Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So, yes. I'm still going to the gym every day. I complained every day all day for about the first five days, but I gave that up because I know I'm going to go to that gym anyway. Now, sometimes I do go grudgingly because, you know, it's hard. But I'm going. I really can't believe I'm actually doing it.

And last Friday? Well....

I was going to a cocktail party in the evening, so I knew that I had to either go to the gym at lunch, which poses some logistical issues, considering showering and all, or I had to go in the morning. The morning. Meaning, I had to get out of bed before I absolutely had to. Meaning, I had to be a grown-up.

Now, Barbara Walters got an interview with Castro, Kennedy put men on the moon, Obama got Bin Laden and Elle Woods got into Harvard Law, but these pale in comparison with the fact that I got out of bed on Friday to go to the gym. I actually got out of bed in the morning and got myself together enough to go to the gym.

So far, it's been a single incident, but that doesn't mean it can't happen again. STOP laughing! It's possible.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Child abuse

My friend from work, Dave* - well, wait - he wouldn't use "friend" to describe me. He says that he only uses the word "friend" to describe someone that he would feel comfortable borrowing $5000 from. Anyway, he says that after repeating a behavior daily for 28 days (or was it 21 days?), you create a new habit. Similarly, if you don't do something for 28 days (or 21, whatever), you break an old habit. After my 30 days, I thought that I would be dying for meat. And cheese! What about cheese!

Interestingly, when I went back to work last Wednesday I was very cautious about what I was eating, as I didn't want to anger my already testy digestive system. For lunch I decided to play it safe and get some soup. Of all the soups they had at the cafe next door, I chose the vegetarian split pea. And then I thought I should go ahead and get half a sandwich in case I got hungry later in the afternoon. I got a a vegetable pita. And the thing is, I could have gotten a chicken salad sandwich or a tuna melt or anything else that I wanted, but I got the vegetarian pita. Because that is what I wanted. Crazy. And I got the same thing for lunch on Friday. Hmm - it's so good I think I might get it for lunch tomorrow.

Now, don't get me wrong, I did take advantage of the vegan 30 days being over by indulging in the following:
  • a croissant
  • pizza
  • cheetos (they were really good)
  • steak fajitas (they were really, really good)
But I also had lots of fruit and salad and vegan things. And I didn't have a bunch of cheese because why? I didn't really want it.

I guess I broke my habit - at least the cheese habit - and created a new one. As for what's next food-wise, I think I will probably eat mostly vegan, with moments of delicious omnivorousness.

For my next trick, I have decided in favor of 30 days at the gym. I've had a couple of people express concern that I might hurt myself, that it's not good to go to the gym every day, you need a day to rest. To those people I say: please don't labor under the misapprehension that I am doing anything that strenuous at the gym. I mean, have you met me? It's not like I am training for the Olympics. I'm just doing some cardio.

Here are the rules:

I have to go every day.
I have to go for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.
I can work out on a machine or go to a class, it doesn't matter.

I started this on Saturday, so today was day 3. Yesterday was the worst, because the gym location closest to me is closed on Sunday, so I had to go up the the 92nd street location. It took me four hours (I'm not exaggerating) to convince myself I had to go. The conversation between the adult in my head and the child in my head went something like this:

Child: I don't want to go.
Adult: You have to go.
Child: But I don't want to go.
Adult: You have to go.
Child: Ok. But I'm just going to watch this episode of Frasier first.
Adult: Put on your workout clothes.
Child: But I'm waaatching this episoooode of Fraaaaasierrrrrrr!
Adult: Frasier's over. Put on your workout clothes and go.
Child: Ok. Right after this episode of Gilmore Girls.
Adult: You've seen that one at least three times and you don't even like it. Go to the gym.
Child: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want to go!

Ultimately, the adult side of me won and I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical. This evening I went after work, but I think I want to try to go in the mornings before work to keep my evenings free. So tomorrow morning will be it's own brand of fun.

I think I might have to spank that smarmy brat.

* Dave is very smart and knowledgeable about art. He is the author of this site. He also does these really great, entertaining videos on art shows, installations and museum exhibits. And he waxes philosophic about donuts and tells extremely bad jokes. But that's only at work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I was really looking forward to eating today. I was going to eat whatever I wanted. Instead, I woke up with awful stomach pain. No cheetos. No ice cream. Just crackers and three mugs of stomach ease tea. Depressing.

So I think I'm going to give myself a couple of days to recover, have my meat day and then return to the joys of vegan eating.

In the meantime, I've come up with another 30 day plan. Maybe I should go to the gym every day for 30 days. Notice I said "maybe." I'm honestly not sure I can do it. But I think I might try to make myself. It's definitely a good idea, but I am going to keep thinking about it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last day

As I said earlier today, on the one hand, I really feel good when I eat vegan, and I'm really glad I did this.

On the other hand? Ice cream.

Tomorrow I am planning on eating cheetos and a cupcake. Also maybe a bacon cheeseburger. And a sausage mcmuffin.

And the day after?

I think I will be eating vegan again. Because you know what? I don't think I even really want that bacon cheeseburger. I mean, my mind definitely wants it, but I don't think my body does. I may make some changes to the plan, but I think for the most part I will be continuing to avoid meat and dairy. Also I should avoid potato chips. And possibly vegan wine.

P.S. You know what else I might eat tomorrow? A croissant! I miss croissants.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Well, I had these great photos of the dinner Flay and I had the other night at Blossom, a vegan restaurant. It was so delicious that I forgot to take any pictures until I was on the third bite in.

I just tried to save the photos to my computer, but the application "unexpectedly" closed and I lost the pictures in the process.


This probably wouldn't happen if I had iCloud.

Too bad there isn't some way I could recreate it. It was a wonderful dinner. We started with a black-eye pea cake and some kind of ravioli thingy with mushrooms. Then we had some other stuff. Honestly I can't remember what else. Hence the reason for the pictures. Oh, yes! The phyllo roulade - that's what I had. I don't remember what was in it, but it was quite tasty, too, and I ate every bite.

Oh, but that black-eyed pea cake. So good. Oooooooo - and the coconut milk creme brulee. Delish. I had a picture of that, too. Definitely not gross.


I was talking to my sister today about veganism, and I was telling her how much better I feel. I just don't feel...gross...after I eat. I feel good. Even and balanced. It's nice.

My sister asked me what I thought it was that I wasn't eating that made me feel...gross...before. I think it is the dairy, honestly, and not eating a bunch of processed foods. I miss processed foods.

Then we started talking about sugar and how addictive it can be. Here's a good article about sugar and how your body processes it. Hmmmm. Maybe next I'll do no sugar. A word to the wise, though. If you read here that I am doing it - you might want to avoid me for the first week or so. I imagine sugar detox will make me really gross.


The other really great thing about veganism is the pooping. Yes, I'm talking about it. I've never had any problems in that department, but I have to say this - the pooping is very quick and easy. Lickety-split. And easy clean up, too. In and out. I know, I know, gross! But seriously, I highly recommend it.

It'll put a spring in your step. And keep you from feeling...gross.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

9 days left

People are starting to ask me if I am going to continue being vegan after the 30 days is over. I'm not sure yet. I would really like to be mostly vegan - just having cheese and hot dogs and ice cream occasionally. But can I really commit to that? I don't know. For some reason, it's easier to be really strict for thirty days than to say I'm going to eat better most of the time for the forseeable future. I can only think about the next nine days, though. I think I can make it. But I'm starting to REALLY want a hot dog.

I have, off and on, had some tingling in my hands and feet, for which the doctors I saw could find no cause. One of my friends has this same issue and said that her doctor recommended she go gluten-free for 30 days to see if it made any difference. She hasn't been doing it too long, but she's already noticed a difference. So I'm thinking about trying that and continuing the veganism, too.

Or just do the gluten-free.

If I did that, I could probably have the hot dog, but not the bun.

Hm. Something to consider. I'll let you guys weigh in - what do you think my next step should be? I mean, after the hot dog?

Confidential to Anj: Thanks for the tip - I used to drink Yellowtail when I lived in LA, but I don't think I've seen it here. I'll keep an eye out.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A story in photos

I ran across these pictures the other day while looking for a photo of myself (don't ask). They are from 2009. I guess I was trying to fry up some veggies?

Oh, I see. It was eggplant. Hm. I don't really remember eating eggplant...

Or cutting it up. Or getting it all over the floor, although that's pretty common in this place, as I don't have a ton of counter space.

It appears that while I was cleaning up the above mess, the contents of the frying pan got out of control, because...

This happens more often than I'd like. So I usually have to open the window and turn on the fan. Guess this dinner was ruined.

Or maybe not.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Like, day 1000 or something

How long have I been doing this? I want some cheese.

I went out to dinner Friday night, and was hoping for some wine. The restaurant had a bunch of their menu items marked "vegan", so I thought maybe they'd have vegan wines. I asked.

"All wines are vegan," the waiter answered. I didn't really explain to him why they aren't, but he pointed out a kosher wine on the menu. "That would probably be good for you," he offered. "Ok," I said, "I'll have that." "Oh, sorry. We're out of that. Can I get you something else?" I said I'd just have a Heineken, then. "Oh, we're out of Heineken," he said.

So I ordered a slushy thing instead.

Last Thursday I got invited to the Jazz Foundation concert, which had a dinner afterward. The waitstaff walked around offering wine. The woman had two bottles, and asked my friend Meredith if she wanted red or white. "What kind of wine is it," she asked, meaning the type of grape. "Red or white," the lady answered. I figured then and there that it was probably fairly useless to ask if the wines were vegan or not.

Erica came out to my desk the other day and announced "Ok, fine. I'll go eat vegan with you."
Now, I'm not forcing anyone else to eat vegan with me. If people want to go out, I'll go with them and try to eat or drink vegan within the confines of that restaurant. But it is really nice when someone is willing to go try out a vegan place with me. We went to Candle Cafe where EVERYTHING is vegan. Even the wine. Hooray for vegan wine!

I had the sprout salad. It had a lotta sprouts. But it was yummy.

I just saw a commercial for Kraft macaroni and cheese. Whimper.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 4

Alright, this is the vegan deliciousness I've been eating:

At Benny's Burritos, I had nachos with soy cheese and tofu sour cream. I was sure the soy cheese would be gross, but it was really good!

This is a lunch I have often, from 'Wichcraft, a Tom Colicchio (from Top Chef) restaurant. Marinated chick peas, with green olives, red peppers and preserved lemons. So delicious. It is one of my favorites.

Chocolate layer cake from Cocoa V. Blay's cupcake is vegan, too. Really, really satisfying.

Oh, that cake was good.

Today was a tough day. We had a celebration at work where there were two of my very favorite things - champagne and, well, cupcakes, but it's not the cupcakes that I love, it is the frosting. I love frosting. And even though I had that cake last night (see above), I still really wanted a cupcake. And champagne. And also a Big Mac.

But I didn't have the champagne or the frosting or the Big Mac. I had a banana and Pop Chips instead. On to Day 5.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last night I dreamt of butter and frosting...

When I decided to do this, I knew that some of my friends and acquaintances would be against it. "Why would you want to do that to yourself?" one of my friends asked me not too long ago when I discussed being vegan. Yesterday, Scott told me that his vegan cousin looked unhealthy, Joe told me that I'd probably be tired, since I wouldn't be getting any protein, and that everyone he ever knew who was vegan was sickly looking. Erica started questioning me about why I was doing it, "Is it because of animal cruelty or for health reasons?" she asked. "I don't really want to know, I just want to be in your blog." (Hi, Erica! Your wedding was pretty!)

I expected all this, because people tend to have very strong feelings about food. I remember this from the time in my life when I was a vegetarian. In Texas. Cattle country. I got lots of comments about how my body needed meat or I would get sick, that I wasn't getting enough protein, that I wouldn't be healthy. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. I won't spew a lot of vegan propaganda at you, but I do believe you can get all the nutrients you need from nuts, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables.

Now, while some of my friends wouldn't be caught dead at a vegan restaurant, there are a few who will go along for the ride. I had vegan dinner with Clay tonight. Whoops! I promised I wouldn't mention his name. Let's call him Blay instead, to keep his identity secret. (He says he doesn't want the paparazzi following him around again.) So anyway, we met at a cheese restaurant (?) because the vegan restaurant we were going to go to was booked solid. Clay - I mean Blay - was having a glass of wine, which looked delicious. I sat down on the squeaky swivel stool and the waitress came up to me. "What can I get for you," she asked. "Do you have any vegan wines?" She stared. "All wines are vegan," she announced. "I'm sorry," I said, "but that's not really the case." "Hold on," she replied. "I'll check." She brought over the manager, who is vegan, and we discussed vegan wines and beers. It took me about 15 minutes or so of discussions with the manager and my iPhone apps (Veg-Out and iVegan) and barnivore.com to decide to drink a Brooklyn Lager while Blay and I swiveled on our squeaky stools like 5 year olds.

I hope that was the right choice. I might have already made two mistakes today. I went to the doctor for a physical and she gave me a tetanus booster. I know that sometimes they use eggs in vaccines, so I wonder if my shot wasn't vegan. Then I got a salad for lunch. I ate all the good stuff off the top - hummus, couscous salad, butternut squash - and then put my regular balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the greens and took a bite. Then I looked at the ingredients in the dressing. Honey. Honey, which is a no-no for strict vegans. "Oh, crap," I said, out loud, and I threw the salad away. My lunch ended up being lentil soup and a bunch of fruit.

Dinner was good, though, and I got a piece of vegan chocolate cake at Cocoa V, a vegan dessert place, afterwards. It was delicious. And satisfied my butter/frosting craving from last night's dream.

a note: Blay said that I need to post the pictures I've taken of the vegan meals I've been eating. Tomorrow. I promise.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fear not , for Grey Goose vodka is vegan

So...I've decided to go vegan for 30 days. I don't think it's going to be that big of a deal - I've been eating vegan a lot lately, so the only food I had to throw out last night was the rest of a stick of butter and the last whole wheat English muffin. Who knew it had buttermilk in it? There's gonna be a lot of label reading around these here parts for next 30 days, at least.

I started today, and so far so good. A friend asked me for dinner this evening, and my first question was "do they have vegan food?". Then, because it is a mexican restaurant, I panicked. Are margaritas vegan? Jose Cuervo Tequila is for sure - I looked it up on Barnivore, which tells you if a particular brand of alcohol is vegan or not. You'd be surprised at how many animal products are used to filter alcohols. Stuff like egg whites and fish bladders. Now you know.

I think the trickiest part is going to be sugar. Regular old refined white sugar is either made from cane sugar or beets. Now, cane sugar is sometimes filtered through bone char, therefore making it non-vegan. Beet sugar never is, so you know you're in the clear there. And raw sugar is fine, too (I think). I bought a small bottle of cranberry juice cocktail, and it said that it either beet sugar or cane sugar, so it might be fine, but it might not. And I think for my purposes, unless I know for sure, it's not ok.

And so it begins. Stay tuned for more vegan adventures!