News flash — people in Austin love tacos. Have you heard that they even found a way to eat them for breakfast? It may sound crazy, but if you live here, it’s entirely conceivable that you could eat tacos for every meal of the day.
What’s another thing — besides tacos, fixed-gear bikes, Barton Springs and getting pissy about becoming too much like Dallas — that this town can't get enough of? The correct answer is: special diets and cleansing. You know how it is – there’s always a friend or coworker who says they would love to go with you to grab East Side Kings, but they’re doing a juice cleanse this weekend.
But why should a cleanse be relegated to boring old juice? Why not tacos?
Some local food bloggers have undertaken a sacred mission known as the Taco Cleanse, or #TacoCleanse for the social media savvy. For one month, participants will eat nothing but tacos — each meal, every day — until October 4, which should already be marked on your calendars as National Taco Day.
But they're not just limiting their diets to nothing but tacos. They're eating only vegan tacos.
#Bogdanich says the best way to stay prepared is to “always have tortillas on hand.”
Without further ado, behold the blogging lineup of #TacoCleanse: Stephanie Bogdanich of The Lazy Smurf, Wes Allison of The Taco Liberation Front, Molly Frisinger of The Lonestar Plate and Jessica Morris of Rabbit Food, the mastermind behind the idea.
All four are taking part in Veganmofo, or the Vegan Month of Food, as they chronicle their taco quest across Austin.
While the V-word might prompt carnivores to question how one can truly appreciate the majesty of the taco without any meat or cheese, Morris tells CultureMap she has a ready response: “If you say you’re all right with eating nothing but tacos, then why not go ahead and go vegan with it?”
The blogs of #TacoCleanse make it clear that there is a wide diversity of tacos available in Austin, but it’s critical to get out of the simple mindset that a taco is just a shell filled with meat and shredded cheese.
The Lazy Smurf elucidates the simple yet life-changing goals of the Taco Cleanse, particularly the primary goal of forging a “new path of wellness and self-discovery.” According to the chart, in just one day of taco cleansing, your mood will improve. By day three, you have more energy, and within one week you’ll have a better outlook on life. If you make it all the way to one month, you reach the “Fuego” state, in which “your entire life will IGNITE with passion.”
Basically, it’s taco nirvana.
It should also be noted that in this cleanse, margaritas are highly encouraged. "Margaritas should be added on an as-needed basis for the top levels of the cleanse, but at Fuego you should be adding them at least a couple of times a week, working up to every day," read the official Taco Cleanse rules.
The month of tacos kicked off with an opening ceremony, complete with a burning taco effigy and a blessing given by Taco High Priest Ross Abel of Vegans Rock Austin. As the days have passed, Bogdanich and company are delighted to see folks beyond the Austin borders take part in the cleanse.
Back on the home front, the foursome of vegan bloggers is fully committed to finding new tacos and creating new combinations at home. Morris is looking for a way to incorporate cereal into a taco, and Frisinger had to think on her feet when a company lunch didn’t offer tacos on the menu. But Bogdanich says the best way to stay prepared is to “always have tortillas on hand.”
“There are plenty of people on Twitter and Instagram taking photos and using #TacoCleanse,” says Bogdanich, “so there are many in solidarity with us, even if it’s just one taco.” Some local restaurants and trailers have also jumped on the bandwagon.
Counter Culture, purveyors of vegan comfort food, now offer Taco Tuesdays, and the geniuses at Sweet Ritual have whipped up the tantalizing Chaco Taco to quell your sweet tooth. When the month of tacos finally comes to a close, the gang is preparing for an epic ceremony at the Vegan Nom trailer on North Loop. They'll also have their Taco Cleanse zine on sale there for those seeking guidance on the righteous path of the taco.
There’s still plenty of time to begin your journey to taco enlightenment. To get started, to educate yourself on taco cleansing on The Lazy Smurf blog and read through the Austin Vegan Guide of vegan-friendly places in town. It also has information on the best places to pick up breakfast tacos.
But be careful. Once you go taco, you may not go back.