I’ve become a vegan! Well at least for the next few weeks… From March 2nd through April 5th I am giving up meat and cheese and eggs and milk and cream and fish and butter and basically everything in life that I love. Why? Mostly for a little dietary reset. Since November, Julia and I have been on a holiday diet of frequent (like 2-3 times a week) indulgent meals. I’ve loved every second of it because I’m a fat kid at heart.
A typical day in this period started with half of a large container of yogurt with fruit and granola and a cup of coffee with half & half, beef jerky and maybe a Cliff Bar for lunch, and then anchovy pasta for dinner, with free pizza and donuts at work all the damn day. Not to mention whatever dessert I had after dinner. On an indulgent day, substitute our pasta meal for a dinner out with a couple drinks.
Yes, I’m a skinny bitch with a freakishly fast metabolism even at 31, who works out 15ish hours a week, but living like this still was taking its toll. I was so so so happy, and I really didn’t feel too different physically (I gained ~6lbs) but I felt weak for basically eating everything in front of me for 3 months. So I decided, now that the holidays are done, it’s time to heal and re-establish whatever minimal will-power I have. Going vegan for a short period seemed like an “easy” way to accomplish this. Not as hard as a gluten-free or sugar-free diet but I’d still have to think about everything I was putting in my mouth and plan my meals. Yes, many people have called me crazy or stupid for doing this but they’re so wrong.
If you look through the daily meal plan I described above you’ll notice a ton of dairy, and I’m probably underselling how much dairy I really consume because while I enjoy yogurt and milk and cream, I love baked goods. I would eat muffins and croissants all day everyday until I literally explode vis-a-vis Monty Python. It’s the sick crossroads of an addiction to sugar (diabetes runs on both sides of my family) and a deep infatuation with dairy. To put it more specifically, to me a twice baked almond croissant is an orgasm. Sounds hard to give up, and I thought it would be, but thus far I think I’m doing ok and I don’t miss baked goods like I thought I would. In fact I hardly miss anything at all besides cream for my coffee.
What has really made things work has been the experimenting in the kitchen – being vegan is exciting! It has been a total blast coming up with my meals and thinking strategically about how I can make sure I’m well-fueled for a trip to the gym or for work. This recipe which duh is such an obvious cliché vegan choice, is nothing like anything I’ve ever cooked before. Vegan tofu stir fry is on menus all over the place and I’m sure I’ve eaten it, but cooking Asian flavors is just not something that comes naturally to me. So this is not only my first time cooking with tofu, it’s my first ever stir fry and without ego I gotta say it turned out EXCELLENT. Stir fry is very, very easy to make, and just as easy to customize and experiment with. Fresh raw veg cooked over high heat, smothered in savory, sweet sauce and poured over rice or noodles is a simple and simply delicious concept for cooking. Well done, Asia.