What a lovely weekend! Having been my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday on Friday, we made a Vegan Blueberry Pie that was very tasty! (see the side bar for pictures and recipe)
We had gone out to dinner and I’m slowly realizing that it will sometimes be a challenge to order even my favorite vegetarian dishes not knowing how they are cooked (with butter? milk in the sauce/dressing?) Not having officially switched over to 100% Vegan 100% of the time, I’m still trying to see how much my life is going to change. Let’s just say that it’s going to be an easier transition at home than it will be out on dry land so to speak. Restaurants that have become traditional meeting spots, favorite restaurants picked by friends and family, homemade dinners at other people’s houses are all going to be a challenge. How to cope?
A happy discovery that I made was right on Chandler Street. The Living Earth is tucked away behind a gas station right off the main strip where Chandler and Park intersect. It shares a main entrance with a restaurant, Evo. I hadn’t checked out their menu until now but I see that they have PLENTY of veg/vegan options that are clearly labeled- I will be trying there soon! (Back to the Living Earth) – they had tons of alternative cooking options, gluten free options, and vegan options. With an assortment of fresh veggies, shelves stocked with non-dairy products, and a refrigerator filled to the brim with vegan cheeses, vegan yogurt, and even vegan sour cream- it was an absolute delight to poke around in there. Adopting variations to the recipes that have been in my family for a hundred years is far more favorable than abandoning them altogether (and honestly I think it will be an easier transition for people like my mother to see me make). The prices seemed reasonable and I’m looking forward to making the Living Earth my shopping spot!
Burritos were on the menu this past weekend as well (also see the side bar for pictures and recipe). We made so many that we’ll be munching on them for a few days to come. I stumbled upon the recipe online and I really enjoyed it. I’m finding that you can’t go wrong with fresh- even if you don’t have everything that the recipe calls for, all of the other flavors seem to make up for anything that you missed.
I’m going to the Cape starting this evening for work. I am looking forward to seeing what they have to offer in the way of Vegetarian/Vegan cuisine (and since I will be eating out with no kitchen for two nights I should be able to do plenty of tasty research). It will be hard however, to escape all of the fish options. We’ll see how I do.
Enter Me: Into a small restaurant on Hamilton Street with only four tables but surrounded by rustic charm and plants everywhere. A light-up Loving Hut sign told me I was in the right place. My boyfriend and I were greeted by a small Vietnamese woman that right away began thanking us for coming and for making the healthy decision to come there. She asked us if we were Vegan and I replied that I was “interested and moving in that direction.” Her expression lit up and she learned our names and helped guide us through the menu. I ordered the Summer Roll and the Fresh Roll with a Heavenly Salad, my boyfriend ordered the Golden Roll and the Healthy Fried Rice. The fridge of help yourself drinks was stocked with plenty of healthy tea and other tasty cold options.
The food came out in no more than 10 minutes and we were delighted to say the least. My Rolls were rolled up in a sort of clear noodle that held all of the flavor and homemade ingredients in. The peanut sauce was delicious and I was able to dunk to taste. The “chicken” on the salad was very tasty and the vinegary dressing complimented the shredded cabbage nicely. The Golden Roll was a fried version of the veggie treat I was enjoying and the fried rice even had little tidbits of tofu “ham.” When we were finished with our meals the lovely woman that was taking care of us (the owner) came back over and gave us a mini vegan cookbook and a panphlet on what Vegans need to eat (nutrition wise) daily.
Upon our exit, she thanked us again and reminded us that we were not alone in our jouney toward Veganism. She told us that we have many friends now. What a great feeling. To have a go-to eat-in/take-out place that’s right around the corner. Leaving, I felt relieved to be reminded that I’m not alone.
My reading has lead me to believe that my evolution to non-dairy would be a difficult one- so I took the suggestion of swapping out meals (first breakfast, then lunch, then finally dinner so smooth out the edges) and ease my transition into vegetarien/non-dairy.
Breakfast has proved to be an easy start. In fact, I can hardly tell the difference at all since the switch only required that I swap out my Skim Milk with Almond Milk (which I actually quite enjoy) in my cereal. I think that the biggest obstacle there is going to be finding something that doesn’t have so much sodium or sugars in it- I guess reading one more label won’t kill me… but besides that it’s tasty.
I haven’t noticed a difference in my energy level at all since I was already on a low calorie/low fat diet as it was. Tonight will be my first long run (3 miles can be considered a long run to me) and we’ll see how I feel after that.
Also on tonight’s agenda- a visit to my first 100% vegan restaurant! Right here in Worcester, I’ll be dining at our very own Loving Hut on Hamilton Street! Their menu excited me because when I’ve been bringing up what I’m doing to close friends and family, they tend to focus on all that I’m going to be missing out on in terms of food and flavor. Judging by the menu it looks like I’m in for a tasty treat!
A strange craving lately though… a spoonful of peanut butter at night has almost become requited by my body. Chunky of course.
I’ve never done anything like this before.
This blog is meant to document my journey away from an uneducated eater towards an informed one that makes voluntary decisions about what they eat, wear, and do for fun. Somewhere along the way, there was a seed planted and I might as well see what it grows into.
My plan is skeletal at best but my hope is that this turns into something really interesting. I’m going to start at the inside of who I think I am and work my way out.