On February 22, I went Vegan. The first two(ish) weeks were really easy! I was motivated, I was reading every label, making sure every ingredient didn't come from an animal in any way, and I was going strong. Annoying all the people in my life who ever prepare food for me (ahem, husband and sister), trying to convince the kiddos that tofu CAN taste like mac and cheese, and trying to find vegan versions of all of my favorite junk food. Side note: I am not a huge fan of Oreos normally, as enticing as all those chemicals are, but when I found out Oreos are Vegan, I had to get some! And, spoiler alert, they were disgusting. There is literally nothing "cream" about the cream filling sandwiched between those "chocolate" wafers.
Anyhow, while on this Vegan life journey, I found out that the REAL Vegans wouldn't consider me one. Not because I am trying out this lifestyle, not because of things I am ingesting into my body, but because I allow my family to eat meat and animal products and thus, keep them in my house. At best, they might consider me a "Strict Vegetarian" but because I keep backyard chickens, I may be ousted entirely. It's a very tough crowd to get in to. I mean, we don't eat the hens, we pet them and give them nasty dried mealworms, and eat their eggs. These ladies are living the dream! They free range all day, then go into a spacious coop at night. I could easily fit another eight hens in there, but apparently those are the kind of decisions the spousal unit makes together. Now I've gotten off topic.
So, in the last month (okay, two) since I've posted about my wonderful little adventure, I've had to cook more. And that, my friends, is stupid. Cooking is almost as bad as stepping in dog shit, barefoot. Actually, cooking might be worse. Unless it was a big dog (I'm looking at you, Kodiak), then maybe cooking would be better than dog shit. My angst for cooking could also be because it looks and tastes like dog shit. I'm good at many things, cooking is not one of them, and I'm okay with that! Not being able to put chicken nuggets in the toaster oven and call it a day was a struggle (don't worry, they're organic, and NOT from our pet hens).
The benefit to having to cook is my kids were forced to try new things. I tried to stay away from tofu as much as possible, and it worked. I was in the middle of an ACE Sports Nutrition certification course during this, and I was able to figure out all the different incomplete protein combinations our family would need to get a complete protein. I really only had to cook for dinner, salami sandwiches and lunch have been a big hit, so I'm just shoving extra water down the gullet and hoping I'm not turning their livers into stone.
In the effort of full disclosure, I did have a slight hiccup in my new Vegan life. The husband took his final two weeks of Child Bonding leave and we went to Denver to visit my sister. I made it through my nephew's first birthday party without any animal product or byproduct, hotel buffet breakfasts, lunches, dinners, everything. Until. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuun....Casa Bonita. If you're a fan of South Park, you'll recognize the restaurant from Cartman trying to bum his way into a birthday party (Sopapilla! Sopapilla!). This place is the essence of tacky wonderfulness. In one lunch, I ate the shittiest over-priced Mexican food I've ever had, got scared shitless in a cave, saw a gun fight between a sheriff and a pirate, got chased by a mother effing Gorilla, and saw some dudes cliff dive. Yes, it is EXACTLY what you're imagining.
Over the loud speaker, reminiscent of elementary school days when the principal had something important to say, or had to call Sally to the office and we all "oooooooh, Sally's in trouuuble"-ed her all the way out the classroom door, the great voice of Oz announced that the deep fried ice cream was ready. Whaaaa? Deep. Fried. ICE cream. Obviously I had to order it...for the kids...and not taste it. Not even one bite. Until I failed, and I ate one bite. And it was gross. Somehow the "sweetened corn flakes" aka: store brand Frosted Flakes that were left open in the cupboard for six months, were mushy and the ice cream was hard. I took one small spoonful and felt a chill down to my shoulder. It was gross. Ladies and Gentlemen, I ruined my Veganism on deep fried ice cream from Casa Bonita. Casa. Bonita.
I have gotten back on the wagon after that brief mind loss and am now back in it, full swing. I've been cooking a ton, and lying to my kids a bunch; they now think pesto is made of kale and that Costco stopped making their brand of pesto. I may have told them the one they now see at the store tastes like burnt toast. Oops. Good thing they have a therapy fund!