So here we are, one month into 2017, one month into our “resolutions”. This year I opted for a challenge, to shed my love for dairy and drumsticks and give a plant-based diet a try. I 86’d the meat, the cheese (blasphemous I know) and gutted the gluten for good measure. Thirty days, to challenge the mental and physical body [insert Birkenstocks here].
For those privy to my blog, you will know this was no inconsequential undertaking. I am a gourmand who delighted in inappropriate amounts of butter and would have easily picked foie gras over a Louis Vuitton handbag (which also not vegan). So why?
Let’s rewind to the Seed Food & Wine Festival in November. Plot twist, I went for the wine. All Shyamalanian antics aside, what would an organ eating, cheese whore consume at such a sanctuary for virgin greens? Greens unadulterated by bacon. As the cornucopia of wine settled in my gullet the munchies grew strong, persuading me to plunge into the vegan “Nacho Dip”. Surprisingly, the fraudulent cheese was palatable, tasty in fact. Albeit Nacho cheese has never struck me as “real” cheese to begin with. I continued my journey through the festival’s labyrinth of non-dairy cheeses. Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan and something called Nut cheese. All sexual innuendos aside, the nut cheese was an unexpected delight; tart, gritty and a lot like a Chevre. And just like that, I was submerged in the cruelty-free culture, eating Jack Fruit tacos and learning about Tempeh. Although it is still unclear how wine can be vegan, there was no shortage of it which I can always appreciate.
I left feeling renewed, converted and high off the idea of change only to be crippled by the scent of lemon-pepper wings on the way home. I needed a priest at that point, no one was taking those wings from my claws.
Despite my minor indiscretions, I promised myself I would start January 1st and I did. I meal prepped, checked labels and purchased nutritional yeast seasoning ( I still don’t know). Oh, and I stocked up on vegan cheese. The first week was hard. Dining out was even harder. Although many restaurants cater to vegetarians, vegans are like the “last kid to be picked for kickball” on most menus. I say most, to preemptively stop you from listing Miami’s top vegan restaurants. Yes, Miami offers some great Vegan eateries but try bringing your bone slinging, carnivore friends to one.
After you settle into the social anxiety, the physical benefits begin to surface. My skin was glowing, I didn’t need industrial quantities of caffeine and I was no longer full of shit, literally I was no longer full of shit. Your bowels will be on the move. Now we’re here, a few days after thirty and I ask myself? foreva foreva, eva? To be continued… Now, enjoy some Cheese GIFs.
In all seriousness, I don’t live in the definite, some might say I have commitment issues. But I would be lying If I said cheese pizza was the anti-christ or that I’ll never eat a slice again. But I feel good, really good and want to continue feeling good. So Meatless Mondays may extend till Fridays. I’m finding a balance which best translates into my lifestyle; a foodie gone foie gra-less.
I’m not sponsored by PETA or trying to convert you into a “born again” vegan. I’m simply sharing my experience and attempting to blur the lines of dietary “labels”. There is no mold, nor should there be. Eat whatever the f*** you want, just know what the f*** you’re eating. Now back to our regular doughnut programming.