Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Eating My Veggies


I am experimenting with vegan ism this week. I've committed myself, for the next seven days, to eating food from plant sources only(don't get nervous- Bonnie- I won't be making you Brussels sprout souffle for dinner Thursday!). Why? Well, it all started about a year and a half ago....I accompanied Liam on his preschool class trip to an organic farm- about 40 miles South of here. I love farms, as well as farm animals, and have coveted rural property for as long as I can remember. I was very excited to be going on this field trip...then I got there...and I saw, with shock and horror the manner in which the cows (even "organic" cows) are raised. There is no utopia here, guys. The dairy cows are kept in stalls 24 hours a day, standing, where they must eat, pee and poop in the same spot. They are only permitted to graze when they are pregnant, and the moment they give birth, they are separated from their babies and placed back in the milking barn. The babies are put in smaller stalls, where they are fed by bottle (and they bleat, continuously, for their mothers, I assume). Well, I left there very disgusted and vowed to change my eating habits once and for all. Then I went out to dinner and couldn't resist the steak, which I regrettably enjoy, and my ill-feelings went by the wayside. Then, four weeks ago, I bought the book Skinny Bitch (thinking, of course, that it would contain some miracle recipe for my rather unfortunate girth), only to discover that the secret contained on the pages within, for getting skinny, was to avoid animal products altogether. I bypassed the chapter on the suffering of factory farm animals, as I knew I would never sleep again and would, perhaps, proceed to slit my wrists, but I began to ponder the question of animal rights and the ethics related to eating them. At the same time, I read a report, which was featured on the CBS Evening News, that the findings of a major study had just been released, which disclosed that people with diabetes, who'd been placed on a vegan eating plan (as opposed to the high protein, low carb diet recommended by the American Diabetic Association), experienced major successes in coping with the disease, and were, for the majority of the participants in the vegan group, able to quit their diabetes medication (this being relevant for me due to my diagnosis of gestational diabetes during this most recent pregnancy, and therefore, my predisposition to a future type II diabetes status. Still, I couldn't decide to quit meat- (though I have quit dairy 3 times in the last decade due to my babies' allergies to milk protein and once because someone advised me that my emotional state would benefit from removing most animals products from my diet). Last week, on a trip to the thrift store, which you know all about, I happened upon a home decorating book (with feng shui advice), and couldn't, of course, pass it up. Inside, somewhere between the living room design and the bedroom planning ideas, was a chapter on decluttering your body and eating vegan. Well, I somehow figured that the universe was trying to send me a message (I mean, really, I just wanted to see how to make my boudoir more delightful) and I needed, finally to listen. So I did and here I am. Two days into vegan ism. How's the trip? Eh, so-so. My parents bought a bucket of KFC (and the yummy fake potatoes and gravy)for dinner last night- that smelled delicious (okay, people, I know I need not be eating that mess anyhow- but it is quite divine!). I made pizza for the kids for lunch today (Ben and his two friends that come here once a week)- that melted mozzarella looked sooooooooooooo good- it was kind of hard to resist. Aside from that, I'm fine. I'm certainly healthier, even for only two days of "detox." I took a photograph of today's lunch to show you (because I am a nerd- if you didn't already know that): black bean soup (with Tofutti non-dairy sour cream), fresh baby carrots (with Goddess dressing for dip), 4 falafel sticks, strawberries and a small slice of vegan carrot cake (from Whole Foods).
I'll keep you posted on my progress in this direction. I don't know. Its so much easier not to care about this stuff but what the hell does that say about me?

Want to know more? Here's a link to Vegan Outreach, which has pretty decent info, and easily avoided cruelty descriptions, for those of you like me.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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