I'll admit it. I've become one of those vegans. You know, the kind that would rather eat at home, because let's face it, what I can cook tastes better than what I could find in a restaurant that wouldn't make me sick after I ate it. Most vegetarian food in restaurants is laden with cheese, to the point that asking them to leave it off means there are a few lettuce leaves or some plain pasta left on the plate. I've had some truly asinine conversations with wait staff in restaurants, more than once over the fact that if they offer a side salad that surely they have the resources to make a bigger one for me to have it as a main since they don't offer anything else I can eat...
The one question I get most often when people find out I'm a vegan is "what do you eat?!" I find it funny, because more often than not I pull a deer in the headlights and mutter something vague about veggies. I mean, I have memories of having eaten and it having tasted good, but I really should start keeping better track of what I've put in my mouth. For instance, most mornings I eat cereal with soymilk or a bowl of porridge, maybe some of that gorgeous Vogel's bread as toast. Lunch varies, I'm a big avocado and houmous fan so sometimes I'll throw that in a wrap with some fresh spinach and ground flaxseed, and I do love a good old fashioned peanut butter sandwich. Dinner could be pasta or rice with stir fried veggies, I prefer wholewheat pasta or brown rice for the taste and consistency, or if I'm in a hurry due to Madam's demands it could be soup with a grilled "cheese" or toast. I've experimented with vegan alternatives for macaroni and cheese, which while some of them have been tasty in their own right, just aren't cheesy (they tend to taste more like houmous, weirdly). I've even been known to order a pizza with no cheese, which honestly isn't as sad as it sounds. Tonight was homemade lentil curry (lentils with chopped tomatoes, garam masala, ginger, garlic, turmeric, onion powder and cumin) with brown rice, and it was awesome.
Do I miss cheese? Sometimes, yeah. Mostly for the mac'n'cheese experience. I don't miss milk, or yoghurt. I do miss ice cream occasionally, but some of the vegan alternatives for that are actually okay. Some things are vegan that you wouldn't expect, like some varieties of Oreos. A great chocolate substitute is the Mahalo bar, a vegan Almond Joy (they're tasty) and Booja Booja does a wicked truffle. I won't lie, after my curry tonight I ate a banana slathered with peanut butter, and that was a pretty good dessert in itself.
If you'd told me a year ago that I would be eating the way I've just described, I would have laughed in your face (probably around a mouthful of cheese-infused loveliness). Honestly, the only reason I ever even considered giving up my dairy fetish was the Madam-induced migraine habit I picked up during pregnancy. I could probably go back to eating dairy again, but after having read Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven I'm completely grossed out by what goes into it, not just for my own sake but for the fact that what I eat is what Madam eats. I don't want to funnel hormones from juiced up cows into her tiny body, so I continue to abstain. I'm not the best or most committed vegan in the world, I've eaten the occasional egg since I started this lifestyle, and I still wear my leather jacket, but I feel pretty good about the fact that I'm doing what I can to start Madam off on the right track with food. It's obviously doing her body good. *grin*