…..I’m thinking that’s like saying “almost pregnant”. You either are or you’re not. And the true vegan would probably roll her eyes at the thought of me waxing poetically . Am I a “flexitarian”? Which seems to me like a word full of excuses..one day you eat “x”, the next day you eat “y”. It gives you license to pull the hypocrisy trump card when someone queries “…I thought you didn’t eat meat, why are you eating that burger”? A guy who I used to date lived up to this nonsenscial word. He gave up eating beef a few years ago when he heard a P.E.T.A.(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) piece on N.P.R. A few monthes later, we were out to dinner and he ordered a bison burger. And he ate pork, Chicken Selects from McDonald’s and drank a boatload of energy drinks on a regular basis. HMMMM…Flexitarian?

I’ve been subconsciencely eating an “almost vegan” diet for a while. I have a weakness for good cheese and sushi; roasted chicken pan drippings and high quality butter. I remember, while growing up, we always had some sort of cooked meat for dinner in addition to the prerequisite side of starch and vegetable. I remember the pivotal hamburger night when I decided that I like the bun and the ketchup better than the meat. And insisted on not eating the burger (thank god for cocker spaniel “Honey” under the table). That was probably the start of my “Almost Vegan” (A.V.) days.

I am a HUGE animal lover. I think my decisiveness not to eat mammals finally solidified this past december when we were traveling to Los Angeles from Las Vegas. As we passed an 18-wheeler full of pigs, I got misty eyed-and thought “do I really need to eat mammals? Though 911 was horrifically tragic, I became extremely hysterical when the news announced the loss of so many police dogs. I struggled with “how can I eat a mammal, I love them!” to “don’t I need my protein/iron/amino acids and “what if it is humanitarily raised?

Decision made, no more mammals for me. I don’t have that same emotional attachment to birds. Or fish. And I am discovering that I prefer the FLAVORS of classic meat dishes to the actual meat itself. Yes, you can smoke tofu! The last year or so, I’ve been focused on trying to eat more raw fruits and vegetables. Some days I eat 100% “raw” (only raw plant foods), some days I eat like a true vegan. Some days I have a little fish. Or eggs. Or both. And occasionally I will get fixated on trying something off the wall like a deep fried twinkie or a Milwaukee Fish Fry. Is that the curious foodie in me? Or is it the “flexitarian”?

My Almost Vegan Day (February 24th, 2009)

Breakfast #1 (pre swimming, 4:30 a.m.)

  • 1 Cup of Cooked Barley with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Braggs Liquid Amino Acids (I cooked a pot of barley in order to experiment with making dog food for Tempo so I had it in the refrigerator. I know that this is a WEIRD breakfast, but I sometimes crave salty food before and after swimming).
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 really juicy Texas Ruby Grapefruit
  • 2 Cups Green Tea with Stevia and Soy Milk
  • 2 tsp Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Post Swimming Snack (just mindless pillaging of the cabinets and frig-my arms are tired, I am hungry and my brain is fogged from the chlorine 🙂

  • 1/4 of a large papaya
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • Handful of cashews
  • 2 Tbsp Cashew/Coconut Creme–raw, vegan (recipe on website)

Kinda lunch (between 10 and 11, after a 5 mile run)

  • 3 cups of Green Smoothie (Kale, Pineapple, Grapes, Ginger, Bee Pollen, Spirulina powder, Acai Powder, Banana and Apple–Sheesh, that sounds like ALOT of ingredients, but I just had that stuff laying around the house so the smoothie wasn’t as complicated as it sounds) Made 5 Cups but Tempo the Dog had 2 of them!

Went food shopping and got hungry. Refuse to buy organic apples at Costco because of the inordinate amount of plastic packaging for 12 apples. Went to Wholefoods–which begs the question “Why don’t we have a Farmers’ Market in Las Vegas?”

12:30 (call this meal what you will)

  • 1 sample bite of Tiramisu
  • 1 large coffee with soy milk and honey (I have coffee about once or twice a week. It feels and tastes like a treat. Unlike some people, I do not have any trouble going off it for periods of time–no mood swings, no headaches, etc)

1:15 Hungry, and need to do 3rd workout of day–EZ 1 hour bike ride. Slight coffee buzzzzzzzzz!

  • Bowl of Bob’s Red Mill Muesli Cereal (hot–and excuse the quasi typo, but I don’t know how to add those two dots over the word “muesli”). Added dash of cinnamon, 2 Tbsp Flax meal, 1 Ripe pear, 1 packet Stevia, lash of vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Oatmeal and other hot cereals are GREAT vehicles for nutrient-packed garnishes like flaxmeal. Bamm! I AM FUELED!!!!! SO WHY AM I STILL AT MY COMPUTER AND NOT OUT ON THE BIKE!
    more later……

3:30 Snack on the bike (well, off the bike. Got bored and kinda hungry. Stopped for three minutes to make toast–guess I’m sooooo not a type ‘A’). Procrastinated at the computer, so I did this ride inside. And it was 70 degrees outside.

  • One date (the date-a staple. The number, kinda random)
  • One piece of Cinnamon-Raisin Ezekiel Bread spread with 2 tsp of raw almond butter, 2 tsp raw honey and a pinch of sea salt. Stopped bike ride and made and ate this halfway through! Coach gonna KILL me!

5:00 a bite of leftover frittata

6:30 Real Dinner

  • Small portion of Spelt Pasta tossed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Anchovy, Garlic, Italian Parsley. House smelled great!
  • Salad of 2 cups Organic Spinach, Red Pepper, Avocado, Tomato (need to rethink this one), Sprout and Grated Carrot
  • 2 glasses Barbera d’Asti Wine–Marco Bonfante 2005–yum!

Have a great rest of the week. Be mindful, but not militant about what you eat.

P.S. My arms are still sore!