This week has been a true test of endurance, yet I stuck to my guns and only ate meat & eggs with butter. Hurrah! Then, last night, I tested myself with some cream, since I could feel that last weekend's pancake incident had been nullified, but the cream consumption was rewarded shortly thereafter with a horrible (but thankfully short-lived) tummy upset. Proof that my system doesn't tolerate dairy well anymore. Gone! Except butter, for now...
The week 'o painfulness started with Parent/Teacher Interviews at school on Monday. Normal classes ran until noon, then interviews started at 1pm and ran until 9pm. Ow. The school provides the staff with dinner. Here's the email detailing the exciting menu they'd organised:
"xxxxxxx is organising tea from 5pm to 6pm in the social staff room. There are two courses:
vegetarian lasagne, gnocci, and pasta with chicken and mushrooms; all served with salad, garlic bread and fresh bread. This will will be followed by fruit and cheese platters and even some special treats.
Juice and soft drink will also be available."
I had expected as much (or as little), so I had cooked up a couple of extra sausages to keep me going. However, the sheer ignorance of the catering team pushed me over the edge this time, and I fired back an email complaining that the staff deserved better than junk food, especially when there was no other option and we weren't given advance notice that all that would be served was junk food. I noted that we have staff members recovering from cancer, we have at least one diabetic on staff, and that gluten is a problem for many people, even if they don't know it yet.
"We can get gluten-free pasta if you'd like."
"I don't eat junk food. I only eat real food."
"Meat. Eggs. Seafood." (and I also listed "Vegetables. Nuts. Low-sugar Fruit." even though I wouldn't eat it right now)
"xxxxxx will pick up a chicken for you."
So I got my portion of chicken (discovering later that the rest was put in the fridge, where I found it on Friday, wasted - why wasn't it served out to others??), and everyone else had to fight to scoop up enough high-starch, sugary garbage to try and fuel their hard, stressful work for another three hours. I had to take my chicken to my desk and eat it privately, since everyone was looking at it and wondering why I was the only one to get decent food. Hopefully my fuss will mean that next time a meal is catered for the staff, there will be some actual edible foods on the menu!
After working an intense six extra hours after school on Monday, the staff was generously allowed to come in after recess on Tuesday. We were given one period, 70 minutes, to recover from such a big night. Needless to say, everyone walked around like zombies for most of the day. I did my best to fuel myself through the day, chomping on buttery lamb chops for breakfast.
After a long day of school & play rehearsals, I whipped up one of my favourite meals for dinner - beef & basil burgers (held together with a little egg) topped with fried eggs, served with smoked salmon. Mmmmmm...
Raw on the grill:
Cooked to perfection:
The final masterpiece:
Best Brinner ever!
Breakfast: lamb chops!
A fire-cracker of a day - very busy, bouncing from normal classes to running a tutorial for my Monash students after school, and then meeting the beau at Charcoal Grill On The Hill for a quick dinner. I went for the grass-fed porterhouse, but as always, too much char, too much grill, not enough rare and tasty goodness. Also, not enough light to make a good iPhone photo:
Afterwards, I went bounding into the city on public transport to catch my first Melbourne International Comedy Festival show for the year - Keep Your Skirt On. Two of my friends were performing in the show, and the line-up was bound to introduce me to more female comics whom I may not have run into before. Mission accomplished, and I had a great time even though I was alone (the beau had work). However, the show ran long, and I found myself rushing to catch the very last train of the evening, leaving just past midnight. On a school night?! Eek. I wasn't home til 1am, so clock up another night of limited sleep. I took a super-dose of D3 to help me over the hump, but I still felt the lack of snooze the next day...
Driven by fatigue, I stuffed myself full of lamb sausages from Jonathan's to help get the day off on fair footing.
Busy, busy, busy, smoked salmon for lunch, erk too much sodium, busy busy, busy...
And into the city for the opening night performances in the Comedy Festival of Tessa Waters (soooo talented!) & Frank Woodley (always entertaining, though the show needs a bit of work). Since we were running late, we had to grad a quick dinner between the shows, at... Nando's. I went for the 1/2 chicken, after asking and asking whether there was sugar in the lemon & herb coating... I'm still not convinced of the season's purity... And there was very little meat on the chicken, so I was left hungry. Bah.
At least I caught up on a bit of sleep, even if my nutrition was lacking and my sodium levels were sky-high. I knew what the scales would tell me in the morning...
Thank Goodness! Even though the day was packed full, of course, my mood was bright despite seeing a 1kg jump up on the scales thanks to water retention, and all the fun that water-holding brings to the day as the sodium levels drop... Some close calls, but I survived!
Started my final day off right, with lamb chops in butter
At school, I finished off the last of my tuna stash, mostly to remind myself to re-stock at the beginning of next term. Tinned tuna is such a pointless little nothing by itself. I should make some coconut mayo to have with it, then maybe it can be classed as a meal.
Then school was over and the holidays had begun! At home I filled up on lamb sausages, plus a mystery cut of beef from Dad's stash that's been in the freezer for a month or two. Very gristly, but tasty enough....
Too much protein, not enough fat, and my body wasn't happy with what I'd given it - it was screaming FEED ME pretty gosh-darn loudly, so I figured it was a good time to test my response to dairy... And you all know how that went down.
Despite the digestive response, my eats got me through a mad evening of performing, rushing to a comedy festival show (Ross Daniels' The Transposed Man - great character work, tenuous narrative thread), and then rushing to another comedy festival show by the beau's company Impro Melbourne - the classic Late Nite Impro! Always a winner, especially when my favourite improvisers and great mates are bringing the house down with their genius. Sometimes I miss performing with them, but I just don't have time anymore. I barely have time to blog!
So after the sizzles of the week that was, we slept in this morning and had our breakfast at noon - the last piece of defrosted meat in the fridge: salmon fillets. Everything else will live in the freezer whilst we're away, but we've bought up a bunch of tasty organic, grass-fed meat to take on holidays with us this weekend, so we're all set!
Let the chillin' begin!
And while I'm away, I encourage you to read an interview with Valija Evalds, Lierre Keith's sister, who is also an ex-vegan. Hopefully you all have read at least the free extract of The Vegetarian Myth, so to get further perspective on Lierre and the problems with veganism is interesting and significant. I suffer through the same issues that Valija does when it comes to watching students try veganism to the detriment of their health, although I don't always keep my mouth shut...