photo © 2009 Alpha | more info (via: Wylio)
At the beginning of March I made the decision to go back to being Vegetarian. I had been reducing my poultry and white meat in take for a while now. I rarely ate red meat, and I don’t like seafood. I ate a lot of vegetarian foods already. So it was an easy transition to make.
When I talk to people about their reasons for going vegetarian or vegan there seems to be a great divide. Some people do it for health, and some for the sake of the animals. I think I’m one of the people who are doing it for both reasons equally.. I’m a bridge. I needed to make some life changes to make myself feel better on a daily basis. I needed to eat more lean and healthy meals and I needed to get in shape. When I started reading about all of the chemical additives in food today I was astounded. I quickly made the decision to go meat free. Shortly after that I watched a documentary on the food industry (Food, Inc.) which really drove it home for me. The last thing I want to do is perpetuate an industry that is so grossly misleading and dirty. Lastly, and definitely most heartbreaking, is the treatment of the animals. I just can’t even stomach the abuse and mistreatment those poor animals are subjected to.
I will say that I would never want to come off as preachy about my decision. Let me be very clear that I would never judge any person based on what foods they decide to put into their own body. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions. I know there are farms and farmers out there that do things the right way. My hat is off to those people for all of their hard work. For me, being vegetarian is simply the best choice.
Me on the left and my sister on the right. @ Ponce De Leon Springs circa 1982
One month in and I couldn’t be happier with the way it is going. I don’t crave sweets quite as much and since the last time I was veg (about 14 years ago for 3 years) the food options have changed tremendously. Not to mention I’ve grown up a lot (read: I’m toward the top of the hill). Instead of eating bagels with hummus and/or pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I actually take the time to cook well rounded meals for myself. I feel better and I can tell my palate is changing.
I have also been toying with being vegan. I would call myself a part-time vegan at this point. I still eat cheese in small amounts once or twice a week (except that one time last week that I gorged on an apple, grapes and big chunk of Cana de Cabra). I don’t typically use milk or eat eggs, but I still eat products that contain dairy in one way or another. I’m not quite ready to make the vegan leap, but it just might be in my future some day.
My dad at the old “huntin’ camp” in Oak Hill, Florida circa 1985
Growing up in Florida my dad grew a lot of vegetables. I used to say he grew everything that started with a “P”. Pears, papayas, peppers, pecans, peaches… and everything in between: Naval oranges, grapefruit, grapes, bananas, chayotes (which we lovingly called cho-cho’s). He also made his own wine and hot sauce, but he was just awesome like that. We also had chickens, turkeys and bees! Oh man, I had a really amazing childhood. So many memories to take me off course. Stick to the plan…
The chicken coop was in the very back of the 2 acre yard. My older sister and I had the duty of collecting the eggs every other day or so. I remember very distinctly the smell of the coop, the clucks of the hens as we shooed them away from their nests, and the hunt for the new eggs.
I also remember the morning I was making scrambled eggs for breakfast. It was normal to miss an egg or two when collecting, that is why it had to be done really often. Unfortunately for me one egg in particular, the one I had cracked open into a hot frying pan, had been missed for more than a day. A lot more than a day, and there was a lot more than just a yolk. I was disgusted when it happened, but what bothered me even more was the fact that it was an egg containing two baby chicken fetus’, not just one. Needless to say, I swore off eggs for years. Eventually I came back around but I was very careful about where my eggs came from and how they were cooked. Every now and then I would think about that day back at home and jump off the egg wagon again for a few months. So yeah, maybe being vegan isn’t such a bad idea.
Back to the real reason I’m writing this post. Over the past couple of days I’ve been doing my best to find vegetarian and vegan food blogs that help keep me inspired to cook healthy meals. I have found some really great blogs and some have found me by way of other people. I really want to share all of the blogs here in one place. I hope the list continues to grow!
Vegan Yum Yum
A Veggie Venture
The Post Punk Kitchen
Vegan Happy Hour
Serious Eats (not strictly veg, but has an awesome listing of veg foods)
Veggie Mama (I’m a sucker for her personalized style)
The New Vegetarian
Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen (Gluten free and mostly veg)
The Kind Life
P.S. If you have a favorite food blog that hasn’t been listed, please leave it in the comments and I will add it to the list!