Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Welcome to The Kind Diet."

I love exam week because it means no extracurriculars. Sure there's still tons to do, what with marking those lovely exams and preparing a couple hundred report cards, but when you're doing 14-16 hours a week of extracurricular high school activities (including on Saturdays and Sundays), getting that time back for one beautiful week might just make you wanna get your Balki on and do a little Dance of Joy.

I'm pretty sure exam week was a major reason Motivation stuck around for this vegan endeavor. He figured this (Jan. 21-28...yay exams) was the best week to embark upon my Kind Diet adventure, he wanted to make sure I got off to a solid start, and he knew we should take advantage of a rare school-free weekend. So after church on Sunday morning, when I would normally be heading to cheerleading practice, the husband and I headed down to Whole Foods for our first vegan shopping excursion.

*side note...don't bloggers usually have clever pseudonyms for the people they mention in their blogs so they don't have to use their real names? Rob the husband needs a clever blog alias...hmmm...I shall call him Wentworth Miller. But then I might get used to calling him that and the lines between fantasy and reality may blur and then I might call him Wentworth Miller in the real world and he'll be like, "Huh?" and I'll be like, "Oops" and that might get awkward, kinda like this side note. So screw it; we'll just stick with Rob*

Armed with an impressive grocery list we set out to tackle the aisles.

I had never heard of a lot of the stuff on the list (umeboshi plum paste, seitan, mochi, tahini, tempeh, shoyu, daikon, peanut butter), so it was a bit like a treasure hunt. It was actually kind of exciting to find the more obscure items. And I just gotta say, the staff at Whole Foods are awesome people (seriously, in their spare time I know they rescue blind kittens from trees and knit scarves for baby giraffes living in cold climates). A young lad stocking the shelves saw me looking rather confused and asked if I needed help.

The poor boy didn't know what he had gotten himself into. It was like when you ask someone how she's doing (not really expecting an answer much more elaborate than "Fine, thanks" because let's be honest, nobody really gives a crap) and getting a detailed breakdown of her hectic day and ingrown toenail and frustration with the price of ferret food nowadays.

I proceeded to inform him that yes, indeed, I needed help, and rambled off a bunch of things on my grocery list that I probably didn't pronounce correctly. He wasn't sure where to find the seitan (which, fyi, is pronounced say-tan, not satan, as I soon discovered), and decided that I needed a more powerful jedi to take me under his wing, quickly tracking down just the employee/guru for the job. Not only did this man direct me to the seitan, he also guided me through the surrounding fridge sections where I found like six other items on my list (treasure hunt score!). I apologized for my denseness (because I'm crazy apologetic like that) and explained to him that I just started reading Alicia Silverstone's cookbook and most of this vegan stuff was foreign to me. He was superduper nice and extremely knowledgeable, and spent a few minutes giving me tips about how he likes to prepare some of the foods I would be buying. Then, as we parted ways he said,

"Welcome to the Kind Diet."

And then he went back to nursing orphaned baby dolphins.

I friggen love Whole Foods.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Genesis...Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. 

This whole thing started because my bff saw Alicia Silverstone on tv making chocolate peanut butter cups, and she really wanted some.

So on Christmas day 2010, I was gifted with my belated 30th birthday present, Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet. Bookmarking p. 183 (the chocolate peanut butter cups) was a note from aforementioned bff, briefly reflecting on our younger days watching Alicia on the big screen and acknowledging that even though I'm not vegan, the recipes seem fresh and fun, and she hopes I find time to read the book and try them out. 

Every couple of days I would pick up the book and start reading. And then ponder and flip through a few recipes and decide I don't have time right now (because I'm crazy busy like that) and go back to other things. But I never put the book away. It was always in plain sight on the kitchen counter, or on an end table, or by the bar sink. Unlike other things that I leave all over the house (because I'm crazy messy like that), this book did not go neglected for weeks at a time. I always came back to it, every couple of days. The more I read the more I started thinking that some of this stuff really makes sense, despite being completely contrary to the things I grew up believing. 

Which brings me to Thursday, January 20 (well, technically Friday January 21st). This was the night (or early morning) I decided (after staying up reading til 2am) that I didn't want to hum and haw anymore, and I did want a lifestyle change, and I could do it on my own terms, with no labels and no expectations. The first flicker of motivation set in, and I went to bed with a stupid smile on my face, feeling content.

So content, in fact, that I woke up at 8:11, nineteen minutes before three of my English classes were scheduled to start their term exam.  Which I was supposed to be supervising. And I still hadn't counted out my exams for the other supervisors. That was a bit of a hectic morning. 

But I digress. The point is that when it came to this Kind Diet thing I was motivated. Motivation and I don't have the most stable relationship, so I didn't expect it to last past the end of the day. When crazy teacher stuff takes over (which it always does), you pull out the frozen pizza...which I did...and followed it up with movie theatre poutine while watching the King's Speech later that night. 

I thought Motivation would surely feel offended by my blatant disregard for the insights that had sent me to bed feeling so content the night before, but he stuck around that weekend. He very sneakily steered me towards the curry prawn rice bowl at Moxies on Saturday night, when the plan going in had been a burger (yes I'm aware that a prawn curry rice bowl is not steps, baby steps). Motivation stuck around on Sunday during our epic grocery buy at Whole Foods, where we stocked up on all these vegan meal building blocks that I had never heard of...good times. And I realized that Motivation is sticking around because I had made it very clear going into this that this would be a lifestyle change on my own terms with no labels or expectations. Yes, setting low standards can result in an underachiever, but at least that underachiever still achieves something. 

So here we go...on board for this project are my dashing husband and I. The objective, as stated on my facebook page:

Not going vegan...lots more to that lifestyle to consider...just dabbling for the time being (or as Alicia calls it, flirting) with the intention of making healthier and kinder lifestyle choices :)

Been at it since Monday (Jan 24). Been posting pics of my attempts at the Kind Diet recipes on my fb page this week. Had a few people now (including my dashing husband) suggest that I try the blog thing. 

I always thought that if I had a blog it would be about our adoption, but that process has just been long and frustrating and there are never any updates for us in that area, so that blog would quickly turn into me just ranting about stuff. I've made the transition from frustration to apathy during the tedious waiting game, which is a much easier place to be, so I'll just keep it that way. 

I'm not gonna lie to you Marge, this is a bit intimidating. I'm already second-guessing my use of the term "bff" and the adjective "dashing" and my personification of Motivation...and being an English teacher doesn't make you a writer... it just makes you even more ridiculously self-conscious about everything you put out there. Incorrect usage of ellipses in the last sentence, I'm sure.  

And if cd ever reads this I just know he'll be the first to point out any embarrassing errors to get me back for that soar thing. Is it too late to say "I'm soary"?

Holy Jiminy that was a long first post. I probably violated some blog etiquette or something. the pressure's on to end my first official post with something witty and insightful. I'll just borrow the end of Wil Wheaton's last blog post. I love Wil Wheaton. He also says I'm not gonna lie to you Marge because he's awesome like that...

The next time some idiot says that gaming and gamers are antisocial, I think I'll mention this ... and then punch them in the dick.

Hmmm...I guess it works.