Adventures in Engine 2 Land

Everyone who knows me knows, I have a happy place. And it's name is Target. Since it opened here about ten years or so ago I have been a fan. The ability to purchase adorable cardigans, batteries, and stylish home goods at the same time as tampons, Advil, and office supplies is a joy every shopper deserves to luxuriate in.

Except yesterday. When Target tried to turn on me. At first everything seemed normal. As I was headed to the returns area I was cut off by an older couple trying to purchase the correct bag of underwear for their kid but were unaware of the price scanners located all over the store. How this could happen is beyond me but I didn't let it get me down. It only took the clerk 12 seconds to help them and I was then able to return my George Foreman Grill.

Now this is in no way a reflection on George. He does good work, he just wasn't the right tool for the job. I am embarking on a new adventure. It's important that I have the right stuff so I can actually stand a fighting chance. I have decided to make a major life change and am using the Engine 2 Diet as my vehicle to get me to healthy land. I can honestly say, I've always wanted to not only eat better, but to stop consuming animals in any way, shape, or form. In case you haven't noticed, I am a major animal lover. Not only as a pet owner but as a consumer - I avoid products tested on animals, I try not to wear leather or suede, and I think wearing fur is disgusting, wrong, elitist, and honestly disturbing. Unless you are an actual Eskimo or other indigenous clan member, you have no reason to wear pelts. You look like a jackass. Stop it.

Anyway, I quickly figured out that a George Foreman Grill would not help me in my quest. What made me come to this realization was my attempt on Sunday to cook rice.

I'm pretty sure any normal human being can cook rice. I, however, cannot. In my first ever attempt at making brown rice, despite having it cook for over 45 minutes, I failed. Badly. Rice disaster. I can only explain it by saying I think it was raw yet overcooked. At the same time. I had to dump it. It was sad. Very sad. Because then I had no rice to eat and had to have hummus and pita chips.

So I went back to the drawing board and read more of my Engine 2 book. And found that they consider a rice cooker a must-have for this diet. Rice cooker? A device that cooks rice as its sole purpose? It's idiot proof?? I must have it!

Hence my trip to Target yesterday. After the return desk I headed over to the kitchen items area and began the selection process. I was interrupted, however, by what can only be described as a scream one would utter if entered into a competition with a banshee. As one, everyone near me stopped what they were doing and picked up their heads as if listening for a lion ambush. The screech had come from the front of the store, by the registers.The moment passed and everyone returned to their shopping. Until the next moment when the banshee call rang out again. Louder and longer this time. My fellow shopping herd members and I attempted to ignore this second call of the wild. What we failed to think of, was that there could be more of them. That this shriek was not only a cry of the jungle, but a mating call as well.

And then it happened. It had a friend. And that friend, was behind me somewhere. I was unable to locate the source of the return call but that didn't stop it from happening. As Demon Child #1 shrieked his fool head off, Demon Child #2 would silently listen. As soon as #1 was out of air, #2 belted out a reply scream of equal strength and volume. This continued for the rest of the time I was in the store. We would go a couple minutes between nightmare screams as I can only assume a parent attempted to distract (aka shut up) their little cherub. But just when you thought it was over, that surely one or both of them had finally left the store they would take up the cry again.

It was like Demon Child Ping-Pong. If one were to buy tickets to an event such as this, they would be wise to stretch first in order to have the required neck flexibility to move back and forth repeatedly. Somehow both competitors remained at opposite ends of the store. Worst tennis match ever.

I didn't let it stop me. I selected my rice cooker and bought more rice and vegetable stock to replace the fallen soldiers of Sunday night's attempt. And I'm thrilled to report the rice cooker made beautiful, fluffy brown rice AND steamed my vegetables for me. It's a double-threat! Rice cooker plus steamer = yum!

I'm feeling good and confident (for the first time ever) that going Vegan is the right choice for me. I've always had a feeling about it but never had the balls to do it. So for the next 28 days, I am an Engine 2 eater and will be making a lot of rice. My harrowing Target adventure will not be for naught. You never know what will change your life, I suspect a rice cooker may be the piece I have been missing up until now.

Worried it's all rabbit food and I'll die from lack of protein or calcium? Think again and check out this beautiful burrito bowl - this is my dinner tonight and I can't wait! For the recipe go to http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/2012/07/22/burrito-bowl-with-guacamole-and-salsa/ 

I am going to eat this like a wolverine! A vegan one!

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