Tag Archives: Tofu

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.

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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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Avoiding Starvation Choices

Last Saturday in Paris after a morning work event, I found myself hungry for lunch and totally unprepared. Normally, because I live in a ridiculous perpetual fear of starvation, I have at least 457 snacks in my huge purse, just in case! Because you never know when you’re going to get lost and somehow find yourself in a forrest or deserted island, starving and ready to eat your own hand in order to stay alive. (Not even kidding, these are the thoughts that go through my head every day before leaving the house. “Is there any chance of starvation today due to fantastical and unprecedented occurrences?” The answer is always yes.) So, you will always find a bag of almonds in my purse, a piece of fruit (or three), and a healthy food bar of some type (generally I prefer ones with minimal, raw ingredients, like KIND Bars orLärabar, because I try to eat as raw and as close to nature as possible. Food bars should all have ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, and you should ideally be able to easily recreate them at home. There are plenty of recipes online for homemade Lärabars). However, this particular Saturday, I left the house in a hurry and forgot to bring any food with me, and of course, it was 2pm and I hadn’t eaten since 8am and I was ravenous and near the point of starvation-panic.

I passed a number of bakeries and my nose turned to mush when the smell of fresh croissants and baguettes trickled its way into my system. Mmm, butter, I thought to myself, and paused a few times, desperate and starving, considering buying myself “just something small”. But I snapped out of it and reminded myself that this was just my actual biological starvation mechanism being activated (everyone just relax, I know what I’m talking about… I took an anthropology class once in college), as my body began to crave the most simple and necessary nutrition for survival: sugar and fat. I was aware of this and I forced myself to use my highly complex brain system to step away from the bakeries

A while passed and I kept walking, indecisive, trying to figure out what to eat. I found a little shop and bought myself a banana to hold me over until I could get a real meal, and that banana saved the day, truly.

I considered going to a restaurant, but again, I’m broke so a grocery store had to be enough. Eventually I stumbled across a Naturalia, pretty much the only healthy, organic store in France, and I was saved!

I bought a lentil and tofu salad, a small whole wheat multigrain bread roll, a few dates, for “dessert”, and I sat myself down by the canal and enjoyed a picnic with me, myself, and I, and all the pigeons that wanted in on this fucking bomb meal of mine.

IMG_2903Chillin.

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Lentils, tofu, red onions, and a little secret ingredient that I no longer remember, but good lord this was so tasty.

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Cheers.

All for around 5 euros. If I tried ordering this at a restaurant, it would likely cost triple. And if I had made it at home, it probably would have cost half. Cheap, easy, so tasty, and so goddamn healthy, it almost hurts.

1 point for me. 0 points for poor health, cholesterol, muffin tops, heart attacks, cancer, and everything else evil in the world.

#winning.

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