Friday, February 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times." -Jimmy Carter, during his 1976 Playboy Interview
Nose through any number of detox and rehabilitation websites out there (done for research purposes, kids), and you'll notice a trend: the first week is always the toughest. And in this week, I've looked on a lot of chicken with hunger-lust. I've committed meal-adultery in my stomach many times. But, have I fallen off the wagon?
Well, 'tis the week for apologies. I started off great. Ambitious. Determined. A two day trip to Mobile, AL (on the gulf coast and home to some of the tastiest seafaring critters around) concluded with a belly full of vegetables, breads, and hummus. One accidental taste of cheese, but I'm gonna chalk that up to a rusty palate for the vegan persuasion. I was on a roll. I'd resisted Neptune's sultry song, as nary an oyster (debatably, an animal) passed my determined lips.
And then...Saturday. I was invited by some old friends to their annual "CarnivoreFest"...twelve hours of grill jockeying. NO vegetables allowed. My contraband Smucker's Uncrustables were smuggled in with the care of Cuban cigars through U.S. Customs. Alas, drinks were poured. Wine was consumed. As plate after plate of baby back ribs, smoked spareribs, BBQ'ed pork loin, roast lamb, and bacon-wrapped smoked chicken crossed my alcohol-weakened gullet, animal instinct took over. By the time the slow-grilled pork belly hit the table, I was more animal than man.
So, beloved audience: like Tiger admitting his problems to his fans, or former President Clinton unsuccessfully wriggling out of questioning, [sigh]....[cracked voice]...
[Random Police Investigator interjects in the middle of this post]: "Son, I know this is tough, but can you please point out on this doll where the pork belly touched you?"
I point to the mouth. I ate some of the pork belly. As it went down, I felt as if God was rubbing my tummy. Mind you, it was only a taste, but it snowballed into a taste of the chicken, a taste of the ribs, a taste of the lamb. No, I didn't get it full-on with the CarnivoreFest, but I definitely went to second base. I felt I needed to admit this to you, the readers. If good blogging is about transparency and open communication, then I must come clean.
I spent the rest of the night in the shower, cowering and trying to scrub the filth of shame off my body.
Okay. Pork demons exorcised, I can move on. Damn, this is tough. Especially since I've been traveling, and I haven't exactly been going to organic food meccas and forward-thinking food cities. However, I have learned that you can eat surprisingly poorly while "vegan". I had a whole basket of fried pickles for dinner the other night. Just fried batter (in vegetable oil) and salty pickled cucumbers. That can't be healthy. I've also learned that fast-food chains (the only options on I-65 between Montgomery, AL and Mobile, AL) are NOT very friendly to non-meat-eaters. A large fries and a wilted side salad is often the only option. Eat that many fries, and you do not feel like taking on the world.
However, I've also discovered the secrets to filling up. Hummus, guacamole, coconut milk, peanut butter, and other fatty, veggie-based goos are very satisfying. The experience has been enlightening towards my views on world hunger. Rice, potatoes, and pasta are very cheap, and they are the substantial base for many meals. We can feed a lot of folks with these economical staples.
That's it. Here I am, one week in, already humbled, humiliated, not-that-healthy, and thinking about how I can change the world. Perhaps vegetables are breaking me down before building me back up. Maybe they're developing character. Will they keep me 100% honest? Probably not (there's another meat-fest on the horizon). But, in those moments of weakness, the veggies are holding me- with their tendrils and leafy bits- accountable to you, and humility towards a disappointed audience, just maybe, is part of the growing pains...
...39 days to go. I apologize in advance for my transgressions.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Let's say you're a cheapskate with no money. Take, for example, me. Have I ever used dish soap as shampoo? Maybe that's why I have no hair anymore. But, when there, it did have the pleasing aroma of antibacterial orange.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Call it dogmatic obligation. Call it spiritual vision quest. Call it personal challenge. Call it health ultimatum. Call it bat-shit insanity.