The other day I escaped the city with a couple of my girlfriends to go stay with another friend and her family on the cape. The two girls I was driving down with are vegetarian, and I am dabbling in veganism. The family we were visiting is neither vegan or vegetarian. Perfectly acceptable. I went prepared. I knew we would only be there for about 24 hours. I packed some protein powder, oat bran, peanut butter, nuts, and Larabars. I knew there would be a bounty of fruits, veggies, and other whole grains for me to work with there.
I ate my staple breakfast at home. Oat bran, Vega chai, banana and peanut butter. Lunch went smooth. We had a “snack” lunch. Lots of fruit was consumed, as well as veggies, hummus, and vegan pita chips. Breakfast and lunch were basically same the next day as well. Happy belly, happy taste buds, all animal free.
We decided to go out to dinner. Our friend mentioned the restaurants would have limited vegetarian options, and very limited vegan. I told her not to worry, I could make it work. In fact, I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately when friends are concerned with dinner plans, or baby showers. “What will you eat?” “Can you eat this?” To me, I do not want to be an inconvenience, and don’t expect them to go out of their way to provide an option for just me. I tell them, “I’ll make it work.” And I do. Purse snacks are key for someone with dietary restrictions in a world that doesn’t provide us the options we desire.
At dinner I had a glass of red wine, thanks to barnivore.com and my smart phone for confirming it was a vegan friendly choice. I passed on the bruschetta appetizer, although I did steal some of the tomatoes from the side of the plate. I was hungry, they were red and juicy. They may have touched cheese, but I didn’t eat the cheese, I feel like that is fair. I made it work. I browsed the menu, fish, steak, chicken…oh wait, portabella mushroom….contains butter and cheese, never mind. I talked with the waitress, who was wonderful. Friendly and completely understanding. I asked if she had any suggestions. She said she could do steamed veggies without butter, and maybe they could alter one of the salads. I ordered a mango, walnut, goat cheese salad, hold the goat cheese, dressing on the side and a side of steamed veggies, no butter.
My salad came out, bib lettuce and three thin slices of mango. The side of veggies was bountiful with broccoli, carrots, green beans, no butter. The waitress informed me that the walnuts were candied and contained butter and sugar. I was a little bummed, but really pleased with the service she provided. Luckily I keep my purse snacks with me at all times. I pulled out some natural walnuts and almonds and plopped those on the salad. I added my veggies to the top. Ignored the dressing on the side. And voila, a delicious “make it work” vegan salad.
The food consumed was not what made this a special night though. The time with my girlfriends, laughing, talking, having a great time, was way more important than any of the food or drink that was or was not consumed. It was a successful evening all around. I would much rather go out, eat a “make it work” dinner and having special time with my friends than stay at home alone and make a 5 star vegan meal.