Tumbling off the wagon

Last week, I went to Seattle for a wedding planning weekend with my engaged sister and my mom.  The good news is, we found the dress!  But while I had every intention of avoiding cheese at the get go, I did not stick the the plan at all this weekend, for two reasons:

1. My sister purposefully had stocked her kitchen with food for her finnicky, vegetarian sibling, but these were things like goat cheese, granola bars with chocolate, hard boiled eggs, etc.  I felt bad that she’d gone to the trouble.

2. Restaurants are hard.

2. I was on vacation and didn’t feel like making the effort. 

I definitely could have ordered my salad without cheese at dinner last night, but I was already giving up my weekend to sleep in my nephew’s Sponge Bob twin bed and wander around Michael’s comparing this ugly white frilly guest book to that ugly frilly white guest book.  Didn’t I deserve a little saturated fat in my life?

I’m probably not supposed to post a picture of the dress she picked, because you have to come to the wedding to see that! But I liked this one. Because it had a moustache!

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Nobody cares about your airport stories. I promise. We all tell them anyways.

I felt inexplicably anxious about my flight today, but what could be luckier than flying with O’Malley the Mallard on St. Patrick’s Day? 

Since I’d already punched my card for my one non-vegan thing per day (an egg and cheese breakfast biscuit as a treat since I had to get up at dark thirty this morning) I scoped out the vegan options at Denver’s airport:

Almond butter on Ezekiel bread in a baggie.

I was afraid the almond butter on my sandwich would count as a “liquid or gel” but had no hassle.  I did get my picture taken with the x-ray photo thing people used to be all in arms about.  I smiled for the camera, then felt silly, then changed my mind and felt awesome instead.  Then I ate a sandwich and felt smug about not breaking my pledge and not spending $9 on a bad vegetarian airport sandwich.

I know the airport is essentially a bus station with slightly better security (and bars!) but this seemed a bit much.  Getting on the floor is one thing.  Laying down is one thing.  Sprawling in front of where people walk up to the counter or the gate seems like more of a cry for attention than a quest for comfort.  And I suppose it worked since I snapped a photo and blogged about it.

One non vegan thing per day progress

It’s ten days since the Only Eat One Non-Vegan Thing Per Day challenge started!  The idea was originally to do it for the rest of February, but I like it.  I really like it.  It’s kept me from eating tons of Valentine’s Day chocolate left over in the office, kept me from munching on the sketchy looking popcorn at the bar last night, kept me from grabbing a handful of crackers at a wine tasting.

Things that have been my One Thing:

Kashi Bars that have chocolate (x2)

Eggs at 20th Street Café (x2)

Free lunch at work – pizza one day, enchiladas another

Free breakfast at work – bagel and cream cheese

Goat cheese and crackers for dinner (x3)

Not that I didn’t eat goat cheese and crackers (with champagne) before, but it suddenly feels more virtuous, like I’ve earned it after a day of eating all plants.

Tomorrow is our nine year anniversary! So tomorrow’s One Thing will be the champagne brunch at the Brown Palace.  (One thing is flexible.  It can be one thing like a granola bar or one meal, like eggs with buttered toast.)

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost two years, and I’ve been half-trying to have at least one vegan meal per day. But! I want to be more mindful about what I’m eating and why.  I’m not ready to stop eating animal products entirely, but I think part of being an ethical eater is making thoughtful, deliberate choices.

So! I feel like I should come up with a more clever name, but Project Only-Eat-One-Non-Vegan-Thing-Per-Day started yesterday.  So far, both days the one thing has been a Kashi granola bar.  (It has chocolate.) 

Since I’d already eaten my One Thing, I passed on a birthday cupcake this afternoon.  Good for animals, good for the planet, good for my waist line!  So far this project is awesome.

Zoom, zoom

After a week of standing at the bus stop in 0°, it was a high of 67° today!  It’s a lovely palate cleanser, even if it’s supposed to snow again next week.  A pretty day in winter seems like a treat.  Long stretches of pretty days in the summer lose their luster when you can take them for granted.  Eyeing the forecast this week, we decided Sunday would be good for a long bike ride.

We rode our bikes over to Garden Spot Café for a big breakfast.  That’s the nice thing about cycling.  I could not have eaten this and then immediately gone for a run.  I could not have done this and then immediately gone for a swim or dived into an intense work out video.  But I totally did eat (almost) all of this and then settle in for two hours on my bike.

American Breakfast for me (that’s Morningstar sausage):

Veggie Benedict for him:

After a bit of a rocky start with a tire that blew out while we ate our breakfast and then several super icy, slippery patches on the bike path, we settled into a good groove and did a total of 22 miles.

There were geese everywhere!  And tons of ducks in the creek, and we saw one hawk.  At one point we saw a coyote wade into the creek, amongst several dozen birds.  (Look out, birds!)  It was so close, maybe 100 feet away?  (I have no idea, my depth perception is terrible.  But I also have terrible vision and I could see the coyote really well.)

On the other side of the trail just a minute or two later we saw a deer.  She was my pace buddy for maybe a quarter of a mile as she leapt and bound through the gully to the left of the trail and I tried to pedal to keep up.  Eventually she pulled ahead and then crossed in front of us to get to the creek to our right.  She headed back from where we had come, towards the coyote.  (Watch out, deer!)  I’m curious about what the coyote ended up having for lunch.

I’d hoped to go faster, but given the icy patches under most of the overpasses that I hopped off and walked over and a few minutes lost when I threw my chain, not too bad.

There were tons of puddles and I realized that while my daily commuter bike has fenders, my road bike does not. 

My bottom is wet and my back is dirty.  My hands and butt were numb by the time we got home.  But I totally feel like I have earned the beer I drank while writing this.

Mondays are long days.  I leave for work at 6:30 to catch the early bus.  The later bus gets me to the office just on time, and on Mondays I need to start out not almost running late.

The day’s schedule is hectic, so Mondays I don’t normally take much of a lunch.  I leave work and head to my regular volunteer gig, and I get home around 9.  But it’s not the long hours that throw me off kilter.

What really throws me off is that at six in the morning, I have to plan my next three meals.  I have to bring enough food to get me through over fifteen hours of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. I can’t carry a purse on Mondays; I have to carry a messenger bag, because that’s the only way I can fit (from top to bottom) a yam, cucumbers, ravioli, grapes, and chili along with the rest of the things I need for the day.