Thursday, November 5, 2009
Day 4 - 100% Vegan, Not 100% Healthy
As I sit and write this on Day 5 having a breakfast of oatmeal and raisins, water, and 6 oz. of OJ, I reflect on two things. The New York Yankees winning their 27th World Championship, and how I ate yesterday.
Day 4 started off great. Even though I did not get the amount of sleep I wanted I felt terrific in the morning. Definitely healthier. For breakfast I had just an apple, but I never had any hunger cravings through the morning. I got caught up in work and did not make it to the gym until 1:40. I really pushed myself yesterday working out harder than I did on Monday. It was still 50 minutes of intense cardio. By the time I left the gym it was just after 3 PM and I was starving. I had not eaten lunch yet.
Here is a new challenge - eating vegan on the run.
I had to get back to the office and the leave by 3:30 for a 4 PM meeting. I had no time to order a salad, have it made, and then sit down and eat it. Typically, this is the time to grab a sandwich or a slice and eat it on the fly.
How do I eat healthfully, and in line with my veganism, while I am on the run? I pose this question to my readers.
My solution was poor.
I felt after my work-out I really need a boost, some energy. I looked in vain for the recommend PureFit nutrition bars at the Equinox cafe, and in a couple of bodegas. No luck. Time was running out, and I needed something to survive a 4 PM business meeting followed by a 5 PM business meeting. My choice? Peanut Chews dark chocolate candy bar - 100% vegan, and packed with calories. It satisfied my need, but clearly it was not the best choice.
After my 5 PM meeting another wrinkle for my veganism (and no drinking) thrust itself in front of me. It was Game 6 of the World Series! I was meeting friends at my local, P.J. Clarke's. I would be putting myself to the test again.
The excitement was intense as the crowded P.J. Clarke's serves as a favorite businessman's watering hole, and starting point for those hopping on the 4 train up to Yankee Stadium. Seltzer, seltzer, seltzer - others drank wine, beer, martinis, scotch and laughed and laughed, and I drank seltzer and...watched the others. I was socializing (my oxygen), but I was understandably still hungry. After my friend left for the World Series, I went to eat dinner. But it was the World Series. The bars were packed with people. Excitement was in the air! Did I really want to walk up 4 flights for left over vegan chili or a vegan burger? No. This is my life. This is why I have lived in NYC for 12 years. This was the World Series, and the Yankees, and communal celebrating is what we live for.
No matter the circumstance, be it a sports celebration, or a national tragedy, New Yorkers find comfort and excitement with others...and that is found in the bars. The tavern in New York City, is the "village green" of 100 years ago.
I went to my "living room," the Pig 'N' Whistle - across from Clarke's and under my apartment (thus living in Oregon and going vegan is just a tad easier than living on 3rd Avenue). Again, the no-drinking is to accelerate the weight loss, and stiffen my discipline - it's in conjunction with healthy vegan eating. I wanted to be in the excitement, and I wanted to continue to put myself to the ultimate test. Firmly affixed to my seltzer water I ordered spaghetti and tomato sauce (the pasta is not made with eggs, and typically comes with shrimp so I had it made without). It was comforting and nice to eat something that was part of my regular diet in the past. Although eating all those carbs for dinner was not the best for losing weight, I justified it with my intense work-out. I am confident that eating pasta at night will be an extreme rarity.
Not leaving well enough alone, I continued this tempting of fate and went to another bar to meet more friends on the Upper East Side. It as not hard to just drink water as a packed bar clinked their beers and cheered on the Yankees, it just sucked.
No doubt over time this urge will lessen, and I am proud that I spent an entire night doing what I normally would do, but without the booze and without animal products. I could have had a healthier day yesterday, but hey, it was the World Series!
I will close by saying that I am still searching for more on-the-go vegan AND nutritious food within arms reach.