Sometimes, despite all good intentions, things do go awry.
On Friday, I had a little luncheon date with two former classmates from nutrition school. I always look forward to these meetings, since these women (besides sharing the NAG diet philosophy) are invariably funny, witty, and generally loads of fun to be with. The meeting had been planned for several weeks–before I started the ACD–and I didn’t want to cancel because of a silly little diet. Besides, I was fairly certain I had all the bases covered, as the restaurant we chose served vegetarian-only Chinese food, with lots of vegan options as well.
Well, I’m sorry to say, looks like my adherence to this regimen wasn’t as assured as I’d expected. Rather than ruffle any feathers, I decided to go along with sharing three different dishes from the menu. While the selections were all quite delicious, they were also, unfortunately, bathed in glossy, sweetened, cornstarch-thickened sauces–definitely a no-no on the ACD. But seriously, how could I disappoint the gals and order plain ole steamed veggies (and not even steamed rice–no white stuff on this regime!) when the intention was to share dishes while we dished the dirt?
Okay, I admit it: of course they wouldn’t have been disappointed (they could still eat whatever they wanted to); I’m the one who would have been disappointed to pass up the culinary camaraderie. In the end, I caved. I ate some (rather amazing, actually) lemon-pepper “chicken” with veggies, Singapore noodles (at least they were rice noodles) and roasted veggies in a Portugese curry sauce. Everything was exemplary, and I managed not to overindulge, but I did feel guilty for the remainder of the day. I returned to my senses immediately upon returning home, and started all over again. Now, after more than a week on the diet, I’m back to counting yesterday as “Day One.” Bummer!
The incident got me thinking about how much I love to eat. Giving up the singular sensory pleasure of a beloved food’s taste and texture as it inches across your tongue is one feat I find nearly impossible to achieve (and for some reason, it gets even harder to accomplish as I get older). Compounding the problem, it seems I’ve actually expanded my culinary repertoire and the range of foods I’m willing to consume since I started focusng on a vegan diet. It may be true that an omnivorous diet contains more potential choices, but since I found so many of those repugnant even when I did eat meat (Ham? Gross. Chicken wings? Barf. Snails? Vomitorious. SWEETBREADS?? Somebody please get me a paper bag), I would never have tried them, anyway. And when I ate an animal-focused diet, I tended just to eat the same foods over and over.
Then, when my health issues reared their ugly heads, I was forced to find alternatives. I sought out alternative grains, novel sources of protein, seaweeds, fermented foods, soy products, and a plethora of unusual fruits and vegetables, intensely flavored herbs and seasonings. These days, in fact, I am much more willing to try something entirely unfamiliar when I know it’s vegan and am more creative in the kitchen than I ever was before I began to eat this way.
Which brings me to the foods I do eat–or, at least, some of them.
You may have noticed the “Hundred” food memes circulating round the blogosphere (The Omnivore’s Hundred, which started the trend; The Vegetarian’s Hundred and The Vegan’s Hundred, which was created by Hannah and has prompted quite the tidal wave of responses among bloggers). I must say, I was (pleasantly) taken aback to see how many items on this list I have already sampled. (My exact response was something like, “Wow. I sure do eat a lot.”)
Maybe that’s the problem with the ACD this time round: I’m painfully aware that there’s a plenitude of foods I love to eat out there, all of which I think of as “healthy.” Consequently, it becomes more and more difficult to steer clear of them (though not, on the other hand, to steer clear of actual steer).
I’m hoping some new inspiration and creativity will magically descend so I can make it through the next few weeks without falling off the ACD wagon again. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy some virtual treats through this list. Do feel free to play along. Thanks for the idea, Hannah–so much fun!
Here’s the basic premise:
1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!
1. Natto (though it is, ironically, “first” on my list of must-try’s)
2. Green Smoothie (shouldn’t everyone try one of these for breakfast at some point?)
3. Tofu Scramble (so many great varieties out there!)
4. Haggis (I ate the veg version–never have tried the “real” stuff!)
5. Mangosteen (unfortunately, wasn’t that impressive)
6. Creme brulee (a favorite of the HH)
7. Fondue (though I’d never consider double dipping, of course)
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos (dying to try them with this cheese sauce)
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart (I think this one will require a trip out of country)
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (I had cloudberry–truly an ambrosial liquid)
20. Vanilla ice cream (What? No chocolate on this list??)
21. Heirloom tomatoes (from my first-ever effort to grow them–and the BEST TOMATO I HAVE EVER EATEN)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche (again, veg version–the other kind c’est grosse, non?)
24. Rice and beans
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper (will definitely wake you up in the morning)
27. Dulce de leche [swoon]
28. Caviar (I’ve had actual caviar in the past, but never a vegan version)
30. Pate (mushroom-walnut is a favorite, but pretty much any veg kind is great)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut (even made my own)
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam (No buttery spread these days, but still a favorite breakfast)
38. Vodka jelly
40. Fast food french fries (Ah, memories. . . .)
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans (these sound amazing)
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (that crazy HH!)
48. Vegetable Sushi (a favorite weekly lunch)
49. Glazed doughnut
51. Prickly pear (just last week! Thanks, Lucy)
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi (and have tried several times to make my own. . . )
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
60. Carob chips (not just a substitute for chocolate–quite lovely on their own merit!)
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies (really, is there anything better?)
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can (only got one mouthful . . . )
77. Fauxstess Cupcake (still waiting to try that recipe!)
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky (loved the vegan version–never tried the other)
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes (love these for brunch time. . . )
84. A meal at Candle 79 (I’ll start saving up now and maybe get to go in 2015)
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese” (Susan’s is still my favorite recipe)
88. Flowers (though can’t say I enjoyed them)
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan (how I miss you, how I miss you, my dear old Seitan)
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon (but really, what’s the point?)
95. Chili with chocolate (my favorite way to have it)
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough (better than baked, in my opinion!)
Glancing at the list, I see that there really are advantages to living in Toronto, where all these foods are quite common. Now, I must seek out all the others, too–well, as soon as this cleanse is over.