So, I already gave away the punch line. This was the result of my meet-the-new-doc appointment.
We have had the same doctor for 18 years, ever since we moved to Davis. We love him, his new-age music, batik wall hangings, and his pony tail. He was personal and got to know us, and spent time with me and my weird issues (that would be weight issues….but since I am in an artfully-crafted state of denial, let’s just call them weird issues, shall we?). But our insurance premiums were rising, plus I was annoyed with our insurance provider and the medical group, and Kaiser came calling with their easy-to-understand brochures, well-organized website, and lower costs, and it was time to make a change. I thought I was giving up a personal relationship with my doc for a convenient relationship with my medical card.
I was wrong. The doctor who greeted me was my age, has kids at the high school, and asked me questions like, “what do you love?” And he figured me out. He addressed my weird issues with a project….he challenged me to try a vegan diet for 3 months.
Vegan, as in no meat. No chicken, fish. No eggs. No milk. No cheese. Breathe deep Kim….no cheese. Chocolate, pie, butter, cookies (whether or not honey and wine are vegan is somewhat controversial). But cheese? As in the reason to make salads, as a holder for my goat cheese? Thursday night breakfast for dinner with tofu instead of eggs in a basket? Grilled cheese with smoked gouda, pears and arugula, without the smoked gouda?
I asked him if he was a vegan. He said he was, and he treats it as a culinary adventure. He goes to the Farmer’s Market, picks food he doesn’t recognize, goes home and finds recipes and fills in at the Natural Foods Co-op.
He made it sound kind of fun. And do able. And not diety. And not about my weirdness (which he framed in this most brilliant way, “wow, Kim, you are at such an exciting and wonderful point in your life, where you are healthy and happy and can prepare your body for the next phase of your life.”
He sent me some books, and I went to the co-op for some vegan cheese, soy milk and and molasses cookies. I read, Steve shopped. I pondered.
I think I can do most of it. I believe I can do about 90% vegetarian, with a pass for some chicken and/or fish once a week (I do love my sushi). I think I can be 70% or so vegan… I can at least be veganish, and not use eggs or cheese as the centerpiece of my meals.
Still struggling with some of this. I love a huge plate of vegies and a giant salad (and I believe I can love salad without goat cheese). But seitan? Tofu sausage? We went to a new restaurant and I ordered the vegan stew, heavy on the lentils. I didn’t order vegan wine…and I had a few bites of the Meyer Lemon torte, which I am certain wasn’t vegan, or veganish.
But I am going to try. Lots to learn here, and many experiments ahead for us. But I live where I have access to abundant produce, and work within blocks of one of the country’s largest natural food co-ops, and live in the town with America’s Favorite Farmer’s Market (officially). I have a family who will participate (though I don’t think Alex is willing to give up grilled cheese, Cheerios and Strauss yogurt) . And I have a doctor who made a three-month follow up for me.
Steve suggested that I might not want to blog about this just yet. But you know, that’s not the way I roll.
It should be entertaining at the very least…and for sure it will be an adventure.