Hi everyone, Happy Sunday! Hope everyone is doing well. James and I are both sick so have been laying low this weekend. Today I want to write about being vegetarian, a topic that I rarely discuss. In fact, I tend to discuss it so rarely that some of my best friends offer me bites of their burgers, chicken sandwiches, etc, and I just look at them until it clicks, and we laugh.
Anyway, I think what someone consumes is a pretty personal choice. We all know how annoying it is when you meet someone and they are quick to inform you “so I’m vegan” “so I’m Paleo” “so I’m gluten free this month” etc. etc. etc. So know that this post is NOT meant to be braggy, preachy, persuasive, condescending, or any of those things. I’m not trying to convince you to put down your burger. Eat it. I’m not judging…truthfully!. This post is simply meant to share my thoughts on a subject that I get a lot of questions about, when someone gets wind that I choose not to eat meat. When someone learns that I don’t eat meat, they usually say “Wow! But…..” and then the slew of questions begin.
So let’s get started….FAQ style 😉
Q: Do you eat eggs?
A: Yes! In fact, 10 minutes ago I had an English muffin with eggs over-easy and avocado on top. YUM.
Q: Do you eat dairy?
A: Yes! I’m not a fan of milk on its own, but I eat cheese, an occasional Greek yogurt, a not-so-occcasional fro-yo, etc.
Q: How do you get your protein?
A: Ohhh, the protein question. First, I’ve never thought that people need to stuff themselves full of as much protein as we are sometimes told to. Yes, protein is critical to health, but so are fats and carbs. I get plenty of protein through eggs, almond milk/almond butter, beans/rice, avocado, lentils, nuts, and soy (though I try not to consume tons of soy). I have plenty of energy to get through my days!
Q: When did you become vegetarian?
A: 7th grade. So yes, I’ve been vegetarian for more years than I ate meat.
Q: Why did you decide to become vegetarian?
A: It was a slow transition. I stopped craving burgers, then I stopped craving pork, then I stopped craving chicken…so I stopped eating it. But that was years ago. Today, I choose to eat plant-based because it makes me feel good, both emotionally and physically.
Q: Most junk food is vegetarian… do you just eat cookies and fries?
A: This is a strange one. It’s true… learning to eat a healthy and nutritious diet without meat takes some time to get the hang of. I’d argue that eating a healthy meat-inclusive diet takes time to get the hang of, too. Also, I know lots of vegetarians that are healthier than lots of meat eaters. So, I don’t think that excluding meat from your diet has a correlation to eating crap, but that’s just been my experience.
Q: Do you have “cheat” days?
A: I haven’t had a purposeful “cheat” day in the 13 years of being veggie! That’s just me, though. My old roomie was a vegetarian who loved hot dogs, so she ate them! And that is TOTALLY FINE–to each, her own.
Q: Will you ever start eating meat again?
A: Maybe! If I ever feel like eating meat, I will, and I’ll see how I feel.
Q: How do you and James cook together?
A: We make lots of things that allow us to add in meat for him at the last minute. Ex: burgers and veggie burgers on the grill, homemade pizza, black bean/mushroom enchiladas, stuffed bell peppers, tacos, salads with a meat substitute for me and chicken for him, risotto, hearty chills, kale & sweet potato chowder, sandwiches, etc. etc. etc.
Q: What do you eat in a typical day?
A: English muffin with almond butter and blueberry jam for breakfast, a banana for a snack, my favorite salad I make with arugula, sundried tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, veggie burger mashed up, and goddess dressing for lunch, hummus and carrots or pita chips for a snack, tacos with black beans, corn, mushrooms, peppers, and onions for dinner, grapes or Trader Joe’s Inner Peas for a snack. And a beer, fro-yo, few Thin Mints, or something for a treat!
A: More for you, sweet friend! James will fight you for it, though.
Q: I tried being vegetarian once….couldn’t do it. *Not a question, obviously, but still a common one
A: Thanks for sharing….! Again, to each, her own.
Overall, being vegetarian works for me. The hardest parts that I’ve found are feeling like a burden when going to someone’s house for dinner, having limited options at restaurants, and having to plan meals at home a little more thoroughly. The way I eat makes me feel enriched, happy, strong, and healthy. And if you feel strong and healthy and happy with the way you eat too, then that is great!!! 🙂 What you put into your body is, at the end of the day, your business and no one else’s. James respects and understands the way I eat, and I respect and understand the way he eats, and it works out just fine for us.
This will probably be the only time I discuss what I eat in a public way like this, so I wanted to get it all out there this time around. I do understand why people choose to eat meat, and have no problem with it. I sometimes feel like people who choose not to eat meat aren’t given the same compassion, and that is something I do have an issue with. That is, in fact, why I chose to write this post after a conversation I had last week in which someone asked James if he judges me and secretly hates that I don’t eat meat. I don’t bombard you with questions about your personal dietary choices, so why do the same to me!? Let’s all just agree to LIVE AND LET LIVE, eat what makes you feel vibrant and great, and love, love, love. xo