Sunday, September 9, 2007

So, after 40 years of sleep...

...Rip Van Winkle awakens. At least that's what it feels like. The weeks since my last post have remained extremely busy, as well as full of change in our house--at least where food is concerned. On August 13, we just decided to quit eating meat.

I suppose, really, that it wasn't just that simple. We had been weighing the idea for a couple of years, and would look at each other sometimes, with that knowing nod, and say, "You know, within a couple of years, I think we'll be vegetarian." It just seemed too foreign and overwhelming to manage that kind of a change in the midst of our crazy schedules and long work days. But something clicked on that Monday--the first day of school. It just seemed like the time.

So we did it. Just that simple. Simple...but as complex as it could possibly be. I'm still floundering around with what to cook and how to manage it all. For instance, I know that I have three nights (at least) that I will be at work from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. I also spent this weekend sick, sick, sick with a respiratory infection that came on in a matter of hours and left me so weak and unable to breathe that I had to leave work and drive myself to urgent care (where I waited for three hours, sort of belying the "urgent" part of the care, but I digress). So here I am, two days later, having lost my weekend. I made it to Trader Joe's today and stocked up on some vegetarian frozen foods, but that really isn't my idea of culinary nirvana!

To complicate things even more, about a week into this dietary change, we decided that we should probably be vegan. Good-bye eggs, cheese, and milk. See ya sour cream and cream cheese. We are now having a courtship with some alternative products--soy sour cream and yogurt, almond milk, and rice cheese (it really isn't as bad as it sounds--I promise). We've also found that tofu doesn't have to be hideous. As soon as I have a little more down time, I will post some recipes that we've found that we actually like, among them a homemade chorizo substitute which went down nicely with some skillet roasted potatoes spiced up with chile powder and chipotle. At this point, we are probably a vegan minus. I just don't have the mental energy to peruse every label of every item to be sure it doesn't have milk protein or an egg buried in it somewhere.

I hope that this new journey won't leave you alienated from the blog. I hope to find and share recipes that "real" people who previously had total tofu aversions and a deep mistrust of anything vegan can make and enjoy with accessible, reasonable ingredients.

I can tell you that so far, we've slashed our grocery bill by 70%, I've lost 12 pounds and the Husband has lost about 7, we have very little grocery waste, and the strong upswing in our fiber and nutrient uptake HAS to be making us healthier. So stay with me...I'll try to make the ride with your while.