I’m a vegetarian. I have been now for about 3 years. I decided to be vegetarian as a result of watching some pretty ropey documentaries about mass farming. Now, I’m not about to start preaching, so don’t panic, but personally, mass farming is gross. It’s unethical and unsustainable and it kind of weirds me out that we take a large group of animals, fatten them up and then pack them off in a lorry to, well, you know where. So, I don’t eat meat. Now, I had been warned how difficult it is to be a vegetarian in America, that even salads arrive, with 1/2 pig, in the form of bacon, virtually glued to every leaf. It’s very true, they do.
What do you eat?! I hear you all gasping ( well, maybe just my mother) I do ok? Ish.
Thankfully, America does breakfast foods the best. Breakfast food is my favourite, along with fruit, veg’, cake, sweets, cake, tea, cake and some cake. Waking up in a motel, knowing we have our breakfast provided brings me utter joy and my face beams. I badger Rob about getting ready so that we can head down and revel in the delights of cereal, toast, waffles, yoghurt, fruit, fruit juice, bagels, pancakes…..you get it right. So breakfast is done and done. Good.
Lunch on the road is tricky. It’s either been perfect or totally rubbish. We entered this one service station, that as a non meat eater I could either have sweets (not so bad) crisps, cakes (man I love tha’ cake) or fat drenched meat or meat with some added meat. So I had crisps and sweets. This, as a child, would have been my dream diet for the rest of my life. As semi reasonable adult, I actually really enjoy eating vegetables (don’t hate me). I often feel a bit sluggish if I’ve not had a nice salad or at least a sandwich busting full with greens and tomatoes and some avo’. It was therefore quite disappointing.
If we’ve ordered a big take away the previous night for dinner (I’ll get to dinners soon) then, as we’re from the UK and haven’t broke from rationing food since WW2, we eat ‘normal’ sized proportions. This means we usually have a third to 1/2 a meal remaining, for which we save for lunch. Storing food in 40’c heat is shady but so far, neither of us has ended up with the two bob bits. Imagine it. Or don’t?!
Dinner. Well, dinner whilst doing the car and motel thing, has been quite tedious. Rob roughly finishes running at about 5/6pm, he stretches and desperately tries to stop sweating (I still a gawp at him, in amazement at his……. mass production of sweat) but once he’s done, my brain smiles and relaxes, like a fool, because I think that’s me done too but unfortunately, unless we want to eat grass and ground in roadkill, we have to drive. Of Course there’s more driving! So, we dither and ask each other what they fancy to eat and the other says (THE most frustrating sentence known to all humans when deciding on what to eat) I don’t mind, what do you fancy to eat? Arghh!
If we find a nice restaurant, then we head in and I browse the menu. The menu of meat. My options in the South, are generally between Nachos and dip, fries or fried pickes. I’ve had them all, nearly twice. After filling my belly with salty cardboard triangles and downing diet coke (that gets refilled just as you feel some mighty accomplishment at finishing and not wasting the litre!) I’m done and happy to head home (motel not UK) Rob manages really well which is obviously good. He needs around 6000 calories a day, so the large meals, the drink refills and the not being vegetarian works very well for him indeed. I have no worries there. Apart from cheese. He can’t eat cheese. He basically ends up with raging colitis and turns his body inside out in the process if he does. He’s a handsome man but nobody wants to see that. A lot of places have Cheddar Gorge size proportions on them or they get a bit crafty and sneak a little bit in to surprise the unsuspecting victim and then all hell breaks ‘loose’ in gutsville.
Not being able to then sit off and have a few bevvies is starting to get a bit dull. I know Rob would and could but he’s very sensibly not having very much. I of course, being the driver (ho hum) can’t and it is a bit sad at this point (whaaa). It’s a potentially great way to meet other people and locals. All being well, now that we have Jenny Jamboree, the RV, we can get into a better routine, I will get my daily allowance of lettuce leaves. The evening drinks and socialising will follow and Rob can release his chat onto new people (like now please!)
But I can’t complain all the time (I try though) I have managed to have some lovely meals ( mushroom burger at Bubba Gump’s) and we’ve met some lovely waitress staff who have been through the story that is Run Robla Run and survived to tell tale, with a smile.
Finally, I can’t leave without mentioning peanut butter. I vehemently believe in peanut butter and America just does peanut butter the best. To slightly quote the famous Bubba Gump, you can get peanut butter cookies, peanut butter chocolate, peanut butter icecream, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cake, peanut butter fudge.. ….I love the stuff. Love it. So much so that I am rather likely to return home 5 stone heavier and looking like a peanut. That’s ok by me. And, drinks here have been an absolute saviour too. Rob did one of his runs in 42’c heat and I was really worried for him( well, pretended to be). On a mission to find some refreshing, cold drink (and shoes, in the mall), I stumbled across an icy drinks stall and their “medium” drink size was roughly the same size as my head. I bought us one each, blue raspberry (since when are raspberries blue?) and strawberry. I let Rob choose because I’m that kind of girl. He was incredibly grateful, as was I, so thank you America for your ridiculously sized drinks and peanut butter.