“Who starts a diet on a holiday?”
My dad asked me this yesterday and, honestly, I was asking myself the same thing when I was invited to a Memorial Day cookout at my parents’ house. It’s only day one and already I’m having to turn down an invitation to a barbecue. This is gonna be harder than I thought.
It’s not that they wouldn’t have accommodated me, but with cheeseburgers, hot dogs, potato chips and ice cream all around, I wouldn’t trust my own willpower, not when I haven’t even had a chance to really settle into this new eating habit. In the future, I would make a day like that a “cheat” day, but I couldn’t exactly cheat on day one.
So instead of awesome cookout food, I had this instead:
Breakfast: Rip’s Big Bowl (Engine 2).
This thing was huge. I later looked into it a bit on the Engine 2 forums where some folks were having a conversation about the caloric content of this massive bowl of grains and fruit and stuff, and finally Rip chimed in with this:
The Big Bowl has been the lynchpin to my success for over 23 years of eating plant-strong. The quantity in the book is massive and only a triathlete in training or someone burning a lot of calories should attempt to tackle it. Everyone else, modify the portions and limit the fruit and you’ll be golden.
Great, now you tell me. Since I’m not — nor do I plan to start — training for a triathlon, I’ll be definitely making a smaller batch in the future.
Sure did make me poop though.
Lunch: Baked chicken (with lemon pepper), green beans, brown rice, an apple.
Because of my work schedule, I sort of switched what would normally be lunch and dinner entrées. Knowing that I was closing work last night, and then going out afterwards, I’d planned on a late night. I was right; I got home at about 2:30 am. One doesn’t usually want to start cooking at this time, so instead I made a dinner that I could take to work with me and eat.
But I got hungry before I had a chance to sit down and eat, so…
I was starving at work and our chef made some grilled salmon, so I ate a small piece. It’s week one. I’m still allowed meat this week. Bite me.
Dinner: Healthy Pita (spinach, broccoli slaw, tempeh, bell peppers, healthy hummus, topped with balsamic vinegar in a whole wheat pita).
This might have been the first truly vegan meal that I’ve ever eaten and, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. My wife, eating her’s (and loving it), even told me “You’re not gonna like this.”
But I did! I know, I’m as shocked as you are. I think if it hadn’t been for the hummus (which is full of garlic), peppers and vinegar, it would’ve tasted like ass, but thankfully all of that good-tasting stuff covered up it’s ass-y flavor.
So Day 1 was pretty much a success. Let’s see how Day 2 goes.
So Day 2 was a day off of work for both me and Bunny. It was time that we could’ve used to whip up some interesting recipes for this thing, but instead we decided to do stuff that was more fun, like watch The Evil Dead and walk around Cleveland Park for hours.
We did go to the produce stand down the street, so it wasn’t a complete loss. We’ve got cucumbers now.
Breakfast: Um, I slept through breakfast.
Lunch: Paula Club (spinach, alfalfa sprouts, roma tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers & hummus on whole wheat toast), with a side of fresh fruit (apples and raspberries) at Everyday Organic.
Everyday Organic is pretty awesome, by the way. I’ve had a Groupon that I purchased for it a while back and figured that now was the perfect time to use it. All of their food is certified organic and they get their stuff from local farms when at all possible. They’ve got a very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly menu (as well as lots of non-veggie options). They’ve got a different menu at night (with different items available on different nights of the week), so I’m gonna try to check it out again sometime soon.
Dessert: Fat-free Orange Sorbet (topped with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) from Yogurt Mountain.
That sorbet probably had more sugar in it than I’m supposed to be eating, but who cares? It was delicious.
Dinner: Mediterranean Wrap (turkey breast, roasted red pepper hummus, cucumbers, roma tomatoes in a whole wheat wrap; I nixed the red onions and olives because I hate them) with a boring side of steamed veggies from Jason’s Deli.
I didn’t have any of Jason’s complimentary frozen yogurt and it made my belly sad.
Snacks: Almonds and golden raisins and some Simply Orange juice.
The next couple of days are gonna be tough since I’m spending most of them at work.
With homemade blueberry agave syrup.
I didn’t take a picture because I was too busy eating all of them.
After doing it for a whopping two days, I came to the conclusion that doing a daily roundup of the diet foods I’m eating was incredibly boring (both for me and for you), so I stopped doing it. I’ll still update meals here when I think they’re relevant or interesting, but otherwise just assume that I’m eating some sort of veggie on some sort of whole wheat 90% of the time, except for the one night a week that we might actually have time to cook.
So, I cheated.
Just the once, mind you, but it was a cheat all the same.
This past Saturday, me and Bunny went to Heroes Convention in Charlotte, which is basically a huge collection of nerds under one building. We had a pretty amazing time and I’d completely planned on writing an entire blog post just about Heroes Con, complete with pictures of all the awesome things I saw (including roughly 500 different girls dressed as Harley Quinn), but I was so overwhelmed with the greatness of the event — it was the first comic con I’ve ever been to — that I completely forgot to take a single picture.
But here’s a rundown of some of the highlights:
Lots of other stuff too, and I got a lot of great prints from some awesome up-and-coming artists. The best thing about Heroes Con, to me, is going through Artist’s Alley and going through all the prints. You can decorate your entire house in great quality, pop-culture memorabilia for like fifty bucks.
Oh yeah. The cheat.
So a few hours into our time at Heroes Con, we got hungry. The only restaurants in the convention center itself were an Einstein Brothers and a Bojangle’s. So we decided to leave to find something a little bit better. I’d found an awesome-looking vegetarian restaurant online called Luna’s Living Kitchen, which was about a mile and a half from the convention center and our plan was to go there.
The one thing we didn’t think about was that, once we left, we’d have to come back. And find parking again. And pay $10 to park again.
So our only choice was to find somewhere within walking distance. And in the one hundred degree heat, walking distance meant “across the street.”
Enter: FUEL Pizza Cafe.
I walked into FUEL and smelled the wonderful pizza and decided, just this once, I was going to cheat. I know, I’m only six days in at this point, but for me, the past week had been a total breakthrough. I’d eaten more veggies in the previous six days than I probably had in my entire life. So what’s one slice (okay, two slices) of pizza?