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Having Different Dietary Needs

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Recently, on the Vegetarian/Vegan SparkTeam
, someone asked about how to reserve certain dishes for veg*ns (common term used to mean both vegetarian and vegan - since they both start with 'veg' and end with an 'n') so that the typical, meat-eaters, don't use the dishes as their side dishes. It brought up a lot of people talking about what they do at potlucks/event or what they expect others to do. I thought it was very good topic and it really brought up some good issues for discussion.

I personally am not a strict vegan but I am a strict vegetarian (who eats vegan at home) so potlucks and events I am usually okay. There seems to always be *something* I can eat - even if it's just a roll or a salad... even just grabbing the toppings to burgers (tomatoes, lettuce, onion). But being a vegan (or having allergies/intolerance) is much more difficult.

I was talking with my mom and husband about this since we recently went to my son's kindergarden potluck. I was in charge or dessert and made three different organic treats (one gluten-free, one vegan, and one low calorie - all were nut free, just incase). I considered making little signs with ingredients on them but my mom told me not to bother since, "If you really had an issue, you wouldn't go or you would bring your own food." She's right, of course, but why does it have to be this way?

Further, society seems much more willing to cater towards religious and allergy restrictions. Perhaps, rather than stating that we are veg*n (which is generally accepted as *choice*), we should say that we are allergic to animal products. I know I am hands-down intolerant to dairy (though I still eat it when the moods strikes) and I'd be willing to guess that I am also intolerant to meat, especially beef, as that is typical for anyone who refrains from animal proteins for an extended period of time.

Yes, organizing events is more difficult when you are catering towards other people's certain dietary needs but wouldn't we want that for ourselves - and our children/families/friends - if the roles were reversed? So, what would the solution be? Should invitations all have a inclusion: "Please RSVP and note any dietary requirements by Oct 12th." Or, in situations where a varied menu cannot be bothered with, be up front right away about what will be served and allow an open door for others to bring a dish that they can enjoy.

I read an article once about being a veg*n and what to do if you are invited to a dinner party. It recommended that the veg*n call the host/ess, inquire about what will be served and offer to bring a side dish that can be shared but could also serve as their dinner. Sure, this is a great option but should we feel obligated to cook for ourselves at someone else's dinner party?

Yeah, I generally bring my own meals to my parents/inlaws house when we;re invited for dinner. I don't want them to worry about me or what I might or might not be eating today - plus, they are family. However, if it's known that I am veg*n and am invited to a home dinner elsewhere, I sort of expect that there is at least something substantial for me to eat. Is that rude?

Sorry, I'm going off a little bit here. Perhaps I am not only looking at how others handle my eating but how I handle others eating as well. Have I ever bothered to ask others what they require? Have I shied away from inviting people to dinner who I know are more difficult to cook for?

I guess what I'm getting at is that a special plate shouldn't have to be reserved, you shouldn't have to go without and you shouldn't have to eat first - I wish society was just more willing to help make it work for everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGFOR20 11/15/2010 11:23PM

    I love that: "Since I'm vegetarian, I'm making that choice to be difficult." That is exactly how society treats us, isn't it? My mom does, that's for sure!

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    This is a really good post. As of October, I've become almost completely vegetarian (for health purposes) and I'm finding that a lot of people are almost intolerant to our needs. It's almost like since I'm vegetarian, I'm making that choice to be difficult, and shouldn't be accounted for. When going out, I'm expected to pick around meat or have salad. I think it's just becoming very clear how much meat dominates and how little protein-filled non-meat meals there are out there!
I want something vegetarian and dinner parties, restaurants, everywhere!

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KIMPOSSIBLE82 11/7/2010 7:05AM

    Love this blog. Everytime I go out to dinner with a friend, she'll say something like, "Are you going to eat real food tonight?" It's frustrating!

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PRPLMAMA 11/6/2010 8:49PM

    After having to eat very restricted for weeks due to an allergy, I have a new respect for dietary choices. Well said!

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What I can do in 16 days!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So, you know how 'they' say you are supposed to make a goal to work out for 15 mins 3-4 times a week? Well, I read a study that actually advised against that because then it puts an excuse in your head - "Oh, I don't have to today, I'll do it tomorrow." It said that you should make a goal for every day for 30 days. So, here's my plan:

2 hrs work out every day... WHAT? LOL. But really, my youngest takes a 2 hr nap every day, I watch 2 hrs of TV every night... I could easily do an hour cardio and an hour resistance (my physical therapy) everyday - if I make it a priority.

Today I am eating a diet high in fat (though just normal for calories) so that I can replenish the good fats in my brain/body. Then I'm going to go back on my normal high protein, high vegetable diet. I'm going to make my meals like I make for my kids - in bento boxes! Sticking with the box in veggies, for protein and for carbs - and soup on the side! PLUS the 2 hrs (really?) work out every day until our Halloween Party (on the 30th)...

It's only 16 days... I can stick to something for 16 days. I'm not going to hit my goals in 16 days but I can lose inches and it will set me down the right track.

Let's see... what else have I been through in more than 16 days that was super hard?

Alone in Belize. I went to Belize when I was 19 and was there completely alone until my friends showed up a couple weeks later.
Completely raw. I did the completely raw-vegan diet for a whole month once. Yeah, it's great for some but it was killer for me. 30 whole days with 100% dedication.
Rehab. I went through rehab for 30 days, all freakin' day and then twice a week for 6 months after. So that was like 78 days.
Bedrest. The amount of bedrest I have done in my life (three pregnancies plus an injury) is about 41 weeks or 287 days - 30 of those days were in the hospital too.
School. I got my AA degree last year. That was 90 credit hours so 72 weeks in school or 360 school days.
Living life without my daughter. It's been 2,272 days since I last got to hold my baby.

Yeah, if I can do all those things - I can stick to a work out and diet plan with NO cheating.

These may be lofty work out goals but I figure - if I shoot for the moon and miss, I'll land among the stars, right? So, if I can't do 2 hrs - maybe I did one hour instead - that's still awesome! If I had a goal of 15 minutes though? That 15 minutes is very easy to just shrug off. And yes, leg-lifts while watching TV totally counts!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PACE5303 10/22/2010 4:04PM

  Those sound like awesome goals. emoticon

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NEWNARAYAN 10/15/2010 1:27PM

    sounds great!!! it's good to hear from you!

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Day 7 - WOW

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Here I am at day 7 and I am still going strong. I feel great and my hunger is totally gone. I have to remind myself to eat and drink later in the day. I have added green protein powder for breakfast because my muscles were really sore and I felt like I needed the extra protein.

As I'm nearing the end here (I have to use the rest of the fruits and veggies so maybe 4 more days) I am starting to think about how I am going to break the fast. Though I still have cravings for food (particularly carbs like bread and pita chips), I cannot break this fast with stuff like that. I have to eat raw for a while or I'll get sick and I'll just cancel out all my hard work. I figure I'll just do a small salad for dinner but continue the juice for breakfast and lunch for a while. Then maybe some veggie soups.

I am trying not to focus on a single food though because obsession about a single food might cause me to binge on it when I'm done with the fast.

I haven't had too many detox symptoms surprisingly. Maybe that means I've been eating fairly well? My joints have been sore occasionally and, from what I've read, this could mean that they are healing but it's hard to tell.

I definitely miss the social aspect of eating. I mean, we haven't been out anyways but I'd love to go out to dinner - I don't know what I'd eat though. Yesterday I went to an engagement party and there were tables of desserts. Of course I wanted to taste them but it wasn't hard to ignore at all. The only thing that was hard to ignore was when the hostess pulled fresh baked brie out of the oven. It smelled wonderful andI knew it would taste wonderful as well. But I had my water. Yay. So there's that, the social aspect. Though, I suppose I shouldn't have eaten any of that anyways.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGERJANE 5/23/2010 9:45PM

    Wow, 7 days - that's awesome! I've tried detox juicing a few times, but I've never even lasted 48 hours. The symptoms start, and I cave. I really admire how you've been able to resist, even with temptation right in your face!

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FITKAT2010 5/23/2010 6:42PM

    It will be interesting to see what happens after the fast is over. That will be a test of your hard efforts.

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3rd & 4th day on Juice

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So, this is a little late. Yesterday I had an awful furry tongue and bad breath. I did eat a few mints and brush the hell out of my tongue and it was slightly better.

I am still peeing a ton but I think my bladder is getting used to it more so I think it's slightly less frequent.

I've found that I'm craving the veggie juice. I really look forward to the green juice at dinner. Last night I turned my green carrot juice into a soup - warmed it and added spices. It was nice and tasted great.

Last night I was dizzy nearly every time I stood up but am not today at all.

Today I'm pretty bloated for some reason. No headaches at all anymore and my mouth/tongue are a little better but I'm sure it'll get worse later in the day. My nose feels runny slightly, which I understand is totally normal.

I still have tons of energy. Yesterday I went out and ran errands and today I'm doing house chores like crazy.

I still can't believe I haven't had solid foods in 4 days. I think the only thing that has got me are pita chips, mac & cheese and a commercial with a melty grilled cheese. Those look good to me but I know those won't be the first things I eat either.

Today I made the kids a quesadilla and I didn't even notice it. Not only was I not temped but I didn't even care. I've been loving water though and I've never loved water before.

I think it's going really well, I wonder how long I'll be able to do it. I want to at least use the fruits and veggies so not to waste them.

Oh and I did weigh myself and I weigh 140 now. So I've lost 5lbs since May 12th.


Juicing - Day 2

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Man, I feel like I'm always juicing and washing the juicer. But with 3 meals and 2 snacks per day, I guess that's what happens.

I believe I am just starting the detox effects. I have had a slight headache all day and it's not a normal tension headache. Plus, my tongue feels furry and tastes bad. I was more hungry earlier than I was yesterday. I think I haven't had enough water though. I did go on a 4 mile walk and felt great though. So no tiredness or anything.

Emotionally, I feel totally fine. I am still a bit shocked that all I've had is juice and water for 2 days now. I do miss food, but it's food I wouldn't be eating anyways - like the kids' mac & cheese. It's just emotional hunger because my tummy isn't hungry at all.

I have no idea if I've lose weight since this honestly isn't about weight. I didn't even weigh myself before so I haven't stepped on the scale for a couple weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 5/19/2010 1:18PM

    I assume you're detoxing (sorry didn't read your Day 1).
Hope it goes well and you feel great when you finish.

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