Vegan Week Day 4

The fourth day of this experiment was one where I was really close to breaking it. Stress always requires release, and we want to fall back on our crutches.  That’s booze for some, drugs for others.  For me it’s food.  Combine that with some lack of preparation and I narrowly averted breaking the plan.  I didn’t though, and got the chance to try another new dinner option concocted by my friend.

After two mornings of waking up with an alarm early in the morning, before 6 am, I decided to let myself sleep naturally.  Despite being zonked out by 10:30 pm last night I didn’t wake up until after 8 this morning.  I was hell bent on getting the full breakfast, not just the cereal bowl poured dry into my mouth as I was driving around.  I added too much soy milk, but it was vanilla flavored so I didn’t mind spooning up the excess like melted ice cream.  That actually reminded me of breakfast as a kid, when we would do that once the cereal was gone, especially with Frosted Flakes or Cocoa Crispies.  Between waking up late, the real breakfast and just operating in a haze I didn’t actually get to work until almost 9:30 which was when meeting after meeting, or meeting prep, railed on.  Even with cancelling a few engagements the schedule was very packed and there was more work than time in the schedule.

I originally was going to quickly grab lunch and head back, but instead I ate lunch out with some coworkers.  That turned out to be a good thing since it provided some clean head space and some good non-work conversations.  As before I went to Chipotle and did the vegan burrito bowl combination I discovered.  While I find it delicious, especially the way the guacamole combines with the other ingredients to make a rich flavor, I can see I’m going to have to figure out how to get more creative with my lunches if I’m doing this for more than a week. I had my usual post-Chipotle Coke Zero cravings, which were even more amplified by my tension levels.  I held them off thankfully, as I had earlier in the morning when I wanted to use it to break my stupor (which the onslaught of meetings did a fine job of instead).

Chipotle did keep me full until late afternoon when I went to reach for my carrots and celery snack to carry me forward into my workout and then dinner.  That was the plan, but since I left the house not as put together as I had hoped I also left without the damn snack.  I don’t know what in the office is vegan, especially if I’m supposed to be avoiding honey too.  Perhaps the pretzels were, but they just put me on a carb rollercoaster.  None of my favorite health bars are, since they all have whey protein as well as milk chocolate and honey.  Short of gnawing on my own hand (would that be vegan), I didn’t have any options if I was going to stick to this diet.  I instead just started pounding seltzer water to just give me the sensation of consuming something and holding off from breaking down and having one of my delicious health bars.  Still, my company is great at keeping all the conference rooms and nooks filled with candy.  None of it healthy, none of it vegan, but a great stress reliever for me on a normal day.  My mental tricks barely held off the urge to reach down and grab a handful of fun sized Snickers, or Milky Way’s, or Dark Milk Way’s, or…Well I didn’t grab any, but the point is by the time I left I was pretty torqued up and hungry.

Once again, my routine was supposed to be to go on my 4-5 mile run then make dinner then get some house stuff done.  I was spent enough from the day that I just 86’d the run and went right to dinner.  My friend, Eric, has been suggesting tons of recipes and even gave me one of the recipes for one of his own creations: Eggplant Towers with Quinoa and Garbanzo Beans.  I’ll be blogging the full recipe at a future point in time, but the essence is very easy.  You basically slice and grill some eggplant and red peppers.  At the same time you cook up some quinoa.  When all is done you add some garbanzo beans (chickpeas) to the quinoa and let them come up to temperature.  You then stack alternating slices of eggplant and peppers, with some hummus between each layer.  Mine turned out like this:

The reference image I was using (made with a corn side rather than quinoa) was this:

Is that a Pinterest fail or what?  I forgot the basil, didn’t have vegetable stock handy and obviously don’t have the eye for plating or presentation.  It tasted good though, and it was filling.

After some dinner and veg time I rallied enough to do some stretching and foam rolling to help work the beef jerky out of my legs.  Maybe I’ll get a cross training workout in tomorrow since I bailed on my run tonight.  I got some other work done, along with the blogging.  Still, it will be catching up on True Blood with a bowl of frozen berries for dessert that will cap my evening in a few moments and get me ready for a relatively early bed to allow me to enjoy another hectic day tomorrow but in a still more refreshed state.