Meatless Monday…and Every Vegan Day After That

If you travel around the interwebs at all, you may have some across the regular posts from various bloggers participating in something called “Meatless Monday.” I am not sure of the origins and I am going to declare that it be not important for today’s discussion (read: I don’t feel like researching it, but would love to know, so if you know, do tell!)

The Meatless Monday website is pretty cool. It has a lot of neat resources. One of my favorite is the Kids Cook Monday (but that is a topic all by itself). You can also find some other neat bloggers that participate. A few to get you started

In our home, a meatless day is not odd. As Catholics, “Fish Stick Fridays” have been pretty common during Lent. *As an aside, it looks like there is a push to bring that observance back to encompass the entire year – also a topic for another day.

In my personal life, plant heavy has not been odd over the past year due to recent health changes. As you may be aware, plant heavy went to vegan (at least as far as eats) a week ago, almost to the hour, today.

The idea, as you can imagine, prompted a bit of interest and concern, particularly over the time of the year. And my “simply don’t want it” response was true. It was also only early day 3.

However, in all honesty, it is still true.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some challenges. However desire has not been one of them. Images keep coming to my mind of those factory animals…instead of appetite, it now produces nausea. But I want to focus on the forward movement today as it has been an interesting (and exciting!) week.

Coming Out – Discussions with family and friends have been the most interesting part of this week. Because I live in such a meat and potatoes family, I kinda had to determine pretty quick how to not be a pain in the ass about the whole thing. Do I think this is important and right? Yes. Do I think my family as a whole would benefit from this shift? Yes. Do I think that making my kids watch baby chickens get chopped up alive and refusing to cook my husband’s favorite meals achieves that goal? Yeah, no.

So I made a conscience effort to watch my obnoxious level. What I found were people are generally curious and supportive – right up to the point where realize your meatless extends past Monday and includes all forms of animal products. Then you get “the look.”

In the end, in depth conversations that included me strenuously defending veganism were born not out of my desire to convert, but others desire to convince me that my choice for myself was irrational. However, a concentration on self choice and non judgement usually resulted in great and supportive conversation.

Eating In – This was not so hard. The most interesting thing was timing. Prep is a bit more time consuming. And I have also noticed that I once I realize I am hungry, the urgency to eat grows more quickly than pre-vegan. I have had to learn to

  • always have quick, small snacks on hand (nuts, fruits, pre-prepped veggies)
  • drink lots of water – great hydration works out quite a few ills
  • moderate portions so I am not over cooking

Eating Out – This was WAY easier than expected. Of course, I expected it to be difficult. The truth is, I do not live in the vegan capital of the world…or North America…or the US…or even one of it’s subsidiaries. Add to that, the husband is not a real fan of new places. He is steadfast and true, even in his restaurant choices. I am also full aware that most servers in most eateries here are not going to know what menu items are vegan friendly and which aren’t (in fact I encountered one who didn’t know what vegan was). Go back to the idea that I seriously do not want to be a pain in ass or obnoxious and this eating out business can appear daunting.

However, one small idea changed a good bit of that – calling ahead. Two items of note:

Fiddler’s Seafood– Here the nice girl that answered the phone had no idea what I was talking about. No worries. She was super nice and was concerned enough to go find someone who did.This menu has very few options for the vegan. But the person I talked to was very helpful in suggesting options and variations. In fact, she even noticed my order in the kitchen (I am certain non meat orders in that place are fairly rare and readily noticeable). She saw that cheese had still been put on it, asked the server to verify and all was wonderful!

Per Menu…Looks fabulous, yes? Mine was BETTER!

Mellow Mushroom– It was my understanding that the crust at Mellow was vegan friendly. To be sure, I called ahead. The young lady on the phone said no, it was not. I asked again to make sure she understood what was I asking as the tone of her voice suggested she did not. She put me on hold, came back and verified – not vegan.

No worries, I knew Mellow had a great variety and I could figure it out when I got there – just no pizza. I ordered the Stuffed Portabella Mushroom, substituted (at NO additional charge) the two cheeses for a vegan cheese (SCORE) and sprouts. I am fairly convinced that what they brought me is better than their proposed menu item. It was so good that the Hubs thought it divine as well.

I commented my thoughts to the waitress, Sandy (who was such a delight that I can’t even begin to tel you how thrilled we were to have her). She agreed. We discussed my conversation earlier  and she seemed to think that young lady who answered the phone was wrong. Quick trip back to the kitchen confirmed – sans parmesan cheese and butter baste, crust is VEGAN (score again!)

Staying Strong – I have noticed no decrease in energy. In fact, I would suggest the opposite. I have had some pretty high activity days, both mental and physically, this week. I feel strong, focused, capable, and energized. And I am also down 5 pounds…in a week…without starving…without artificial stimulants.

My mission this week is to find a new Vegan main dish that the children will eat and enjoy. Keep your fingers crossed for me and if you have something that has worked for your family, please let me know! I have started a Vegan pinboard. Your ideas and other pinners of interest are welcome as well!

Comments

  1. I’m glad you’re enjoying your journey. I’d admit that when Gabe and I dropped out sugar, processed grains, and went vegan for a month …. we felt GREAT. I’m not sure I could pull it off ALL the time, but I can see the appeal in want to try. You go girl!

    • You are closer to your food…you have a different (and enviable) way. I don’t know that I would feel the same way if my circumstances were different. But you are an inspiration to me 🙂 I am always so appreciative of your perspective. Thanks so much for the encouragement. HUGS!!

  2. That’s amazing! Definitely something I cannot do (willingly, lol). But then any type of diet for me is difficult. Hoping to change that in the coming year. Thanks for sharing your experience! We went to Mellow Mushroom (Pooler) TWICE last week… I was totally craving their PIZZA CRUST!! They do have many gluten free options there as well.

    • Jacy, you shaved your head…there is nothing you cant do 🙂 I will say that I had a super hard time. I had to do a full reboot over a 21 day period. It was tough but really worth it. And most of it STUCK 🙂 But after seeing the documentary…I just can’t…

      Mellow was awesome! I had their gluten free before “the change”. It is awesome!! But alas, it has eggs in it…

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