I Don’t Mean to be Difficult, and Yet

I tend to be an annoying person. One would think that since I’m aware of this tendency that I’d be able to temper my behavior and know when to cease and desist. One would be wrong.

Even in the midst of my most annoying times, and even as my brain is yelling at me to shut the hell up, I continue along the path of greatest annoyance. It’s a talent of sorts, I suppose.

Take my new dairy-free, mostly vegan diet for example. Any time I have an opportunity to dine with someone other than Studly Doright, I lecture myself about how to handle my food requirements.

“Listen, Leslie,” that’s what I call myself. “Just peruse the menu, and don’t make a big deal of your dietary restrictions. No one else at the table needs to hear what you can and can’t eat. Just order and be done with it.”

Easy enough, right?

Instead, once I’m in the actual ordering situation I’m all, “Hey, do the shrimp lettuce wraps contain any dairy? I can’t eat any dairy, and you do not want to be around me if I accidentally ingest anything with dairy. The gas emissions alone are enough to choke a grown man, and I’m not talking about an average grown man here. I’m talking about The Rock or even Chuck Norris in his prime. And then, the bouts of diarrhea and/or constipation are absolutely devastating. I’ve lost 22 pounds over the course of two bouts of digestive distress brought on, perhaps, by my intake of dairy products. And you know, I’m not technically a vegan; however, I know that vegan fare is totally dairy free, so it’s safe for my digestive system and won’t result in a bout of the squirts and the subsequent resulting hemorrhoids, so that’s why I’m asking about the shrimp lettuce wraps, in case you wondered, which you probably didn’t, but still….”

About half a sentence into the above ramble, my brain is calling me all sorts of awful names and warning me that I’m going to die alone, friendless, and unloved if I don’t stop speaking immediately. Do I listen? Naw. Stupid brain.

So, I’m having lunch with a friend on Thursday. My self lecture has begun, but this time I’m thinking about applying duct tape to my mouth and merely pointing at my food choices. That’ll work, right?

Vegan Eats

For most of my 62 plus years I’ve been an omnivore. There are very few foods I won’t eat, and I’m usually open to trying exotic fare. So when my gastroenterologist put me on a dairy free diet for two weeks I figured I’d suffer through it and then go back to my regular diet (stomach permitting) once those two weeks were up.

The first week I didn’t do very well. Our grandkids were visiting from Illinois, and I was often in a hurry to grab something that seemed okay. It turns out there are dairy products in so many things that we’d never think to question, like crackers, breads, dry cereals. and processed meats. Even non-dairy toppings may have dairy. Go figure.

Once the grandkids departed I got serious about going dairy free. Since I don’t cook much, or well, I went in search of vegan restaurants in Tallahassee, figuring they’d be the best sources of dairy-free foods, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Sweet Pea Cafe on Tharpe Street is an excellent vegan cafe. I’ve eaten there several times now. Just today I had yummy tacos and the most incredible sweet potato fries I’ve ever tasted. Their baked goods are top notch, too. Seriously good stuff. That’s their menu board pictured below.

The Soul Vegan Express on Adams is good, as well. It’s a bit of a drive from my home, but I’ve eaten there once and highly recommend it.

Other Tallahassee restaurants have vegan options on their menu, so I’ve had a variety of choice places to eat.

I’ve also been shopping for frozen vegan foods and have found there are some great offerings. Amy’s Kitchen brand features a couple of vegan entrees. Nature’s Path makes a terrific frozen vegan waffle. I actually prefer them to Eggos brand! There’s a flatbread pizza made by American Flatbread that is amazing. One has to read the labels, but the vegan designation always means the product will be dairy free.

Of course I can have fruits and greens, so that’s fairly easy. And I’ve discovered some tasty vegan candies. The best thing is, I feel good.

I have a follow up visit with my gastroenterologist later this month, and I’m planning to stay at least dairy free, maybe even vegan only, until I see him. I’m kind of interested in seeing how this all turns out.

Peace, people!