Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day Three

Day three of the Memphis Vegan Challenge, and it’s almost a piece of cake. I don’t feel deprived. My body feels great.

Let’s get to the food.

Spelt Bagel (Gluten Free) with Tofu Spread (cream cheese substitute)

I worked again choreographing at the studio out in Germantown. If you’ve been following my escapades, you’ll know that this dance studio is right next to one of my favorite delis of all time, Vanelli’s. I opted for the sandwich. Unfortunately, they were out of wheat bread, but it still tasted great. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, pickles, salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, and mustard!

I also put chips on my sandwich because it would be weird if I didn’t. It’s just a thing I do. And you know you want to do it too.


I had a very long day dancing, so mom and I decided to treat ourselves to a fun dinner date at Bari, one of my favorite spots in Midtown. Bari is a fantastic Italian restaurant that serves the correct portion size and cooks with EVOO (The bartender exclaimed, “There hasn’t been a stick of butter in here… EVER!”) I had the rigatoni and mushroom that they kept the cheese off. (I did ask if the pasta was made with egg, and I was assured that the rigatoni was not.) I also enjoyed a potato soup that was lovely (no cream or dairy.) If you’re in Memphis, you need to go to Bari. Fantastic place with excellent service and a chill atmosphere. I recommend you sit at the bar. That’s where all the fun conversations happen.

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I also had a glass of wine. It was delicious and awesome and delicious.

Food Verdict: The bagel and tofu spread are fine. I’m thinking I’m more into cleaner foods at breakfast, but I needed something quick I could grab and go. The sandwich was the big surprise. I didn’t miss the cheese. At all. Didn’t miss tasting it, and didn’t really notice it wasn’t there. I was super-duper stoked about this little discovery. Bari was lovely, and I need to do a better job about portioning when I go back home to NYC and cook for myself. I’ll turn it into my new cooking mantra, “Portion it right. Portion it right. Portion it right!”

Body Verdict: I feel great. I had no idea what dairy was really doing to my body. I guess it really does have a strong reaction on me. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with this information, but it’s important to finally know.

Check back for my next post, where I go to Vegan Hell, AKA Cracker Barrel, with my family. I have no idea what I’m going to be able to eat. 

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