turning vegan

Journal Entry #3. November 3, 2013

Okay.  Other than the same urge to betray my goal(s) the past two days, nothing’s really changed.  When I opened my eyes this morning my first thoughts were, hmm, another day to struggle.  Heck at one point earlier I even thought that this idea might be just another product of incoherent or confusing thinking.  However for the most part I kind of get it.  I anticipated that I would feel negatively this way.   I had felt this way before in the past in those other futile attempts at becoming a vegetarian although the temptations of quitting today is a lot stronger than before.  Mid morning today I decided to do some researching on the web and did a lot of reading.  Also found some helpful videos in YouTube.  Then I remembered I had a book about an ultra runner guy named Rich Roll (I still can’t figure out how to do the link thingy) downloaded into my wife’s iPad a long time ago. Yeah, and I remember trying to do those blender recipes for a short while.  And I remember I failed then. Lost around 40 lbs doing that, then, I dunno, what can I say? I quit. Pathetic!

Well wait a minute, some things have changed.  What am I talking about, I’ve been an “almost vegan” (sure) for 2 days now, almost 3 as of this writing. Aah right!

So while doing all these researching I decided to look for some kind of an inspirational movie in Netflix.  Took me only about 10 seconds in the documentary section and I found a lot of them. I am curious about what this movie has to offer.  I will find time to watch this tonight sometime before I pass out.

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Just to give anyone an idea what I am up against with here at home, I’d like to say a little something about the situation here. My family lives with another family.  My family have decided about 8 or so months ago to move down here from the west coast to attend to pressing issues here.  Two of my wife’s sisters and their families live here, one is obviously in this house where we live.  We are technically tenants here.  See, their mother who is very old is sick with Alzheimer’s disease and I think there was a need for us to relocate to address this issue.  She also has diabetes. They have decided to take care of her, and so I’m along for the ride 100%. Anyway, we’ve decided that the best place and the best way to meet these tasks is to do this here in my wife’s sister’s house.  So that’s where we are at the moment. I’m going to nursing school via my GI Bill, so I practically have more time to take care of her than the rest of the family.  No worries I’m super cool with that, makes my wife happy.  My 3-year old of course is my priority but we’ve develop a system here where there’s now actually more pips helping me look after my daughter than when we were in the west coast.

All nice pips here, love all around all the time.  But I have a huge problem when it comes to the diet and daily meals. It’s not there fault, the’re used to the regular “nutrition”, the ones they’ve know for years, this generation and the generations before them (no actually this generation is the worst kind). Nothing personal but they are all clueless.  Doesn’t make sense because most of them work in the health care department.  I don’t know.  Sometimes I think about it as just me vs. me kind of thing.  Making all this effort to change my life style as a personal thing and not worry about them. It’s really hard for my part and I don’t want to be perceived as indifferent.  Which reminds me, talk about indifference, check this out:

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That’s used canola oil from this morning’s cooking.  A dead chicken went in there, and some other carcass:) My wife’s sis’ hubby does most of the kitchen work here which everyone loves.  Here’s the thing, this oil is not gonna get thrown away, they’re gonna save this and used it again probably 2-3 more times depending on the coloring of it.  I’m serious.

I tried to cook some healthy stuff way back, no one ate it, except my wife, a little. But even the wife, it’s hard to really point a finger at her because, once again, she’s used to these kinds of stuff way before she met me.  Every time I buy something from a farmer’s market I am met with “those are expensive, you should have told me first before you bought them, I HAVE COUPONS!” kind of of reaction from mostly all of them, specially from this dude. But hey, in trying to get in harmony with the situation here, and considering that I am the minority here so to speak I say “okay” most times.  Well, except this morning over breakfast when they tried to offer spam and bacon to my daughter.  I turned red and then there were red flags all over the place. I took the things away from her and fed her some oatmeal and gluten-free bread (with Nutella — is this vegan friendly).  I had oatmeal too and a piece of banana.  I thought about scrambled egg whites, but didn’t.

As much as I’d want to be “combative” , hold on that’s a little too strong (that was me as an infantryman many years ago) — let’s use assertive instead — about the bad nutrition situation here I try to just step back and not make a fuzz.  There has to be a better way, a more compelling way, to show these folks what my intentions are and what their right intentions should be.  I think I’m sort of “winning” in that aspect, just being ale to realize things or put things in perspective that way.

Wasn’t able to do any recovery run or spin today.  Took the one and only window of opportunity today to head to the store while someone was at home watching over my mother-in-law. I had to go to the Boston Market first on the account of I promised my daughter we were gonna get her favorite mac n cheese and corn bread.  Subway was the next logical thing for me to do since I saw one close by.  I had almost the same sandwich as yesterdays + the sweet potato they have in Boston Market. Probably had butter in em, wasn’t sure, so I only ate a couple spoons 😦  The daughter didn’t touch her chicken so I guess that was good.

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Then we drove for about 30 minutes to Whole Foods (Whole Check!!!) after that.  WOW!!! When we were in the west coast this was me n my wife’s favorite store, also Trader Joes.  I walk in there today and it was like I was seeing it for the very first time.   I took some important items, stuff I would never find in the grocery stores close to where we lived.Image

While looking over at some of the stuff at the salad bar area I befriended an employee there that was manning that particular area.  She’s a vegetarian and I told her a little about my drama.  Just like that she became a friend.  Showed me stuff, gave me a tour, and picked some recommendations.  No denying in her eyes the amount of excitement she had for me. Didn’t spend a lot, well, a little bit upwards on average but I give this visit a “must-spend” since there’s enough good and practical reasons for it. I think the highlight of these bought items are the Braggs liquid aminos, veganaise, the veggie burger, and the vegan “chicken” (in the plastic container, a pound).  So, I don’t know, by my own calculations, these should last me a while.

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These photographs were of the good stuff that were spread out around them salad bars over there.  Very expensive! I figure I’d learn how to make these nomness-ess one day.  I snapped photos even though there were folks around looking uncomfortable about it. Hey, gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Earlier tonight I put together my idea of a vegan dish.  It was a’ight.  Sesame oil, some garlic, seeds, tofu, vegs, a bit of the Braggs amino liquid, veg stock, etc. toss! My granny-in-law loved it.  My daughter says it’s yucky:).  I offered it to my wife when she got home from work.  The conversation went like this:  “Hey hon, you want something very healthy or you want a left over of what the folks ate at lunch (carcass stew)?” .  She goes, “let me see…what is that? tofu?  nah I’ll eat this one I’m so hungry right now.”  End of story. I wished I’d taken a photograph of that meat-stew dish.  Used to be my  favorite too.  Operating word: “used”, lol.  Anway, she didn’t want to eat this.  No worries. Image

Tomorrow, school.  I got a test on Tuesday and Thursday, a huge paper to finish before the 12th. The plan is to wake up dark o’ clock, knock out a good speed work out first, and let the rest of the day sort of just go on its normal course.

Categories: indifference, long-term goal, turning vegan, would-be vegan meat cravings | Tags: | Leave a comment

Journal Entry # 1, November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013, 3:03 pm, in a library. Yes I had to ask somebody to snap this picture for me. Awkward. But there you go, I say evidence:)

November 1, 2013, 3:03 pm, in a library. Yes I had to ask somebody to snap this picture for me. Awkward. But there you go, I say evidence:)

The…let me call it “touchstone”, for this journal is the idea that I would really like to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon. And so my mission is this:

IN ORDER FOR ME TO QUALIFY FOR THE BOSTON MARATHON I HAVE TO BECOME A VEGAN.

There’s a whole bunch of other more persuasive reasons to eat healthy (and I will write more about this later by and by) but I want something goal-like, you know, or task-and-purpose crystal clear kind of tangible target that can make me feel it’s worth going through the ordeal, something like that.  Besides, I’ve tried being a vegetarian before, actually lasted for a while like that, actually lost around 45 pounds like that (2 years ago), actually felt better and healthier like that then, etc. but I could never sustain the discipline of NOT eating meat.  Shouldn’t be any different today, I might still lack the discipline today although, and this is the one thing I recon to be the most important element, I’ve decided I’m going to document everything.  This blog or journal or writing or narration, whatever this is, I think will be the difference-maker. I’ve seen many folks do this kind of thing, so I’m no different.

This Boston Marathon thing, okay, I did try to qualify way back in the past – about 12 years ago – and actually came close.  Nah, I wasn’t even close.  I was 3:37:40 in that last marathon, needed a 3:15 time hack, and 22 long minutes short. I immediately trained after that and in my preparations to cut down my PR time, I went into another form of running: ultra marathon. Had a blast there, I think for the most part I had fun doing it.  The experience in hindsight was I think “spiritual”more than anything else considering my personal situation at the time.  But somewhere in that process I lost sight of my goal.  I actually got sick and moved away from running.

Okay, I got lazy.  (My excuses list is mighty long, but I don’t want excuses anymore!).

Anyway, today, in this library, after really seriously evaluating and examining things I’ve decided to confront the challenge one last time. I know what I did right and most importantly I know what I did wrong. Nutrition.  But I’m going to take it even further than just the conventional nutrition. I’m going to try to become a vegan.

I think in more technical terms they call being vegan as part of “wellness revolution” that has arrived in full swing. They’re a bunch of proud folks.  I think they should be proud. This movement has taken the culinary world by storm. It has ignited almost everything from pop culture to internet to TV shows, etc.  The recipes aren’t that bad, actually. I’ve tried some of them, they aren’t really as gnarly as most meat-eating folks would say they are. The dinero part of this journey some say is going to hurt my pocket but it should be interesting to incorporate that into the whole journey and see if I can disprove the stereotype.

In all honesty, as I sit here in the library and contemplate this change of lifestyle goal, I’m not at all 100% confident that I can pull through with this.  There’s some left-over “chicken adobo” sitting in the refrigerator and of course whatever good, meaty, good-smelling, appetizing, meat dishes the folks put together at home for dinner tonight. Okay hold on, I have to be strong.  Gotta remember Boston Marathon! So it’s whole foods market for me right after I post this. What to cook? I don’t know.  But I’ll come up with something.

Categories: long-term goal, philosophy, quest for Boston Marathon, turning vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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