Livin la Vida Vegan Day 2

September 18, 2017

Big Breakfast is every other Sunday. I’ve talked about it here before, but basically, it’s a chance for my immediate family to gather together and dip into the best damn sunny side up eggs my pops can fry up. He sweats his ass off for the sake of our gluttonous breakfast guts twice a month. But you know what doesn’t go over well at Big Breakfast? A Livin la Vida Vegan challenge.

I packed some wheat toast, with natural fruit spread from Trader Joe’s, vegan shortening spread, and hemp seeds to dress it up. There were fruit and hash browns (with hot sauce), too. There was also a healthy serving of judgement around the table this morning. Predictable but still disappointing.

I’m really honest when I say that I don’t know if this will really do anything for us.

I don’t know if my body will respond positively to cutting out animal products or it won’t or if I won’t even notice a difference. They’re all possibilities. But, let me ask you this, if someone came up to you and said, “Hey there, young woman who feels like crap and bad about herself a lot of the time, I have something that just might make you feel clear-headed and lighter and all around better. Plus! I’ll throw in a lowered risk of disease.” Then who’s the idiot? The person who gives it a go, or the person who doesn’t because it might not live up to the hype?

If food is medicine, doesn’t it make sense to play with your prescription until you feel better? Until it starts working? No one drops their cookie when a friend decides to add dark chocolate or sweet potatoes to their plate. So why is leaving some hog off of it so ridiculous?

Meats cause cancer. That’s a fact. The World Health Organization deemed bacon, along with his best friends, red meat and processed meats, like salami and pepperoni, carcinogens in 2015. That puts them in the same category as tobacco and asbestos. And your risk for cancer gets higher the more meat you consume. Seems like as good a reason as any to back away from the BLT.

I’m not the type of person who runs away from a challenge just because others don’t get it. I’m curious about the vegan diet, it’s something I want to explore, and it’s something that isn’t going to hurt to try. The criticism is a bitter side salad. And really kind of stupid.

After breakfast, Hank took the chicks up to the lake to snag one final day of summer. Meanwhile, I had just as much fun putting away a million baskets of laundry, mopping and sweeping the floors and going to three different stores to get enough meat- and dairy-free goodies to get us through the next week. If I learned anything from our first day, it’s that having easy things on hand is key. Planning ahead is going to be essential for success.

(Thoughtful aside: I ask you, brothers and sisters, what did people do before Costco?)

I had a training run on the calendar at 6, so I made an early dinner around 4. A quinoa-rice blend (Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice with Garlic) with a quinoa buffalo burger on top. It was fire! Like, legit, so good. I did the patty in a cast iron skillet with a pot lid over it. It got crispy on the outside, which was a nice contrast to the soft rice.

An hour later I was running. And it was a really, really bad run. It’s hotter than Hades here and there were these tiny bugs dive bombing the pools in the corners of my eyelids. My headphones died in the middle of Keisha’s “Woman”, a badass anthem my sister-in-law introduced me to the night before and I’m entirely obsessed with 24 hours later. All I could hear now was the desperate panting of a girl who had too many pineapple ciders at a birthday party. I went 6 miles, but a mile from home I decided I just wanted to walk. I gave into my legs and let them slow to a stroll. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting. I took a swig of chocolate almond milk when I got home as a reward for lacing up the shoes at all. It’s just 2 weeks now until the half marathon. I’m ready to check that baby off … maybe for the last time.

As I sit here typing this, the girls are discussing lunch for tomorrow.

“Mama, I’m hot – cold – hot – cold – hot this week,” Spike said. “Do you get it? It’s a pattern.”
“Ah,” I said.
“What is lunch tomorrow anyway,” JoJo inquired from the sink, where’s she’s been brushing her teeth for 20 minutes.
“Popcorn chicken.”
“Oh my gosh, I love popcorn chicken. It’s basically shrimp,” JoJo explained. “I haven’t had it since first grade. Like a whole summer ago. Oh my gosh, I’m soooo excited.”

JoJo and I decide to start being pen pals. We’ll get a notebook where we can write notes back and forth and place the spiral-bound secrets under each other’s pillows every night. It will be just between us. A special treat for both.

[P.S. Someone please remind me to pick up notebooks tomorrow.]

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