by: Philip F.
It's not easy being vegan.
It's the little things. I'm becoming totally used to having to check "the instructions" as I'm beginning to call them,. the nutrition information, to make sure there's no animal products or by-products in anything. But there's so many in so much that you wouldn't consider. No dairy products, I think. Ha, I'm fine without poultry or dairy. I'm not a huge fan of milk or chicken and it's not like I eat eggs often.
Oh wait, you mean even if it just HAS eggs or milk in it it's not allowed. This is where I notice that being strictly vegan is going to be a challenge. Vegetarian is easy. I've done that a time or twenty for a week or 40 at a time, but no ice cream, no cheese, no chocolate... Wait, they make vegan chocolate. Come to think of it, I'm more of a dark chocolate man than a milk chocolate fan anyway.
Then it hits me again, that it's not only grilling season, but that I'm coming up on one of the most important grilling weekends in all of Summer. And me gone, vegan... Oh well, I'm beginning to become accustomed to guacamole instead of the veggie patty at Subway and avocados and bananas and nuts keep me grazing but full and there's something refreshing about those vegetable burps. It almost feels like there's so much freshness and nutrition it just has to burst out and announce itself.
It’s not until well into the third day that I experience my first temptation. I’m riding with my friends we’re in the drive-thru for Krystal’s, Tennessee’s version of White Castle, basically White Castle with more lard. The smell as we approach is nearly overpowering, but I’m remaining strong. I try to distract myself. I think about what a great scene this will be, my first major temptation and how I still stand strong. My friend orders a sack of 24 freshly steamed Krystals. They’re packed in this box that traps the steam and grease and beef and lard smell in and I’m still fine.
And then she rolls the windows up. I am engulfed with the smell of my favorite gut-bombs in all the world. Let me explain, I used to work at Krystal’s. I don’t know if it’s some secret in the lard that causes habituation to it (I’ve heard similar things about bacon, don’t laugh, it could be true!) but I found that when I worked there and ate there daily I would occasionally have a craving come over me and the more I ate them the more often the cravings would come.
So here I am, feeling trapped and trying to stay strong. I don’t say a word. Then as my friend is doling out burgers it hits her and she apologizes.
“It’s ok. It’s great for the story...”
And so, it’s time for a quick snack since burgers are out of the way. I grab one of those gummy chewy candy things that have the “real fruit juice” in them that I convince myself are healthy when I want candy but won’t let myself. Oh boy, these things are great and they’re fruit and stuff, definitely could not have been made from any animals. But wait, “check the instructions first” I remind myself. Flip over the bag and read through the list, corn syrup, yuck, ok, ok, and... I knew it. Too good to be true, it’s chewy, it’s gummy, it’s HORSE HOOVES. Bahh, so no gelatin either, didn’t think that’d be a problem. I don’t like Jell-o, but anything gummy? Hmmmm, jujubes are ok. So at least I know one candy that’ll be safe next time I go to the movies.
Which begs the question, is movie theater popcorn butter really even considered butter? Guess will have to research that one too... Despite a few false starts at the beginning and a tense moment or two, so far this whole thing seems like it’s actually going to be ok. Must admit, there is a release of tension on the stomach and a bit more pep in my step. Thank goodness for the Eternally Herbal dried goji berries and dragonfruit. I’ll admit, the dragonfruit scared me at first, it’s dried flesh does resemble, more than a tiny tad, the scales of some mythical beast, but they taste great. I’m betting in a tropical trail mix with the right combination of nuts these would make a great tasting and super-healthy snack.
"It really does look like a dragon's skin!"
In between the new diet and plenty of items from Eternally Herbals Clean and Detoxify section, I’m anxious to see how this does feel after another full week or two. But Memorial day weekend is poking it’s head right around the corner. Best bet just may be to stay indoors the whole weekend and away from the wafting scents of barbecue and steaks and burgers and pork chops. We’ll see...
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