Friday, July 13, 2012

"Meating" Certain Expectations

Me, on Wednesday.

It's Friday early evening and I thought I'd take a break from the hell that is the humidity and heat outside and do a little blogging instead. The plan was that I'd get out for a bike ride before dinner but there are some rather threatening clouds out there that have me believing I'd be turning my bike around faster than you can say "fatgalonabike"as soon as I'd get out I'm staying inside for the moment. I walked my 3K this morning so I'm Ok with skipping the evening exercise Annie says, "there's always tomorrow."

So, how is everyone doing this week? It's vegetarian week, of course, and based on the pictures from my "vegtastic" post on Monday, I was in great shape to stick to my veggie eating guns this week and let me tell you, I rocked the hell out of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday....but the real kicker is what happened on Wednesday. Let's just say, it involved meat. And absolutely no way to say no.

Allow me to provide you with a little background knowledge before you start hurling rotten tomatoes at me....

On July 4th my husband's grandmother passed away after a 7-year battle with dementia.  She was cremated, but the following Saturday we attended a church service in her memory in Wilmington, DE. However, this church was not her final resting place. Her husband was buried in Naticoke, PA and so this past Wed there was a small family service there so that her urn could be buried next to him. My mother-in-law's aunt and cousin who live in Nanticoke came to the service and graciously invited everyone to come to their home (which incidentally was my MIL's grandmother's old house) after the burial. I think her exact worlds were, "I got up early and I made a lot of food."

There was no turning that down, and I instantly knew I might find myself in a bit of a pickle because we wouldn't be going to a restaurant -  as planned, where I could select a vegetarian entree - as planned. I had no idea what my MIL's aunt had prepared but all I knew was that whatever it was, meat or no meat, I was going to have to either eat it or look like the world's biggest ingrate.

As it turned out, the food offered turned out to be homemade Polish halupkies which, if your not familiar, contain a beef and rice mixture formed into a ball, surrounded by wilted cabbage, covered in a thin tomato sauce. They look like this:
The evil was lurking inside....
These were served with slices of rye bread. And that's it. Choices were virtually non-existent.

Trust me when I say, I surveyed the situation and really thought long and hard about what I could/should/would do, but please understand these were relatives from my husband's side of the family that I do not know well at all and I would have felt terribly rude not eating anything while everyone else was chowing down and frankly, I didn't think anyone there would give a rat's ass to hear, or even understand what it meant that I was violating the rules of my own blogging challenge (can you imagine THAT conversation?)...Try explaining that to an old Polish woman who just told you she got up at 4 AM to make a truckload of these time consuming little bundles of stuffed cabbages. I think I would have been banished from the family right then and there.

SO - I did what any good daughter-in-law would do and I took the smallest possible halupkie and ate it along with a piece of rye bread with a small schmear of Smart Balance (I was freaking STARVING), all the while thinking how in the hell I would explain to my fellow dedicated challengers that I FRIGGING ATE MEAT DURING VEGETARIAN WEEK!!!???

I'm kind of chuckling as I write this, only because, seriously - who would have thought this would ever had presented itself this week?? But I honestly think I did the right thing, and please be assured that this was my one and ONLY discretion this week - and that I plan on sticking with the vegetarian thing at LEAST one extra day, to make up for my meat-inclusive meal - even though it was consumed only due to my precarious position between that horrible rock and a hard place.

Tomorrow I'm headed to my friend's house for dinner, but this time there will be no surprises, as I am making, and taking along a pan of caramelized onion lasagna. I found the recipe in my "The Simple Art of Eating Well" cookbook and I gotta tell you, it sounds over-the-top delicious. Best of all, it calls for 2 oz. gorgonzola cheese and chopped walnuts which I am leaving out (blech!). I'll be subbing with  2 oz goat cheese, which saves me 30 cals in cheese and 264 calories in walnuts alone! Total cals for one piece in 354 versus 387 on the original recipe. I'll be sure to post pics and confirm if it is indeed as fine tasting as it sounds once I get it made.

Well,  that's about confession of the week. I guess it could be least I didn't hijack a Good Humor truck or anything. Then again,  the week's not over.


  1. You did the right thing by eating the meat. If their could have been a worse time to offend the family that would have been the time. You survived it and so did the feelings of the hard working aunt. Like my husband always says "you plan God laughs." One thing we all have to learn while we are losing weight or maintaining our healthy lifestyles is that there are always going to be obstacles in the way and sometimes they are just unavoidable. You did great and your should be proud of yourself. Life happens and we move on!! ((Hugs)) to your husband for his loss. It's never easy but it sounds like she is in a much MUCH better place. :-) You are doing great keep it up and be proud of the days that you were a full throttle veggie eater.

  2. As vegetarians, I can tell you that it is NOT EASY for us at ANY function. Weddings, funerals, all-sorts-of-parties have always presented major issues where meat consumption is concerned. At first, it was downright frustrating and discouraging. We'd often leave events famished because we believed that everyone almost always includes a veggie dish at every event.

    Soooo not true. Ugh.

    We have learned, like, over five years later, that the safest way to survive being an herbivore (even a temporary one) at any event you're not personally planning is to do one of three things:

    1.) Eat before you leave. Grab something veggie as you're walking out the door (like...literally JUST before you walk out the door). This is the best option because it keeps you guaranteed safe and it will even stave off unwanted snacking should you get there and find that there is a veggie option (brilliant).
    2.) Pack a meal bar or a veggie drink in your purse.
    3.) Eat just after you leave the event. (This was created after the first completely non-veggie wedding we went to - oy!)

    It'll help you cope! Plus, you'll always be able to say to your host(ess), "Oh, no thanks, I ate just before we left" or "Oh, no thanks, we're swinging by such-and-such restaurant on the way home." :)

    Good luck!

  3. My family is very much like that in Bangladesh. They don't get why I don't eat meat. It was just a personal choice. Before going to visit family last summer I asked my parents to warn everyone that I was vegetarian. They did, but people still cooked meat dishes and then got offended when I didn't eat and kept saying, 'Just try a little.' I didn't. But it was different for me since I actually don't eat chicken/meat at all ... still, I understand the challenge of being put in family situations like that. You did the right thing. A bit of meat vs. arguments with the in-laws -- no brainer what should win that one! :)