your plans for meals this weekend. We never asked to eat at specialized places or asked that home cooked meals be made special just for us. When we went out we ordered what we could and when we stayed in we cooked our own meals. These are our choices and really all we want is to be able to make these choices without too much back lash.
The bad news is we ate a lot of oil this weekend. I’m a chronic snacker when I’m driving and get tired. NE is an 8.5 hour drive for us so I eat a lot of snacks. We had Skinny Pop popcorn, plain corn nuts (and it wasn’t until I had the bag open and eating them did realize how horrible they really are, we didn’t buy them again on the way back), raw almonds, and a banana. For supper that night we stopped in Brookings, SD at a grocery store. I bought humus (store bought is so much better than my homemade, I’ve got to get a good oil free recipe to try again!), cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, baked tortilla chips (still made with oil just to be accountable), and salsa. It was actually a super yummy meal. For breakfast the next day I had two slices of peanut butter toast (not my bread or my peanut butter but the regular kinds like Sara Lee and Skippy) with a banana. For lunch I made a black bean, corn, avocado, cilantro, lime salsa and it was amazing!! Only problem was that I ate it with a lot of blue corn and flax seed tortilla chips made with oil. We also ate up more of the veggies and hummus. For dinner the six of us adults went out for drinks and food at a local bar. I ordered the pita chips and hummus and French fries. They were out of the pita and hummus so I just had a small order of fries. The only other thing available to us on the menu was a vegetable pita with no sauce. I thought it sounded gross but M ordered it and I had a few bites and it was surprisingly delicious. The veggies were tossed in a herbed oil and the pita was a white pita but it wasn’t full of cheese and mayo.
The next day I had more peanut butter toast and a banana for breakfast. I made homemade oil free spaghetti for lunch but indulged in a French bread loaf with butter (dairy free). We had a side salad with Dorothy Lynch dressing and fries as a snack at the bowling alley and leftover spaghetti and bread for supper.
On Sunday the weather took a turn for the worse and we ended up leaving a lot earlier than planned. For car snacks this time we had popcorn again and a dried fruit and nut mixture. We had to stop in Sioux Falls for the night because of bad weather. We ate our leftovers of veggies, hummus, tortilla chips, bread and dairy-free butter, and microwaved baked potatoes with butter salt and pepper. It was all a delicious feast! And although we ate too much of the butter and chips and hummus I feel it was still a better choice than fast food or a restaurant meal of buttery steak and fries.
The next day at the continental breakfast we had jelly toast, fruit, and a honey oat granola bar. We got back into town at lunchtime yesterday and decided to try the vegan cafe downtown. It wasn’t the healthiest option since it was white bread and I had fries with my sandwich (next time I’d get fresh fruit) but it was crazy good. I ordered a veggie melt and M had a carrot, kale, and chickpea sandwich with Mac and cheese. Everything was yummy even their Mac and cheese which I feel like their recipe is very similar to the one I used the other week but theirs was smoother and way more delicious. I’d recommend the Green House Cafe to anyone whether they eat meat or not. The nice thing was that everything was vegan so there was no guesswork or questions about the menu.
Finally back home now and at home I stick to the no oil rule. I made rice and beans last night for supper.
Going on fourteen days with no animal products feels good. Both literally and metaphorically. For the first time in three years M was able to spend 17 hours in the car round trip with out crippling back pain ruining his time there. I don’t have any residual guilt about buying food that’s built on the abuse of animals and laborers. I don’t mean that as a dig to those of you who do eat animal products. I ate them for 28 years I’m not suddenly superior and I can’t predict the future of my diet for sure. I just know that it feels good to show compassion and empathy for the people that have basically no rights in that industry and for the animals that experience so much fear and pain before being slaughtered. Also, I noticed my hirsutism grows slower and I’m really looking forward to seeing what else might change. I’ll keep you updated!