Friday, February 23, 2007

A Week In Review

The morning after being subjected to watching my family devour that piglet's carcass, I needed a purging. Breakfast had to be scrambled tofu (yes, I love scrambled tofu), tempeh bacon, mashed sweet potato with collard greens and spelt toast.

Did I fail to mention that at almost every family gathering, someone always makes a comment regarding my veganism? This time my grandfather's brother, the revered doctor in the family, declared very loudly about whether or not I truly felt healthy with my vegan lifestyle because I seemed pale in comparison to all in the room. Everyone went silent. I was caught off-guard. Recovering quickly, I told him that on the contrary, I felt great and I went to stand between my two aunts, and asked all if I was paler than they were, knowing full well that I wasn't. At that point, my boyfriend is the first and only one to say that I look great because no one else wants to speak against my grand-uncle and though they might not think I look pale, they certainly do not agree with my food choices. They condemn me with their silence. In turn, their meat & dairy consumption may lead them to the 'promised land' of gout, high cholesterol and heart disease...

Well, there may have been an ounce of truth in my granduncle's observation, though his conclusions were unfounded and biased. I had been under an extreme amount of work stress the past couple of days. Stress calls for grilled 'cheese' except there was only one slice left...

Stress also calls for cookie consumption. These are the best vegan cookies from Alternative Baking Company. As you can see, I liked the oatmeal raisin.

The stress led to what I thought were terrible allergies which in actuality was a full-blown cold. I had a huge casting on Thursday where I had to video the casting in order for the clients to see more of the model's personalities & how they moved. Being fairly new to video casting and still trying to juggle another production in Los Angeles, I had tons of anxiety. And on top of it, I felt like total and complete crap.

My terrible cold asked me to make udon noodles & miso soup with wakame & tofu. Ever since I was a child, I loved to put corn in my noodle soups. I was feeling bad and I wanted corn in my soup. I bundled up (mind you it was the warmest day in weeks) and trekked out to get a can of organic corn and other groceries...

I also craved the swiss chard recipe in Myra Kornfeld's The Voluptuous Vegan. Swiss chard, olives, mashed garlic oil & lemon- delicious!

So being properly fortified, I proceeded with my cold remedy: lots of liquids, Emergen C, vitamins, saline warm water nasal rinse & eucalytus/sage steam inhalation- then off to bed. I was praying that I would better by the next day for my pressure-filled casting. I had a sense of peace because I knew that I would at least have yummy cookies to bring with me...the peanut butter/chocolate chip is amazing. I knew since I had scheduled 60 models for callbacks, 8 girls every half hour, three minutes a girl- I would definitely need two cookies for a pick-me-up.

I ended up not sleeping the entire night because I kept getting up to go the bathroom. My bladder must be the world's smallest. I had been keeping myself hydrated to kick the cold, but it resulted in me getting up at least three times in the middle of the night.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty miserable, but surprisingly the video casting went really well. I meant to take a picture, but there was so much going on. The end of the day finally came around, exhausted and stuffy headed, comfort food was in order. Asian comfort food that is! I made soupy rice- which is exactly as it is named: rice cooked down with water, like a rice stew to which I added baby bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, flaxseed oil, liquid aminos, cilantro & fresh pepper. Soupy rice lends itself to be eaten with salty foods, like pickled vegetables. This is exactly what I needed.

A great accompaniment to soupy rice is chili beancurd which is lovingly referred to as 'stinky tofu'. It is fermented tofu and is extremely flavorful & potent which is why a little bit will do you just fine. It's really strong like a smelly cheese- an acquired taste, but so delicious.

After my comforting meal, I definitely felt better. Funny how when one doesn't feel well, one reverts to childhood meals. Soupy rice was definitely a staple when I was sick as a child, except that it was stewed with meats or eaten with salty fish. I love my modified soupy rice.

Now onto a weekend of rest and possibly just laying in bed and hiding beneath the covers a la Booboo. Ah, feeling better as we speak.


bazu said...

Oh, I hope the weekend is bringing you rest and recuperation! Sounds like a stressful week- a bad cold can do that to you. I'm sorry about the strife at family dinner, I often get crazy questions/observations when dining with my or my husband's family. They can be understanding sometimes, but sometimes I wonder if we're really related!

Your food looks so good. I think noodles are one of the most comforting things in the world. And those cookies- they are so good. I remember discovering them at the school cafe back in CA and I haven't looked back since. I love the chocolate ones. And, I've never tried the fermented tofu- sounds good.

Let's definitely try to meet up if/when I'm back in the city. =)

Melody said...

Everything looks great here..

I'm sorry that your family gives you grief about your choices.. and I was truly sickened by the picture of the pig. I used to live in Iowa.. and they would have hog roasts.. where they would do whole hogs over a fire.. it made me so sad.. but I'm even sadder and sicker when I goto the grocery store.. and see all the flesh.. and people sooo disconnected. I am not perfect. I am not a 100%vegan.. so I have the disconnect when I eat dairy to some degree.. but I still KNOW.. and I don't feel good about it, so I don't do it very often.

regarding your question.. I didn't eat any meat while living on the farm. I'm sure I had turkey stock without realizing it.. in rice or soup or whatever.. but most of the time, I ate salad and peanut butter sandwiches.

Melody said...

I just read most of your blog.. good stuff..

You lead an exciting life!.. and Booboo is adorable.

b36Kitchen said...

i love all of myra kornfeld's recipes..she was actually one of my cooking instructors....everything looks so family doesn't give me grief about my eating habits but my grandma's sister alway's worrys about's sweet.

anyway...thanks for visiting my blog and asking about catering!!..the caterer I work for is called Elemental Foods and we cater mostly to photo shoots so if you are interested you can visit our or call the shop!


Urban Vegan said...

BooBoo has the right idea!

I love your photo of the empty cookie package. Must have been yummy & comforting.

I'm sorry about the insensitive comments you had to endure at your family gathering, Next time, ask the doctor exactly how many nutrition courses he has taken and how many books and journal articles he has read on the matter [probably not many] that gives him such great authority. There are plenty of articles in reputable, peer-reviewed medical journals that point to the benefits of veganism and vegetarianism, if he asks--just let me know if you need me to dig up copies.

Why can't peeple just respect others' decisions and boundaries?!

anony-mouse again! (it sounds like the name of a sequel) said...

*peeps from blackhole of semester exams and debate competitions*

You comment whore, you. ;) I leave you a comment in the hopes that it will make you feel better...cuddle Booboo, and take lots of vitamin C, okay?

Anyways, you know that half the family is pretty much batshit insane...I got treated to a random Catonese pop quiz by Grandpa when I called to wish them a happy new year over the lasted for TWENTY minutes, and you know he can't hear was mostly me having to yell into the phone and him not understanding me. >:/ Don't let them get to you.

On that same note, I discovered that I am not allowed to be a writer even on Daddy's side of the family. Because. It. Is. A. Waste. Of. My. Intelligence. Instead, I should become a researcher, a lawyer, or a professor. They all say hello though.

Anyways, perhaps I call you tomorrow to see how you and the meows are doing.

Oh, here's something that will interest you- Daddy made steak the other day, and you know I love steak, but for some reason, I actually felt really ill while eating it. I couldn't finish it. And not that it was bad steak or just weird eating it. I didn't want it. I don't think I can have steak for some time, actually. I don't think I want it.

Perhaps the anony-mouse is losing some of her carnivore-ness?

Twisted Cinderella said...

Sorry your uncle said that! I haven't told all my family yet that I am vegan. I don't see them that often and I am scared of their reaction. I know they won't be supportive.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I hope you feel better today. Even feeling yucky your food looks great. By the way I love corn in my soups too!

My family has a tendency at times to do the same thing about my vegan lifestyle. I guess I should say extended family. My DH is a great supporter even though he is an omni.

Those cookies are so good. When we go for our shopping trip to Whole Foods that is our treat. DH loves the Peanut butter and I love the Oatmeal. Of course any of them will do.

runswithdog said...

Oh, the espresso chocolate chip ones are my fav! You and Bazu are not allowed to meet up in NYC without me there! I want to go to some of those awesome restaurants you two are always writing about!

I assume Anony-mouse is a relative of yours? Man, I just LOLed reading what she wrote, 'half the family is pretty much batshit insane' That girl needs a blog!

Megan the Vegan said...

hey - I just found your blog. It's fun...I'll be back.

Love that picture of your cat hiding. too funny

aTxVegn said...

I found you thru Bazu and Laura - what a great blog. I've been down with the flu for the last 4 days and can relate to craving the rice and cookies. Your food photos are beautiful. And the stinky tofu sounds perfect for clearing up allergies.

Theresa said...

That food looks super yummy. It's your family's loss that they are stuffing their faces with dead animals while you've got such delicious, cruelty-free food on your plate, but it still sucks to be in that situation.

Wicked cute kitty pic!

laura jesser said...

I love your blog... and I love scrambled tofu too. I'm sorry about your family meet-up fiascos; my husband's family is not much more sympathetic to the idea of veganism than that, so I sort of know what you mean (although no one has ever questioned our health in such a way). I'm glad you are feeling better now!

KleoPatra said...

Aiiiiieeeeeeee! STRESS.

It's easy for me to say, let it in one ear and out the other, but i know that is harder to do than a lot of things in this crazy world. I've been a veg*n for 25 years and i *STILL* get kinda harrassed... but i guess i have learned to put most insensitive comments on ignore and i just smile and live my life the best way i know how.


Lovin' the food... and i'm a huge fan of those cookies!!

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