Going Vegan, Ep. 6 :The Airport

 In lifestyle

Today’s adventure: Finding Vegan food in the Airport.

I trolled one end of Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal B to the other.  If you’ve never been to O’Hare, I have to say that it’s a stellar place for a layover.  Lots of interesting shops and eateries, as well as a Brookstone where you can try out their gadgets.  One bummer is the lack of free Wi-fi.  Free wi-fi would go a long way to warming the cockles of my heart.

I was writing this with my power cord was plugged into the underside of a phone bank.  The airport was packed with travelers and the paltry selection of computer nooks just wasn’t cutting it.  Savvy computer users had already staked out the outlets of choice, but a fellow user let me in on the phone bank secret.

But back to food.  My choices: nuts and fruit mixes, a smoothie from Jamba Juice, a random package of raw vegetables, fruit medleys and whole fruit, beans and vegetable salads from a Mediterranean grill. Not too shabby in a pinch!  I was very tempted by a vegetable wrap at Starbucks until I read the ingredients on the back and discovered that the pesto sauce contained Parmesan.   Corn syrup was in the ingredient list too as a sweeter for the bread, which – although brown – was not in fact whole wheat.  It’s all about the fine print.  I resisted the sandwich and grabbed a nut and fruit mix instead, feeling determinedly wholesome.  Craving something warm, I ordered up a Zen tea and got an apple for the plane.

The Anti-Inflammation book has continued to be a stellar resource.  As I promised Alan, I had been doing my research and had even made an excel spreadsheet of my findings.

Basically, it’s what Stephanie said.  I need to find a good way to get my Omega 3’s that aren’t from fish oil.  Also, I want to do some more investigating of Calcium and Vitamin D.  More research needed to be done.  The next few weeks were going to be about getting familiar with “kale,” “mustard greens,” “turnip greens”  and a variety of food sources that had heretofore been neglected in favor of romaine, iceberg lettuce, and broccoli.

The book also clarified the pitfalls of saturated fats that are rampant in – you guessed in – butter and cheese!  So maybe I don’t have to feel so bad about forsaking Grandma Kay’s potato gratin after all.

Now, it’s important to note that going vegan doesn’t mean eating French baguettes all day (delicious and vegan as they are).  It’s quite possible to be vegan and just eat fries and drink coke.  Since I was going to be getting my protein from plant-based sources, I needed to capitalize on what I was eating.  Whole grains and ancient superfoods such as amaranth and quinoa (grains that are both complete proteins, by the way!) would have to be incorporated.  It was going to be a whole new grocery world out there.

I sent an email to Alan yesterday to tell him that, yes, I’d actually decided to do the vegan thing and to please not greet me at that airport with a steak and cheese dinner planned.  We’ll see how this goes.

 

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