August 14, 2011 – Day 1

Well, first off, welcome to my blog. I’m quite positive that anyone who might find this blog won’t do so until it’s been up here a few weeks or even a few months, so that gives me a bit of time to ramble. Follow along if you dare.

My name is Christine, that’s all you’re getting for now, you couldn’t pronounce my last name anyway. I live in a very small town in Alberta, Canada on my family’s cattle farm. About two months ago after struggling unsuccessfully to lose weight before I left on a two week California vacation I made the decision to go temporarily vegan and see if that would be the shock my body finally needed to drop the 25 pounds I’d been collecting for the last 7 years or so. In the end, I fell into some bad habits but the experiment did end with the removal of 15 extra pounds from my ass and the descent from size 5 jeans to size 2. All bets were off during my vacation and I’ve been back to meat and cheese since. Imagine my surprise to find myself two weeks post vacation ready to jump back on the vegan wagon on a more permanent basis.

Let me explain a wee bit more. I am not opposed to the consumption of meat or products that come from animals. I would be an incredible hypocrite having grown up on a farm if I suddenly abandoned that which has been my family’s livelihood for 60 years or so and called it inhumane. I am not a fan of animal cruelty in general and yet I also respect the laws of nature and what it means to be the link at the very top of the food chain. Animals eat animals, it’s just a fact. We also can survive solely on other things if need be, or in the case of humans, if we so choose. I am so choosing.

This sort of announcement made in front of a group of meat eating family and friends was not one to be made unprepared. I was accused of trying to starve myself, trying to convert others, being a hippie, being unpatriotic, causing my family undue pain and also of shooting Bambi’s mother. I kid you not, it really was that volatile. It didn’t seem to matter that I also revealed to everyone that I would be preparing all my own meals, or that I would still cook their regular meals for them, somehow no matter what I said it was clear that evil had taken over my body.

I expect the conversation goes similarly for most people who go vegan or vegetarian no matter what their motivation may be, this blog is not so much about coming out as a non-meat eater as it is about trying to do it in a small podunk town with limited sources of food items. I invite you all to join me on my quest to find a way to make this lifestyle work in a place so far off the grid that half the recipes in 95% of the vegan cookbooks on the market call for stuff that is so unavailable here that no one in town even knows what the hell it is. Oh yes my friends, this will be a challenge, even more so if I am able to adhere to the terms I will spell out in the next paragraph.

And those terms are: Limited soy, no tofu and under no circumstances imitation vegan meat which, no matter what it says in the ingredients list, I consider to be Frankenfood. If it’s not actually meat, I really don’t want to know how you got it to taste that much like dead animal, I feel some challenges should just be off limits. Fake cheese is out too. I ate a block and a half of that crap before I left on vacation and it’s just not right. So if you’re in the same situation as me, feel free to follow along and see how long it takes me to fail at this completely, or perhaps succeed against all odds?
I will start you off with a summary of today, which was not completely vegan and not completely successful:

Breakfast consisted of a toasted tomato sandwich, an apple, a cup of decaf coffee with soy creamer and two cubes of sugar. Not an ideal breakfast but I’m short on ingredients today. I would rather not eat margarine at all but it was necessary to soften up the toast. The coffee I’d like to rid myself of completely because of the soy creamer and sugar, but my Keurig gives me the sad eyes when I neglect it and so I am guilted into drinking coffee by an inanimate object.

Morning snack, or as the hobbits call it, second breakfast, was a bit more dicey. Two more pieces of toast covered in mustard and Red Hot, chased with a half a bag of seasoned Spitz. And um, what to say about this? No I’m not pregnant but I’m sure PMS is at least partially responsible for that mess and what came after.

Lunch? What’s that? Skipped that completely cause I didn’t want to get off the couch. I guess I will call lunch the bowl of Kimchi noodles I had at 3pm. While scouring the ingredients I found no violations to my rules that were bad enough to warrant me NOT eating them. No major amounts of animal products at least.

Supper is the one I most want to share with you because it is one of my favorite recipes. Creamy Vegan Potato Leek soup. The recipe can be found here http://www.care2.com/greenliving/creamy-potato-leek-soup-vegan.html and I made it with one little modification THAT RUINED THE WHOLE BLOODY VEGAN IDEA! My stupid little store has never apparently found the need to ever order vegetable stock, not one time ever. They do however have Knorr onion soup mix. I thought, hey, more onions, no bad there. Well after adding it to the recipe I start reading the ingredients to find that it contains beef fat! What! AHHHHHHH! Thankfully I’m not overly concerned about the cow that lost it’s life to make my package of soup mix but still, bit pissed that I hadn’t noticed that before. And I must be getting old and losing my eyesight cause I swear the first time I read that package there were no offensive ingredients. My intentions were good I guess.

So, that was day one. Tomorrow I am attempting to make some food from The Vegan Cook’s Bible by Pat Crocker (The only Bible I own, I’m an Atheist too! Wouldn’t you just love to kick my ass?) if I can manage to find a recipe where I can purchase all the ingredients. The battle plan is to make a bunch of meals ahead of time and freeze the extra portions so I am less inclined to just eat a bag of corn tortilla chips when I get home from work and call er good. Oh wait, I did have lunch, I forgot I emptied that bag of corn tortilla chips. Shit!

Follow along if you wish. Contribute some ideas, I need all the help I can get, I will update daily in much shorter form I promise. I wish me luck and you as well if you are trying a similar journey. Thanks for joining me and remember this, when all else fails, Oreo cookies are completely vegan.

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