Protein Deficiency: The Way to a Girl’s Heart

It’s Lent again and that can only mean one thing: I have given up way too many things. Once again, I’ve become vegan, but I’ve also 86ed gluten while I’m at it. This time last year, I was subsisting on beer, brown rice and peanut butter, so things were not going well. By comparison, I’ve been doing great this time around! I’ve expanded my vegan repertoire to include quinoa pasta and a variety of Asian food, which means I actually eat sometimes. Things seem pretty good!

Then on Monday, I was out to Korean food with Bright Contradiction, and as tends to happen these days, a discussion of my dietary restrictions came up. As we were getting the check, our waiter asked, “Did I hear you say that you are vegan for Lent? I’m doing the same thing!” Then he proceeded to talk to me about veganism for a solid ten minutes, recommending everything from good vegan restaurants in the city (Sticky Fingers, although how you could skip over the cupcakes and get actual food is beyond me–and I don’t even like cupcakes) to the best milk substitute (almond) and good yogurt options (apparently coconut yogurt is a thing).
I think maybe he was trying to hit on me? But if so, he was doing a really bad job. Soy products don’t exactly whip me into a hormonal frenzy.
However, one part of the conversation did stick with me.

Me: I’m trying not to substitute things, really, because it just depresses me.
Waiter: I was doing that too, but then I wasn’t getting enough protein and kept getting headaches.

Being the hypochondriac that my mother raised me to be, I immediately started taking note of nutrition labels. My mental calculator estimated that as a vegan with my present dietary habits, I’m getting somewhere between 8-15 grams of protein a day now. Now, I’m no nutrition expert, but that seems low, by any metric. And for the first time in three months, I’ve been getting a lot of migraines. I also just want to sleep pretty much all the time now, where I have been frequently functioning on 4-5 hours a night. After I spent the second half of yesterday in bed with a migraine, I decided to experiment while I re-evaluate my spiritual life choices:
First of all, let me just say that this is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever drunk, and that list includes Croatian cherry wine, original Nyquill, and a horrifying concoction of my own invention called “The Bieber Fever” which we will henceforth never speak of again. It’s not so much the flavor that’s awful, though there is a horrible aftertaste vaguely reminiscent of sawdust, but the texture is terrifying. LIQUIDS SHOULD NEVER HAVE A TEXTURE. This one can only be described as “silty.” And it’s not something you can get used to. Every sip I take, I have to suppress my gag reflex a little bit more than the last one.
That said, my headache has started going away. You may be on to something, Mr. Waiter Man. Perhaps vegan substitutes are  the way to a lady’s heart.

2 thoughts on “Protein Deficiency: The Way to a Girl’s Heart

  1. I was going to recommend Bolthouse Farms protein (specifically the mocha flavor and the chai tea) but I think they have milk in them, though I can’t seem to find the specific ingredients on their site. They’re really good, though. I used to drink them when I was sick and couldn’t handle real food (this was like, a year of my life. I have fond memories of these drinks for keeping me alive).

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