Friday, September 13, 2013

Marie's Musings: Dating While Gluten Free and Vegan

This week I have to report that I have completely failed at my task of trying to stick to a schedule. It’s not for lack of wanting to, trust me. I have just been forced to work all nighters and I’m physically feeling like a wreck because of it. Sometimes I just wish I could become nocturnal and call it a day (er, night?) but I just can’t conquer this dysfunctional sleep non-schedule I’m stuck in. 

I’m feeling pretty good this week, other than I notice on the nights I get too little sleep/still wake up exhausted, my stomach always feels bloated and uncomfortable and I have mild pain. This morning I actually had pretty intense gastrointestinal pain, and this is the most tired I have been in a while. I am now 100% convinced that this is not at all related to diet because it only happens when I am exhausted. I have no idea why this should be or how to fix it, other than to get enough sleep. Maybe some day I’ll get in a full eight hours. Until then I just deal with the first hour or so of my day with GI discomfort. It’s bizarre. 

This week hasn’t been all doom and gloom. Actually it has raised a pretty good question as far as the challenge. What I want to know and need to figure out is, how in the world do you date when you are vegan and don’t consume gluten?

I’m from New York City, and New Yorkers’ social lives pretty much exclusively revolve around food. It’s either meeting friends for brunch or grabbing dinner and drinks or trying a new specialty restaurant that just opened up. I associate dating with food, even if it’s not explicitly a “food date.” It could sound as innocent as meeting for coffee or going to the zoo or to see a show, but food always sneaks its ugly head in somehow.  If I was still back in New York City it might be marginally easier to find vegan options while dining out, but just north of the border? Not so much. Now throw in the fact that I can’t have gluten either and I pretty much feel consigned to water and diet soda when I go out.

I’m going on a date next week, my first date since before starting this challenge. Someone I dated very briefly a year and a half ago has invited me out and I’ve agreed. We have not yet made specific plans so I don’t know what we are doing, but I’m sure there is going to be food involved. On our first date we ate at a fancy restaurant followed by some gambling at a nearby casino. Not knowing I was vegetarian at the time, of course he took me to eat at a steak house. I can see the humor in this now but it was actually quite tricky in the moment. There was literally one vegetarian item on the menu- One!- French onion soup, which is what I ended up having because even the salads all had chicken and bacon such.. On our second date we went to the movies so of course there was popcorn involved. 

Neither of those food choices are both vegan and GF. Such is life. 

I’m really trying to think of things to do that don’t involve being around food at all but I’m coming up blank. I was thinking a concert or a comedy club, but if we do either of those I know we will drink, and if I drink I need to eat because I don’t want to do anything foolish. I am certainly not going to be bringing my own food along with me. If I was with people I know and am comfortable with, I honestly wouldn’t feel uncomfortable doing that (I’ve actually done it before), but in front of a potential romantic interest that I am trying to impress? Not so much. 

Having such a restrictive diet has honestly been pretty easy for me up to this point. I mean, my health was SO bad before making the change, it is just a no-brainer to not eat anything that would cause me pain. I do think it’s the dairy that was causing all of my horrible symptoms for so long. I’m not sure if eliminating gluten has actually helped me to feel better or if just being vegan is enough for my body. 

It makes me think, do I want to continue eating gluten free when this challenge is over?  I’m 28 years old and really should be having a social life, meeting people, experiencing new things. GF is restrictive, and I guess I never realized just how restrictive since I’ve essentially lived as a hermit for the past couple of years and never had to deal with dining out when you have so many banned foods. I don’t know. I still have time to figure it out.

Oh, and I had no idea what to post as a picture today so I decided to throw in my main staple, instant rice. Anything I can prepare with just a microwave works for me. Although I did not have rice today. Today for my lunch/dinner/only meal of the day I had five servings of plain potato chips. Not the healthiest choice, but I was in a rush with work. 

Until next time, be kind to yourself. 


1 comment:

Metta said...

I'm vegan and gluten-free and find that Thai and Indian restaurants are very gluten-free/vegan friendly. Depending on the restaurant you can ask the staff for a steamed vegetable plate and baked potato with nothing on it. I try to stay away from more chain-type restaurants because their kitchens aren't always able to go off menu.



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