Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coming out of the closet.


So, a lot of changes in the last year.  As many of you know from Facebook, I am no longer strictly vegan, nor have I been keeping track of my food budget.

I've also lost 110 lbs from my highest weight!

Where to start?  I was raised vegetarian but I've never liked eggs, but around 8 months ago, they started smelling really good to me.  My roommate at the time ate them for breakfast and I started craving them, so I decided to give them a try.  I ate them for breakfast everyday for a week, but then got really grossed out.  I figured that I must have needed some nutrient that they provided for me to actually crave them, and be able to eat them.  Those who know me, know how much I HATE eggs.  Fast forward a couple of months and my boyfriend eats eggs for breakfast and I decided to give them a try.  He scrambles them with some rice, mirin and soy sauce in toasted sesame oil.  I was very doubtful I'd be able to stomach them, but what do you know?  I LOVED them.  So I am now eating eggs now with him from time to time.

Please don't assume that I am changing my dietary habits for a man.  I'm not.  He fully supports me eating however I want and loves the vegan food I prepare for him.  We just spent the weekend in VT and hit up the  Farmer's Market and made an amazing meal out of beautiful produce, including these vegan tofu tacos!

and amazing salad
with a spicy daikon quick pickle

...but back to the changes...  and what led up to them? 

First of all, I am not eating meat.  Many people assumed on Facebook that I was when I said I was no longer vegan.  I have no desire to ever eat meat! What I have done is incorporate some dairy and eggs into my diet.

Several people have asked me why I became vegan in the first place, and what led up to the recent changes.

As I mentioned, I was raised vegetarian.  I despised eggs my entire life, so I never ate them.  I have always LOVED cheese though, and it was my love of cheese that actually exposed me to veganism.  I heard that you could make a cheese substitute out of nuts and I became very curious.  I ordered Vegan Vittles and read about factory farming and started to feel sick inside at the thought of dairy..  having nursed two kids I related on that level.

... so, how can I justify eating eggs and cheese now?  

When I started this blog in 2006, I was not vegan, but was learning more and more about it and gradually, I started using less and less dairy.   My veganism has always gone through phases, usually giving into cheese.  When I was the Chef at the Wine Bar, I was eating cheese, because the job required it, as I was responsible for the entire menu.  In sourced the cheese, I developed relationships with the farmers, which helped me feel more comfortable with what I was eating.

I remember having this conversation with my kids.  My younger son has eaten meat most of his life even though I raised him as a vegetarian.  My older son was a staunch vegetarian until last year at the age of 20, he started eating meat.  Andrew (older son) said he was sick and tired of having people constantly cater to his dietary needs.  I get that... and I'm sick of it too. 

I love vegetables, and I will always eat a plant-based diet. But humans are social creatures, families aren't uniform, and I've made the choice to grant myself the freedom to enjoy eating with a wider range of people. If I go to my boyfriend's family's house for the holidays, I don't want the meal to be about me an my dietary restrictions. I want to be able to sit back and enjoy a good meal in good company.

... but back to dairy/eggs. 

I also feel that supporting local farming makes more of a difference than being vegan.  I started feeling this way years ago ... and even though I can't stand the suffering of animals, I have to respect small, local farms and farmers who treat their animals well...  and buying eggs/cheese from them has made it feel OK to me. I can't think of ONE culture that is vegan...  whether you like them or not, our society NEEDS working farms.

Don't worry, I'm not about to run out and start eating meat..  In fact, sadly over the weekend, my burrito order was messed up and took a big bite of BEEF.. and omg.. it was horrific and disgusting.  I don't know why anyone would even WANT to eat it...  *shudders*..  it took all of my composure not to vomit right at the table.

... So.... I hope that this answers some questions.  I am still 90% vegan: most of the food I cook is vegan, and I don't plan on changing that, ever.

Please don't think that I'm advocating dairy products as a way to lose weight; my weight loss has nothing to do with the fact that I added some cheese and eggs to my diet.  It has to do with the fact that I walk and walk and walk ..  sometimes 12 miles a day..   

I changed everything when I moved to Boston in September. 

I am so much happier.  I have a great boyfriend, friends and my own apartment complete with a garden! 

I want to talk more about my life.. and food and love and happiness