The great and fun thing about the vegan challenge is it gets me out of the house and interacting with people I might not have otherwise. As you all may know, I had an addiction to a local vegan cheeze product called Spread. Spread has recently been spreading out (ha ha. couldn’t resist) and getting their product in more local places. Previously I had to stalk them at the farmer’s market. Well, I had to send Mark to do it because I was at yoga.
For me, the best place to get my Spread fix is at the Full Lotus Juice Bar in Durham. Last week, I went to Full Lotus for the first time. They are located inside the Blue Corn Cafe. It’s a different kind of set-up, but it works. Trust me.
So when I went last week I was so gosh darn excited to get my Spread (that I had not had since Thanksgiving!!!!) that I barely paid attention to the Juice Bar. But today I went back – because two containers of Spread is simply not enough gang – and I paid attention.
I’m not going to launch into a review of the bar – I haven’t even had a juice yet. I just keep showing up to take all the Spread – but I do want to encourage you to go if you are local or just happen to be in the neighborhood. This place is amazing. I have to have a juice soon. It’s getting to the point where I’ve about had everything BUT a juice which is just silly.
Today I went in and Clarissa had lots of Spread ready for me. I got six containers (you can freeze the stuff, and it thaws beautifully). I also got some of her amazing vegan chocolate chip cookies that she herself makes and some raw chocolate. Then we sat around and talked for awhile. It was a wonderful conversation. I’m thinking about making her my new best friend and giving her one of those friendship necklackes. Maybe it’s too soon though? 🙂
I told Clarissa about my vegan challenge and how I had a break down a couple of days ago. I also told her how Mark got me out of the house to have a night off of being vegan. And you know what? She thought the whole thing was good. It was perfectly normal to have a break down. It was great that I cried she said because it meant I was open to my emotions. It was also great that I ate bacon and blue cheese. She said it would have been worse had I just spiraled around in a sad little vegan circle (my words, not her’s, but the point is the same). When Mark said we should go out and eat anything we wanted, he disrupted the spiral I was in. He got me out of my funk. And that is actually an important component to my challenge and to doing well.
Amyways, at the end of the day my point is this: Pushing myself to examine my diet is doing more than just introducing me to new foods and developing new habits. It’s also opening doors to new and fantastic people that I may not have met otherwise. So if you’re getting more into trying vegetarian/vegan foods or juicing or whatever get out and meet the people who run these places. They can help you and given you great ideas.
Before I head out to do my hip strengthening exercises (which are paying off by the way), let me tell you about dinner. I made something that didn’t suck! It was actually really delicious. Thank God. Tonight I made a vegan black bean soup.
The pita crisp came from Veganomicon, but you could figure it out yourself. I basically put some olive oil and spices on pita bread and toasted it for six minutes in the oven. Yummy!!!! I have been wanting to make a black bean soup. It was on my list of dinners to accomplish during the challenge. Luckily, this tasted much better than my first attempt at vegan mac and cheese. We will eat the soup leftovers, and I would absolutely make this recipe again!