Oh, breakfast … how I miss thee …

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If there is one meal I miss the most as a vegan, it’s breakfast. A big American breakfast. Big, like an Oldsmobile big. Eggs and bacon. No … sausage. Hash browns and toast with butter. And coffee. A bottomless cup of coffee with cream. In the vegan diet, there is no replacement for this. No substitute. Oh, breakfast … how I miss thee.

I miss plopping down at a bar stool at the State Diner next to a trucker who is smacking his pack of Marlboros on the heel of his hand and watching the 90-lb. cook lean over the grease-covered cooking surface, displaying his culinary skills. He cracks each egg on the stainless steel cooking surface, lets it run across the horizon as he squeezes out more oil, to add that “touch spĂ©cial.” There is nothing quite like it. I found the whole diner experience so satisfying.

I mentioned this to a fellow vegan recently and she said that just that morning she had watermelon for breakfast and “it was very satisfying.”

She was lying.

Watermelon doesn’t come close. There is nothing like the big, American breakfast in the vegan diet. Now, granted, I have made amazing tofu scrambles (recipe to follow) alongside hash browns and toasted up gluten-free, vegan bread (after thawing the frozen brick) and slathered it in vegan buttery spread — but it can’t compare. It takes 40 minutes to make and it costs $55 (you ever price out Himalayan Pink Salt before?). Forget about the sausage since there isn’t a good vegan sausage out there that is also gluten-free. There is no easy fix. No quick way. There is nothing equivalent to grabbing a greasy egg and sausage croissant at the gas station on the way to work.

So, what does a vegan do? The American Diner Experience is now nostalgia. Along with drive-in theaters. A thing of the past. I have fond memories of the Blue Plate Special but I will never again order one (although, you have to check out the Chicago Diner … they are a 100% authentic American Diner and 100% vegan).

Nowadays, I eat a delicious fruit smoothie packed with protein made each morning (with love) by Jen. I grab a bowl of flavorful Chex cereal in any of their four gluten-free, vegan flavors and drench them in vitamin-rich vanilla hemp milk. Depending on the season, I also grab a fresh piece of fruit (sometimes it’s even watermelon) and a cup of Gimme! Coffee that is so good — you don’t need cream or sugar. And, guess what? I’m satisfied.

I’m satisfied knowing how healthy this is for me. I am also satisfied knowing I left that guy sitting at the diner. That man who weighed in at 230 lbs. The man with high blood pressure and high cholesterol who continued to down greasy foods and suck in second-hand smoke — as if he could live that way forever. He’s still sitting there. In my memory.

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