Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 116

Today I decided to try the "banana oatmeal" at the cafe and after one scoop I could see that in addition to the bananas mixed with oatmeal there was brown sugar. I filled the rest of the cup up with regular oatmeal. As I would taste the brown sugar every four spoonfuls or so I would feel decadent. Imagine, feeling decadent because 10% of my cup of oatmeal had been sprinkled with brown sugar. This is what is working so well on this vegan quest for me - appreciation of good food, and an appreciation of guilty pleasures when they are seemingly minute. For example my views of decadence then and now:


Pre-November 1st - a plate-eclipsing cheesy egg omelet, bacon, sausages, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, and a tall glass of whole milk...and afterwards a very strong, spicy, gin Bloody Mary while leafing through the Sunday New York Times, and swapping stories of the previous night's after-reception follies, sitting on a columned porch in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts with hungover members of the wedding party...ahhh, sister-in-law of the maid-of-honor's cousin, whatever your name was, if you're reading this, call me! OK, got carried away there, was thinking of a specific wedding I went to 16 years ago. Back to the food!

Post-November 1st - a quarter teaspoon of brown sugar in my oatmeal. Yes, you may laugh, but it is true! When you eat healthfully as a rule - as a habit, then food stuffs that are bad for you taste amazing in such non-harmful quantities! After tasting the small quantity of brown sugar in my oatmeal, I had no desire to run out to Krispy Kreme for glazed donut...something I would have done just a few months ago. After months of oatmeal and raisins only, I really enjoyed a little brown sugar, but no desire to start adding it to my daily breakfast at all. It was just a nice little reprieve, that's it.

Lunch was a great. Went to Sarafina's with colleagues and a client. Don't let the fact that it's a chain fool you, they really do a great job there. I had the cauliflower soup - no cream used - and it was quite tasty. And as I had last week I enjoyed the vegetable platter - spaghetti squash with mixed vegetables, pine nuts, and tomato sauce. Really refreshing and really good. As with all business luncheons of mine, the topic of conversation eventually got around to my diet, my lifestyle change. My client has known me for 10 years and she is now the second person to remark on my skin looking better, or healthier. I never thought I had bad skin at all, and none of my old photos seem to indicate that, but I guess when you purge your body of unhealthy food and drink, and commit to a nutrient-dense diet your face looks more alive. Of course she reminded me of how she's always known me to live - full speed with no stop lights. I do get terrific satisfaction and happiness with encouragement from others who are genuinely pleased with this new lifestyle change. But I have to admit, I do get a little embarrassed when I am reminded how excessively I used to live my life.

Today I started getting those stomach aches again. I really wish I knew what it was. It's severe for an hour or so, and then it subsides.

For dinner I picked up the Vegetarian Powerhouse Salad at Chop't but only ate half of it. Not hungry because of the sore stomach.

Need sleep I guess so going to bed early, well, it was early until I started writing this!

I must report, the pressure is really on now to stay faithful to this blog. Yesterday, after my story went up on Dr. Fuhrman's website I had over 1,000 new people view this blog! It's staggering to think that so many people are reading this and probably pointing out grammatical errors, or even worse, finding errors in my comments about nutrition. To those of you in the later category, I say to you tonight, be patient, I am still learning. My formal education on nutrition started and stopped around the time I was 10 years old. It was summed up thusly -- eat the four food groups: (1. meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts. 2. dairy, milk and cheese. 3. grains. 4. fruits and vegetables - all with equal importance applied to each food group). That has been proven to be not the best idea for a healthy diet today!


Vegan Epicurean said...

My husband and I have had those same comments about our skin. It is odd how much we have changed. Our lives were very much like yours.

Your comments about grammatical errors made me smile. I used to worry about those too. But in the end it doesn't matter. Regarding the nutrition errors even doctors make those, and quite often I might add.

If you get bored and need any recipe inspiration stop by my blog.


Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog after reading your interview on It has been such an inspiration. As a "fun-loving" woman in the city (read "food lover and heavy social drinker") I've thought it would be impossible to change my habits to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. But reading about your experience, especially seeing how much you eat out in NYC and are still able to maintain your diet, I feel like its something that I could accomplish too. A few months ago I read Dr. Furhmans material, but just put the books aside and never attempted to make any lasting changes. Thanks to your blog I feel like I am capable of taking control of my health too!!! Thank you!

Cucumbrian said...

When you have the banana and oatmeal breakfast, is this slices of banana with dry oats sprinkled on, or do you make it up into a poridge and pour it over the bananas. My friend likes to sprinkle pomegranate seeds over his morning poridge, but I don't like it sweet and like kidney beans or chick peas stirred into mine.

Terrence said...

VE - I do like your blog.

Anon - Thanks so much! You can absolutely accomplish it too!

Cucumbrain - I typically add slices of banana to the oatmeal. But if I buy it in the cafe it is mixed in with the oats. Good idea on the pomagranettes.

pixiepine said...

I agree on the small indulgences. After almost 4 months on ETL, I do have little treats. It's amazing how much fun a small taste of something off the diet can be. I relish my little taste, and them amd happy to get back to the regular program of healthy food.

Deborah W said...

I'm a fledgling vegan as well. I "went vegan" on Nov 9, 2009, and am going strong. Every day I love it more. But, as you've found, it's definitely a learning experience. And so different from what I was taught as a child. Keep it up!

Deborah at DebzTalkin

Monique said...

Terrific job on your blog, Terry, and for your great work on your vegan quest. In regards to your stomach pains, something that has worked for me is to chew my meals very well and take probiotics once a day. Usually between lunch and dinner. I hope that helps. Wishing you the best.

Denise D'Agostino said...

I think the last thing you should worry about when writing your blog is people who are connoisseurs of nutrition or grammar for that matter (I had to spell check connoisseur btw :) Those people don't need you! (or they think they don't ;) I've been focused on nutrition since I was a teenager and I still find great insight with your blog. I think it's because you really detail your thought process, social obstacles and internal struggle with lifestyle change. Less robotic, more human. I'm guilty of being a machine when it comes to food but I totally relate to your previous attitude of excessiveness. I'm an extremist myself.
Some of my favorite parts of your blog are when you go off on a sort of tangent about a particular story or about society. I'd say keep doing exactly what you're doing and don't be intimidated by more people reading! We all benefit :)