101 in 1001: 007 go vegan for at least 1 month [ongoing]
v-day 3. the experiment is afoot: since midnight-ish (we were on a plane, so new year's eve / day weren't fixed events) on saturday night, i've been a dietary* vegan. predictably, my respect for people who do this gracefully all the time has gone through the roof; i'm constantly ravenous, my grocery expenses have tripled, and i'm pretty sure i hate everyone. costs will drop when i make a significant shopping trip (as opposed to curiosity-driven impulse buys), but i'm thinking the hunger will get ridiculous when i join a gym later this week. as for hating people, habitual altruism pretty much begins and ends for me with donating platelets; since my hematocrit numbers are notoriously jumpy anyway, qualifying to give blood now is probably right out. in happier news, i can share the results of hippie food experiments.

karen & sisters vegan chicken salad: today's lunch, recommended by a fellow shopper at the grocery store across from the office. texture was chickenesque,** taste wasn't bad after salt and pepper. accidentally bought the "meatless" version of this at another store last night without noticing organic egg in the ingredient list; i'm going to have to get very careful very quickly.

rice cheeze (pepper jack style): billed as aromatic, which turned out to be true - i could smell the jalapeno bits because the 'cheeze' had no smell at all. ditto for taste, and the texture was like nothing god intended woman to eat. per veggieboards.com, though, "It's firm, melts well, and tastes GOOOOD... YAY! No more nasty soy cheese!" hug a vegan, would you?

soy dream (enriched, vanilla flavor): this has replaced skim milk in both my coffee and joe's: we're both fond of soy lattes anyway, and the vanilla is a nice alternative to the equal and/or sugar we usually use. thumbs up.

*one could argue that this isn't truly vegan - since i'm still wearing wool, leather shoes, and so on - but i'm primarily interested in the food restrictions. also, it strikes me as unwise to throw away one's shoes for the sake of a month-long experiment and/or to wear large quantities of canvas and cotton in new york in the winter.

**the beautiful thing about long-term veggie habits is that one does forget what actual meat tastes and feels like; the faux stuff, then, becomes much more believable and/or satisfying than it has any right to be. that said, i'm still painfully aware that most eggless, non-dairy replacement products taste like shit.


bassett h-q said...

Week three is going to be hell. As I can tell you from my year with Synergy, there are only so many ways you can do tofu before you start to go insane. But maybe your experience would go better. I hope it does.

lauren said...

interestingly, the missus has decided to join the fun (sort of) and has given up dairy as well. like me, he reports extreme fatigue - though, to be fair, we're both still pretty jet lagged from the trip back from CA. i say he crumples on day 15.

jacob said...

how was the new eggers book? _you shall know our velocity_ was pretty mediocre.

on the subject of food, i was at in-n-out in irvine a few days ago, and people were ordering "animal fries." i.e., fries with cheese and sauteed onions. is this new? i'd never heard of it.

lauren said...

the eggers was okay; i'm getting a little tired of a few of his devices (stories with sexual tension invariably feature out-of-place and/or dead animals; big emotions always come with violent imagery, a la "i wanted to freeze the world and shatter it with a hammer" or "like a beast that ran a great distance to strike me in the chest" - i'm paraphrasing, but not much). the story from the new yorker was good again, while the one from the nick hornby anthology was still dippy. this was better on the whole than velocity was (the hand character, actually, pops up in one of the stories here).

animal style is the burger thing, i thought, where you don't get buns? maybe that's protein style. i'm surprised and alarmed. i'm in favor of the variation, though, as in-n-out fries definitely need some kind of help.

pica said...

silk soymilk is the state of the art. if you need protein sources besides tofu, you could try to find good tempeh -- shop around, because the bad stuff is *awful*, and indonesian artisans don't seem to have shared the full technique with any western manufacturers so the tempeh at indonesian restaurants has no grocery-store counterpart. or there's good ol' seitan, friend of vegans and enemy of wheat-allergics everywhere. being a vegan means not even thinking about cheese, because those thoughts don't lead anywhere good.

i think your best bet is some sort of fake meatloaf. your other best bet is to go vegan for a *summer* month -- doing it in the winter might be needlessly hardcore.

finally, cheeseless pizza can be soul-stirring.