The Boring Vegan: A Six Item Weekly Menu

Being a vegan, I get asked what I eat more than most people.* (“Not even chicken?” No, not even chicken.) So I recently realized that something weird had happened to me…turns out I only eat 6 things about 90% of the time. Here’s the list – all vegan:

  1. Overnight Oats – MUSH brand, blueberry flavor.Bloggish-1
  2. Salad/veggies/a ton of veggies.

    Mrs. Winston’s Salad Bar M-F
  3. Vegan protein – Currently Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausage or Beyond Meat Burger.
  4. PBJ – I’m counting this as one. Also, it’s almond butter on Ezekial bread with St. Dalfour’s jam.
  5. Bars – These rotate between Kind/Lara/Clif.
  6. Sliced Cheese and Nuts – Counts as one also. These are my take-a-couple-slices/handful-to-tide-me-over-until-my-next-meal staples. Violife (Greek brand) smoked provolone and raw cashews.Blog-4

I’ve totally been known to eat oatmeal for breakfast and dinner, and I’ve had that Mrs. Winston’s salad every work day for over ten years. I know. It’s slightly freaking me out too. However, these six things seem to meet all my nutritional requirements and allow me to run well and perform athletically at a level most 20-something year olds would be hard-pressed to do (see Instagram account).

When I go crazy and stray from this fairly low fat, low sugar routine, I also tend to go for 6 things:

  1. Have’a Chips – It’s the soy sauce!

    My dad turned me on to these.
  2. Better Bites Cookie Dough – Chocolate Chip
  3. Ian’s Bread – My friend Ian bakes ridiculously good bread from scratch. Yes, I have a Bread Man.Bloggish-4
  4. Whole Foods Mac N Cheese
  5. Maple Donuts – Just the frosting.
  6. Earth Balance Butter – For when my body is craving fat. I’ll put it on bread…and Have’a chips. I know. I’m gross.

So the first reason I eat like this is because I like what I like. Sometimes I think I’m being weird only eating six things, so I’ll throw in a curveball to shake things up a little. Like I had saffron rice and some potatoes last week. Meh. Probably won’t do that again. I like my 6 things better.

Another reason for the minimal menu is that I’m an athlete. You can be vegan and eat a wider range of foods – you can even be a seriously unhealthy vegan — since for most people going vegan is an ethical choice. I love Indian food, and it’s obviously vegan-friendly, but I’m not going to be able to put away Indian food for dinner and then run 5-6 miles the next morning. (I actually did this the night before a race one time, and that was a bad, bad call.) I have to eat a certain way if I want to perform at my best as a runner, so I’m more limited. And, it should be noted that articles about the diet of Kenyan distance runners also point to a limited variety of foods – especially the elite athletes: bread, boiled rice, poached potatoes, boiled porridge, cabbage, kidney beans, and ugali (cornmeal paste molded into balls). My oatmeal sounds downright exotic at this point, right?

Thirdly, I’m lazy. I don’t want to plan out a menu for the week or spend hours in a grocery store on the weekend. If cooking made my heart sing, I would do it, but it doesn’t. I prefer to spend my time running, reading, sleeping, and basically Not Cooking. It’s so easy to just grab 1-6 and eat.

Lastly, my tastebuds have changed. Is this what happens when you get old? I like food, and I definitely like eating, but it’s not like every meal has to be a festival of flavors. Besides, I’ve already had that. Before I went vegan, I was a foodie – a well-traveled foodie. I have dined at French Laundry (enough said), Alain’s in Paris, Le Bernardin and Jean-Georges in NYC. I have eaten a $17 piece of sashimi in Singapore and experienced a decadent White Chocolate High “Tea” at the The Ritz in Madrid. What I’m saying is that I’ve eaten enough top-notch delicious food to last a lifetime. I’m good. Now my tastebuds and body just prefer the taste and feel of healthy clean food — 90% of the time.

Ugh, I’ve become every insufferable LA stereotype.

French Laundry’s signature dish Oysters and Pearls – pearl tapioca with oysters and white sturgeon caviar.
In addition to Afternoon Tea, The Ritz also offers Afternoon Chocolate. We had the Chocolate puro e intenso and Crema de chocolate blanco. I felt like Augustus Gloop!

Anyway, I hope this has been useful. Maybe it satisfies your curiosity? Hopefully it inspires a Meatless Monday? Possibly it confirms that you will never go out to eat with me? In any case, feel free to hit me up* with any questions. I know the idea of going vegan or starting that transition can be daunting, so I am here to help. I’m totally not the Judgy Vegan — not out loud anyway. Ha. I kid. For real, reach out. I struggled for seven years to go completely vegan and am happy to help.

*S/o to my friend for texting me at 6:10 AM to ask what I ate and inspiring this post.


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