Tuesday, June 14, 2011

AND THEY EAT BUT VERY LITTLE MEAT

Today marks the last day of our two week Boulder Vegan/Vegetarian Experience and I for one am relieved.  I’ve learned a lot in the last in the few weeks- basically that I could handle being vegetarian, but I will never voluntarily go vegan again.

VEGAN WEEK
Lessons Learned:
1.   Vegan ≠ Healthier or Weight Loss.  I cannot begin to estimate how many carbs I consumed to make up for my other denied cravings.  Plus, without all the denser calories that I was used to, I was just plain hungrier than usual.  Also, as Zach will tell you in great detail, eating a vegan diet must be approached with caution in order to obtain all necessary proteins and other nutrients.
      Zach:  Sad but true.  Vitamin b12 and iron is difficult to obtain in vegan diets.
2.   Vegan = Expensive.  Unless you can survive off the $5 ginormous bags of lettuce from the Farmers Market you’ll be buying a lot of milk, egg, cheese, and meat substitutes and even in Boulder those are pricey.  Buying all the produce (fresh or canned) is also expensive. So if you’re going vegan, plant a BIG garden.
3.   I have discovered a new love for Vanilla Soy Milk and Chicken TVP.  Almond Milk however, is on my list of no no’s and no matter how many times I tried, I just couldn’t get the tofu to work for me.
4.  Chocolate is not an approved vegan food and carob chips don’t even come close as a substitute.  If I had realized this beforehand I would’ve given this experiment more consideration.  As it is, that week was my record longest without chocolate.
5.  Some form of milk or animal fat is in EVERYTHING.
6.  Cheese Whiz is vegan approved because it doesn’t actually have any dairy product in it.

As part of the Boulder Experiment we went to a VG Burgers for our first vegan restaurant experience.  The entire menu of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, etc was all completely vegan and twice as expensive as you would normally find.  I went all out and got the bacon cheese burger, which tasted surprisingly close to the real thing, making the experience somewhat disturbing.  The coconut milk shake was delicious in its own right, but would never stand up against actual ice cream.

VEGETARIAN WEEK
After Vegan Week doing the vegetarian thing has been a breeze.  I admit that the first day I might have eaten a little more chocolate and cheese (not together) than is probably healthy, but I couldn’t help it.  We are still incapable of making a good curry, meatless or not, and we have consumed multiple pans of Zach’s favorite baked burritos to make up for the week that we didn’t have any.
The restaurant of the week was a Boulder classic, The Leaf.  Surprisingly, it was some of the best food I have ever had at any restaurant, and that’s saying a lot.  The picture speaks for itself:

Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates and Tempura Avocado on Black Bean Cake.  Everything tastes better when it has a fancy name.

Up until these last few weeks, I’ve considered any meal that didn’t have meat in it “a snack”, but I have now come to the realization that we can happily and deliciously “eat meat sparingly”. Maybe vegetables won't kill me after all.

Zach: I made the mistake of dropping the fact that I was doing the vegan thing at work.  My co-workers were appalled, and asked what could have influenced such a decision, "only a woman" they said.  I mentioned it was my wife.  They now all believe I am thoroughly whipped.

1 comment:

  1. It is good to see that you have fully embraced the Boulder lifestyle via veganism, but I would recommend avoiding other Boulderisms, such as the Pumpkin Run in the fall.

    Clarissa, Bekah has sent you some emails, but was apparently sending them to the wrong address. Oops. She was very excited to learn of you coming to Colorado.

    We belatedly welcome you to Colorado. Come and visit us sometime in Fort Collins. We would visit you (we love to saunter around Pearl Street taking all the sights and oddities), but Bekah is currently on bed-rest.

    Matt

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