Lazy weekend mornings are something I have been enjoying very much over the last several months. W and I like to sleep in as late as we want, then take time to make coffee “the hard way,” in a French press or a chemex pot and eat breakfast while lounging on the couch with the dogs. These breakfasts have included eggs for a while now, something I had not eaten in years of avoiding animal products and being a mostly strict vegan.
I have never exactly toed the party line on every issue: I have always eaten honey, and am not often inclined to ask at restaurants if, for example, their bread contains eggs. I question whether there is, in fact, a true “party line” at all. I think most people have to find what works best for them as individuals. Nonetheless, soi-disant vegans do not eat eggs, and I had not straight up eaten a fried egg in maybe three years.
When I had eggs again for the first time, they were eggs delivered straight from one of our local CSA farms to W’s office (they receive egg deliveries pretty regularly — I don’t know how that arrangement came about but I’m not complaining). It’s a small, ethical, organic farm right here in our county, which made it something I felt much more comfortable about than I would grocery-store eggs. That morning, we also had a fresh loaf of sourdough bread from the farmers’ market, and W made eggs in a basket. To this day, that is one of my Most Memorable Meals. Everything about it was perfect.
Since then, I have often requested eggs in a basket, which I did this morning and the chef kindly obliged. It’s a little indulgent, to eat eggs when I clearly don’t have to. I get by without animal products most of the time, right? But the whole lazy weekend ritual is pretty indulgent in and of itself.
I see this as a sort of luxury food. I don’t bake with eggs, for example. Why bother when I have tons of vegan recipes and there’s nothing noticeably different (to me, anyway) between vegan cookies or cupcakes and their non-vegan varieties? Just because I am having eggs on a Saturday morning, I am not going to start putting them into my cookies.
I had added organic Greek yogurt to my diet about a year ago, when I was having problems incorporating protein into my on-campus lunches and was simultaneously experiencing some slow-to-resolve running injuries. I’m not sure that it’s made a huge difference in the injury issue, but it has kept me on track nutritionally even when I’m stuck eating lunch in my office. (Bags of pretzels and granola bars were not doing the trick, and hummus and veggies really wasn’t, either.) I still keep all of my dairy-free products in the house, though, like Earth Balance, Tofutti “cream cheese,” soy milk, and so on. Given the choice, I will take the vegan option almost every time, but if I am eating some local, organic, eggs from one of our CSA farms on the weekend, I am not going to sweat it.
I am also not going to sweat it if I occasionally add a Bloody Mary or two to the long, lazy breakfast. Especially if I’ve just finished a long run. But please hold the Worcestershire sauce — I’m not interested in drinking any anchovies with my cocktail, thanks!
I have always said that I eat the way I do because it works for me and is sustainable, both in terms of nutrition and the environment. That was true when I completely avoided eggs and dairy and I hope it is still true now.