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So I know it’s not Tuesday but I wanted to share how my first Vegan Tuesday went yesterday.

My first Vegan Tuesday lunch!

I realized that being vegan on Tuesday wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. At home for breakfast I had organic whole grain cereal with soy milk and a sliced up banana. As for lunch, the wonderful café right next to my office offers vegan soups 4 out of 5 days a week. They are simply delicious. This Tuesday’s soup was Vegan Tomato Black bean – it tasted very similar to a minestrone soup. The café offers a wonderful combo deal where you can get an 8 oz soup and 12 oz build-your-own salad for $4.95. Such a steal!

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Last week I announced my pledge to keep Mondays Meatless (this also includes eliminating fish). This week I’m deciding to test out Vegan Tuesdays. I myself am neither vegan nor vegetarian, nor do I claim to be, but I don’t eat meat or poultry but occasionally eat fish.

Homegrown Smoker

A few days ago for lunch, a friend, who is vegan, and I decided to venture out of our regular soup and salad routine and try out one of Portland’s famous food carts. We were browsing through Stumptown Vegans restaurant reviews and came upon their review of a vegan food cart called Homegrown Smoker. She had also heard of this place and its raving reviews. I was intrigued. We looked at the pictures and our mouths began to water. We were sold!

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Although I have given up meat well over 6 months ago I decided I would officially pledge to have meatless Mondays.

Ever since dabbling in vegetarianism 7 months ago, I have quit meat altogether. I added back fish four months ago but I definitely do not consume as much as I used to. I don’t want to call myself a pescatarian or a vegetarian wannabe.  I don’t really like to label myself, so I won’t.

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For the past 2 months I have gained a new respect for those who are forced to be limited with their food choices.

Let me start from the beginning. In mid-January I had an unexpected trip to the ER for abdominal pain. Over $450 later I was told that it was gastritis. My stomach was inflamed. I was sent home with some acid reducing medication, pain killers, and told to eat bland foods.

Now it’s almost 2 months later and I’m still living with this awful thing called heartburn. So as my own dietitian I try (or in this case, I tried) to stay away from everything that may flare it up. Acidic, spicy, fatty, fried, greasy food. Chocolate. Alcohol. Coffee. I avoided it all. (Maybe with a couple of exceptions.)

(Here’s a handout on preventing heartburn with diet. Click here.)

So what was I supposed to eat?

For awhile I was eating Ritz crackers, bananas, and peanut butter and jelly on white toast. Bland, bland and some more bland.

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Now that is quite the internal debate that’s going on.

Since giving up meat, poultry and fish a few months ago I have decided that I wanted to bring fish back onto my plate.

For the last few weeks I have made some attempts. I’m not quite sure whether this will be a permanent decision.

My first bite of fish was a lovely backed salmon that was delicious. No problems with devouring that.

The second attempt was not as delectable. In fact it was the complete opposite. From beginning to end.

Sushi. Oh, how I missed thee… until I walked into the sushi restaurant. The odor of raw fish was no delightful aroma. Instead, I felt like I had just walked into a fish market.

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