January 15, 2012

The Continuing Misadventures of Two Intimidated Imperfect Newbie Vegans. ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis.



Week 3 {In which the intimidated imperfect vegans find their groove with minimal mishaps}






(Level 5? I think we’re still at level 1. Or maybe just .5.)

Kate says:

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

I’m not high maintenance. I don’t like drama. Low key, laid back, simple–perfect. Dressed up for me is a simple vintagey dress and some ballet flats. So imagine how I feel when I have to get into control freak high maintenance mode when explaining what I can eat! Last week, I was headed to a dinner gathering at a newish friend’s house. He asked what he should make (knowing I have some rules) and I replied, make whatever’s easy and fun–I’ll bring something I can eat in a quantity to share.

I find that’s the most gracious thing to do. Gluten free is one thing, and it’s not optional unless I want to be sick all week. But add in vegan too, and I feel like a total high maintenance pain in the arse if I give them a list of don’ts. So if I’m going to someone’s house, I ask if I can bring something.


Bummer of the week

So, I don’t eat bread that often, but every once in awhile it’s nice to have a piece of toast. Preferably Rudi’s Cinnamon Raisin Toast in my book. But…contains eggs. So, I passed the rest of mine on to another friend who is gluten free, and had something else. Tough to find gluten free bread that tastes good period; even tougher to find gluten free bread that doesn’t contain eggs. On the plus side, I tweeted Rudi’s about how much I miss their bread and got a response that they would pass it on to their bakers. There’s still hope!

Happy tummy!

On a related note, I noticed something unusual and pretty awesome this week. Andréa Balt had warned Waylon and I about the possibility of some digestive issues upon going dairy free. I actually had the pleasant surprise of the opposite reaction. Many people with Celiac have trouble digesting dairy. When I received my diagnosis, I felt like eliminating dairy too was just too much to deal with at the time. Even though I am gluten free, I generally always had a certain amount of stomach pain. Sort of a low-level ache that never really goes all the way away. I attributed it to the fact that my kids eat stuff with wheat, and even though we have separate utensils and condiments for many things, I probably get some incidental crumbs on my stuff from time to time. I guess that wasn’t the problem, because now, after two weeks being vegan–happy tummy! I think this alone is enough to make me permanently vegan. I wasn’t eating much whole dairy foods, but wasn’t excluding them, and wasn’t checking for them on labels. It’s made a huge and wonderful difference.

Planning a trip to Vegantopia.

AKA: NYC. When I first looked at the dates for this year’s Yoga Journal Conference in New York, I immediately dismissed the idea of going. The conference is from April 12 – 16 and I assumed I would still be in school, or preparing for graduation. This week I got my end of class date and graduation date–guess what falls on the weekend in between? Besides having fun at the YJ conference, I fully intend to explore the wonders of vegan New York. I love going into the city, and know from past visits and friends who live there, that it is one of the best places for interesting and fun vegan food. Besides that, it’s just about the best city there is (except maybe for Boulder.) Connecticut is close, but far enough away that I don’t do it as often as I’d like. A weekend of yoga and doing vegan “research” ? Perfect excuse to go!

So week three–not too much turbulence for me!


Way Says:

I missed updating my second week. But it’s been pretty easy. And boring. I’d been vegetarian for 9 years, so going vegan was really just giving up another 20% of the things I love. And I’m okay with that. I’ve found great (and ridiculously yuppie-pricey) substitutes for ice cream (I dig coconut, and almond ice cream) and rice and almond cheese is good for nachos, stuff like that, and melts nicely. Of course, I’m now giving up most of my fave veggie sandwiches eating out…eating out suddenly just sucks altogether. And as a bachelor, unlike Kate, who’s a talented cook and baker, I suddenly find my eating-out lifestyle hugely hampered. Brunch, my favorite thing of the ever, now sucks. No croissants? (Butter) No oatmeal (soaked in milk). Oh, I can still have coffee (though vegans don’t seem to care so much about whether it’s shade-grown or effing up mother nature, and animals a ka-thousand miles away) and my Sunday New York Times. Yum.

All that said, my blogging and editing and reading on elephant has educated me to the point where I don’t care, so much. I care more about sparing our animal friends some suffering than my precious holy yummy golden scrumptious croissant.

PS: writing from San Francisco, where I got to hang with Pelicans and poor getting-fished-about-to-be-eaten crabs. Still, those crabs, suffering in buckets piled on top of each other, attacking each other, ripping claws off each other (they have no room to just be) define local, direct. Factory Farms—you know, antibioticed-up burgers eating in chain restaurants etc) are still my only hate. If we can all boycott those institutions of suffering until they get more small and humane, I’d be grateful.

Any meat eaters in to boycott Factory Farms?

PS: Kate and I are both psyched/grateful for vegan cookbooks, vegan food or whatever to review on elephant, suggestions, advice, your experiences. ~ Waylon, ed.

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