No, I do not eat fish

A picture is worth a thousand words and since I have no pictures to post, here are a thousand words! Ok, maybe not that many but quite a few more than I have been writing lately ūüėČ

Last Saturday, we attended a family wedding. The whole gang headed up to Cambridge to celebrate my cousin’s wedding ‚Ķ actually, the whole gang minus Little¬†Lulu.¬† She decided she wasn‚Äôt interested in wearing a dress and to be honest, I can‚Äôt blame her!¬†

This was the first wedding I’ve attended since going vegan. Being Portuguese and vegan does come with¬†some challenges. Luckily, my family is very supportive. Sure, my brothers constantly tease me about it and exaggerate about how much they love turkey but that’s the purpose of annoying little brothers right? Like I said, my family has embraced my mid-30’s diet change and have¬†been really¬†accommodating. Old-school Portuguese wedding caterers on the other hand ‚Äď not so much.¬† Let me start by saying that the food was great and I didn’t expect the caterer to make any exceptions based on my choices.¬† I’m just sharing my experience because it was my first and whether good or bad, sharing¬†is what this blog is all about.¬†

I believe there is a HUGE difference between being vegan and vegetarian, and to my traditional¬†Portuguese caterer, being vegan just meant ‚Äúremove the meat from her plate.‚ÄĚ In fact, I was actually told by one of the servers that¬†vegan and vegetarian¬†are the same thing. It was the first time¬†since going vegan that I understood why vegans get a bad reputation of being crazy. I wanted to shout, ‚Äúthere is a difference!‚ÄĚ I don‚Äôt eat dairy or eggs and you know that piece of calamari you just tried to serve me ‚Ķ well, I don‚Äôt eat fish either. In fact, neither do vegetarians. Last time I checked, fish is an animal. But instead of going into a rant about the differences, I just smiled back.

This is how the meal portion of my evening went. The first¬†course was soup. It was a fall wedding so they served butternut squash soup. Seems safe right? Well not when it’s made with chicken broth. I didn’t even inquire because as far as my server was concerned, there was no meat floating in my soup so it was fine.¬†Salad came next.¬† I inhaled this knowing it might be my last course!¬†¬†I don‚Äôt ONLY eat salad every day but given that it was the only course I could eat without an issue, another light bulb went off on why people may assume that all those crazy vegans eat is salad. The salad¬†was followed with fish. The interesting thing about being vegan is how many people assume you can eat fish. Fish is a staple of the Portuguese culture. We serve it all the time. Our traditional Christmas meal is cod fish (not turkey like my brothers will argue, not that it makes a difference to a vegan), so I was starting to realize that not eating fish was a really hard concept for Portuguese people to understand.¬† The convo went like this…

“Hi, I don’t eat fish, is there a vegetarian option?”

“Yes, fish, you don’t eat fish?”

“No, I don’t eat fish.”

“It’s white fish.”

“Uh huh, it is but I still don’t eat fish.¬† I’ll just take some rice.”

“Oh okay, I’ll get you some rice; no fish though?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúNo, no fish.‚ÄĚ ¬†

The server walked away giving me a look like I’m a weirdo for not eating fish.  I feel bad for fish, no one takes them seriously as animals. The mindset is that if it comes from the ocean, it must not count as meat.

The fish was followed by beef and cheesecake so I just gave up mentioning that I am vegan and filled up on potatoes. 

The best part of a Portuguese wedding is the midnight buffet. It’s a tradition that at midnight, we indulge in sweets and seafood.¬† There is a huge table set up with a variety¬†of desserts and a whole bunch of seafood ‚Äď crab, mussels and¬†shrimp. This is the part of weddings I loved the most but now as I walked by the buffet, I just kept thinking, “probably egg in that” ‚Ķ “cheese in that” ‚Ķ “milk in those custard tarts” ‚Ķ “oh grapes, I can have those!”¬† When I caught the eye of the server, she gave me a big smile and said, ‚ÄúLooks good eh?‚ÄĚ Yep, she still thinks that I can have fish. As I walked back to my table with pineapple, strawberries and grapes on my plate, I realized that I didn’t need willpower to walk away from the buffet; I just had no interest in it.¬† As someone who struggled with her weight for years and always gave into temptation, becoming¬†vegan actually changed my cravings. I never feel like I’m¬†depriving¬†myself because¬†I feel¬†energized knowing that I figured out which foods fueled my body the best. It may not work for everyone but for now it works for me.

Even if it means that I constantly have to explain that, no, I do not eat fish.

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The Rosie Effect

I finally finished the book I mentioned on Sunday. Finally.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am having a hard time reading this year. I started the #50bookpledge in January and sad to admit that I’m only 14 books in with 2.5 months to go. Well I guess now 15.

Due to my lack of interest in reading this year, you cannot understand how excited I was when I heard that the squeal to The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect was finally available at the book store. I went out and bought it immediately!

I loved The Rosie Project. (the first book) I recommend it to everyone.¬†It’s a cute love story about Don Tillman, a¬†socially awkward genetics professor¬†who decides to find love by coming up with a questionnaire. A very non-emotional approach that results in a very endearing love story.¬† The second book picks up 10 months after the wedding and¬†surprise, surprise, they are expecting a baby!

I do not believe in spoiling books so if you are also very excited to read The Rosie Effect, skip the next paragraph.

Given my excitement about this book, I¬†was totally expecting to fall in love with¬†it from the first page but I have to admit it took me a really long time to get into this book. I mean, like half way in and a few more chapters before I actually found myself engaged and by that point, I just wanted to know what they named the baby! (which was a cute name btw) It might be that I‚Äôm having a rough time with reading in general or¬†it could be that the book is all baby talk which I can‚Äôt relate to but regardless¬†I just wasn‚Äôt feeling it.¬†I mean there were some cute parts that made me chuckle but it just didn’t¬†leave the same impression as the¬†first one did.¬†I am still a fan of the original so if you haven‚Äôt read it, just start there. For those that have read it, I don‚Äôt know what to tell you. It‚Äôs cute, they are prego and yes, Don is still Don. Rosie however…¬† I just leave it like that.

Now that I finished¬†The Rosie Effect, I’m on the search for book #16. For some reason I still have not lost any interest in walking around¬†aimlessly around¬†Chapters. It’s still¬†my happy place!