Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here it goes!

Hey everyone! This is my first post here on Not Quite Vegan, so I am going to start by telling you about myself and my reasons for my diet and lifestyle and the road that got me here.

I've experimented with and considered vegetarianism for a long time. I stopped eating red meat and pork in my early teens after learning how bad it was for me. I was a full vegetarian for maybe a month and then started eating chicken and turkey again. I believed that you HAD to have to at least a little meat, of some sort, to be healthy and that there was no way you could never eat meat while still being a strong and healthy person.

A paper can change everything.
      More recently, summer and fall of 2010, I started considering going full vegetarian. For one of my writing classes, I had to write a persuasive research paper. I chose the food industry, little did I know this paper was going to change the way I looked at everything. I had watched Supersize Me the semester before for a health class I was taking; but since I didn't eat fast food or red meat, I didn't pay that close of attention. Then I watched Food Inc. I was horrified by the conditions in which the food I was putting into my body, daily, was being raised. The fact that it was alive at one point had always been in the back of mind but it didn't bother me. I had seen “those videos” growing up and I would swear off meat for a little while from shock but I didn't understand the health reasons for giving up meat or that is was possible to live without it. Then, shortly after thanksgiving, while I was rewriting the same paper for a final project, I decided I wanted to give up meat for good, that I no longer wanted to eat that way. But I wasn't sure where to start or how to go about becoming a veggie. I started scanning the internet for health facts, statistics, recipes and life stories of other vegetarians and vegans. Then over my winter break, I started cooking for myself since the cafeteria was closed. I just wanted to "try" to be vegetarian for one month. I thought by the end of the month I would want to eat a little meat again. Then, after the end of that month, while at my boyfriend's place, he offered me some turkey meat loaf, but I couldn't do it. I didn't even want to try any. That was the exact moment I knew that I could do this and be fine. That was my “aha” moment.

I love it but it doesn’t love me.
      As for the “not quite vegan part”, I do eat eggs but not dairy. I actually LOVE cheese, I ADORE dairy. I NEVER even dreamed of a day I would give up dairy. I've always been lightly lactose-intolerant but I could always eat a little cheese and ice cream, just never could drink straight milk. Then, this summer, I started to notice I was getting sick from every day foods, things I had always eaten. I didn't link it to the dairy right away; in fact it took me almost 3 months to realize what it was. I began cutting out all dairy and nuts. Both of which I was eating daily. Then I added back the nuts after three weeks but I stayed off dairy, I was feeling so much better. My stomach was no longer in knots all day, I had more energy, I slept better, even my skin was clearer. That was all it took to leave dairy behind for good. Besides, who wants all the hormones that are passed to us from cow’s milk anyways? A quote that I found while I was researching dairy free cooking is “Cutting bovine mammary secretions out of your diet is surprisingly easy and satisfying.” I wish I knew who said it but I cannot remember for the life of me. I never thought I would become 100% dairy free or enjoy a life without “bovine mammary secretions” but I have and I love it!

      I still eat eggs and honey though. While I don't cook with eggs often, if something has egg in it or eggs are available I will eat it. As for honey, I don't consider honey to be non-vegan. I know a lot of people do but bees are not harmed in the making of honey. They make tons of honey and they do nothing else. So, for me personally, I don't mind the use of honey.

So why write about food?
      I want to share my experiences as a vegetarian and my almost vegan lifestyle. Also, as a college student who is short on cash and always busy I want to help other college students, or those who are busy and want to save time and money. I have found you can eat healthy on a budget, even when busy, feel good about the food you eat, and enjoy your meals. Now it is time to reach out and educate others. That is the purpose and goal for this blog. I will share vegetarianism and vegan-ism with everyone and open their eyes to this life; also to help my fellow veggies and vegans with their journeys and learn from them. Come along with me on this journey; there is no point of trying to make the world a better place alone.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

I am excited about joining you on your journey.