Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How to be a vegan in 47 days

Yesterday began another season of fasting for Greek Orthodoxites, which means forty-seven days of trying to figure out what the hell to eat in our little Greek American household. I have written before about my attempts to support my Greek Orthodox husband in his quest for faith by fasting on Fridays. Since then, we have managed to sometimes fast on Wednesdays as well, and we managed two weeks of fasting during the forty day period before Christmas. The priest was not surprised that my husband had succumbed to the temptation of “the meat”, but the reality is that he succumbed more to the temptation of cheese and chocolate.

For these longer fasting periods I’ve had to get creative, since there are maybe five vegetables in the known universe that my husband and I will both eat. Greece, ironically, does not have a plethora of vegan products available readily like they do in America. We have to hunt for whatever we can find, which has so far boiled down to soy milk and soy meat product. If we can find soy cheese, it will be a windfall. I’m lukewarm to soy milk, but it can be used as a milk substitute in some recipes so that works. The soy meat product is by far one of the weirdest edible substances I have ever met. In the bag it looks like cereal, once cooked it resembles something a dog would throw up and then eat again. Still, we managed to make vegan chili with it relatively successfully, so it’ll do. It certainly expands our eating choices, as we can make soy burgers and tacos and such with it. I tell you, you really gotta love your husband to agree to eat dog vomit for seven weeks, but I don’t really have a good reason not to, so there you go.

Will we make it until April 8th? God only knows. We are certainly going to try. Since I’m almost assuredly going to hell anyway, it doesn’t matter if I break the fast. But I know it is important to my husband, so I’ll do my best to help him stick with it, cheese and chocolate be damned.


AntigoneSis said...

We're also trying to fast through Lent, and I had to laugh about the dog vomit!
Hope it proves an enriching experience for you, though.

Muffy said...

pardon my ignorance on the subject but does fasting mean abstaining from meat? Or actually not eating during a certain time period?

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Good luck guys!!

I'm right where you are right now... just keep repeating to yourselves over and over:

It'll soon be anastasi

It'll soon be anastasi

It'll soon be anastasi

Tim said...

More power to you. I only fast to lose a few pounds after the holidays. ;)

deviousdiva said...

Good Luck Mel!, I'd actually like to cut back on meat anyway (for completely non-religious reasons) but I have two very carnivorous people to feed. I did a bit of research on vegan cooking (through vegankid who you might recognise from my blog) and found this blog:http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/blogindex.htm

The dislike of most vegetables might be a problem but the food looks great! Perhaps worth looking at even if only for inspiration.

melusina said...

Hi Antigonesis, welcome to my blog! Fasting is definitely a challenge, so I have to find the humor in it. Glad you found it funny. =)

Muffy, fasting, at least for Greek Orthodox purposes, means abstaining from meat and dairy products - basically anything from an animal. For some fasting periods we can eat fish, but not the period before Easter.

EllasDevil - it won't soon be anastasi! We just started! We still have six weeks+ to go! But its a good mantra. Thanks for the support, and right back at ya!

Tim, supposedly the fasting period doesn't make people lose weight - because some of the things we can eat (peanuts, etc.) are high fat. We'd probably have to do strict fasting for that.

DeviousDiva, thanks! Yea, it is good to cut back on meat now and then, I think. I didn't eat so much in America, but Greece, ironically, seems to be a very meat-centered culture. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

Anonymous said...

How are you guys getting on?

Me? I'm dreaming of souvlaki

melusina said...

We are doing ok. We actually found some tofu today, yay!

Sure, it isn't like any cheese we know and love but it helps.

We did, however, use our leftover parmesan on our pasta today, because it is worse to let stuff go to waste!

So we cheated a *little*. And I still drink milk every day, because I'm an old woman and I am supposed to. =p