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On This Meatless Monday, an Avid Carnivore Prepares for a Week of Veganhood

I just consumed my last meal, consisting of a deliciously bloody flat iron steak with Boursin cheese and caramelized onions cooked in bacon fat, topped off with a fried egg also cooked in bacon fat.

I'm not being marched off to my execution, though -- my fate is slightly less final and significantly more voluntary. I'm going vegan for a week.

That's right: No animal products for seven days. Why the hell am I doing this? Lately my eating habits have taken a turn for the worse; I love and do eat fruits and vegetables but recently my diet's been dominated by an excess of meat, cheese and carbs. I'm hoping to do a system reboot of sorts by avoiding meat and dairy (and honey and so on ) for one week and then slowly reintroducing them. (Then again, the moment it's over I might hightail it to Wingfield's for a stupidly ginormous bacon burger. I'm not making any promises.)

I'm kinda-sorta-not-really-at-all prepared for this; I haven't gone grocery shopping in a while so the fridge is mostly bare. I have almond milk for my morning coffee, and a batch of vegan banana muffins (no eggs, vegetable oil instead of butter) in the oven as we speak. That should carry me through to the afternoon; after that, your guess is as good as mine as to what the hell I'm going to eat.

I'm browsing recipe sites and cooking blogs, bookmarking vegan recipes and making a grocery list. I'm looking forward to revisiting Spiral Diner and checking out the V-Spot; I hear Cane Rosso's got vegan pizza with soy cheese, too. I'm pretty confident that I can do this; I've had something like seventeen Meatless Mondays already, so seven in a row shouldn't be too hard, right? (If I sound like I'm desperately trying to reassure myself, it's because I am.)

The biggest obstacle I foresee is actually not myself but other people. I often go out to eat with friends during the week, and our usual destinations aren't quite vegan-friendly--I'm pretty sure Off-Site Kitchen has nary a vegan item on the menu, and I would doubt my willpower in the presence of a 48 hour smoked brisket sandwich anyway. My boyfriend refuses to eat a meatless meal, let alone step foot inside a vegan restaurant. Complete social avoidance may actually be the key to my success this week.

I take solace in one simple fact, though: alcohol is largely vegan by default. All my beloved cocktails are fair game, as long as I avoid those with honey or egg whites. If all else fails, I can have Oreos (which are oddly enough, totally vegan, along with all this other crap) and a couple gin and tonics and call it a day.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.


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