Accidental Vegan For The Day

Without too much effort and almost without meaning to, today was an entirely vegan day. I feel amazing! I feel light, healthy, full of energy, happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. I really feel like today was the first time in a long time where I felt liberated by food – the thought of food didn’t consume me while I wasn’t eating, and while I was eating, I felt no anxiety whatsoever. I found myself eating slower, being more mindful, and really appreciating all the distinct flavors of my meals, instead of mindlessly shoveling things into my mouth, stressing over calories or nutritional value, and feeling anxious about whether or not my food was in some way controlling me. Today, I felt free.

I woke up without an alarm (I had the day off) and eased myself into my workout clothes when I finally felt ready. I went for a 4-mile run and threw in some sprinting intervals as well as some bodyweight exercises, similar to the ones featured in this recent post, and I felt powerful and strong the entire time. Slow, but strong. At one point, I had been looking forward to using the adult play structure to do some pushups and other exercises, but when I jogged up to it, I realized that as per usual, it was full of beefy guys, and no women. In America this would be somewhat intimidating, but in France it is so much worse. There is a distinct divide between men and women in most aspects of the culture, including exercise, so I felt immediately hyper-aware of my womanhood and my instinct told me to run away and work out in the privacy of my own home. But, as if sent by Hera (Greek goddess of women) through my headphones, this song came on and my attitude changed instantly:

I redirected my path and set straight for the bars to do some spiderman pushups and pull-ups and a few other exercises before doing one final, balls-out, full-speed sprint. I guess theres some part of me as a woman that feels the need to compete with the big boys when I’m in workout situations where my gender becomes very salient. I always tend to step up the intensity a bit, perhaps to prove to the beefy men that I’m not just some girl, and that girls can be tough too. I don’t know. I guess that’s how I deal with being the only woman in a group full of men flexing their cock muscles and eye-fucking each others’ biceps.

Anyway… I refueled with an enormous banana and some almonds, and later had my real breakfast of oatmeal, protein powder, and walnuts.

For lunch, I ate a quinoa-bulgur wheat mix with sautéed veggies (leftovers from yesterday) and half an avocado. My dessert was a few prunes.

photo (18)

During my Parisian outing, I ate an apple, a banana, and some more almonds. And when it came down to have dinner, instead of going home for dinner with my host family, I bought a book and did a little search online for nearby vegan/vegetarian restaurants, and treated myself to a healthy, cozy dinner-for-one. I went to this restaurant called Le Grenier de Notre-Dame and I ordered the “formule”, mainly because it was the same price as any one dish, and I was hungry. For a starter, I ate a chickpea mush (I’m sure there’s a much prettier name for it) which was delicious and flavorful and was great for spreading on the whole wheat bread they gave me. My main dish was a mixed vegetable-brown rice-black bean dish, served with soy tofu, seaweed, and a salad. YUM. I ate the whole thing but didn’t feel overwhelmed. I still felt light, at least in spirit. For dessert, a warm vegan apple tarte with a few fresh apple slices. As I was reading while at dinner, I felt calm and relaxed around my food and I didn’t feel any urge to rush through my meal, which helped achieve that level of mindfulness that I mentioned earlier. Amazingly, when the dessert came around, I actually waited a minute or two before starting to eat it (because I was entrenched in my book) and then I only ate it in small bites, slowly, over 5 or 10 minutes. I felt so powerful, knowing that food didn’t have to control me! I’m really proud.

Eating vegan is actually way easier than it seems. It feels so good to eat so clean, and I know my body will thank me for days to come, not to mention my soul. This was such a great day and I’m feeling really happy about myself. I hope I can keep this up!

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Question for vegans out there: I am thinking about making dinner for my host family one night, and I’d ideally like to make something vegan, but I have no idea how to create a dinner-party-style vegan meal, and I wouldn’t know what to prepare. I want it to be impressive, so no one can find any reason to discredit vegan food, and I want it to be relatively easy, since I’m lazy and don’t want to spend all day cooking. Suggestions? Thoughts? Email or comment if you have any insight!!

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Accidental Vegan For The Day

  1. Jane says:

    Hey girlie,

    These are the brussels sprouts I’m going to be posting on my blog soon: http://noshon.it/recipes/brussels-sprouts-with-candied-walnuts-apples-and-honey/ (instead of butter use olive oil or earth balance)

    And for a main course dish you could do stuffed tomatoes or peppers. Use quinoa or rice as a filling, but add to the filling diced veggies and pine nuts.

    Just a thought.

    xo, Jane
    http://bakingittilimakeit.blogspot.com

    • That sounds delicious! And actually I was thinking about those stuffed peppers you made, but I wasn’t sure what to stuff them with. Good idea! I hope the family is open to it… I’m not sure if French people understand the idea of “vegan”, but maybe this can be enlightening. MERCI my dear!

  2. Cat says:

    This sounds like my perfect food day. That’s awesome you were able to sit and digest before dessert! I LOVE it when I have those (rare) days when I can do this. It feels so good because you’re not just shoveling food into a bottomless pit – you’re actually listening to your body, which heightens the pleasure of the food and, coincidentally, feelings of satiation. Last night, I found myself shoveling a grapefruit in my mouth, despite feeling super full. Halfway through, I stopped myself – thinking, WHOA, why am I doing this? I realized I was forcing it down because 1) habit and 2) it was a “healthy” food – so better pack it in! Healthy food is rare! Felt great to wrap up the rest in a ziploc and save it for breakfast the next day. Why can’t all days be like the one you just described! Going to bookmark this so I can give it a read every week or so to remind myself of what I’m going for. Thanks!

    • It feels SO great, physically of course, but more so emotionally, to be in control and be wise and calm and gracious around your food. Having that level of awareness is a real treat it seems, but living a life where that is the norm HAS to be attainable. I want to believe that days like this can be real, frequent, and unforced. Its all part of “defining a new normal”, I suppose!

  3. […] been mostly vegan the past several days, without too much effort as described in this post from last week, and it has felt really great. However, today the girls baked a cake, and since I don’t like […]

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