Our journey to being a Vegan household will be one that lasts for… I suspect, years. Years, because even though the stats say that 84% of fish in the American grocery market has high (read: dangerous) levels of mercury, and our dairy is not made the way it used to be made, I just can’t pass up the shrimp or the ingredients to make ice cream when I walk into the grocery store every Sunday morning.
Our Vegan journey started when my husband looked at me a couple months ago and said, “You know, if we really believe everything we’ve been watching [Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, The Beautiful Truth] and we’re going to tell people about it, then we should really start living it.” Darn you and your accountability living. What’re you trying to do, be a stand-up man or something? You’re already almost a foot taller than I am; you’re already standing. Sit down. I want my shrimp and real ice cream.
You see, I’m already Gluten Free. N-O-T by choice; God blessed me with that treasure of a diagnosis at 19. (Actually, it was a blessing. I was so sick until we finally figured it out). But my body already rejects any traditional bread products (bagels, bread, pitas, wraps, croissants, PIZZA, etc.), cookies, crackers, cakes, cupcakes, cookies (listed twice because I love them so), imitation crab (who needs that anyway?), soy sauce, eel sauce (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, it’s amazing), most cereals, traditional oats, flour tortillas, most soups and broths, taco seasoning, cream sauces at most restaurants, yada yada yada. Get my point? 75% of the stinkin’ grocery store. And now you want to take away the joy of not only my shrimp, but my cream cheese, sour cream, cheese, ICE CREAM.
When you start to go Vegan, you think… okay, this might not be too bad. You check out some recipes, sticking with your rice and veggies. Fine. I love rice and veggies. Then you see that you can make a lot of Asian dishes. Fine. Also delicious. A lot of work, but fine. Then you try a dish that takes 2.5 hours to make. 2.5 hours and I’d never chopped so many vegetables for just one meal! We had food for 5 days, but still. Then the weird stuff starts… no honey?! At my annoyance, my almost-Vegan friend said: “But animals are involved. It forces them to work hard for the honey.” I’m not an animal rights activist; I don’t care if animals work for my food. It gives them something to do. I drink ginger & honey tea almost every day. So, the honey’s not looking good either. Then you find a recipe for… Almond Milk Chocolate Banana Ice Cream. Hm. Well, the almond milk isn’t bad. The chocolate isn’t bad. The banana isn’t bad. All together? Eh. Less than impressed with the sample spoonful when it came out of the ice cream maker. We are a Certified Ice Cream household. Every Friday for almost 7 years, since we have been married (I took the burden on myself when Greg was deployed), we’ve had Friday night ice cream. To go from the Real McCoy to kinda-sorta-ice cream, ehhh. Not cuttin’ it. Then you start looking up other recipes, because the veggie ones are a lot of work. Some look promising, some contain things you nor your local grocer have ever heard of. They start asking you to use tofu as meat, and use things like Kasha and parsnips and eat things like Bamboo Shoots (which you find out after eating an entire can are NOT gluten free… cue the intense 4-day reaction).
Then you bring the shrimp back because… well, because you want to and because it’s delicious and you realize it’s harder to give up SHRIMP for Lent as opposed to chocolate! That’s when you know it’s serious.
On the menu tonight: Sushi (my favorite meal), complete with shrimp and shrimp sauce (yes, with mayo and butter). Then our first real try of the Almond Milk Chocolate Banana Ice Cream. Then our back-up container of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup ice cream stored in the freezer. You know, for emergencies.
You tell me:
Vegan? Yes? No?
(And stick around; I’m sure I’ll write about this again).