Vegan Challenge Week 3 Recap: Almost There!
Day 18 – I am supposed to be working on my business and thesis (both very separate), however, I can’t concentrate. I’ve had hunger issues for the last 24 hours. I have eaten cans of beans, cans of corn, noodles on top of noodles, at least ½ lb. of spinach, a bag of almonds, but the hunger feeling is still there. It’s almost as if I am not satisfied. I do have 10 more days of this challenge. It is so close yet so far.
Day 20 – Mike, my vegan roommate is back. I may actually survive this challenge with his help. I may not get beat up by our Jeet Kune Do master.
Day 22 – I am currently sitting at Steps, a bar in the Wudaokou area of Beijing. This is one of those dirty, ridiculous college bars that you would usually stop going to after you leave college and it always has crazy specials. The specials today are 15 RMB falafels and 5 RMB beers. Oh yeah…and it’s 11:30 am, I’ve already had two beers, and they have been playing the same three Bruno Mars for the last hour. There is no else here except the waiter and waitresses, who are practicing English between each other.
Basically, there are two positive things that I am thinking about as I am having this falafel and beer, how lucky I am, and how much my month as a vegan has made me appreciate non-vegan foods aka meats, fish, and dairy products.
So why am I lucky? Although, I am starting to go into code red when it comes to my bank account, I’ve had a really good time in my last couple years in semi-retirement. I still have not found the balance between making money, while still having my freedom or at least follow my hobbies of traveling and eating. However, I’ve been able to travel, drink, and eat, when I want. Case in point, right now, two beers in at morning…for less than 2 dollars. While some may believe that is alcoholism, I believe that it is freedom.
So to the second topic, veganism…currently, I believe I am riding a wave of positivity. For the last three weeks, I have been pretty down and depressed as a vegan. The challenge has beaten me down hard, but just as Rocky said in Rocky Balboa, “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” It’s about not wavering and just keeping at it. I’ve had so many people ask me why I am doing this challenge. They can see the effects this challenge has had on my body and mind. Like that travel experience of hardship, for example, like driving a rickshaw across India and into Nepal, then seeing the majestic Annapurna for the first time, I felt like I hit a moment of clarity. I walked by street food stands and as I was on line 13 of Beijing, passing the multiple stations and looking outwards into the street, I saw so many restaurants. The cravings were there, however, there was a little more, there was a bigger appreciation for meats, fish, and dairy product. Not only do these types of foods increase the flavors of a dish, but it also does something much more than that. It brings people together, from different cultures, and generations, it brings everyone together.
As a vegan, and as an amateur cook, it has forced me to be more creative. I have created strange dishes using ingredients that I would have never used in the past, such as eggplant or pumpkin. I’ve played with all sorts of bean recipes and have a new found love for the craziest types of vegetables. (Btw, side note; vegetables in China are really, really cheap!) Really, I had so much more to say about this, but I think the beers are starting to impair me. Off to Chocolate!