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Posts Tagged ‘Vegan eating’

Several years ago, my mom, sister and I decided we would make a point to get together at least once a year for a mom daughter weekend.  Well the first year, the three of us went to Walt Disney World.  We had tons of fun and the most memorable part was oogling (a word?) over the french waiters at the French Cafe in Disneys Epcot.  Both the food and the sights were fabulous.

The second year, we went to New York City.  My Aunt Sallie went with us.  The four of us had a ball.  Four small town girls in the big city made for so much fun.  The food was killer, the sights amazing, and the electricity that you feel through out your entire body in such a city is just magical.  We found this little french cafe (seems a trend is coming) where we had the most amazing breakfasts in the mornings.  The croissants and the french toast were truly mouthwatering.  We saw two broadway plays.  We picked these two because they were both classics and had been running on Broadway for many years.  We watched the Phantom of the Opera which just mesmerized us.  Then we watched CATS.

Now I realize there are tons of CATS fans out there, but I have to let the cat out of the bag and say that the four of us hated it.  Remember this is just our opinion and everyone is allowed to have one of those.  I mean sitting there listening to people dressed as cats taking turns singing did not appeal to us at all.  We kept looking at each other and saying “are they serious?”  There was a lady in front of us who mentioned that this was her 10th time seeing CATS and that she loved it.  My thought was that she didn’t get out very much or really needed to go see something like Phantom of the Opera so that she would know how bad this really was.  We were laughing and giggling all the way through it and went it was finally over we scrambled out of there laughing at the fact that we actually sat through the whole thing.

After our New York City trip, life started happening.  Mostly kids started happening and for some reason we completely forgot about our mother daughter sometimes Aunts trips.  My son turns 14 this year.  That’s how long it’s been.  So this year we decided to do it again and keep it somewhat close to home.  No kids, no husbands, just us.

I suggested we go to Winter  Park, Fl.  My sister lives in North Florida.  We live in South Florida.  It was a nice middle spot.  Hubby, the kids and I had happened upon Winter Park about a year ago when we were visiting Mickey Mouse.  A friend had mentioned the farmers market that they have there on Saturdays.  We went and I was thoroughly delighted by the city itself.

At the last minute, we invited my Aunts to go with us.  My Aunt Eleanor and her daughter (my 1st cousin) Stefanie ended up going.  We had a fantastic Mother, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin weekend.  Winter Park is such a delight.  It’s this hidden jewel in the middle of the State that you may never think to visit.  The farmers market on Saturday morning happens just off Park Ave and is absolutely incredible.  Tons a vegetables, fruits, plants and so much more.  I bought vanilla beans  to make my own vanilla.  There are all kinds of homemade breads, pastries, and juices.  We ate breakfast there.

The whole area around Park Ave is shops and cafes where you can eat inside or out on the sidewalks.  There are benches to sit on and a park.  Trees line the cobblestone streets and it is so friendly, welcoming and quaint.  It is a remarkable place for a girls weekend.  A place to relax, window shop, and eat great food.  It is a very dog friendly place so feel free to bring the pooch.  We happened upon a Thai Restaurant for dinner one night.  I was thrilled to see all the little “V’s” next to dishes letting me know I could eat it with no guilt.  I had a green curry sauce with vegetables and tofu served with brown jasmine rice.  It was to-die-for-good.  The place was called the Orchid and all dishes are served with an orchid on the plate. It was my first time having tofu and I was pleasantly surprised.  I guess I need to experiment cooking with that stuff and I have definitely got to learn to make green curry sauce.  I had forgotten how much I like Thai food.  It’s not something that is abundant around my neck of the woods.  Of all the cafes that we hit, I was able to find something to eat in all of them.  Winter Park is vegetarian/vegan friendly.  Our last morning there, we ate breakfast at a French Bistro.  It was very yummy. The whole French thing makes me think that we need to go to France.  Maybe our trend is leading us somewhere.

Though I am far from being a total vegan, I have to brag about the fact that I have now not had land meat in over 6 months.  I would classify myself as 80% of the time Vegan, 20% of the time Pescetarian Vegetarian ( yea, I’m still loving my seafood.)

Park Ave. Winter Park, FL

My sister Carisa, Mom, and Me

So if you are looking for a weekend place with either friends, family or for romance, Winter Park is the place to go.  We will be going back and will probably make it a yearly thing.

Once home, Grill King informs me that he ate meat all weekend and gained 4 pounds.  I guess the minute my car pulled out of the drive, he went into hunting mode, slapped on some leather and furs, some warrior paint, grabbed his weapons and headed for the local meat market.  The grill smoked all weekend, he beat his chest and the children must have cowered under their beds hoping it wasn’t Hansel and Gretel all over again.

As much as I ate in Winter Park, I didn’t gain a pound.  I was thrilled with that.  I’ve lost a total of only 4 pounds since I started this thing.  Good, but not good enough.  I am about to get very serious because I want 5 more pounds GONE!!!  Time to kick up the exercising.  Meanwhile, if you have a free weekend, go to Winter Park and Enjoy!

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I just spent a week with my mother.  She has a beautiful home in the Western Mountains of North Carolina and went up to see the fall colors.  We joined my parents for part of their trip.  We hit the turning of the leaves perfectly.  Now, since my tiptoeing towards veganism journey, my mother has been extremely supportive and always reads my blog.  That’s what mom’s do.  However, mom’s supportiveness did some serious lacking in the “in person mode.”

First of all let me just say that the 3 lbs I had lost have returned.  Now lets take a look at my week with my mom. First off, she had just had company and decides that she is going to feed us left over chili.  Chili the second day is usually even better.  Mom decides she will add a little to it and feed us all.  She starts dipping some of the chili into a bowl and picking out all the meat.  I ask her what she is doing and find out that that bowl is for me.  I look in it and remind her that I no longer partake in land meat (hooves, beaks, varmints).  I also see that there are TONS of tiny pieces of hamburger meat in the bowl.  I’m like mom, “that has tons of meat in it.”  Her response is, “I picked out all the big pieces.”  There is no come back to that remark.  Yes, she picked out all the big pieces but no, my current stage of vegetarianism still does not allow the tiny pieces.  So she dumped the bowl back in the pot and before adding extra tomato sauce and beans we put some to the side for me.

Next, my parents take us out to a country diner.  It’s a buffet.  Scary.  That buffet is filled with things like fried chicken, meatloaf, pork chops, etc…..pretty much a vegan nightmare!  I decide I will just stick to the veggies.  However, every veggie there was in some kind of casserole type dish.  Meaning milk, cheese, eggs, etc…  Basically, that buffet was an artery nightmare.  I ate them anyway and that’s okay because of my current pescatarian ovo lacto vegetarian status (a mouthful, I know.)  It means I am a vegetarian who is currently eating fish and other seafoods, eggs and dairy.  In the case of the buffet, I ate it but I did not enjoy it.  I have tremendously cut back on the eggs and dairy.  Spending time with my mother did not allow this to continue.

Then, my mother makes the most delicious bread pudding I have ever put in my mouth.  Yes, I know that I did not have to eat it.  But you try to say no to that smell and to your own mother who will remind you of how she slaved in the kitchen to make this homemade treat just for you.  It of course was filled with milk, eggs and lots of sugar.  It was also mouthwatering good.  I ate it.

Now, after several days of eating all the flesh one could consume, “Grill King” said those magical words every vegan wannabe longs to hear.  He crawled into bed and said, “I am so bloated.  I can’t wait to start eating your food again.”  Oh those magical words!!!  It made it all worth it, even gaining back the 3 lbs, which will be gone again soon.  I’m already working on it.

I am now about to say goodbye to eggs and really cut back on my dairy.  My body is begging for this next step.  Next visit with my mom, I will have to hold firm.  I may have to bring my own food.  As I start eating less and less, it will be difficult eating with family.  This will be an adjustment for them as well as myself.  The big family Christmas Party this year is going to be difficult for me in the food department.  The good news is that I have not taken a step backwards in the land meat department.  Goodbye hooves, beaks and varmints.  I have held firm and the desire for it is gone.  On to the next step in my journey…saying goodbye to eggs.

I had to share the photo below.  This is Bald River Falls.  It is just off the scenic drive on the Cherohala Skyway that runs between North Carolina and Tennessee.  These are on the Tennessee side.  Enjoy!

Fall Mountain Colors

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