high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

If you just welcome the challenge, you may end up shocking the world

Three friends and I are currently engaged in a two-week Vegan Challenge.  The challenge, if it needs any explaining, is to eat vegan for two weeks.  I don't exactly remember what prompted this other than the fact that the topic of veganism came up over dinner at CBC (a nice, meat-filled dinner), and Jordan accused me of merely saber-rattling when I told Sayak that I bet he couldn't eat vegan for two weeks straight.  All the sodium in my meat-filled dinner contributed to a rapid rise in my blood pressure at this affront, but I quickly regained composure and stated "It's on."

This is now day four for me, Sayak, Courtney, and Jen, and from my standpoint things are going splendidly.  Here's the menu thus far:

Day 1
Breakfast: Mini-bagels with peanut butter
Lunch: Cous-cous, spinach, tomato, black olive, and oil & vinegar dressing in tortillas; Red bell pepper slices
Afternoon: Almonds
Dinner: Black bean burgers (black beans, green bell pepper, onion, chili powder, celery seed, parsley, dill, steel-cut oats, and ripped up whole wheat bread) topped with tomato, jalapeno, ketchup and mustard; Sweet potato fries (coated in olive oil and baked)

Day 2
Breakfast: Mini-bagels
Lunch: (same as yesterday)
Afternoon: Almonds
Dinner: Portobello, red onion, and red bell pepper sandwich with sweet potato fries at The Pub (accompanied by a Smithwick's and a fine Belhaven Scottish Stout)

Day 3
Breakfast: Mini-bagels
Lunch: Tomato soup at Cap City
Afternoon: Almonds
Dinner: Spinach, tomato, and black olive salad with Italian dressing and topped with sweet potato fries; Plain bagel

Day 4
Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter
Lunch: Same as Day 1 and Day 2 (I'm content to eat the same thing every day for a week - it will be the same tomorrow)
Afternoon: Almonds
Dinner: Fried eggplant breaded with panko bread crumbs (they don't contain egg or milk); Whole wheat spaghetti; Homemade tomato sauce; Multi-grain French bread

So not much variety perhaps, but this isn't really different than any other week, except there's no meat in the dinners.  The first morning I was going to put some honey on my mini-bagels, but then Nate called me out and was like "Are you allowed to do that?"  According to Wikipedia, you can eat honey and still be considered vegan, but then at The Pub on Tuesday Courtney was all like "Blah blah blah no honey they smoke out the bees blah blah blah" and so I was like "Fiiiiiine."  I think this is highly suspect.  Some say you don't even need to worry about insects because they supposedly don't feel pain or something, so why is it a problem to just take their honey?  Because they're cute and lovable?  Gawd.  Bees are like the chipmunks of the insect family.

One thing that is puzzling about veganism when you start looking at sample vegan menus online is that there are lots of fake meat products available for purchase.  For that last link, note that Day 1 features something called Mama's Mock Meatloaf.  Yikes.  That sounds like something students call the cafeteria lunch in high school.  I don't get it - if you're vegan, aren't you taking the mindset that you're not missing out by eliminating meat from your diet?  Why the demand for Tofurky (Day 2) and "Sausage" (Day 3)?  Is it for the kiddies who need to sate their carnivorous desires?  When Timmy and Becky come running downstairs in the morning and say "Mommy mommy what's for breakfast?!" and mommy says "Sausage," does she use finger-quotes?

While we're on the topic of diet and nutrition, I want to take a moment to express the huge amount of respect I have for the marketers (not the makers, unless they're the same people) of Vitamin Water.  You know how sports teams who are the underdogs in championship games but pull off the victory will frequently use the phrase "We shocked the world!" after the game?  Like in a basketball game, after the buzzer sounds the winning underdogs will run around the court, occasionally getting all up in a camera to shout "We shocked the world!!!" (the example most prominently in my mind is Khalid El-Amin after the Duke-UConn NCAA Championship game in 1999).  Well, that's what I picture the Vitamin Water people doing every day at the corporate office.  Because, you know, they took the bottled water market to the next level.  Repeat: The bottled water market.  Next level.  That has to prompt some "Holy sh*t, we actually did this!" moments.  Anyway, I was driving back up to Youngstown for Joey's wedding this past weekend, and decided to get myself a beverage for the trip to make sure I didn't get drowsy.  It was too hot for coffee, and I don't drink soda, so I scanned the other options and thought "I'll try one of these Vitamin Waters!"  Never had one before, wanted to know what the hype was about.  Well, it took me about 20 minutes to figure out which type I should get.  Should I get Revive?  Essential?  The mysterious XXX?  I settled on Focus because, you know, it's good to focus while driving on the highway.  Not sure if it really did what it promised, but the kiwi-strawberry flavoring was killer.  Here's a question: If you dump all the different Vitamin Waters into a vat, stir, and chug, can you expect to gain x-ray vision?

Man, I wish they made Sirloin-flavored Vitamin Water. 

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