Good morning, fellow herbivores! The vegan life continues, and I am overjoyed to be on this journey. Many people think that this is a masochistic, unnecessarily difficult challenge. “You’ve really gone overboard now,” they say. They fail to realize that this is the happiest, and most adventurous I’ve ever been with my diet.
The more I venture into my dining halls and restaurants, the more I explore. This journey stems from my ever-growing need to increase the variety of foods at my disposal, to maintain my health and sanity. As I said, I am pleased with my diet, but if I do not introduce more protein- and calcium-rich foods, my body will take a beating. I chose, finally, to be the awkward man in a line of carnivores that orders “the vegetarian option” shamelessly.
Take a look at my diet from yesterday.
- Peanut Butter Cliff Bar
- Handful of almonds
- Salad constructed with spinach, onions, cherry tomatoes, croutons, and topped with balsamic vinagrette dressing
- Veggie burger
- French fries
- One and a half breadsticks
- Peanut Butter Cliff Bar
- Green Apple
- Chipolte’s bowl with shredded greens, brown rice, fajita vegetables, black beans, mild and hot salsa.
- Tortilla chips and salada
Notice any shortcomings it has, any mistakes I’ve made, and bring them up in the comments below. I often notice my mistakes as they occur, I appreciate anyone who extend their arms to correct and guide me.
:: Lessons and Notes
I don’t mind trying new foods, or learning things the hard way. I hope, however, that my occasional notes at the end of these posts can serve others looking to become vegetarian or vegan.
Veggie burgers - Yesterday’s, like the one I had in my previous affair with vegetarianism, was mediocre. I didn’t finish it. Experience has taught me that taste buds change, however, so I am going to continue navigating through the various types and brands available. When I find one I love, I’ll make note of it to save you the trouble. I hear Whole Foods Market offers some great ones.
Unfortunately, my university seems to become confused whenever you ask for a vegetarian or vegan menu item. This I expected, but was optimistic that it would not be the case. When I asked the man across the counter for the veggie burger, he informed me “That’ll take eight minutes,” as though assured that comment would deter me and have me opt for a meaty patty instead. “That’s fine,” I replied. He looked disgruntled. After fifteen minutes of waiting, I had my veggie burger. In the future, for time-saving purposes, I will likely buy the burgers elsewhere and make them myself.
Vegan inconvenience - Unfortnuately, my university isn’t a haven for herbivores. When I ordered my veggie burger yesterday, the cook quickly and confidently replied “That’ll take eight minutes,” expecting me to change my order for greater convenience. “That’s fine!” I replied. He looked as though he had lost his footing, and was a little disgruntled. After watching the fifteen students behind me walking off with their beef patties, I was given mine.
As a vegan, expect to wait longer in lines and to be given strange looks. Remember why you became a vegan, and embrace your unique, healthier lifestyle. Be proud.
Chipolte - My first bite into Chipolte’s vegetarian bowl sparked a realization. Chewing the beans, lettuce, salsas, vegetables, and rice, there didn’t seem to be anything missing. The tastes came together, deliciously, and there wasn’t a moment I wished I could throw some chicken or steak in with it. It was perfectly natural, and the most filling vegan meal I’ve had yet. Highly recommended. Some Chipolte’s even have tofu, which I want to try. Columbia’s does not, sadly.
The last time I became a vegetarian, I was burnt out after a few days. I desperately wanted meat, and to return to my former eating habits. Then, more than now, I was struggling to find new foods to replace meats and thus my consumption of grains skyrocketed. One evening, during dinnertime, my vegetarianism ended silently, as though it was a dream, as I opted to eat a meat dish.
This time, those urges do not exist. When I see meat cooking on a grill, I’m not tempted to change my order. When I see others enjoying their pizzas, burgers, and meaty stir fries, I don’t wish I could join them. While no one understands my decision to forgo meat and dairy, no one is in active opposition, either. Being vegan, I’m finding, is less mentally and socially challenging than one expects.