Hello! Today was my first “outing” as someone choosing to eat vegan at a non-vegetarian/vegan restaurant: Romano’s Macaroni Grill. I’ve written more details later in the post, but I wanted to get to my other eats of the day first (I like things to be in order and logical!)

Vegan Challenge Day 9

Can you believe it’s Day 9 already? I certainly don’t feel like I’ve been “restricted” or anything, and for that I feel very grateful! I suppose I’ve slowly transitioned into this over a long period of time and that’s probably been a big reason why this hasn’t been very difficult for me. I’ve never drank (or wanted to drink) milk by the glass, heavy amounts of cheese, yogurt and ice cream have never made my stomach very happy (though I still ate them and dealt with the consequences), and I’ve never been one to crave a meal that’s surrounded by meat and therefore have never been much inclined to cook meat very often.

So maybe I’ve been steering toward this new lifestyle for a long time now and just needed a good kick in the butt to get me going?At this point I’m finding it more and more difficult to think about going back to choosing to eat dairy and meat. I’m keeping an open mind, though, and will revisit this as I get deeper into veganism. On that note, let’s go to breakfast:

Breakfast: Green smoothie made with organic spinach, organic kale, 1 banana, 1 mango, organic rice milk, organic flax seed and ice.

As I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post, I had quite an active morning ahead of me. I didn’t want to overeat beforehand so I went straight for the smoothie. Turns out this thing was huge and I was able to drink about half before meeting with Liz for our run (which turned into a fun walk!) I put the other half in her fridge to have before yoga. It was nice to space out the green yumminess throughout my morning and by the time yoga was over, it was noon and I was starting to feel ready for lunch!

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Lunch: Honey Teriyaki Glazed Tempeh sandwich topped with shredded carrots and sliced onions and a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Also, a vegan ginger cookie may or may not have made its way to my table for some tasting 😛

Okay, I just realized that I was not going to eat honey as part of this challenge and that I completely forgot about this little detail when ordering this sandwich (it was new on the menu at Book Lover’s Cafe and I was super excited to try it!) I’ve been rethinking the honey bit anyway and I personally don’t believe that it’s something I should avoid since I’m doing this for health reasons, not ethics. Feel free to disagree if you wish!

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Mid-Afternoon Snack: Ezekial 7-Grain EM with Maple Cinnamon AB and organic raisins

I was in a rush to class and this sounded wonderful! Looking back, I probably would have chosen an apple with AB and raisins instead since I had a carb-loaded dinner. I don’t believe carbs are bad, but at the same time, I really think moderation is the way to go with just about anything health-wise. (stock photo, but thought you all might need a little extra peace and love again 🙂 )

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Dinner: Romano’s Macaroni Grill Capellini Pomodoro (with WW penne substitute), mango italian soda, peasant bread with olive oil dipping.

Evan’s parents came into town for the night! They were amazing and generous to take us to Macaroni Grill and I wasn’t going to let the Vegan Challenge get in the way of a nice meal out! I did a lot of research before arriving at the restaurant. I wanted to know what vegan options would be available to me and I was pleased to find out from multiple websites that the Capellini Pomodoro was the only menu item that did not have to be customized to fit the vegan bill. I love capellini pomodoro, but decided to switch out the capellini pasta for whole wheat penne. YUM! I was also pleased to discover that their free peasant bread was vegan as well! And I got the italian soda for a little extra fun 🙂 I have pasta leftovers that I’ll probably be eating for lunch tomorrow (over a bed of spinach perhaps?)

With a little research about the restaurant beforehand, I was able to confidently select an item off of the menu that worked for me. There were also many other options I could have played around with (they have a great Create Your Own pasta option) so it wasn’t the end of the world or anything in terms of food options. The First Outing Verdict: not as bad as I thought it was going to be! The hardest part was being picky about the mystery dish they brought me the first time the food was brought out, but they got it fixed and I was pleased with the new dish that was brought out.

My only qualm: my stomach was all out of whack as soon as I started to leave the restaurant. I have no idea what I ate that would disturb it. My only guess would be the italian soda but maybe it was something else. Any insight?

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Alright, well that about sums it up! I’m heading to Evan’s around 8 AM to enjoy breakfast with his parents at his condo before they head back to Melbourne. I’ll either be catching yoga after breakfast (and before work) or possibly a class tomorrow night instead. We’ll see how the morning goes!

Goodnight!

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