Before I go any further ... OMG! Spanks for Men! What will they think of next? Now That is what I'd pay good money to see (turns out they are spandex t-shirts, obviously for the upper half of the body, and not what I was imagining!).
Where was I .... ah, yes. Going Vegan, but not really. Vegan describes someone who intentionally, for whatever reason, avoids using or consuming animal products. Vegans are distinct from vegetarians in that in addition to avoiding beef, fish, etc., Vegans also choose to not eat eggs or dairy products. They appear to be Strictest Vegetarians.
And, for the record, I'm Not That. Of course, compared to others in my house, I may as well be vegan. I've started to not eat more than half of what Bill and the kids are eating. After all, almost all our meals are routinely centered around a choice of beef, chicken or fish. Side dishes always include a vegetable, usually green, and a starch. I mix up the veggies and the starches, so that we rotate among polenta, rice -- including risotto, which the kids love -- and potatoes or pasta, which includes couscous. I've moved on from starches that are completely white to things like whole wheat couscous and brown basmati rice. Cheese often appears, usually in the form of parmigiana or cheddar, to enhance otherwise plain dishes. As for eggs, the kids eat plenty of those on their own, either on a Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwich in the morning or in a big pan of scrambled eggs, currently Will's favorite thing to cook.
The kids are in good physical shape, exercising almost every day. Their bodies need the calories, proteins and carbohydrates provided by the starches, meats, and eggs. Soda rarely appears in our house, and white bread only appears in the form of sandwich rolls (though, when we happen to be out for breakfast, Julia Always orders white bread for toast!). In other words, I won't be changing their diets any time soon.
My diet is a different story. This past week, I had no caffeine, and no alcohol. No pasta, no potatoes, and no bread; not even the lovely donuts Bill brought home yesterday morning. I decided that I would have at least one devoted protein per day, so I have eaten chicken, salmon and eggs (decidedly Not Vegan). Realistically, when you are forced to make a selection from a restaurant menu, you are going to have to pick a protein, unless you are happy with a garden salad. I've also had brown rice, so even though this "diet" that I'm on sounds a bit like Atkins or South Beach, it's definitely not completely carb-free. I haven't had much dairy yet, except for feta and goat cheeses.
The biggest change in what I've been eating is the Complete focus on green vegetables and fruit. I eat as much as I want of green apples, pears, and spinach. In addition, I've re-ignited my interest in vegetables the kids don't particularly enjoy, like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and squash. I've always loved avocadoes, and I use them at least once a day, either in a salad or in a dressing. And for snacks I go for apples, carrots, celery, or dried figs. Breakfast is actually the most difficult part of the day for me. Just because all our traditional breakfast items are processed carbohydrates. I haven't converted my pantry over from things like all-purpose flour to teff flour (what?) and flax seed (to replace eggs in baked goods). Yesterday for breakfast I had quinoa with sauteed apples and walnuts. Yummy, but something I had to think about putting together, so not your average quick grab.
Do I miss a glass of wine? Do I want a hot cup of coffee in the morning? Do I want to dive into Julia's french fries at 4:00 in the afternoon? Abso-friggin-lutely. But, I've held off. Kind of my own personal Lenten abstinence. Come April 1st will I have a large glass of red wine? Definitely. But for now, I'm good without it.
Of course, not sure At All what I'm going to do at the Wine Dinner we're expected at later on today. Stay tuned ....