Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vegan Love

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gathering ingredients: black bean soup
So, I was thinking a few weeks ago (in August) about how I've been vegan for more than a year now, and how wonderful this has been for basically everything in my life. Not only do I eat better than ever before, I am more involved in the sourcing and creative use of my food than ever, I eat out less than ever, and I take so much more care in my eating choices than I ever did before. I feel fantastic, better than I can ever recall feeling; I have more energy, I get sick less, and I have lost a consistent 10-15 pounds (healthy for my 5'2" frame). I definitely cough less, too (something I am pretty sure was impacted by dairy).

I just can't say enough about being vegan. For me, for my body and my beliefs it has been a revelation. I was a vegetarian and a pescetarian for years before I decided to do this (almost 10 years, in fact) and I was never ready to be vegan until one day, I woke up and decided it was time. That has made such a difference, too. You can't ever force a lifestyle change on yourself; you have to truly want it. I am so grateful that I truly wanted this, because it has (no joke) changed everything.

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heirloom cherry tomatoes, carrots, shallots (in back)
I know it isn't for everyone, but I very much wish it was. I was swayed by documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. I came to despise my cheese addiction (trust me, its very real) and wanted to see if I could change it. I told no one at first, not even Scott, what I was doing. Weeks went by. I kept making food without cheese and eschewing fish and found that it put a spark back in my cooking. I kept succeeding where I had failed before.

At the same time this was great for my body, it was also extremely empowering for my mind: I was doing it, and not failing. Eventually I admitted that I'd gone vegan, and I felt very judged for a while, and nobody invites me out to dinner anymore, but oh well, right? I don't hold it against anybody to feel like I've disappeared from the "heteronormative eating landscape" (that's SO San Francisco, what I just said right there). I think its natural to be afraid of something that you're afraid reflects badly on yourself. For instance: when I encounter people who tell me they don't drink, I get embarrassingly defensive. I feel like they must be judging me because I drink, even though they almost certainly couldn't care less what other people do! And yet there I am, digging myself into a hole of imagined loathing because I feel insecure. I imagine that some people might feel like I'm judging them for their diet choices, but I assure you: unless you're eating things that are truly terrible for you, like trans fats, or loading yourself up with corn syrup every day, I'm not going to judge you even one iota. And even if you are on the trans fat, corn syrup wagon, I'm not judging you, I'm just worried about you. Even so? I probably won't say anything, still. Unless you ask me to.

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I am the Lady of Shallot (big joke around our house of nerds)
Anyway, I've gotten off track. I just wanted to express my profound gratitude for veganism and what it has done for my life. What I've done for my life. And although I'll eat cheese and even meat again (that's what vacations & special occasions are for), I hope I keep at this for the rest of my (hopefully very long) life. As a former "pickiest kid ever" award winner, I sure do adore almost every fruit & veggie.

And...full disclosure...I would love to encourage just one person to go further down this path, and be kind to their bodies (and the Earth), and find joy in cooking plant-based foods, and find out that this isn't something scary or judgey after all. If it worked out for that person, I would feel like I'd finally done something truly important in my life, that made a positive impact on someone else's. I know I probably don't seem like the "helping others" type, but I am ... at least in this way. Helping people help themselves through stuffing their faces with good food! Its a noble goal, right? :)

Anyway (again). I am just a happy person who loves to cook and eat.

Happy Tuesday (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT!!!)      ♥ 

4 comments:

  1. People don't invite you out to eat because you're vegan? In this city?

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    1. Vegans do! But I know a LOT of very meat-focused people -- or people who are just really into gourmet stuff. I have noticed that they do not talk to me about food anymore. I suspect its because they are worried I am going to be one of "those vegans" if you know what I mean. I try to show support by liking their posts about bacon and reacting toward pictures of well-made food (no matter what it is) positively, but who knows! Maybe they don't believe me? :)

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  2. Go you ! I really respect vegans. It's such a dedicated lifestyle choice. I certainly love vegan food, and am dairy intollerant anyway (which sucks because i also LOVE cheese!) but am not, and probably never will be a vegan. As you said, when a special occasion comes around, or my friends invite me out to dinner, I just want to go out, relax and treat myself to something I wouldn't usually eat. So that blows vegan life out of the water.
    http://myfroley.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your support and your thoughtful comment!! I definitely think that being vegan is something you MUST want in order for it to be successful That's really sad about being dairy intolerant, though -- seriously! I LOVE cheese and that is never going to change (manchego ... my favorite ... sigh. Italian cheeses ... oh yes. PEPPER JACK. AHHHH). To be FORCED not to eat it would be a sad thing indeed. I hope you are able to keep eating it! Look at me, such an enabler :P

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