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Saturday, July 31

Week Two (And Nearly Three) of Going Veggie...

The Internet hasn't been my friend this week. We lost power for about 10 hours during a strong thunderstorm on Tuesday, and ever since, the Internet connection has been shaky at best. My veganism continues to be an adventure. This week I had several lunch meetings, and I learned quite a bit from them: -Houston's has a great black bean burger. With a plain baked potato as my side, I was in heaven. I didn't get to eat the bun though, because they slathered it in mayonnaise. I'll remember to ask them to hold the mayo next time! -Republic Coffee has several great vegan options. I got the Gandhi wrap, which has mushrooms, carrots, spinach, peanuts and hummus in it. With a side of fruit, this was also a great lunch. - Eating Mexican food proved to be quite a challenge. Everything comes with meat and cheese. I used to get beans instead of chicken or beef, but I'm sure even the beans were cooked in lard. At first I was afraid I'd be doomed to a lunch of "white" (iceberg) lettuce and frozen tomato slices, but I finally settled on the vegetarian fajitas with pico and rice. It was one of the most expensive things on the menu, but I left with a full tummy, so I didn't mind too much. I think eating at Swanky's will be my main Mexican option from now on. You can assemble your meal there, so it's very vegan friendly. - Felicia Suzanne's, although it's local and fabulous, is not designed for vegans. I actually missed this lunch meeting, and it was a good thing - the options were chicken or shrimp dishes. I would have been so bummed if I'd had to eat meat after all my hard work to avoid it! On the home cooking front, we visited the Cooper Young Community Farmer's Market last Saturday, and loved it so much that we decided to make it our only stop this Saturday. Although the big Memphis Farmer's Market is great, the CYCFM is closer to us, in a neighborhood we love and it has everything we need. Plus we can take our time and actually talk to the vendors because it isn't so busy. This week we got cherry tomatoes, large tomatoes, bell peppers, a zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, peaches, nectarines, apples and blueberries. We also got the best chips and guacamole I've tasted outside of the state of California. They're from Las Delicias, a local Mexican restaurant. Jonathan and I have been making our own homemade veggie fajitas with these chips and guacamole as our side items. Yummy! In addition to our veggie fajitas (which feature a variety of farmer market veggies including squash, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and hot peppers), we've also been experimenting with other foods. This week, I tried vegan cheese and cream cheese. The cheese is a bit weird, but it works. The cream cheese, which is made by Tofutti, is really good. I don't eat cream cheese that often, but it's good on half a pita as a snack. I also picked up walnuts (high in Omega 3's), sunflower seeds, low fat granola, and refried bean mix from Whole Foods' bulk foods. Jonathan and I love their bulk foods because you can buy a little or a lot of something, and 99% of the time it's organic. I'm also really enjoying a little rice milk in my herbal tea at night. To me, it's so much better than cow's milk - it's really light and sweet (although it's not sweetened). I can't believe it's been three weeks since the last time I ate dairy or meat. This has been a great experience so far, and I can honestly say I haven't missed cheese or meat at all. This new way of life has focused me to consider everything I eat to ensure I'm getting enough protein, fiber, Omega-3's, calcium, etc, and I feel really good too. What's even better is that Jonathan is getting into it as well, so we're really doing this as a team. That really makes it fun, because we're learning and growing together.

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