|Live Pizza & Nachos//Blossoming Lotus, Portland, OR|
Recently, 11 days ago to be exact, I became a vegetarian and my family became 90% vegetarian. This goal is one I have wanted to accomplish for almost 2 decades. When I was 16 and living on Martha's Vineyard, I became vegetarian and fell ill. Eating french fries and cheese pizza didn't work for me, and I soon returned to eating meat.
For years, I ate meat several times a day. Until we decided to watch Earthlings. Earthlings is a documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix who also happens to be one of my favorite actors. I was impressed to find out that he is vegan and very passionate about animal rights. Although it was very difficult to watch, I am SO glad that we did.
My husband is now a pescetarian. My daughter has only had meat twice since we switched. Most importantly, I am learning about so many new recipes. Who knew that there are so many options outside of meat! And I don't mean in packages; thus far, I have not had more than a bite or two of packaged faux meats. Much of my food at home has been made from scratch and with fresh ingredients like vegetables, spices, and grains like brown rice or quinoa. When we eat out we either go to Veggie Grill (so delicious) or find vegetarian options at mostly any restaurant. We have seriously reduced eating out since we made the switch. That is just another benefit of our new lifestyle.
Some of the new veggies I cooked this week are escarole, cabbage, bok choy, and leeks. Yes, I have tried all of them aside from escarole, but this time I prepared them. My favorite recipes of the week are a white bean and escarole soup with Parmesan and a red pepper, feta, and mint dip. Both so amazingly delicious!
One thing I noticed right away is a feeling of lightness. Aside from the 6 lbs I have lost, my body just feels differently whenever I eat. I don't have a sense of being weighed down and slow like I did when I ate rich meats and too many animal products. This feeling is even more pronounced when I go the vegan route. Aside from feeling physically different, I have noticed an overwhelming sense of happiness even when in horrible situations. And yes, I have already had something horrible happen, but this sense of happiness and lightness has not gone away.
I am excited about this journey! Hopefully soon I can become more vegan than vegetarian, but for now I am trying both options and learning everything that I can! .