Planning Ahead 11/03/2010
I am a planner.  Just ask any of my friends, family, co-workers or colleagues ~ it's what I do.  I come up with ideas and realize them.  I schedule dates and programs and events, and make them happen.  I even help other people make their ideas happen!  So why is it that after two and a half years of being a vegan, I don't have the forethought to consider what I'll eat when going to a party or meeting and plan accordingly?

A few weeks ago we went to a really fun party for a close friend.  I knew it was at a bar (with amazing music), and wings and things we're the perfect food for the night, but somehow, I didn't think to eat before I went.  Have I mentioned most bars don't carry tofu and veggie sushi?  Fortunately we picked up other friends on the way, and they had chips, salsa and guacamole out as for quick bite because the only thing I was able to get my hands on once we were at the party was Italian bread! (There was crudite but I missed it.)  Not a brilliant play for a Saturday night...martinis need more to accompany them than a few olives!

Later that week, I had an early morning business meeting (preceded by an hour plus commute.) Once again, I didn't consider what might be served (like bagels and cream cheese for breakfast.)  What did I do, especially since I am avoiding gluten too?  I loaded up on coffee (black, there was no non-dairy alternative) and ate a couple of strawberries that served as garnish off the bagel tray!  I was starving.

Sure enough, you think I'd have learned my lesson.  I even remarked on my poor planning to friends!  But yesterday, at a party for my office, there I was again.  Fortunately it was late afternoon so I had eaten lunch (there were roasted grapes in my salad ~ yum!) but while everyone enjoyed sliders, mini pizzas, seared tuna, bruschetta with cheese, etc, I put a little hummus and babaganush on a plate and then realized there were no veggies for dip!  (I did snag a few mcdonald's style french fries too...not exactly a healthy find!)

Now I'm not suggesting your life become B.Y.O.Food everywhere you go ~ that's not only impractical but often rude ~ but as a vegan, it's really helpful to think through those days of exception.  Be sure to eat a little something before you get to a party, or throw a banana, trail mix or a vegan bar into your bag for a meeting as a substitute for bread and cheese.  You can even bring a single serving soy milk with you for early morning meetings so you can enjoy a cup 'o joe with the rest of your co-workers.  Now let's see if I remember to take my own advice!


Veg and the City