I don't want anyone to think I'm perfect in this process. I don't want you to slip a little and think you are the only one. So I confess now to all of you (well, both of you anyways): I ate a slice of cold pizza last week. I had no trouble resisting the hot pizza at the restaurant, but cold pizza is one of my most favorite things ever. I have also been sneaking Valentine's chocolates all week. But, for the most part, I don't crave meat or dairy at all. I certainly don't crave eggs. (Does anyone ever crave eggs?!?) Part of the reason I started this process is to be more respectful of the process by which food arrives on my table. I will not waste food in my house that I already have. I haven't purchased anything that is non-vegan since starting this, but that's because I already have a freezer full of meat and meals, and I intend to use those up feeding my family and daycare kids.
I was tempted yesterday. It was a field trip day for my in-home child care. We visited Dutch Oven Bakery and then went to the McDonald's Play Place for lunch. (For those of you that don't know me very well, this is a big deal. I have eaten at McDonald's maybe three or four times in the last couple of years. It's just not my thing.) And then for supper we ate with the swim team--a catered pasta meal. My first temptation was at the bakery. Who doesn't love a cream cheese danish or puff pillow? But I was good. I had a coffee and asked for soy milk instead of half and half. At McDonald's I had the side salad and a split an order of fries with the kids. For supper I had a salad and spaghetti with marinara (I had requested a vegetarian option at the time of sign-up). I skipped the goodies, the cheeseburgers and the cheesy bread sticks. And I felt good. At the time that I was standing there in front of the food, it was difficult to make the right choice. But I really did feel full and satisfied all day. And I want to thank my family and friends for constantly holding me accountable and supporting me!! I might not have made the same choice if I was alone. Actually, I'm pretty sure I would have given in to that danish...
I'm nervous that I could be tested again. You see, my amazing son Eli worked so hard this swim season that he made the State Swim Meet. He'll be swimming in two relays and two individual events (50 Back and 50 Free). He practiced when it was 20 below zero windchill. He practiced when he was tired, had a cold and when he had a million other things he'd rather be doing. He worked hard and earned this honor. And we are going to celebrate his hard work by spending the weekend at the swim meet, playing in a hotel and eating out. We're gone from Friday night until Sunday night. That's three suppers, two breakfasts, two lunches. I'll pack snacks.
Here's the challenge: I LIKE TO EAT. I don't just want to survive on cold salads all weekend. I want a meal. I want something hot and filling. So I'm working on a plan.
Thank goodness for MapQuest. I plugged in my hotel and found nearby restaurants. There's a Starbucks for my soy latte and a good oatmeal breakfast. There's Jimmy John's, a deli and a Subway. All good lunch options for soups and sandwiches. There's a Hu Hot where I can easily have giant platefuls of tofu and veggies with rice. There's even Petra Falafel House (I love falafel). And (because my family has been so good putting up with me) there's a steakhouse where I can treat my carnivores. They also serve huge, baked sweet potatoes and grilled veggies. All set.
My point is that this really is possible. It is possible to be vegan and to eat out. It is possible to stick with animal-free options even on the run. It may not always be the best or most filling meal, but I only have to remind myself of my own personal reasons for doing this. I'm a little less nervous now, and actually looking forward to a fun weekend away with the family. I'll let you know how it goes.