No. The title of this post isn’t gibberish. It is Tsalami Gawonihisdi or Cherokee language. Junaluska means “I tried but could not”. I heard this phrase when looking up the history of Lake Junaluska. My dad and I were trying to figure out the lake’s name meaning while attending a Wounded Warrior Triathlon. Having a Wounded Warrior Triathlon around Lake “I tried but could not”was not a well thought out event. The phrase has stuck with me since then and felt like a fitting title for this post because I tried something but failed.
I mentioned early that I decided to try becoming a vegetarian after my cancer scare. I know it was a knee jerk reaction to everything that happened but I really did try to make it work. I did good for 3 weeks. I learned how to meal plan and that helped a lot. Especially with Jeremy continuing to eat meat.
Meal planning really helped us be able to eat together at the same time and not try to cook two different dinners at the same time. Our kitchen is too small to try and have us both in there cooking together. Plus Jeremy has started college online. So the ability to come in, warm something up and then get started on classwork saved Jeremy a lot of time.
I did stock up on some of the vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes. Our commissary has some things but definitely not the same selection as if I was back in states. I don’t trust my translator app to translate Japanese food to see if they have substitutes out in town. I found out that I really like the chicken nugget substitutes that the commissary has. I think I might actually like them more than chicken nuggets.
I learned that I loved to sauté green beans, onions and mushrooms together. That and glazed carrots made up a lot of my meals when I actually cooked for myself (or if Jeremy wanted to cook something for me). It was a quick and simple but very yummy.
Going out into town for dinner proved to be a pain and a half. Neither Jeremy and I wanted to cook because he had gotten off work really late, so we went out to dinner. I knew my options would be limited but I didn’t except to find that my options would basically be zero. First we went to Hotto Motto. Hotto Motto is one of my favorite take away restaurants. Unfortunately after using my translating app over everything we realized everything was either made with meat or had a meat broth. We left there and went to another restaurant. Again it had nothing available except a bowl of rice. So we left there and went to Coco’s for Japanese curry. I knew from being there before that they had vegetable curries and I thought I would be able to find something there. Nope. Basically everything there was made with either beef broth or pork broth. Even the vegetable curries. Ugh. I made a makeshift meal of a tiny salad, a bowl of corn, a bowl of rice, and garlic cheese naan. I was still hungry when we left. After that fiasco I realized that if I continued with being a vegetarian I would be missing out on a lot that Japan has to offer.
A few days after that Jeremy and I started planning our Super Bowl meal. My dad had started the tradition of having GIANT stuffed sandwiches during the Super Bowl. It is a tradition that we have kept up. Researching different sandwich recipes, I soon realized that a vegetarian sandwich was going to be as satisfying as what we normally had. This downward spiraled into what would Jeremy and I do about future holidays. To us cooking meals together or Jeremy trying a new recipe is how we usually celebrate anniversaries and holidays. There were so many meat recipes that Jeremy wanted to try out that I would miss out on if I continued down this path. I started to really doubt my reasons for doing this.
Around this time I realized that the meals I was making wasn’t making me feel full. In fact often after I ate I was hungrier than when I first sat down to eat. According to what I had read, I needed at least 50 grams of protein a day. My dinners were getting to the point where they were 30 grams of protein alone (I was making sure I had protein during breakfast and lunch) but I was starving after dinner. I would have everything pictured below (black beans with sour cream, mixed veggies, corn, and veggie burger)and still need to eat a bowl of cereal to feel not hungry. I felt like I was eating too much but starving at the same time. It was weird.
I ended up stopping the vegetarian stuff about a week ago or so. It just wasn’t working for me. I felt like I deprived and missing out or just plain starving. I missed meat. I have cut back on how much meat I eat in general but I am eating it again. I feel better and I feel fuller on smaller portions. Jeremy and I are still meal planning and plan to keep that up as well. It really is convenient and has saved us a lot of money. Jeremy ended up making delicious steak sandwiches for the Super Bowl but we didn’t watch the Super Bowl. It comes on at 8 am on a Monday here and we can’t see the funny commercials because its too expensive for AFN to buy them. So we slept in and enjoyed them for dinner.
The weekend after I gave up being a vegetarian, I found one place I can actually order a meal at out in town. Tully’s, a coffee shop attached to a bookstore, has a risotto meal right now. I ordered it while Jeremy was looking for cards. It was really good. I’m still going to keep my eye out for more vegetarian friendly places here in Japan. There has to be more options that I haven’t seen yet.
I also wanted to thank you for voting for me for Military Spouse Of The Year. I found out this morning that I am the 2017 MCAS Iwakuni Military Spouse Of The Year!!! They will be announcing tomorrow who the top 18 are for the Military Spouse Of The Year for all the branches. I will let you know if I am one of the lucky 18. I am tickled pink to the 2017 MCAS Iwakuni!!! Thank you again for voting for me and cheering me on!