Friday, June 11, 2010

how vegans get fat

There aren't too many ways I can think of to make a vegan fat.  I know it happens and I'm pretty sure Isa and Terry wouldn't mind taking the credit blame for that, but I think it takes a great deal more effort to get fat on a vegan diet than a "normal" one.  Considering Ruben Studdard lost about 150 lbs (cumulatively) by going vegetarian and then vegan, and remembering Oprah's little vegan "cleanse," I would say most people who want to temporarily "give it a whirl" probably turn to veganism/meat-free diets to assist in losing weight after everything else fails.

Dynise wants to help change all that with her decadent, delicious, and decidedly NOT low-fat Spaghetti Carbonara.

I couldn't even bring myself to have a second serving.  It was delightful and rich in all the right ways, including the one that helps my mind recognize when I don't need to over-indulge.  Even though I [obviously] read the ingredients carefully for the dinners I choose, it absolutely did not connect in my brain just how...fake fatty this sauce would be until I was assembling the ingredients:

I didn't include the nutritional yeast because I didn't think it would stand out among all those brand names and because the bag it was in was ugly.  Three-quarters of that stick of Earth Balance ended up in the sauce, along with over a cup of soymilk and both of those Tofurky links, quartered and sliced.  I subbed the sausages for the tempeh bacon because I didn't want Mister to die.  I was really impressed with how thick the sauce became - it really didn't look like it would become quite this...well, meaty, when I was first whisking the soymilk into the nooch-and-Earth-Balance roux.

Speaking of meaty, yesterday was Employee Appreciation day at work.  There were rumors that I was going to feed everyone tofu, which were initiated by the rumors that there would be "healthy food" and no hot dogs (imagine that - eating healthy at a weight loss company).  I was skeptical - I have worked there for about three and a half years and have never witnessed a company celebration that didn't involve those wondrous little tubes of pink "meat."  Imagine my delight upon arriving for the festivities, trainees in tow, and finding:

  • fresh fruit smoothies (no kidding, they blended the bananas and strawberries right in front of you!)
  • trays of sauteed or roasted vegetables (couldn't quite tell which)
  • huge baskets of oranges, apples (red delicious and granny smith), and bananas
  • salad and raw veggies
  • SunChips in every flavor and a variety of baked chips (better than nothing)
  • whole wheat buns for the grilled chicken, hamburgers, and Morningstar Farms veggie patties

Not present? 
hot dogs
sugary desserts

Well done, Company!  I tried to behave, but there were two funny moments that arose:
There were two lines for hot food - one line to hamburgers and BBQ chicken, one line to veggie patties and grilled chicken breasts.  The girl directly behind me was a fellow vegetarian, but the girl behind her was definitely not.  It was that woman who asked what the two lines were and before I could stop myself, I told her "this line is for veggie burgers and chicken and that line is for charred animal flesh."  Fortunately, she found this almost as amusing as my veg-friend and I and then excused herself to the Animal-Flesh line.

The celebration went on for five hours.  I took my trainees to the opening festivities, so by the time things were drawing to a close, I was hungry again, so I thought I'd see if there were any veggie burgers left over.  There weren't, an inconvenience the server apologized for before letting me know "We still have chicken, though!"  My friend and I laughed as we walked away, since obviously a chicken breast would be an adequate replacement - after all, chicken is a fruit, right?

I feel happy, though, that enough people ate the veggie stuff that we ran out.  My boss even partook and made me proud!

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