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roasted broccoli

March 31, 2008

mmm… last night i had the most delicious broccoli i’ve ever eaten.  broccoli, olive oil, salt, pepper, roasted in the oven  for 20 minutes at 350.  damn.  it was orgasmic.

i’m approaching the 4 month mark into my veghead lifestyle.   i thought it would be a good time to reflect. 

1)  i’m sitting pretty at a 15 pound loss.  i wasn’t sure i’d be able to maintain my weight at this point, but i weighed again last week and the numbers hold true.   last friday i wore my skinny jeans to work.  when i looked into the mirror i couldn’t believe the shape of my long, lean, skinny chick legs.  all day my coworkers were saying things like: “damn, you are so skinny!”  “you look great!”  and my friends have said: “you look hollywood good!”  “you have no ass”  (me?!?!?)   i look in the mirror and still see me… as fabulous as i am and was prior to losing the 15.   how sick does it make me that i can still point out the fat on my body that could go, and i sometimes (on my less zen days) have to make a concerted effort to stop comparing myself as the fatty amongst the skinny minnies in my yoga classes?

2)  this past weekend i bought new bras.  i’ve gone down a size in band length and down a cup size (yea!).  my size 6s are now fitting loosely.  i have cleaned out my closet, ridding it of clothes that do not fit any longer.  my dresser is next on the agenda.  i have dress slacks ready for a good tailor. 

3)  i have fallen into a pattern of eating the same 5 or 6 things, which i love.  while i feel good that i’ve successfully managed to make these changes, i am ready to broaden my palette of recipes (particularly as i start preparing meals to share with NB).  last week i ordered new cookbooks.  i have fallen in love with the one i’m calling the encyclopedia of vegetarian cooking.  i got my hands on it for the first time last night and was completely intrigued.  it’s 1000 pages of answers to any and every vegetable question i could possibly come up with – how to select, how to cut, how to cook, which utensils to use, which pots, what combos are generally good together, countries of origin, different variations on each recipe, etc.  i brought it to work today so that i can read up on my lunch breaks this week.  there are tons of simple, quick recipes with common ingredients that i’ve never thought of or been exposed to together.  so many of them sound delicious.  i’m amazed!  my experience so far has been so limited – steam, saute, or salad the same few things.  i cannot wait to make NB my guinea pig for all these new recipes.

4)  i am not making a statement with my food choices.  i get asked this a lot and my answer is always no.  it’s true that i’ve read about slaughterhouses and meat processing, but i read about it purely for purposes of educating myself.  and sometimes i do think about it when i see meat but i never use this knowledge against anyone else’s choice.  i set this intention in the beginning, and i feel really good about following through on it.  even still, my choices have offended a few, merely by making them for myself, which i consider to be their issues and not mine.  i face a lot of questions and criticism in the kitchen at work when i am quietly preparing my lunch to take back to my office and eat alone.  i do not entertain the resistance i get from these people.  i have tried to keep it in perspective because i appreciate the culture and the history of the american diet.  i just don’t choose to eat that way anymore.  i have made these choices for my health and well-being.  i feel great.  i look great. 

5)  it’s not hard… anymore.  i’m often asked about this.  the honest answer is that it wasn’t really hard for me.  the detox was hard, physically and emotionally… probably harder emotionally.  i don’t miss eating meat though.  last week i was able (or forced) to test this theory.  i was in the great st. louis again for a quick 5 hour meeting where we had at least 10 hours of discussion to accomplish.  the decision was made (without my input) to have lunch catered in.  i figured the situation would not be ideal, but i was prepared to make do… i had hoped they would bring in pizza, thinking i could handle eating cheese with minimal stomach issues.  the lunch choices were:  beef, pork, bird (i thought it was chicken, turns out it was turkey), mayonaise, beans with bacon, and margarine saturated bread.  my stomach lurched as the food was revealed but there were just a few people in the room and it would have been a major stink if i had drawn attention to myself in rejecting lunch with the team.  after going back and forth on what to do i decided to choke down some bird and bread.  the gagging was minimal, and much to my surprise i did not throw up later that day (but i came very close).  my stomach was WRECKED.  i felt digusting.  i kept burping up bird.  i felt depressed the next day, and said some apologies to the turkey spirits.  i am satisfied with my no meat choice.  i hope i’m not put in that position again.  it was gross.

6)  the pitfalls – i haven’t been perfect on the no dairy rule.  i do my best and accept that as good enough.  cheese has been tough for me to eliminate.  i love cheese.  i have had moments (usually while intoxicated… err…. yeah…) of giving in to the cheese temptation, which i always pay for.  sometimes i don’t have access to soy creamer and i can’t live w/o coffee.  i’ve had a couple bites of desserts, which i’m sure contained dairy and egg.  restaurants often use butter or garnish with cheese unexpectedly.  i am careful in my ordering but i have chosen to accept the butter or cheese garnish as something that happens when i dine out.  i’ll send back a salad w/ unexpected bacon, but not one with a little bit of parmesan cheese on top.  i guess that’s my grey area.  i don’t like titles, so i am happy to be tossed out of the vegetarian or vegan club.  it’s true, i’m not hardcore.  i’m just doing my best with whatever works for me – this approach is so far very good for my spirits.

7)  sampson the veggie dog… when sampson ran out of regular dog food, i picked up a sack of animal-free dog food.  he LOVES his new food.  i have never seen this dog eat so much.  he’s peppy.  he’s happy.  and when i ran out of his veggie food and gave him a bowl of regular dog food, i’m pretty sure it upset his tummy.  after he’d eaten it he plunked over on his side and looked very uncomfortable.  i was a sad mom.

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