Day 4

I’m starting to settle into looking at food from a vegan perspective. I don’t have to eat what others consider to be a “normal” breakfast. This morning I cut up and fried one of the potatoes I’d baked previously with onion and then sauteed zucchini and spinach and topped it with sliced avocado. It was a filling, yet light and tasty meal. I had my morning tea, Darjeeling, and felt pretty satisfied with everything. I didn’t miss having an egg with my potatoes at all.

We went to a place in Portland known as “food church”. Every Sunday people line up and then are allowed to come in and take what they need from piles of food sourced from local stores – New Seasons, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc. We were 3rd in line and I picked up a few potatoes and yams, bananas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, small tomatoes and chopped veggies for stir-fry. I also picked up 2 types of bread and allowed myself one bagel. All of this food is food that major grocery chains would throw into their garbage compactors and fortunately for those on the lower income levels, like myself, these people collect and distribute food that is past it’s prime or imperfect.  I can’t explain how wonderful it is to have a source of good quality, mostly organic, vegetarian/vegan foods when you have little or no money. It is priceless.

I just wish more American businesses felt like giving to those in need instead of chucking less-than-perfect items into a trash compactor that crushes and makes sure no one can benefit in any way. They just produce more trash for the landfills. There used to be a time when employees could purchase or take home expired or damaged goods. Companies have become so paranoid of employees deliberately damaging items or benefiting in some way from having access to these things, that they do not allow, and go to great lengths to make sure they don’t, get to take any of these items for re-use.

I could go more into detail about my experiences with that, but I’d rather not get sued right now. I will say that I have worked for both Michaels and Home Depot and they make sure things end up in the landfill – no ifs, ands or buts. Michaels will actually have employees spray paint on or break items before they go into the dumpster to prevent re-use. Okay, I’ve said enough for now. It makes it all the more rewarding to see people working to re-distribute food, something this country wastes by the ton, to those in need.

Later in the day Sam re-created my new favorite sandwich, one I had yesterday at Sweetpea Baking Company in Portland. It is “grilled cheese” (Daiya cheddar) with smoked maple tempeh and avocado on wheat, or in this case, 7 grain bread, because it’s what I received from food church. It’s delightful comfort food and I highly recommend it. Pair it with any number of delicious side dishes and it’s a quick and easy winner that gives you a hug on the inside.

As for how I’m feeling today…no severe hunger pangs and I feel like my blood sugar may be stabilizing a bit with the new food combos. I feel like I’m processing the food, instead of it sitting in my stomach for a while. I don’t feel “full”, I feel satisfied. Hopefully that makes sense, but it’s the best way I can describe it. I feel like my digestive system is really working quickly and the food is not sitting for long. At the same time I’m not ravenously hungry and feel more calm about getting to my next meal. It’s a good thing and I’m looking forward to reporting how I feel on day 7.

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