Safe and sound in Arcata and not jumping off the low-FODMAP vegan diet while under stress

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Well, we made it to Arcata. It’s about 75 miles south of Crescent City, and pretty much all downhill. We went slowly and cautiously and didn’t run into any problems.

When we arrived, I felt brain-dead. I only drove about half the way (the first part). I think it’s just been too much lately. Work has been stressful, there have been family things going on, and then this stuff happened. I was entropy for stress.

During the past few days Ryan and I had actually been talking about maybe taking a break from being vegan. We reminisced about how we used to eat at Mexican restaurants–him eating something with beef or pork in it, me typically going for a cheese enchilada. We drooled over super-fatty, cheesy junk food at the grocery store and thought how easy it would be to buy some and eat it and maybe feel better.

We didn’t do it, but it was definitely under consideration. When you stop at a Papa Murphy’s and ask them how much they will charge you for an uncooked pizza crust with sauce on it and they want $9, you start to get really frustrated.

One thing I knew for certain when we arrived in Arcata was that I didn’t want to cook for myself. There is a Mexican restaurant within walking distance (about 200 feet) from where we’re staying called Fiesta Grill and Cantina. They didn’t have a website, so we decided to just walk over and see what they had.

For a place that didn’t have a single vegan item on the menu, they were extremely accommodating. When we explained the situation to our server, and she was very understanding and helpful. She knew how everything on the menu was cooked, and was able to customize orders for us. I got potato tacos, which were mashed potatoes mixed with red chiles then cooked in corn tortillas. I got a double order of rice instead of rice and beans, kept the lettuce and tomato and gave up the onions, cheese, guacamole and sour cream.

Ryan got a custom burrito with rice, beans, grilled potatoes and guacamole with a verde sauce over it. We also had a ton of homemade tortilla chips and salsa.

Normally, when I eat out there are leftovers. This time I ate the whole thing. Then we walked back to the RV and I took a nap. Later on, we sat in the hot tub for a bit, then it was bedtime and I fell right asleep.

Other than having food cooked in oil (which is almost avoidable when eating out), there really were no dietary discrepancies here. There might have been a little garlic in the salsa, but in such small quantities I wasn’t really worried about it (there were no chunks of garlic or onion for sure).

Today, I’m back to cooking food. I’ve already made a huge pot of rice in our pressure cooker, and tonight I’m going to make Ryan some black beans. I made some home-made pizzas at lunch time that stuck to the diet 100%. All it took was a single, huge, satisfying meal that I didn’t have to prepare myself, followed by a nap, and I kept from making a big mistake. And so did Ryan.

Because the truth is, neither of us really want to suffer the consequences of eating animal products. We both have been feeling better since we cut them out, and it’s nice to feel good. Is food really enjoyable when it tastes good when you eat it, but a little while later your stomach is upset, or your joints hurt, or you have a rash? Not to mention the things that sneak up on you, like weight gain, or the ones you can’t see, like clogged arteries.

So I’m glad I’m still sitting on the wagon. It’s a nice view from here.

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