Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Consider me Vegucated

19 May

I don’t talk much about my dietary preferences on here, but I am a vegetarian about 85% of the time, and pescatarian (I eat shell fish and occasionally regular fish) about 15% of the time. I watched Food Inc in 2009 and when they showed how chickens are humanely slaughtered on local farms, I felt sick to my stomach. I thought to myself, if I can’t face how the food is ending up on my plate, I need to make changes. I went cold turkey and cut out chicken, turkey and ham from that day on (I had previously removed red meat from my diet, since I never enjoyed the taste of it). I have always thought of food as fuel, and sometimes my body craves shrimp, crab or fish. I believe this is my body saying I need something that is in those food sources, so I tend to listen. This is where the the pescatarian 15% of my diet comes from. Some may see this as hypocritical, as fish/shellfish are also living creatures. I completely understand this, I tend to justify it since my body craves it occasionally as a source for fuel. This is what has worked for me – I don’t judge anyone who eats meat or is vegan (no animal products at all) – I believe people have to find the food lifestyle that works for them.

Yesterday I was scrolling through Netflix looking for something to watch and I came across a documentary called Vegucated. The synopsis sounded interesting – three people in New York City switch from the “typical American diet” to a vegan diet for six weeks. I decided to hit play.

The beginning of the documentary was pretty interesting – watching three people with very different lifestyles adjust to shopping and eating according to a vegan diet.

——— Warning: This is where I will talk about some of the (graphic) images in the movie, feel free to skip down to the next divider ———

They also started to touch on the environmental impacts of going vegan, and this is where I learned something that I wasn’t aware of (or perhaps I was just trying to push my head into the sand, to be honest). In many cases, dairy cows and organic chickens are still incredibly mistreated in factory farm settings.

Some of the images in this movie, I will be honest, were really difficult to watch. I had to skip over some of them because they made me so incredibly upset.

I always thought I was doing the okay thing by buying organic free-range, cage-free eggs. I found out through this movie that there are still times when these chickens are mistreated. I also learned that milk cows are often slaughtered after they have been used for milk. And there are other practices that I won’t go through here, because frankly, they break my heart to think about. Feel free to watch the movie if you are interested in learning more.

——— End of talk about some of the (graphic) images in the movie ———

Side note: if you are interested in watching the trailer for Vegucated on their website, there is nothing graphic in it.

After watching the movie I felt angry, upset, sad and frustrated. I also decided that I need to go dairy-free with my lifestyle.

Notice I’m not saying Vegan – baby steps are the right way for me to tackle this I believe. Vegan implies changing more than your diet and I believe that would be very difficult for me to tackle at this time. I also want to do more research into animal products such as honey and gelatin before taking them out of my diet.

For now I will start with limiting and eventually cutting out the dairy – milk, cheese, and eggs.

Not going to lie, I feel pretty overwhelmed with this. Which is why I will be taking it one meal at a time, one day at a time. I know I can cut out milk – we already use almond milk for cereal and cooking. Though milk is hidden in many more processed foods that I rely on (like Luna bars), so I will have to examine food labels carefully for a bit. Cheese I feel pretty confident I can eliminate, though I love the taste, I don’t put it in many recipes already. Eggs are going to be the most difficult for me – I rely on them for a source of protein – so I will have to figure something else out.

Though I feel a bit overwhelmed, I also know there are tons of great resources out there that will help me make this transition. I also know that this is what I need to do. This is what I believe will work for me. It may not work for you, and that is okay. Diet and lifestyle choices are very individual things, you have to find what works for you.

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It’s Awesome Being a Vegetarian. (Guest Post)

15 Mar

This post is by Lea, who blogs at Greens & Coffee Beans. Obviously being a vegetarian isn’t for everyone (I’m a firm believer that everyone’s body requires different nutrients and you should find what works for you), but I’m a huge fan of it obviously, and so is Lea. Maybe her list below will help you to make the “jump” if you are currently thinking about becoming a vegetarian. If you have any questions about it feel free to ask me or Lea in the comments! Enjoy!

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Hey guys! My name is Lea, I blog over at Greens & Coffee Beans and I’m very excited to be stepping in for Becca today!

guestpost_lea
I know Becca is a vegetarian, and as a fellow vegetarian, I thought I’d tell you why it’s awesome being a vegetarian.

I went meat-free at the ripe old age of 14, and 7 years later my vegetarian lifestyle is still going strong. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I haven’t once regretted it. Maybe I’m a little (okay, a lot) biased but I think everyone should be a vegetarian. Why?

Well, let me give you a few reasons.

  1. It saves money. I’m a college student, which translates into one teeny tiny budget. If you don’t go all crazy with the fake meat substitutes (which you really shouldn’t  have you ever read the ingredients in those things, it sounds like a science lab), a vegetarian diet is pretty cheap. Staples like beans, tofu, eggs (if you’re not a vegan), veggies and grains are pretty darn cheap. Much cheaper than meat.
  2. We’re sexy. Did you know Ne-Yo, Jason Mraz, Dax Shepard, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Bell, Brad Pitt and Pamela Anderson are all vegetarians? I think you’d be in some pretty sweet company. And those aren’t the only ones.
  3. It can make you healthier. Vegetarians have a much lower rate of heart diseases and other health problems (check out this article if you’re interested in learning more). There is still plenty of junk food that’s vegetarian (hello Oreos!), but it can make a big difference in your health. Even Bill Clinton adopted a vegetarian diet to deal with his health problems.
  4. It opens you up to new foods. I was the pickiest child ever. I’m still not sure how my parents kept me fed as a child because I hated everything that wasn’t bread, cheese or sugar. Sorry mom and dad. However, after adopting a vegetarian diet and cutting out a whole food group, it almost forced me to expand my tastes and try new foods. Now I will eat almost everything that meat-free (except pickles, those are still gross).
  5. You can help the environment. It takes far fewer natural resources and produces much less waste to farm veggies than animals. Plus, plants don’t poop which gets rid of all those nasty hog lagoons. Vegetarian or not I think we can all agree that those are GROSS.
  6. It can protect you strange and gross foods. You now have a solid excuse if your cute little granny makes you liver and onions and you don’t want to hurt her feelings (unless you’re into that kinda thing). It’s nice to have a legit excuse against weird foods like anchovies, liver, escargot, frog legs, etc. Though you’ll still have to work out a good excuse for the non-meat ones (like pickles).
  7. It saves cute fuzzy animals like these guys: guestpost_lea2 guestpost_lea3

I know that vegetarianism isn’t right for everyone, but I happen to think it’s pretty awesome.

Colorful CSA

10 Aug

Last night the hubby and I watched Food Inc. on PBS. We’d seen it before. In fact, the first time I watched it was what caused me to finally cut meat out of my diet. It was good to watch it again and really made me glad when I thought about the choices we make and where we put our food dollars. Part of that has been being a part of a CSA that a local farm participates in. We split a small share with my parents and it has provided us with plenty of veggies for the past few months.

I haven’t been sharing our CSA finds lately because it’s been a lot of the same stuff – Kale, Lettuce, Cabbage, Squash, Zucchini. But yesterday when we picked up our share I got so excited about the colorfulness and variety of this weeks box!

Here’s what was inside:

  • Watermelon – I cannot wait to sink our teeth into this, it smelled amazing
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Pepper – I have part of this packed to eat with hummus for lunch today!
  • Eggplant – This will be perfect for some stir fry
  • Cucumber – I chopped this up for hummus and snackin’
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Hot peppers – Not sure what we’re going to do with this but the hubby loves em
  • Cantaloupe (not pictured) – A whole one! I’m so excited for some fresh fruit!

Happy Weekend!

23 Apr

Happy Weekend, Happy Belated Earth Day and Happy Early Easter! My weekend is going pretty damn good so far.

Yesterday I had off of work so I got up early with the husband and got in some errands, and then did abs n arms followed by Polly’s Runners Yoga. Wow my hamstrings are tight! Then I met my grandma and brother for lunch at Red Lobster. I’m still trying to figure out how I fall on the fish thing with being a vegetarian/pescatarian. I know this can be a blurry and controversial line. I don’t eat fish regularly unless there is nothing else available on the menu. But shell fish is where I struggle. On one hand it bothers me to eat shell fish when I think about what I’m eating. But it’s difficult for me to cut out crab and lobster. Shrimp I’ve almost cut from my diet partially because I feel pretty sick after I eat it. I know I *should* cut out crab and lobster but I guess for now I’ve been taking baby steps and slowly minimizing it in my diet. So yesterday I was put in a situation where my grandmother really wanted Red Lobster and I wasn’t about to tell her no on my account. I ordered a cup of Lobster Bisque, which is new on their menu and super awesome. Then I ordered Jambalaya which came with sausage and shrimp, so I asked them to not put the sausage in, and I just ate a few of the shrimp. What can ya do.

This morning I woke up super early (6:30am) and met my dad for a run at 8am. The Cleveland Half is coming up in 3 weeks and I need to get in a few long runs to build my confidence. We banged out 9 miles, with a couple walk breaks. I felt pretty good with the exception of some serious GI issues around mile 1.5 and my achy shin. I need to ice that sucker a bunch today. The hubby and I are going to leave soon to go to our favorite Indian restaurant ever, I can’t wait. Then we’ve got a few errands to run and it’s back to the apartment to relax and straighten up and finish laundry. Then we’ve got the Easter Vigil at our church tonight at 8pm until late.