I could barely get through the documentary Vegucated without pausing and Googling all things veg related like; nice farms to animals + Bay Area, where can I visit an organic farm near San Francisco?, can you own a chicken in a condo?, how much are chickens?… the list went on.
Ok what you should know about me right off the bat is I have a tendency of getting REALLY INTO THINGS for a few days? ..weeks? ..months? and then, eventually, it fades.
This isn’t my first love affair with a documentary about vegetables… (Or my first Google binge.) I’ve seen Forks Over Knifes and Food, Inc. and other films that leave me furious, sad, and weary as the credits roll. I’ve read Food Rules, Skinny Bitch and The Kind Life. I’ve been informed about the meat industry and studies linking animal bi-products to disease. I’ve thought about changing my lifestyle and becoming a VEGAN but, honestly, my enthusiasm for kale, quinoa, spirulina and acai haven’t been backed with the energy to only.eat.plants.
So? I’ve decided to go on a voyage to try and discover if I really need meat and/or dairy in my life.
Right now I eat meat and dairy relatively regularly but consider myself to be health conscious. I only buy organic half and half for my morning coffee and substitute almond milk for baking, hot cocoa, and cereals. I am obsessed with vegetables. I eat at home 80% of the time, plan my meals, and try to shop at farmer’s markets as much as possible. In 2014 (and again in 2015), my S.O. and I made a new years resolution to only buy fresh cut meat from Whole Foods. I took it a step farther and only buy organic. However, sometimes I can’t resist the convenience, deliciousness and price of the $4 Trader Joe’s chicken sausages.
It’s a give and a take. right?
Although, despite my overall good intentions and efforts to eat healthfully, mindfully, and balanced, I have this nagging feeling that I could be doing better. While my diet is mostly balanced, pretty healthy, and takes a lot of brainpower to shop, plan, prep and eat accordingly, I feel I am missing a huge piece of the puzzle; compassion.
I am a big believer in the old saying, you are what you eat. Because, well, you literally are! According to WebMD, our skin regenerates itself appropriately every 27 days. I believe your skin is regenerated from the cells in your body that are formed by the food that you eat. Therefore, for me, it makes sense to want to eat high nutrient, high quality foods because I believe they literally become me. Based on this, I eat a salad almost every day and consume as many whole, real foods as possible. This lifestyle puts me in good health but what about the rest? What about the health of our planet and the animals I do eat. Where’s the brainpower dedicated to these issues? Where’s the compassion in my diet, my fuel, literally my life, for other living things?
I’ve decided my first step (starting March, 1st 2015) is to stop eating meat anywhere but my house. This makes sense to me because I can control this meat consumption and can make sure it is top quality. As mentioned, buying organic meat is already pretty much the norm on my grocery runs, however, I don’t have any standards when it comes to meat outside of my house and I want to change that.
Step one on The Veg Voyage? Public vegetarian.
I don’t anticipate this being overly difficult as I’m not much of a meat eater anyway. Just a few tweaks to some eating-out favorites and I’m golden. Also, a key point here is that I live in California, where the vegetarian and vegan fare is plentifully!
Stay tuned and eat your greens.
** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes, which I believe aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards; more about a vibe than a specific diet **