Day 20 Virgin Diet: Discovering acorn squash and properly raised filet

The third week of the Virgin Diet phase of the experiment is almost gone.  Juggling a very tight and busy work schedule combined with not using any of my usual pacifiers proved a bit of a challenge, but it was one that I actually did well against in the end.

The day started off as usual with one of the shakes.  I think I may make these shakes a staple part of my diets moving forward.  They actually are consistent with all the diets except technically the Mediterranean Diet, where I’m going to try to eat a more culturally appropriate diet.  Even so, it is something I could have on the Mediterranean Diet when I’m in a pinch.  Who knew that a vegan protein shake could actually start tasting good?

I could have eaten a usual big salad for lunch but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  There is something about the extreme cold that just brings you to wanting something like a stew or something like that.  The closest I could get to that was a nice Chicken Tinga dish.  A bunch of brown rice, tomato-based sauce and chicken breast all mixed together makes for a pretty tasty dish but one that left me feeling a little hungry not more than an hour later.  I kept up the avoidance of an afternoon snack for a couple hours after that before chowing down on half a dozen carrots that I brought with me.

Dinner ran really late tonight.  My neighbor and I have been finishing up a nice oatmeal stout that I look forward to sampling with the end of the Paleo Diet phase in the beginning of July.  If you think it seems odd to be making foods I can’t eat or even taste, get ready to see what I’m probably doing this weekend.  Dinner was finally out and ready to eat after bottling of the stout, sometime a bit after 8 pm.  Dinner was steak, potatoes and acorn squash.  I have been meaning to try to make acorn squash for literally two years.  I’ve eaten it just once in my life.  A local restaurant named Clyde’s had a vegetarian acorn squash bake full of grains, vegetables, et cetera.  It was very tasty but I couldn’t tell if it was the squash part that was helping that or if it was just a flavorless backend to the hearty filling.  Last night I just cut it open, coated in in olive oil and sprinkled on some salt and pepper.  It tasted delicious.  The texture is something like a butternut squash but a little more fibrous.  The flavor is similar to butternut squash too but I think it was a lot nuttier.

The steak was a piece of filet from a local farm that makes pastured grass fed beef.  I have been enjoying a lot of the cuts of beef that we’ve been getting from Hometown Harvest, but in general the meat is leaner and has to be much more carefully cooked.  When buying meat from the commercial producers filet would be one of the go-to cuts for me.  Even though I’ve been trying this more humanely raised beef for a couple of years off and on, and now religiously, I never had tried a piece of filet from such a producer.  I will say now that the flavor is far better, the texture is far softer and the juiciness was as comparable to traditionally raised product.  I can honestly say this is the way to get filet from now on, knowing full well that I have to pay a bit of a premium for it.  The night ended with a handful of nuts and grapes.  I technically didn’t need them, but I was just in the mood for some munchies.

As someone that often used emotional eating as a pacifier, I’m glad that I was able to get through a pretty stressful day without resorting to any of it.  I didn’t even have the choice of some alternative to indulge in.  This lead to me really coming close to “just this one time” buying a Coke Zero and a soft pretzel.  Or, “just this one time” having a handful of Haribo Gummi Bears.  I didn’t however, and I’m glad that I didn’t have to rationalize why it was okay to have the one slip-up which was totally unnecessary.