Sometimes my harshest critic is myself and I’ve been especially hard on myself for the last couple of weeks. I have completely fallen off my vegetarian routine and into meat-eating of all sorts. I did this a little bit before I went to Arkansas for a wedding, but it was a full on pork fest when I got down there.
That’s the thing about the American South, a meal is not a meal if you don’t have pork ribs or fried chicken taking center-stage. Everything else is an after thought. This is not to say I didn’t have a good time eating. No, I had a fantastic time. Sometimes it’s nice not having to tell people, “No, I can’t eat that, do you have something not so. . . meaty?”
That would not fly with the relatives. Noah told me to treat it like I going to another country. It’s simply rude to tell a culture you’re visiting that their food isn’t good enough for you. Think of that scene from Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom.
|Python babies, anyone?|
No, it might not be something you’re used to, but dammit, don’t you dare insult the host. I learned this from living in Thailand. JUST EAT IT. So when my sister wanted to go to Chili’s or TGI Fridays and when my brother’s mom grilled up a heaping plate of ribs or made bacon for breakfast, I smiled and channeled the spirit of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead. “This is me doing field research,” I told myself when taking a second helping of sausage patties.
It was no surprise to me at all, when I got back home and found that I had gained 3 pounds of eating what I wanted for 5 days. I’ve been a little hard on myself since then. How on Earth could I have spent three whole months being a mixture of vegan and vegetarian and then blow it all in a couple weeks? I imagine this is what an addict who has fallen off the wagon feels like.
I talked to Evelyn about this and was relieved to know that I wasn’t a complete failure. She admitted that she’s had her tough times. Being at get-togethers where vegetarian options don’t exist, she manages to muddle through and not feel too bad about herself. At home, we both figured, is where you can control these things better. I haven’t been doing that too well either, but I can get back to where I was.
Today, I went to the grocery store and picked up some essentials. Lots of fruits to start my morning with. Cantaloup and watermelon are finally in season so they’re local and slightly cheaper. I’ve got some blueberries and almond milk for a morning smoothie as well. Just add a little milled flax seed and it fills you right up.
For snacks, I’ve got plenty of almond butter and honey for tasty sandwiches, I’ll add a little flax to those as well. For dinner, Noah’s making some vegetarian burritos and I always have my stir-fry ramen noodle dish on standby. This isn’t the most inventive cuisine that I could come up with, but it’s a start in the right direction.
I guess what I have to remember is that I can’t beat myself up like I do and expect to get stuff done. I start to wallow and nothing gets done. Remember, there is another day. There’s another chance to prove yourself wrong by doing right. Today is my day. We’ll just take it from here!