Yellow: Eat Your Veggies!

Yellow:  It’s the name of The Runner’s favorite Coldplay song and the name of a not so new vegetarian restaurant in Potts Point.

Normally, when someone brings up dining at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant I turn up my nose and immediately start thinking of reasons why I can’t go- (organising a wine rack? washing my hair? writing a blog post? Laundry? Any excuse that seems slightly plausible will do!)  It’s not that I’m anti-vegetable or anti-vegetarian- I love vegetables (even beetroot on certain occasions) and we tend to have a good mix of plant based and meat based dishes during the week at home.  We’ve been vegan and vegetarian during our 30 day challenges, but for some reason I tend to associate Vegetarian/Vegan restaurants with boring beans with tofu and a clientele who look like they should be playing hacky sack on the quad rather than sophisticated, urbane diners.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Hey March, You’re Not That Sweet!

So obviously with a new month comes a new challenge.  Eating vegan at home was awesome!  We loved it – and it really expanded our horizons. 

As a result, we’ve pledged to eat less meat, less often.  We’re not going to give up meat completely but I can safely say we’ve discovered a new way of thinking about food and a new way of approaching what we eat.  

Last night for the first time in 2 months I made steaks at home–  I’m not sure if was the mustard sauce or the change in diet or our conscience haunting us- but both The Runner and I woke up complaining about how badly we slept and what weird dreams we’d both had.  He dreamt he was a drug dealer being chased by police and I had four or five short small dreams that left me shaken and upset…very coincidental but very strange.

This month’s challenge– No Sugar March.  It’s The Runner’s idea– which is weird.

For me, it’s a minor inconvenience of thinking a bit more about what I eat.  I don’t really buy sweets very often, and when I do, it’s almost always M&Ms.  I like desserts, but I can also happily not have it.  For The Runner, it will be tough.  Very Tough.  

The Runner has a sweet tooth and is a snacker. A serious snacker. Partly because he trains so much and partly because of who he is, he eats constantly and loves sweets.  There are very few cookies, sweets or desserts that the man does not eat.  His favourites are Jaffa Cakes and Irish Cadbury chocolate, which his Mum lovingly sends from Ireland, but he eats most, if not all cookies and candies.  When we first started dating, he used to put chocolate chips and nuts in his pockets and eat them while watching TV- similar to a squirrel tucking into his winter provisions.  So for him to choose to give up sugar, I was pretty impressed– and worried.

We’re cutting out all candy, added sugar, sugary drinks, sugary foods, ice cream, cakes, basically everything with sugar in it except for fresh fruit and alcohol.  (Wine comes from grapes, grapes are fruit, therefore wine stays in!)

For me, the hardest thing will be not having sugar in my coffee (actually, it’s Day 3 and I’ve gotten used to no sugar in my coffee).

I think the hardest thing for me will be giving up Cherry Coke.  Yep, you read that right Cherry Coke.  I don’t have it often, but it’s my feel good, cheer up food- or drink.  If I’m having a bad day, I’ll get one after lunch.  If I’m a bit tender on a Sunday morning, I’ll have a Cherry Coke to bring me back to life.  I used to have one nearly every day at lunch in high school– just.because.I.love.it!!! If I’m happy I have one to celebrate how happy I am.  It’s literally the equivalent of Gummiberry Juice for me.  

If you’re not a child of the 1980s, you can read all about Gummiberry Juice here.  Ok, in reading about it again, Gummiberry Juice sounds a bit creepy, and a suspiciously a bit like wine.  

Anyway, back to Cherry Coke and true confession.  For the first few years I was in Australia, other than family and friends Cherry Coke was the only thing that I seriously missed about the US.  The one thing that I REALLY craved about home that I couldn’t ship over here and couldn’t get over it– until one day it started magically appearing….here, in Australia.  And you could buy it by the case from Costco and find it in convenience shops and our local corner store and lots of places now.  And I’m hooked all over again…. but not for the next 28 days….

Oh well, only 672 more hours until I can have one again!!!

 

Image

 

 

PS- No, this post has not been sponsored by Cherry Coke, but if you a happen to have a can or two, please send them my way on April 1st!!

 

Image

It’s the 31st, so you know what that means!!!!!

Today is jan 31. Which means that officially my 30 day vegetarian challenge is over. (The Runner and I did briefly question whether it was a month long challenge or a 30 day challenge- obviously this will become important in February- the shortest month of the year)

Anyway, officially it’s over and to be honest I feel really good. I say this every month but it actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe that should be a really powerful life lesson. Change seems daunting at first but once you do it, it’s not that hard.

And at first thinking about not eating meat was really hard for this little omnivore. It was hard for friends to comprehend, it was hard to imagine what we would eat for 90 meals in a row. Yes, we used up our cheat days but not at home, and we never ate the same meal twice. And I don’t think there were many meals I would not make again.

As a result, I feel good. I’m proud of us for stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new. I think it’s true that life begins at the end if your comfort zone because in truth, I feel a bit more alive. Like January 2014 has been an accomplishment. Like I’ve already discovered new things, broken out of a mold and grown as a person. Of course, I’m also writing this at 6:15am on a bus to the gym which could explain why I’m super impressed with myself. I am NOT a morning person and choosing to get up at 5:20am was not an easy choice but then neither was being a vegetarian for 30 days.

It also wasn’t a miracle weight loss cure, I felt better after eating and lighter, less heavy but the pounds haven’t exactly melted away. Maybe 30 days isn’t enough but if you’re expecting to lose heaps of weight, don’t. A lot of vegetarian food is quite cheesy. And I love cheese!

So here’s to the last day of January. The official end of the beginning of the new year and the official end of my vegetarian challenge. Next month is taking it one step further- 30 days of vegan cooking at home. If we go out, we can eat what we want but since we tend to eat at home most nights and take leftovers for lunch to work the next day, it should mean that we’re eating vegan 5 or 6 days a week. I got the idea from Mark Bittman, the New York Times food critic, who went vegan before 6- basically vegan during the day and ate what he wanted for dinner (makes sense considering his job!). He wrote a book about it and he did lose weight and get healthy and experienced a whole range of benefits. We’ll see.

Happy January, Happy Chinese New Year and happy eating!!!