Today is my one year anniversary as a vegetarian – and consequently it’s been the best year ever! I know. Maybe I am giving too much power to a change in my diet {foodie, much?} but it had truly been one of the most positive things I have ever done for myself. So, in no particular order, I’m going to list off some random experiences of my first year as a vegetarian because I’m cRaZy like that and know how to party. Just ask my mom. She thinks I’m cool. {I don’t actually have proof of that}.

  1. It’s all about the cookbooks. I get asked what I eat all the time. As if there aren’t options.  There are a million things to eat, you just have to change your cooking and shopping habits. My faves so far are Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction.
  2. And it’s also all about the beans. Chickpeas are as versatile as chicken, if not more.
  3. I used to get sick after eating, pretty frequently. A medical mystery. I tried the suggested elimination diets (Gluten, tomatoes, spicy foods, etc.) and nothing worked. Since becoming vegetarian, it’s only happened ONCE and it was after eating at a restaurant with several other people who also felt icky the rest of the day.
  4. I influenced 3 other friends to make the same switch and we all cannot believe it took us so long. It’s great to have their support and meal ideas. We’ve gone mostly vegan and love to share recipes and stories {dealing with the haters?}
  5. I still can’t believe how easy it is. It was always easy. After the initial 2-3 weeks it was so completely second nature.
  6. I have a surprise box of produce delivered weekly – how fun is that? I mean obviously I know it’s coming, but it’s always different. It’s like Christmas every Thursday morning at 5:30am.
  7. I’ve tried about a million new things. Seitan, tempeh, kale, plum vinegar, red lentils, many varieties of beans, chard, kelp, different curries, parsnips, spelt, chickpea flour, almond butter… the list goes on and on for ingredients in super awesome recipes I make now on a regular basis. I can’t imagine a life without kale now.
  8. I have improved old things. Black bean burgers are WAY more delicious that regular burgers. Chickpeas mashed up with onion, pickles, celery, veganaise, mustard, and spices makes a unbelievable egg-salad hack. Tempeh-joes taste like the world’s fanciest Sloppy Joes, so nutty AND BBQ-y. I have no desire for the original versions of those things ever again.
  9. I love my dogs more. Animals in general seem more connected to me in a way I can’t explain. I wonder if I didn’t notice a field of cows before because I never wanted to think about it. Now I could just hug them and tell them I’m sorry.
  10. People are dicks about it. (Sorry Mom). But it’s true. People will try to embarrass you (for what exactly I’m not sure. Hippiness? Rabbit-food eating? Eating disorder?)  in front of a group, make you explain yourself, argue with you about things they have no fact basis on. It got old in the first few weeks and now it’s just exhausting.
  11. The stupidest thing I’ve been asked is – doesn’t avoiding meat mess up a girl’s hormones? Like, does it make you angry all the time? No. That is just my face and it only contorts like that when you are talking.
  12. But many people can be really awesome about it. Genuine curiosity I appreciate. Go ahead and ask me where I get my protein. I’m not ashamed.
  13. And I can be real annoying about it. I am super excited about my choice and when it comes up I like to overwhelm people with my case. I’m working on not being so over-the-top about it. But it’s purely out of my excitement – it’s a real high.
  14. I have more energy! Meat and dairy weigh you down and veggies and grains make you light as air. Not talking about the scale, just my overall mood.
  15. Husbands can be changed (or, mine anyway). At least, their eating habits. At least, to the extent they will eat whatever you cook them (who knows about their lunchtime shenanigans). My husband has been a freaking TROOPER about it. “Is cous cous the delicious one that crumbles everywhere? Oh yeah. Make that. I like that.”
  16. Cheese is like crack. I can give up everything else, but cheese has me tethered to the omnivore world with it’s gooey little grip. What is it about cheese? Did you know there are people who hate cheese? I want to be a cheese hater because it’s my last remaining vice. Well. Kinda.
  17. Physical/emotional changes, there are none except that I feel happier and never sluggish (and the sick after eating thing is gone). I don’t feel hungrier, gassier, weaker, sicker, angrier, sadder, etc etc etc. I didn’t get skinnier, but I maintained my weight more easily.
  18. Travel is hard on a vegetarian, let alone a vegan, unless you don’t mind living on veggie burgers and bean burritos. It just is. But it’s doable. I crave veggies now like I would never have thought. One day of eating junk makes me feel so weighed down now. I will plan ahead better for our next trip.
  19. It’s addictive. When you feel better and eat better and do nice things for animals you just want to take it further. It’s not a chore. It’s inevitable I’ll be a vegan. I’m mostly there except that freakin cheese.
  20. But it’s a journey! I learn new things every day about myself, about nutrition, about the lies we are told and the real way to get healthy. I love talking about it and love how inspired I feel to do good things for myself every day, and for others. Sometimes that means accidentally preaching, but it’s out of love!

Phew! I could go on but 20 is the perfect number for an OCD list-maker.

I am ready for more discoveries in 2012 as I get my garden on – buh bye, processed foods and Monsanto-ized frankenveggies!! More on that in the spring! Also also next week I’ll post on the anniversary present I bought for myself! (: Thanks for indulging me with my little happy hippy post here!

{image from Pinterest}


5 thoughts on “veggiversary!”

  1. Super impressed, lady! It sounds like this was a wonderful change for you and I’m proud of you for committing so fully to it!

    I never understand why people have to be so judgey about food choices. I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat a lot of meat and I get questions when I order something non-meaty of the menu. It’s like I’ve got something wrong with me if I don’t order a cheeseburger. People are silly sometimes.

  2. You are awesome. The judgey thing is so weird, I remember feeling like I was on trial every time I ate out as a vegetarian. Funny thing is you don’t hear people asking their high-heart-attack-risk friends to defend their red meat diet. Anywho, this year I’m committing to cook at least one meat-free meal a week. It’s a start 🙂

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