Why I certainly didn't think that giving up meat and pop would be an easy endeavor, I was met with some choices right away where I would have to confront those choices sooner than later.
Valentine's Day was pretty easy because my wife, who had been a vegan for several years before I met her before giving it up, made me black bean toastado's while sharing chips and salsa with the kids having turkey taco's. Certainly delicious and good fuel for my long run the next day.
After my long run of 16 miles the next day, I needed fuel and stopped by Chipotle for a burrito at lunch. While my normal order in the past would be a chicken burrito with white rice, black beans, corn salsa, and a large Diet Coke refilled at least once, this time I went with a veggie burrito, brown rice, black beans and corn salsa. To drink? A Nantucket Nectar Apple Juice. Actually reading the menu, I learned that the Pinto Beans are seasoned with bacon! So far so good.
The fifth day so far proved to be the most interesting as I tried several new items. On a lunch date with my daughter before heading out to roller skate (cue the early 90's pop music), we went to Panera's. A normal order in the past would have been to have a chicken noodle soup/baked potato soup and a Sierra Turkey on Asiago bread. This time a wonderful tomato/mozzarella 1/2 sandwich with a cup of vegetarian black bean soup and a water. Later, my wife has somehow procured a babysitter, so we actually had a dinner and movie date. Checking out a new joint called Social Kitchen and Bar, I really had to scan the menu. The waiter had recommended the Chicken and Waffles as well as the Burger, which again probably a week ago, I would have been all over. This time, I settled on an amazingly delicious kale salad with pickled onions, raisins, quinoa, tomatoes, with a red wine vinaigrette and a grilled cheese sandwich on naan bread with a tomato soup dipper. While I munched mindfully taking in the new flavors, it was hard not to hear my wife proclaim that it was the best burger she had ever eaten. That's ok, I felt really good in my choices, because they tasted so good.
So here I sit at my local Starbucks trying yet another new item, a soy vanilla latte, and experiencing new tastes on my palette. So far, giving up pop has been relatively easy. It was something that I maybe had a few sips of my wife's on a daily basis and had a can a few days a week. Replacing it has simply been with more water.
Meat? Well, it has been much more of a conscious effort heading into meals but so far so good. It has forced me to really read menu's and to try some things that I would have normally skimmed over. One person, has given me the best tip so far as I head down this road and that is to be forgiving.