VeganMoFo Day 23: C’mon Home to a Home-Style Dinner!

Maybe it’s just me, but after watching my sons go through their childhood immunizations, the mention of shots at the doctor’s office became much more distressing than it’d ever been before. When reminded about boosters or asked if I want the flu shot this year, I can’t help but flash back on those innocent, unsuspecting faces in the pediatrician’s office. They were so happy to see the fun doctor until at the end of the visit when, enter nurse and needle, the wailing began. These little betrayals are what cause our children to rebel as teenagers; I’m convinced of it.

I popped into the doctor’s office today for my monthly B12 shot. The first time I had one I was maybe just a little bit terrified, recalling our old pediatrician’s office filled with crying children and harried parents. Fortunately, it’s just a pinch and I’m done. What a relief.

A Brief B12 PSA:

As vegans, we are often reminded that we need to be aware of our B12 intake. A B12 deficiency is serious business. Not only does a B12 deficiency cause neurological symptoms, it can also result in permanent nerve damage. If you haven’t already, please discuss B12 with your doctor. This isn’t just a recommendation I make to vegans. B12 should be on the radar of people with any type of diet.

I was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency before becoming a vegan. A person’s body stores B12 in the liver, and a deficiency means a B12 problem began years ago. In my case, my B12 levels hardly changed and my numbers remained abnormally low even after more than two years of taking daily B12 supplements. Clearly, I was not adequately absorbing B12 from my food even before becoming vegan and supplementation did not work for me either.

My doctor determined that my B12 deficiency is due to an absorption issue of some kind. Like I said, my problem began before I became a vegan and has nothing to do with my being a vegan now. In fact, my brother, who has been a vegan for several years, has never had a problem with B12. While a person might be able to develop a B12 deficiency as a vegan, it’s not a problem that is exclusive to vegans.

I frequently see articles and discussions in which people suggest that B12 deficiency and a plant-based diet go hand in hand. My own experience proves that this is not always the case. A B12 deficiency can happen to anyone. It is devastating and can be permanently damaging to your body. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

A simple blood test can check your levels. The next time you’re visiting your doctor, just ask him or her to order a test. The consequence for letting this deficiency go undetected is too great.

So even if you think you’re getting all you need, talk to your doctor about B12. And remember — B12: It’s Not Just for Bingo, Baby!

Now, back to the show

Once I was home, my husband called to let me know that my son had to work late tonight. Since he carpools with my husband, that meant they both would be arriving home after our regular dinner hour. I was thankful I hadn’t started dinner yet, but I also had no idea what I wanted to make given the circumstances. I texted my husband and asked what he wanted for dinner.

“Waffles!” appeared on my phone screen a few seconds later. Waffles? He generally says he doesn’t know when I throw that question at him late in the evening, so I was pleasantly surprised to get an answer. Plus, waffles sounded pretty good to me, too. Alrighty then! Waffles!

I remembered that Vegansaurus shared a waffle recipe a few months ago. Everyone liked it when I made it before, so I used that recipe again tonight.

The batter seemed too thick…

I made them the “perfectionist” way. I also added about a half a cup of water to the recipe because the batter seemed far too thick. I liked the way the thinner batter poured onto the waffle iron and was very pleased with the waffles texture when they were done.

…so I added 1/2 cup water to thin.

Since waffles alone seemed to be too little for hungry guys heading home after a long day, I also heated some certified vegan Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders.

My younger son adores these. I’m not sure what exactly makes them magical, but so far I haven’t hit the Gardein standard with my homemade seitan. I knew he’d be pleased to find these on the menu. When he walked in, I told him what we were having.

“Breaded?” he asked, instantly rejuvenated. When I nodded, he just stood in the kitchen smiling until I shooed him out so I could finish making dinner.

Late as it was, I decided to reheat the leftover green beans from last night and make a little more fruit salad. I also made my Way Too Easy Gravy, which my son skipped in favor of ketchup but my husband and I enjoyed over the tenders and the green beans.

We munched on dinner while I “forced” everyone to watch my guilty pleasure television show. It was a nice way to wrap up the night… until I learned that I have to change my son’s behind-the-wheel driving test appointment because of an unforeseen school conflict. Argh! Looks like he and my husband will be carpooling for a while longer. Oh, well. If I can keep coming up with dinners like Waffles and Crispy Tenders, we should be able to make it work. Besides, as with all things pertaining to children growing up, we’ll miss the togetherness and conversation we share after he gets his license. I still miss his older brother talking my ear off now that he’s handling his life mostly on his own. It’s hard to imagine that soon they’ll both be out in the world, being responsible for themselves and making their marks as the talented, intelligent young men that they are.

So maybe it’s not such a bad thing that he’s stuck with us for a little while longer. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing at all.


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