Eight months into my vegan “experiment," I am happy to report that I dropped my total cholesterol below 200, have somehow managed to survive without animal protein, and contrary to carnivorous belief, have been able to find more to eat than leaves.
When my experiment began at the end of August 2011, I encountered the typical questions herbivore's would expect, but there was particular skepticism from my family and friends regarding how this lifestyle would be possible with my travel schedule. I may not hold a candle to the air miles of George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air, but I put up a respectable 80,000 miles last year.
That’s enough airport food and client dinners to throw anyone’s cholesterol under the bus. My first trip as a vegan was to San Francisco. Talk about a lay-up. I have visited other cities and was more than able to get by with the trusty Thai or Mediterranean fare.
I was thankful for Fort Worth’s tasty Spiral Diner and Kansas City impressed me with their juicy jackfruit barbeque sandwich at FuD. However, I stumbled upon a particular restaurant in the small Mexican border-town of McAllen, Texas that has given me hope. Hope that healthy plant-based meals can be found, even when travelling to the most unsuspecting locations.
Alhambra prides itself on locally sourced organic food, and makes a point to highlight the veg-options on the menu. Thank you, Alhambra, thank you. I ordered the daily vegetarian special, making it vegan of course. It was two green bell peppers stuffed with a breaded chipotle soy cheese and the sides were roasted vegetables such as tomatoes, artichoke, and something carrot-like that I clearly haven’t come across yet in my vegan training guide. I was so excited to try it that I forgot to take a picture before I cut into the bell pepper.
Photo credit: Heather and cc:flickr.com/photos/dph1110