When Dean booked our Vegas trip this year the only thing I could think about was, “What will we eat?” I kept playing this tape of veal chops, burgers, and crab legs in my head. Thinking that it would be next to impossible to try and maintain our whole-foods, plant based lifestyle. We have been living on this path for almost four months! I wanted to write a bit about how we coped with the challenge. And yes, trust me, when you pass by a crepe shop 7 times a day… It’s a challenge!
We flew Delta to Vegas, which we try and always do not only to accumulate our miles, but also because Dean has their American Express card which means that he and his companion (me) get our first bags free!
We picked up our brand spankin’ new Camaro convertible from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car at the airport. Everyone needs to be driving a convertible when in Vegas. Especially, when you are coming from Michigan! The car only had about 4,000 miles on it. We felt like a million dollars sitting in it, and it didn’t hurt that everyone on the strip was telling Dean what a great ride he had.
For our resort this time around we chose the Bellagio. In past we have always stayed at the Harrah’s properties, such as Paris, Caesar’s, Bally’s, and Flamingo. I’m not sure if it was our annoyance that Harrah’s has now instated resort fees or if it was just because Travelocity.com gave us a pretty bangin’ deal on the Bellagio that pushed us to stay there. The funniest part about checking in was Dean’s attempt at the $20 sandwich. If you don’t know about the sandwich you should. Generally when we check in dean will hand them a $20 to $50 bill sandwiched between his id and credit card. The amount is based on the number of nights stayed and the property. It’s always funny to watch the desk receptionist hide the $20 and bump us into a better room. Apparently, the $20 dollar sandwich does not always work. At the Bellagio the receptionist gave us our money back, and shoved us in a room with 2 beds. Hahahahaha. This took us a good half of the next day to get moved into a room with one bed, and a whole lot of complaints from yours truly to get us into a room with a fountain view.
I had said in a previous blog post that I really did not know what we would do with our diet. I had assumed that Dean would at least have the burger at Carnevino, but he didn’t. He stayed strong, I stayed strong and we kept meat off the menu. Where we did falter was with the dairy. We would go to a gorgeous restaurant, order a vegan tasting menu, and then the waiter would ask us, “The chef would like to bring you out a treat, its vegetarian, would that be okay?” Well, I’ll be damned if at a restaurant that I am paying $150 a plate, I turn down the chef. My stomach didn’t hurt. And to be honest, I didn’t feel THAT bad about it. I will tell you exactly how I felt. Every time someone new hears about our journey/ change in diet, their response is always, “well I believe you should eat everything in moderation.” To which I generally reply, “That’s fine, but most people don’t have a very good handle on what eating in moderation would be.” Then I go on a short rant about how much meat or olive oil is truly suggested in a diet, and how much more Americans eat each and every day. I felt like in Vegas, us eating a bit of dairy… that was our moderation. Most Americans eat about 630 pounds of milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream per year. I am thinking this year I might consume about 5 pounds. In my book, that’s moderation.
Our big splurge was on the last night. Dean and I were walking back to our room, and I said to him… “Let’s go to Sugar Factory and have a sundae”. I know, it shocks me too, but I said it. At first he looked at me puzzled. I’m sure he thought I was tricking him. I wasn’t tricking him. I meant it. I wanted to go to Sugar Factory and I wanted to eat cookie dough. We dashed across the street, ordered our sundae, and laughed. It was like Christmas. Dean says to me, “I could be a vegan the rest of my life, if at least once a year; I get to eat a cookie jar sundae!” Admittedly, I couldn’t eat very much of it. My brain wanted something that my stomach really didn’t need. I indulged, I had my treat, and I looked onward to the good health and body I am building by eating a whole-food, plant based diet. I am sharing all of this because I don’t ever want to lie to the people that read this blog. I think it’s important to share, that we are doing our best. We strive to eat a diet that doesn’t include any processed foods, added sugars, added oils, meat or dairy. We aren’t just dabbling in this idea. Those foods don’t exist in our home. We can’t be tempted and we feel good about it. That being said, on the last night of every vacation. I’m pretty sure I am going to have a cookie jar sundae.