About 15 years ago, I made an attempt at becoming a vegetarian. It lasted for about 2 weeks before I was back to cheeseburgers and t-bone steaks. I hadn’t really known what I was doing, and it didn’t help that I’m an incredibly picky eater. At that time, my thwarted attempt at vegetarianism was for health reasons. My cholesterol was at 290, and my family has a history of heart disease. My mom and grandfather (Mom’s dad) literally dropped dead of massive heart attacks. Mom was only 62.
This time around, it’s for those same health reasons, plus an epiphany I had about a month and a half ago. I saw the documentary “Vegucated” and saw some things I had never known about the cruelty of the meat and dairy farming industries. No, wait! Don’t stop reading! I’m not here to proselytize or change anyone’s eating habits. I’m just recounting my own personal journey. Are we good now?
Anyway, after “Vegucated” was over, I swore that I was a vegan from that moment forward. I really meant it. Unfortunately, my veganism lasted for less than a day. Once again, I’d jumped into something without really knowing what I was doing.
However, I didn’t give up entirely. I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t start cutting my use of meat and dairy way down, and take the vegetarian road in baby steps. The first thing I cut out entirely was milk. I replaced dairy milk with almond milk. The picture you see with this entry is my very first veggie-centric shopping trip, complete with almond milk, dairy-free butter substitute, and loads of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The first couple of weeks were really hard. With my mind also on my health, I began eating fruit instead of the cakes, cookies and chocolate I love. (Can we say major sweet tooth?) That was harder than anything else, quite frankly. The good thing about being a wannabe vegan these days is that there are so many products now that weren’t widely available a few years ago – vegan mayonnaise, dairy-free cream cheese, even fake bacon (which really isn’t too bad).
I’ve also watched other documentaries such as “Forks Over Knives” which promote plant-based diets, and have stocked up on vegetarian cookbooks such as both of the Thug Kitchen cookbooks and Mary McCartney’s “At My Table.” I already had one of Mary’s mum Linda McCartney’s cookbooks from my first attempt at going veg.
I’ve already lost 10 pounds since I began this journey. Oh yes, did I mention that this is another incentive?
Even as I write this, I have a couple of carrots marinating. Instead of hot dogs, I’m going to have…yes, carrot dogs! I found the recipe in the Thug Kitchen “Party Grub” cookbook and loved their description of ordering carrot dogs at an L.A. hot dog place and were prepared to mock it, but ended up ordering two more. I’d rather have a real vegetable than fake meat, so I’m giving it a try.