Friday, April 22, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Awesome. Part II.

But first...

We adopted Cooper last night! He is a 5-month old lab mix and we love him already. He has a lot of learning to do but luckily for us he is already crate-trained and mostly potty-trained. YAY!

So this post is about the challenges that I have faced after going Vegan. It has actually been much much much easier than I had anticipated. Thanks to several food bloggers, I have a ton of new vegan recipes to try, and as long as I am eating good food, I do not feel like I am missing out on anything.

The first challenge I faced was a potluck at work. The only thing that I could eat at the potluck was the fruit salad and the potato chips. I'd like to say I passed on the potato chips, but let's be honest here. Of course, I had a few. Luckily, I had anticipated this challenge and brought a lunch to work that day, but it was still kind of sad that I couldn't really participate in the potluck.

The second challenge was a work meeting where lunch was served. The lunch was a caesar salad and meaty, cheesy lasagna. Again, I had anticipated this and brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich along in my purse. I tried to eat a little bit of the salad by avoiding the cheese and dressing as much as I could, but that did not really work for me.

The third challege was going to a sports bar with my parents to watch Butler basketball in the final four and then in the finals. We went to two different sports bars that are also italian restaurants/pizza places. There was literally not a single thing on the menu that I could eat. Not one single thing. Everthing had cheese, creamy dressing, creamy sauce, or garlic butter on it. At the first place, I invented my own salad. I asked the server if I could have just a big bowl of greens with their bruschetta topping as the dressing and NO CHEESE, our server was somewhat clueless, so I really felt the need to emphasize this part. I also made sure that they did not brush my breadstick with garlic butter. It was AMAZING! They should add it to the menu as the Erin's Vegan Salad. The second place we went was pretty much the same story. They have a hummus appetizer so I just ordered that and made sure that they did not brush the pitas with butter. It was also very good!

I want to address cravings, but I have to admit, this has not really been a major issue for me. I assumed I'd be drooling over cheese and hamburgers and chili dogs, but I really have not had this problem. I have been eating such awesome food, that I cannot say I really miss anything. When I made Mic a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, I made one for myself with veggie ham (surprisingly delish!), and daiya cheese. Would I like a juicy cheeseburger, sure. Would I enjoy a veggie and bean burger loaded with good toppings just as much and feel a lot better about it, ABSOLUTELY!

The main thing that I have learned is that I need to be prepared and not be afraid to ask questions and order exactly what I want. I have also learned that most of the time, servers are very willing to accomodate you and if they aren't, then it is not a restaurant that I'll go to again.

If you are thinking about going vegan, just try it. The challenges are easier to overcome than you would think.


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