Thursday, June 23, 2011

This is Vegan Junk Food

If I were Catholic, I guess this would be my confessional. I've veered off track from my usual beans/greens/whole grains formula that normally keeps me in top form and at peace.

I guess it all started with our travels for the wedding, but then, back at home, we've struggled to create a new routine, in this "summer but not really" season. You see, my 17 year old son, who you may remember missed a lot of school last year due to chronic migraines, has luckily received three incompletes out of his 6 junior year classes (instead of failing the classes). This means he has until August 1 to finish the classes. He feels grateful for the extension, as do I, but being close to adulthood, he bristles at any attempt on our parts to create any sort of routine. He wants to do the work when he feels like it. Well, this won't work, so we have negotiated a settlement with him which involves various sleep schedules and accompanying consequences that he may choose from day to day according to how he feels. Recounting the details of the arrangement would be tedious. We figured out he needs at least 4 hours of work per day to meet his deadline. Hans has been very good at following the guidelines thus far, but the variable nature of the arrangement involves a watchful eye by me. I need to get up at night to make sure he is going to bed when he says he is. So I'm tired. And you thought it would get easier once they are older? Nope, just different problems.

Most of us vegans get clear signals from our bodies about what is needed to achieve balance. But if we ignore or misread the signals, they are of no benefit. I have been misreading my tired signals as cravings for carbs. Oh, you're right, I really knew better, I just wanted an excuse for some vegan junk food.

The photo above is a couple of lovely toasted cheese sandwiches (I'm still in my Anglophilia phase from the Royal wedding, so I will call them that instead of the American "grilled cheese"). The bread is a delicious sunflower seed bread and, yes, it is white flour, and I don't know if there are eggs in it or not (confession). The cheese is daiya -- non-dairy, made from tapioca. It is not animal fat but it is still fat. These were delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed the ten minutes it took to consume them, but then felt overstuffed and miserable for an hour.

Here is some more recent vegan junk food in which I've indulged:

Herbed smashed potatoes! Yum -- boiled potatoes, some peeled, some not, mashed with plenty of earth balance and tofutti sour cream, salt, pepper and a big handful of herbs from my garden -- in this case Italian parsley. White carbs again and plenty of vegan fat. The result? Pretty much the same as the toasted cheese -- ten minutes of joy and satiety, followed by an hour of discomfort, with no residual energy.

It occurs to me that my dietary rebellion mirrors my son's responsibility rebellion. But as our pendulums swing, equillibrium is what we ultimately crave. We know what to do to achieve it, and the rewards are much longer lasting.


  1. Hi Cheryl. It sounds like you have been so busy and not getting a lot of sleep. Hang in there....Thanks for sharing your stories with us:)

  2. Thanks Debbie! Like anything else, it's just a "season" and I can already feel it passing as the new routine is becoming more comfortable for all of us.

  3. You're ADORABLE! I love this. :)

  4. So cute and funny!! It's real life, that's all, and it happens to all of us. You'll be back on track in no time.

    Love your blog!

  5. Thanks, vegantummy! Love your blog too!