Livin la Vida Vegan Day 5 (fake eggs and fog)

September 21, 2017

7:15 a.m.
A 2-hour delay? Damn you, fog! Damn you straight to Chuck E. Cheese (my equivalent of hell). The girls would get a delay the week we don’t have a sitter at the house to get them on the bus. How do you get both Employee and Mom of the Year in one swift move? Oh, dear friends, just sit back and observe. I threw together my vegan-friendly morning smoothie and did what I had to do. I took those turkeys into work and used technology to keep them on the up and up for an hour and a half. Oh, you want to search random terms on YouTube? Here are some headphones! Videos with creepy adults opening eggs? Yup, yup, sounds great.

[Dramatic sigh] “I need more coffee today,” I said to myself, Spike smacking the meat of her juicy apple around with her tongue and tiny teeth in my ear as I browsed my inbox.
“No problem, Mom. I’ll run to the cafeteria and get you some,” JoJo said, like she was my 22-year-old secretary on the set of Mad Men.
“No honey, I’m just fine. But thank you.”

9:10 a.m.
I dropped the eldest chicks at the bus stop and darted in the house to grab a bonus mug of coffee with Califia Farms Pecan Caramel Creamer (a gift from my friend Elizabeth). That stuff is DANGEROUS. I love it in a way one shouldn’t love a coffee creamer, ya know?

11 a.m.
Nope, nope … not gonna make it to lunch today, I pulled out my emergency stash of trail mix, Nuts and Berries from Costco, my favorite. Listening to Rich Roll’s audiobook this morning, he was talking about how his vegan diet evolved. He eventually replaced protein powder with spirulina, and his typical mixed nut blend with Brazil nuts and walnuts. My diet, too, is already evolving … I’ve decided to replace miso with … anything else.

12:15 p.m.
Lunch was a repeat for me again today. This is my m.o. I find something that works – in this case a mixed green salad with quinoa/rice, a salad topper mix and Greek dressing with a side of veggie hummus with tortilla chips – and I beat it to death. But a positive check-in from Hank. He loves both the Seeds of Change Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa pouch and the instant pho bowls I got from Costco. He went so far as to say the pho was better than the offerings at his go-to Vietnamese joint. Best news I’ve gotten all day.

“I think we need more protein,” I told him. “Start throwing hemp hearts on stuff, k?”

Not that my husband isn’t capable of feeding himself, but because this was my idea and I make the grocery list, I feel a very unique pressure here to keep his belly full and his head in a good place. The kids are a different story. I can throw cheese cubes at them to calm the storm. We’re going two family members at a time here.

2:45 p.m.
A perk of picking up the girls in the afternoon, just five hours after I dropped them off in the exact same spot, is catching up on the elementary school scoop. For almost a week now, Spike has been wrestling between two of her classmates. They both want her to be their girlfriend, and the romantic turmoil has been agony for all of us. Today’s update went as follows:

“What’s up babe? How was your day?”
“Fine,” she said.
“Who’d you play with?”
“Ugh, well I think I’m going to be boyfriend/girlfriend with Connor,”
“Really? I thought we talked about that and you were just going to be a good friend to both of them so you didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings or break daddy’s heart.”
“Well, I just can’t take Hunter.”
“No! Today he drew a huge circle on his desk in pencil and colored it in. And you know that stains, which makes it an elephant problem. And the custodian is going to be so mad, so I told on him.”
“You tattled?”
“Well, yeah. But he had it coming. And then Conner asked if I wanted to play football at recess and I was like, ‘I’m not much of a football girl, but thank you for asking me.’ And I let him throw the ball to me.”
“Well, sounds like you and Connor had a fun day.”
“Yeah, plus, Hunter eats paper. Like, a lot. So …”

And there it is. Love on the rocks, ain’t no big surprise. Another casualty of careless paper consumption.

6:30 p.m.
We’re big fans of brinner. Nothing is better than pancakes for supper on a cool autumn evening, am I right? As I was menu planning, I found myself yearning for something semi-familiar in the sea of tempeh and seitan, when I came across this recipe for The Best Vegan Breakfast Sandwiches, and thought … there you are, lover.

Please, please don’t disappoint me, I pleaded to the assortment of ingredients as I went about prepping for the herd. Mama just can’t take another night of mediocre flavors.

For tonight’s installment of, “What the hell’s this made of?” we turn to egg replacer. I mixed it up in the blender with cold water, poured it into the skillet and watched in amazement as the liquid solidified into a foamy, spongy giant fake egg frisbee. Flipping it was a test of skill, of which I failed. Hank looked at the ingredients.

“So, essentially, this is instant potatoes,” he concluded. I shrugged. “It has no redeeming nutritional qualities, aside from a little bit of fiber.”

Potato starch aside, guys, I gotta tell ya, these sandwiches were FIRE. I loved them, every bite. I used mixed greens, and kite hill cream cheese and some sprouted grain buns I got in the freezer section at Earth Fare. We even added a slice of daiya cheddar, just to be indulgent. I roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and a plantain that was hours from going bad, and cut up a mango and apple for dessert. I dipped my veggies sparingly in daiya ranch dressing, which is a delight.

While this meal scored big on flavor and morale boosting, it felt like a lie. Like the equivalent of Sex With Your Pants On for Whole30. Nothing was derived from animals, but it felt a little too human, if ya know what I mean. Hank made the comment, “I feel like the longer we’re vegan, the more processed our diets get.” It’s not the sandwich’s fault. But if we’re going to do this, I want to do it right.

7:45 p.m.
I missed my run because Hank had to make one of his own, for Pull Ups and cold medicine. I did a Fitsugar barre dance workout and felt pretty good. The energy level is picking up, folks!

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