Going Vegan, For All The Wrong Reasons

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I was raised by a mother who had our entire family on the Fit For Life diet. I was eleven, I dropped ten pounds. Our mother was obsessed with healthy eating, alternative medicine and generally being the crazy mom. Since the tender age of eight, I've known that cows milk was "cow puss" (the theory being that cows expelled all their waste and dead white blood cells through milk) and that the only thing even remotely allowable was goats milk. I've had goat cheese, goat yogurt and warm goats milk. I've been the kid, who for snack time, brought seaweed for everyone to munch on. I've had grilled cheese sandwiches snatched out of my fingers by the well meaning friends of my mother. It was POISON! How could they let us eat POISON?! She tried to get our whole family to do the Hallelujah diet, but we had to draw the line somewhere.

The ally in our rebellion was our father. A solid meat and potatoes kind of guy, who groaned at coming home to dinners of meatless stir-fry's and mountains of salad. Give the man a piece of boiled chicken and a cold potato and he couldn't be happier. Whenever I got to eat "normal" food, I'd eat with gusto. So I trained myself into the bad habit of eating allot of what I liked, when it was available. Similar to, say, a survivor of the Great Depression. Gobbling up whatever was in sight (and tasty!) as to assure myself of my momentary happiness. I swore up and down I would never be a "crunchy" health lover. (I also held a special place of loathing for all those people who wore Birkenstock's and valued substance over style.)

So, now that I've moved out of the house, eaten every thing I could possibly want and gained thirty pounds past my ideal weight, I've rather fallen in like with the idea of eating healthy. Possibly even trying to eat Vegan. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore good food. Adore it. And dairy will be the hardest thing for me to give up. I love, love, love dairy. Seriously, I could exist eating only cream cheese smeared on crackers piled with onions. Or really, cheese and crackers for life.

But lately, I've been gravitating towards the idea of healthy eating. Entertaining the idea of at least venturing to go vegan for a month. However, given my extremely bad eating habits and my propensity for making sweeping proclamations that I promptly break, I think I'll start of slow. Cut out meat, then eggs, then dairy. Slowly.

This is strictly for health purposes and has nothing to do with saving animals. I believe, firmly, it is perfectly fine to kill animals for meat, leather, decoration and/or sport. I will happily continue wearing leather, keeping my dog on a leash and entertaining the idea of mounting a deer head on my wall.

I do, very much, want to see if improving my diet improves my general sense of well-being, energy and waistline. As it is, I normally kick off my day with a cup of tea and then probably don't eat until I get home that night, where I make up for my lack of eating throughout the day by inhaling whatever I can lay my little paws on.

Really, tragic.

This whole "resolution of health" makes me laugh simply because life really does come full circle. (I am not, however, brave enough to yet tell my mother. She will impress upon me tofu recipes and the incessant nagging that really I'm not completely healthy until I eat only raw fruits and vegetables.)

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This odd narrative is my life. I ended up in Pittsburgh, of all places--from the beach. I have no hobbies, other than cooking excessively and eating microwave popcorn. I enjoy shopping, the Food network, hiding the remote so the Food network cannot be turned off, find ethnic food stores and restaurants and reading voraciously. My life is decidedly pedestrian.

I worked in the car business where I was required to be ruthless and soul-less wench, which is when I started this project. Since then, I've kept it up because secretly, I've always wanted to join the military. Every male in my mother's family has joined and I quietly entertain thoughts of joining. I haven't yet and don't know if I ever will, but sending the troops cookies keeps me sane. it makes me think I still have a shred of human kindness left in my withering soul. it's a small way for me to salute the men and women who are brave enough to fight for freedom. And makes me feel like I'm contributing toward troop morale--even if I'm not. So if you want to help, send me addresses of troops you know stationed overseas. you may also contribute toward the cost of chocolate chips, but don't feel obligated, that link is here only by request.

the past


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