Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Veg Adventures: Turkey Time November 23, 2011

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:30 pm
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In honor of the impending American holiday of feasting, I bring you: A Tasting of Four Meatless “Turkeys” for the Holiday Table. The writer assembled an expert panel of tasters, including vegetarians, devout carnivores, and children, to try four different meatless “turkey” products, and the result is a really interesting review. I’m trying the Quorn product for my Thanksgiving.

My mom keeps asking if I want a vegetable lasagna, and I keep saying, no, get the turkey. Veggie lasagna will be fine for Christmas, but at Thanksgiving, I and everyone else want turkey, and I don’t want to deprive my family of bird meat just because I’m not eating any. I’m sure that whatever meatless bird I end up with will suffer in comparison next to a bird of actual bird origin, especially when they’re placed on the table together, and I suspect my mom wants to save me the disappointment of having to eat some substandard weird non-meat while the rest of the family chows down happily, but to be honest, I never really liked turkey all that much anyway – it’s always been mostly symbolic for me. I always looked forward to the side dishes most of all, even when I was a kid. Last year was the first time I really got into my turkey leftovers because it was the first time we ever found something cool to do with them (turkey pot pies and turkey burritos), so I am a little sad to lose my turkey leftover opportunities just when I’d finally found something I liked. But as long as there’s something vaguely resembling turkey on my plate, and as long as I have mashed potatoes and corn pudding and homemade applesauce and cranberry bread and pumpkin bread and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and maybe pie, I’ll be happy enough this Thanksgiving. I’ll give you the full report on what we ate and whether I made anyone try the non-turkey after the holiday.


Veg Adventures: BBQin’ October 7, 2011

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:19 pm

We had a Labor Day party a few weeks ago, and of course we made sure to have plenty of vegetarian options for the grill. We discovered that Trader Joe’s veggie burgers are not grill-appropriate (those things fell apart!), but Morningstar’s Grillers work well. We’re really liking SmartDogs – they grill well, have appropriately hot-doggish structural integrity, and have pretty good flavor. Our favorite is the chorizo-style dog: it’s delicious with guacamole and cheese! (Plus with the chorizo seasoning you don’t notice that it doesn’t taste the same as an all-beef dog). My dad brought portobello mushrooms too, so we had grilled portobello sandwiches, and we also had a bunch of nice fresh veggies that we grilled in a basket.

What we learned from our Labor Day party is that veggie options are not all that popular at family cookouts. We ate the leftover grilled veggies for a good week, and we still have tons of veggie burgers in the freezer (along with tons of beef and turkey burgers too – we overbought everything). We’re slowly working our way through it all, and the Trader Joe’s burgers we’ll save to cook up when it’s too cold to grill outside anymore.

The week after our party, I got to try seitan for the first time. We drove out to Pittsburgh to go to F’s sister’s wedding celebration. Megan is a chef and a vegetarian (you’ve met her before, I posted about her visit back in August). She planned all the food for her party, and so of course she had plenty of vegetarian options. I had a portobello sandwich that was delicious, and I also got to try the seitan, which I put on hot dog buns, sloppy joe style, and covered with barbecue sauce (since Meg had a barbecue sauce bar at the party). I thought it was delicious, but then I also really liked the sauce, which is a rarity for me since I’ve never really liked regular barbecue. I would definitely eat seitan again, but from what I hear it’s kind of a pain in the tail to cook, so I’m not sure it’d be worth it to try to make it myself if I’m just going to slather it with sauce. There are lots of other things I can slather with sauce, after all.

We also had a bit of a debate over how to pronounce the word “seitan”. Just looking at it, I’d say sye-TAN, but I’m not at all attached to that. Megan usually says it SEE-t’n, which has the advantage of being faster to say in a busy kitchen. Anyone have the last word on this?


The Gunas August 10, 2011

Filed under: bhagavad gita,yoga philosophy — R. H. Ward @ 1:42 pm

Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna talks about three gunas and the effects they have on each individual. The word “guna” means “strand” or “quality”; the gunas are qualities that influence and control our actions and even our personalities. Having a working understanding of the three gunas – sattva, rajas, and tamas – can help us to better understand ourselves, our motivations, and our spiritual path.

The first and highest of the gunas, sattva, denotes peacefulness, calm, contentment, and balance. Ideally, after meditation or after yoga asana practice, you’ll be feeling sattvic: the goal of these practices is to bring about a sattvic state. Sattvic foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds, dairy products, and sweet spices like cinnamon or cardamom.

The second guna, rajas, denotes activity, energy, sensuality, desires, attachments, and enjoyments. Being in a rajasic state can be good for getting a lot done at the office because you’re full of energy and drive. Feeling rajasic can be pleasant, but to make progress on our spiritual path, we need to strive for a sattvic state. Rajasic foods include caffeine, meats, heavy foods, and very spicy foods. From an ayurvedic standpoint, the vata dosha is most rajasic.

The final guna is tamas, which denotes laziness, lethargy, confusion, and ignorance. We all feel tamasic sometimes, but it’s not a state anyone really wants to be in. Tamasic foods include fast foods, old or leftover foods, canned or boxed foods, and foods with lots of preservatives. In ayurveda, kapha is the most tamasic dosha – spicy rajasic foods can help to get kaphas moving!

The three gunas act together to influence our thoughts, words, and actions. In understanding the gunas, we can come to understand our motivations and why we do what we do. Try using the gunas as a system of measuring your mental state. The gunas fluctuate depending on each person and each day, but at any given time one guna is dominant over the others. Which guna is affecting you most right now?

As yogis, when we’re aware of the gunas, we can use that knowledge and our discrimination to make choices that will lead us to a sattvic state. When you first wake up in the morning, you may feel sleepy and tamasic, so what do you do to get yourself moving? If you have six cups of coffee, that will lead to a rajasic state; if instead you do your yoga practice followed by a healthy breakfast, that’s more likely to lead to a sattvic state. (And if you roll over and go back to sleep, you’re giving in to the tamas and you won’t get anything done!) Paying attention to our moods, and to the effect our choices have on our moods, will lead us to make healthier choices, choices that make us happier.

As a yoga teacher, it’s important to be aware of the gunas too. The purpose of yoga class is to bring the students to a sattvic state. This is why most yoga classes begin with a series of active rajasic poses, then lead students to more calming poses and finally to relax in savasana. If the yoga teacher is aware of the gunas, she’ll be careful to preserve the sattvic state of her students at the end of class: talking in a soft voice, making slow movements, and turning the lights up gradually. Loud voices, bright lights, and being rushed out of the room can spoil that yoga high!


Veg Adventures: A Weekend With Meg August 3, 2011

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 2:35 pm

I haven’t written anything in a while about my adventures in vegetarianism, mostly because it’s going really smoothly. I’m eating food, I haven’t had any major problems, things are good. But I do have a few little stories to share.

The day we moved our furniture into our new house, we had some friends over to help, and we ordered the requisite pizza to feed them. One of my friends is sensitive to gluten, so we also ordered some chicken fingers and wings so she’d have something to eat too. Everything was out on the table like a big buffet, and we were all happily chowing down. The wings happened to be right in front of me, and they looked really good, so I reached over and grabbed one. My husband F had to had to say “They’re meat. They’re meat. THEY’RE MEAT!” before I realized and put it back. I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t even really like wings back when I ate meat, so maybe I just wasn’t making the wing = meat connection in my brain.

That was a few weeks ago. This past weekend, my sister-in-law Meg came to visit. Meg has been a vegetarian since she was maybe eight years old; she’s also a trained chef. Woman knows how to cook. I learned about freezing tofu: F and I already knew that it was good to freeze the tofu, but not why or what to do with it when you wanted to then defrost and cook it. (It’s good because it gets a lot of the excess water out of the tofu, and to defrost it you just stick it in the fridge the night before or put it out on the counter like you would with anything you were defrosting, and then you can just dump it in the stir fry and because it’s not watery it won’t hardly crumble at all!) Now I know. I also made the stir fry sauce from scratch, learned about what to do with the cornstarch to make the stir fry sauce thicker, and learned a better way to prepare couscous than what I had been doing. Bonus: we found a restaurant 2.5 miles from my new house that I am sure F doesn’t know about; I don’t know of any other restaurants in our area who make this sort of cuisine, which is a cuisine that F likes, and the food was damn good, so I’m really psyched to surprise F and take him there.

My other lesson from my weekend with Meg involves protein, and how you should, um, make sure to eat it. I had just been haphazardly planning my meals, figuring that I probably get enough protein and not worrying about it, but Meg sort of made the point that one ought to eat some protein with every meal. We’d be talking about what to eat for dinner, and she’d say what do we have, and I’d rattle off a bunch of items, and she’d say okay what will we have for our protein, and I just kind of looked at her. It just made me think in an obvious sort of way that I should plan for the protein thing and make sure to eat it regularly. And now that I understand about tofu a little better, I feel more confident about that. (We ate all the tofu that was in our freezer, so I got more at the store tonight and cut it up and froze it, although I’m realizing now that I forgot to press the water out of it first so I’m hoping that it’ll freeze okay. Clearly I still have plenty more to learn.)


Ayurveda: what’s it all about? June 14, 2011

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:49 pm
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One of my assignments this month was to complete an ayurvedic questionnaire and explore the results. My first response was, wait, back up, what’s ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an alternative form of medicine traditional in India, with a history going back thousands of years. It’s a system of healthful, mindful living based on the concept of balancing three elemental energies called doshas: vata (air/wind), pitta (fire/water), and kapha (water/earth). Ayurveda holds that each person has different levels of these three doshas, and poor health comes from an imbalance in the doshas. Balancing the doshas, in a unique way for each individual, will lead to better health. This balance can be accomplished by focusing on diet (to improve metabolic system, digestion, and excretion), exercise, yoga, meditation, and even massage. In balancing the doshas and living in moderation, it’s thought that the body, mind, and spirit will also come into balance, improving the health of the whole person.

Each person has a unique distribution of the three doshas. Each person has some of each, but often one or two doshas are more abundant; by examining your physical attributes and personality (for example, in a quiz like this one), you can find out which is your dominant dosha. Your dosha levels can fluctuate, affecting mood and health, which is why it can be helpful to bring them back into alignment and balance! I took N’s ayurvedic questionnaire and came up almost equal in vata and pitta, with a very low level of kapha by comparison.

Vata, the air or wind element, is characterized physically by a thin, delicate body type with low body fat. A vata person is sensitive, jumpy or unable to sit still, easily overwhelmed, flighty, often runs late, easily confused. A vata dominant person who is well-balanced will demonstrate the most positive traits of this type: sharp, quick thinking, creative, while an unbalanced vata person could experience gas, bloating, lack of focus, spaciness, dry skin, nervousness, sleeplessness, and worry. A vata should avoid low-fat, raw, or cold foods in favor of warm, heavier foods.

The pitta element combines fire and water. Physically, a pitta type is medium-framed and well-proportioned; personality traits include being focused, organized, “type A”, workaholic. A pitta person tends to need to eat regularly and gets cranky when she misses a meal. When balanced, pittas are productive, organized, energetic, enthusiastic; unbalanced, pittas become agitated, irritable, and overly competitive and may experience diarrhea, rashes, and perspiration. Pittas should avoid overly spicy foods and red meat, choosing sweeter foods.

Finally, kaphas are earth and water types: physically larger or big-boned, not necessarily overweight but able to gain weight easily, and can be powerful athletes when in shape. Kaphas are grounded, stable, solid, slower moving, sensual. Balanced kaphas are reliable, dependable, calm, even-tempered, and peacemakers, while unbalanced kaphas can be lethargic, depressed, dull and sluggish, congested, and overweight. Kaphas should avoid fatty and heavy foods, dairy, and red meat, and choose lighter grains and proteins.

I think my results are pretty accurate. There were a few questions I could have answered differently, but doing so wouldn’t have changed the overall balance. I have a lot of vata and pitta characteristics. At my best I have the quickness and creativity of vata and the focus, organization, and productivity of the pitta. At my worst, I get the vata’s spaciness, dry skin, nervousness, lack of focus, and worry, and the pitta’s irritability and rashes. I definitely have the pitta need to eat regular meals (as F’s family can attest; I’ve started packing snacks for myself when we visit because they just don’t seem to eat on a schedule!). The food recommendations for vata and pitta are a little contradictory (the above is just a summary) but on both lists I see things that really appeal to me and that I’ve been naturally drawn to: lighter proteins, creamy soups, mashed sweet potatoes (vata), and fresh lime, dark leafy greens, sweet vegetables (pitta). My yoga teacher N is an ayurvedic practitioner, and I’m considering having a session with her to look at these things more closely.

Interestingly, I made F take the questionnaire with me, and he came up almost completely balanced among the three doshas. Looking at the descriptions, F has many characteristics of each dosha: he’s stronger in vata and kapha than pitta, but all three were within four points of each other. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that. Apparently I have a well-balanced husband.


Veg-Adventures: No Hot Dogs for Me May 24, 2011

Filed under: reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:02 pm

I survived my first visit as a vegetarian to a hot dog joint. I was in Arizona for a wedding, and one of the wedding events was a trip to a Mexican hot dog place because the groom was dying for a “Sonora Dog”. (In retrospect, my whole AZ trip would have been less problematic and possibly more fun if I hadn’t converted to a meatless diet a few weeks earlier, but c’est la vie.)

This hot dog event actually wasn’t too bad for me – I’m a hot dog purist, so the Sonora Dog, covered with cheese and lord knows what all, didn’t really entice me. What was hard was not being able to participate in what the rest of my group was doing, the group experience of eating this particular food. I got two cheese quesadillas and heaped salsa on them. I found out later from the bride that I could have requested other filling inserts, like avocado and onions, but as it was, I ate what I ate and it was fine. I did get to drink horchata, which is one of my absolute favorite beverages, so that was great. Overall I focused on enjoying how happy my friends and family were to be eating this crazy food, because it makes me happy when the people I care about are happy.

The overall experience reminded me that there are just going to be times when, because of my choice not to eat meat, I’ll feel left out. That’s inevitable, but it’s also okay. Everybody feels left out sometimes. I made this choice for a reason, and a little discomfort doesn’t change that. I can appreciate my friends’ fun without resentment and without guilting them about it. And on future occasions, I can cook good food without meat and have friends over, or when it’s my turn to pick I can suggest vegetarian restaurants where we can all enjoy the meal.


Veg-adventures: can my food touch your food? May 19, 2011

Filed under: reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 2:10 pm

Last week F and I had a good conversation that clarified things for both of us about my meal choices. The inspiration was a pizza restaurant; the question, could I split a pizza with F if there were meat on his half. My automatic response was that I’d really prefer not to, so we got two separate pizzas and spent the meal talking it over. F thought that it’s a little extreme when vegetarians freak out over meat touching their food; your meal didn’t contribute to an animal’s death just by being near some meat. I explained that, for me, it’s not just about causing the animal’s death, it’s that I don’t want to take any part of that death into my body, so if prosciutto grease got on my side of the pizza, that would bother me. It was interesting to talk over the distinction between “I don’t want my choices to cause another creature’s suffering and death” and “I don’t want to consume any product created by a death”. F understands where I’m coming from a little better now and my choices make more sense to him, and I feel like I’ve clarified my views a little for myself.

We also talked about vegetarian behavior (for lack of a better word). F’s opinions had been formed after an experience he’d had at an Ethiopian restaurant with a group of friends. The server had placed several foods in the center of the table all on a big piece of bread for everyone to share, because that’s what they do at Ethiopian restaurants. It happened that some of the meat was touching some of the veggies, and two of his vegetarian friends got angry and stormed out of the restaurant. That’s a pretty extreme reaction, which explains why F had thought vegetarians were unreasonable on this topic – he had seen vegetarians acting in a pretty unreasonable way. I told him that in that situation I’d just take my scoop of cheese and chunk of bread from the side that wasn’t touching the meat, and moreover, I’d do so without saying anything about it. The different foods weren’t prepared together, so the whole meal isn’t contaminated just by the presence of the meat on the table, and I don’t see a reason to make a big deal of it (unless I specifically asked for separate dishes, or everything was all mixed up together).

Most of us know a “vegetarian saint” type of person: the guy who can’t get through a meal without mentioning his preferences 18 times, or the girl who acts all holier-than-thou about how your dinner killed a cow. Those people are really into being vegetarian, and that’s fine, but I just don’t see a need for all that. My diet choice is for myself; if my friends ask about it, I’m happy to share, but I go out for dinner with my friends to enjoy their company and have fun, not to proselytize. If you’re going to eat out in restaurants and share food with others, you have to kind of go with the flow, and that goes double for ethnic restaurants, where you’re dealing with someone else’s culture. I have the right to order and receive food I can eat, but I don’t need to talk about it all night or go overboard with expressing my needs.


Vegetarianism: Further Restaurant Adventures May 15, 2011

Filed under: reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:31 pm
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I can now confirm officially that Quiznos wins over Subway. Quiznos’ veggie sub includes sauteed mushrooms and guacamole. They also have a veggie wrap. Now I know which sandwich shop works better for me!

F and I went to a fancy Mexican restaurant last Saturday, where I had my first “this ought to be vegetarian but isn’t” mishap. We ordered the elote appetizer: a corn and cheese dish that was amazing. After we finished, F asked the waitress about the ingredients, and it turned out that the corn was cooked in chicken stock. This wasn’t indicated on the menu, so there’s no way I could have known. I’m not going to guilt myself about this.

This made me think about how much I can control what I eat at a restaurant. At home, I know exactly what goes into my meal and how the food is prepared, but not at a restaurant. If I want to eat out sometimes (and I do), all I can do is to do my best not to eat meat. Sometimes accidents will happen, like at this Mexican restaurant. I don’t know what goes on in the kitchen – maybe my portobello sandwich is cooked on the same grill with F’s hamburger, or right in the same oil. If so, there’s nothing I can do about that. I try to choose restaurants that cook in healthy ways,and I order meat-free food at those restaurants, but I can’t micromanage and control every aspect of the cooking process. I can ony do what I can, and then let go of the results.

This incident also made me think of a friend of mine who’s been vegetarian since childhood and has never eaten meat. Once we went to a Mexican place together and she accidentally ate something that had been cooked in chicken stock, and it made her sick because her body just didn’t know how to process it. I’m nowhere near that point, but I may just email the restaurant to suggest that they add more information to their menu. No one wants to go out for a nice dinner and get sick afterward. This is also a reminder that I need to be careful at Mexican restaurants; my sister-in-law, who works in the food industry, says that most Mexican places cook their rice in chicken stock. Now that I know, I can be more careful in the future.


Yoga guidelines: when to eat? May 13, 2011

Filed under: reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 2:28 pm
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Let’s talk about food. The yoga guidelines that N & J gave me include #5, “Practice on an empty stomach.” I find this remarkably difficult, partly because I’m always hungry, and partly for practical reasons.

Before starting teacher training, I usually practiced yoga in the morning before work. F and I would get up, make breakfast, eat together, and then I’d do yoga while he took the first shower. Our usual breakfast is a bowl of cereal and a fresh fruit smoothie, so it’s not a heavy meal, but it’s still definitely a meal. Only occasionally did I find that the food was sloshing around in my belly or otherwise making yoga practice uncomfortable. I’m just the kind of person who needs to eat first thing in the morning, period. If I get up early and don’t eat right away, I’m likely to feel ill. It’s just the way I’m built, so for me if I’m going to do yoga in the morning I need to eat something first.

Now that I’m doing the training, I still sometimes practice yoga in the morning, but I also go to hatha yoga class after work at least one day a week. This throws my whole schedule into disarray. Instead of getting up early and doing yoga, I’ll now take the first shower and get to work early, so that I can leave early, so that I can eat something for dinner before going to a 6:15 yoga class. The 6:15 class runs until 7:30, which in reality ends up being closer to 7:45, and by the time I collect my things and drive home it’s after 8:15. Add time to prepare myself a healthy meal and it’d be after 9 PM by the time I was eating. My usual dinner time is around 7:00-7:30, which is smack in the middle of yoga class. I cannot wait to have dinner until after 9 at night. First of all, I would be starving and exhausted, and secondly, it’s not really very healthy to eat a meal before going to bed. Researchers say that it’s best to finish eating before 8 PM. I feel like my only option is to eat at 5:15 or so.

I brought some of these concerns up at the last training weekend. N says that, ideally, we would practice yoga on an empty stomach, but really you just don’t want to have a very full stomach when practicing. I can appreciate that; nobody wants to go out to a nice restaurant and then practice yoga, or practice yoga on Thanksgiving night. You can’t stretch when you’re stuffed, it’d be too uncomfortable. N further said that, ideally, we would all make lunch our main meal of the day. I have to say that, unless sandwiches and pre-packaged frozen meals are one’s idea of a “main meal”, that it’s really hard to make lunch the main meal of the day while working a full-time job. No matter what kind of job it is, if you’re in an office or a hospital or a factory, you just can’t cut out for 2+ hours at midday to go home and cook yourself a healthy lunch. There are many good things to pack for lunch, yes, but it just doesn’t feel like the “main meal” to me if I’m not cooking something. And financially, it’s not feasible to buy a hot meal for lunch every day, and eating out is proven to be less healthy than cooking at home anyway.

This turned out to be a pretty grumpy post, which wasn’t my intention. I just feel frustrated by the constraints of being a yogini in the world, I think. As J says, it would be easy to do yoga if you lived in a cave or an ashram all the time, but it’s hard to do yoga in the world. Living in a cave or an ashram, you could certainly arrange things to have lunch be your main meal of the day and set up your yoga practice to fall conveniently at an appropriate interval of hours after eating. But that’s a lot harder to do in the world, when you have to consider work schedules and commute times and, god forbid, dropping off small people at activities like soccer practice. You eat when you can, is what I’m saying, because we have to eat, and you fit your yoga in when you can, because you deserve to have your yoga. You try to be careful about what you eat before yoga (a salad or a pork chop? let’s go salad), but sometimes you just have to do your best and that’s all you’ve got.

What are your thoughts on this? I’m really interested to hear what you have to say about how you structure your day and fit both healthy eating and yoga into your schedule.


Vegetarian Update May 9, 2011

Filed under: reflections,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:49 pm
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It’s been almost two weeks since my last official meat meal. I’m finding vegetarianism interesting so far. I think it must be different to make a dietary change for health reasons – if, when you eat shrimp, you go into anaphalactic shock, then you probably pretty quickly develop an aversion to shrimp. I don’t feel an aversion to meat, really, I just decided not to eat it. Although I feel strongly in an ideological way about meat consumption, I don’t have strong feelings about meat when I see it on a menu or on someone else’s sandwich. It doesn’t gross me out or make me feel ill, which I know happens to some vegetarians (and which does happen for me with broccoli, the one vegetable that I truly cannot bear). A dietary restriction not for reasons of health or taste but for ideological reasons seems sort of unnatural: if the food looks good and smells good, and I can reasonably assume it won’t make me ill, then it seems natural to eat it. I have to keep reminding myself that factory farming of meat isn’t natural. This is a conscious lifestyle choice I’m making for myself, and I guess I’m getting used to what that means.

Two restaurant incidents of note. Last Saturday, F and I stopped at Popeye’s Chicken for biscuits – just one biscuit each, to tide us over until dinner. When we walked in the door, the chicken smell almost knocked me over. I really like fried chicken. I practiced tapas and we got out of there without chowing down on bird flesh, but it was still quite an experience. Just the awareness that I couldn’t have the chicken made the smell more powerful.

Also, last Sunday I had lunch at Subway with my mom. I had never realized before just how meat-centric their menu is. Subway used to be one of my favorite fast food places; I have so many memories of getting the spicy italian sub with my best friend on Saturday afternoons in middle school. Now there is exactly one option on the menu for me – the veggie delite – and I’m not overly fond of Subway’s veggie selections, so this is kind of a letdown. (No pickles and no olives, please, and hold the sweet peppers too.) As soon as we realized that my choices were limited at Subway, Mom offered to go somewhere else, but I need to figure out how to feed myself at normal restaurants, so I said we should stay. My veggie delite was perfectly serviceable. No spicy italian, but pretty okay.

I had the thought that next time I could have them put marinara sauce on the sandwich – I often used to do that with the spicy italian, to turn it into a pizza sub, so this would just be a veggie pizza sub, something I could get excited about. Then I realized that the marinara sauce at Subway has the meatballs sitting in it. There’s likely to be little meat chunks throughout the sauce; I’ve encountered little meatball bits in my spicy italian pizza subs many times. This means the marinara sauce is out for me. I wouldn’t eat chicken broth even if there were no chicken chunks in it, so why would I order marinara sauce that had meatballs sitting in it? I guess I could, since unlike chicken broth the marinara sauce is not intrinsically made of meat, but it still feels like cheating. Overall, I need to measure how far I go with this, how fanatical I want to be. I think it’ll be a long learning process.