I've been a vegetarian for a long time. Since sophomore year of high school, I think. So, I guess that's about...oh golly, 11 years? Wowza...
Anyway, a number of years ago I decided to become vegan and did that (rather poorly) for two or three years. It wasn't healthy vegan, though. It was pb&j, pasta, and rice vegan. Delicious? Yes. Nutritious? No. But then I really, really, REALLY missed cheese and eggs. And readily-available and cheaper baked goods and breads. Nummers. I went back to my lacto-ovo ways. Mmm...lacto-ovo...
Last year, I began reading more about veganism again, remembering how much better my stomach felt (and how much less weight I was carrying around in that area) and how much better my conscience felt when I had been a vegan. What clenched the decision for me was the release of Kris Carr's latest sparkling creation - Crazy Sexy Diet. This is one of my favorite books. It's so informative (being vegan and the positive effects it can have on one's health and the environment, among other healthy practices) without feeling like absolute overload. And it's not really a "diet" - more like a lifestyle. A lifestyle that one can either jump right into, or gradually step into.
For the past few months, I think, I've been allowing myself one day a week to have dairy. I felt like I needed that one day a week to satisfy my dairy-wantings. But the past couple? few? weeks, I've been loading on the animal products. Major backslide. All those foods just got to a tempting tipping-point. And indulge, I did.
This past weekend I caught most of the movie, Food, Inc, on channel 9. Seeing all those poor animals being treated so badly was just the kick in the pants that I needed. It feels much more in line with my values to avoid dairy products. I feel like, in order to live a compassionate life, this is an essential piece of the puzzle for me.
And then I realized today how lazy I've felt the past couple weeks. Super lazy, super sleepy. And frankly, more stressed and cranky.
Today, I've started up the vegan thing again. Delicious veggie smoothie for breakfast, tofu salad and pb on brown rice cake for lunch, a LaraBar for a snack, and Northern Style Vegetables with brown rice and spring rolls for dinner. Oh, and vegan chocolate cake for dessert. Of course. And I'm feeling great. Not the most healthy, true - I gots ta have my chocolate. But did I stick to vegan today? Yes. And that's a win for me!
If you're interested in learning about veganism or adopting a vegan lifestyle (yay!) Kris Carr's website, Crazy Sexy Life, is a great place to start. Also, the book, Becoming Vegan, is a great starting point.
Some of my favorite veggie blogs:
Crazy Sexy Life - of course!
Post Punk Kitchen
Delicious local veggie resources/eateries:
Saint Louis Vegetarian Society
OR Juice and Smoothie
Black Bear Bakery