Sunday, September 10, 2017
My husband became a vegan about six years ago after watching Forks Over Knives.
He literally went from a diet of coke and burgers to tofu and garbanzo beans overnight. He went cold turkey (minus the turkey). There was no process. Just, boom. One day he was a carnivore, the next he was not.
I like food. I like to eat for fun. I daydream about food, talk about food, sigh over food, Instagram my food—which is the true sign of a foodie. Duh. I just don't particularly like to cook food, which is a problem since our marriage is one loosely modeled after the 1950's era (except for the interracial component, and I'm allowed to wear pants.) Matt, on the other hand, eats only because he has to. He eats so his body has fuel, so he can perform his job to the best of his ability. He eats so he won't die.
I also watched Forks Over Knives back when we just had one kid. And I watched that documentary about the guy who ate McDonald's for every meal for a month straight and nearly killed himself in the process. I was effected, and have pretty drastically cut down on meat over the years, but I was not as committed as Matt. I'd still get chicken in my Chipotle burrito and hide the Breyer's mint chocolate chip so I wouldn't have to share it with the kids. I was a lousy vegan. What am I even saying? I AM a lousy vegan. I just had a BLT the other day, but it was all local ingredients and it tasted like happiness.
Over the summer we watched What the Health. I promptly threw out my cheddar slices and the carton of cow's milk that Evelyn used to drink. After watching the documentary with me and learning that cow's milk has pus in it, she's understandably gone off it.
I was gonna do it. I was finally, after 6 years of cooking vegan meals for my husband but adding cheese to my portion, going to go full on vegan with him. The kids, too. No more hot dogs. No more eggs. No more cheese. No more yogurt. Never mind that that's like, all they eat, and never mind that I secretly kept the sour cream tucked in the back of the fridge because black bean tacos without sour cream are the pits.
To be fair, it makes complete sense. Why not feed our bodies food straight from the earth? Why not eat the freshest, least processed food that we can? Peaches and pears and sweet potatoes and nuts and all that.
It sounds great, in theory. But here's the thing: I like butter. Feta and parmesan are my soulmates (you can have more than one.) And for the record, I've tried to like nutritional yeast but I just can't do it. It smells like what I imagine a middle school classroom to smell like—musty mixed with dried sweat and urine. Just, bad. Plus, my kids won't eat rice or quinoa or kale. But I'm not too worried about it because I didn't even know that kale existed until around my 25th year on this planet. Pretty much anything green they are automatically suspicious of. Unless it's a green skittle. A diet of toast and skittles is still technically vegan.
About 8 days into our new vegan regimen, I didn't have it in me to make another pb&j sandwich, so I made scrambled eggs, even though Sophie didn't touch hers. At the time, she was on a popcorn and applesauce kick, with some pop tarts thrown in. She's since started simply stirring her applesauce and not actually eating it, but her pop tart game is still strong.
She and I love these wildberry acai pop tarts from Target.
"We're the pop tart girls," Sophie says.
They're organic, so it's cool. One night I was sneaking one while they were getting ready for bed, and when they were done brushing their teeth I went to their room to tuck them in. I leaned in really close to Sophie to kiss her, pray for her, whisper goodnight. With my face inches from hers, she narrowed her eyes in a knowing way.
"Mom, I smell pop tart. I really, really smell pop tart," she said. "Smell my nose!"
In a recent Longform podcast featuring David Gessner, he said: "The things people think are getting in the way of the writing are actually the things framing the writing." Case in point: I smell poptart. Does it get any better? Actually, smell my nose might take the cake. That is the stuff of life.
No matter that the pop tarts have a tiny bit of milk in them. The kids and I are definitely still vegan. Just, non-monogamous vegans.