Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can I eat raspberries then? raspberries! please?!!

One week ago I read a book called 'Skinny Bitch' . The very next day I was vegan. Extreme? Yes.

I seem to have a habit for running headlong into big-ass schemes regardless off the financial, emotional, physical etc costs. Especially when it comes to health. It all made so much sense at the time. Hell, it still does. But since then I have been bombarded with extreme views every which way to the point that I have no freaking clue how to feed myself anymore!

No dairy.

No meat.

No sugar.

No alcohol. (Duh.... or should I say Doh!)

No grains!!!

What the hell is left?!

I bought a vegan cook book and spent $350 at the supermarket/fruit&veg markets (and 4 hours!) buying the necessary items to survive without meat products. The kids basically hated the new diet. My older child had a good go at trying the food and I have to say that even my picky younger child tried hummus so it wasn't a total loss :) but yeah, stressful. There's nothing worse (well yes there is but I'm using hyperbole here) than slaving over a new meal only to be met at the dinner table by screwed up little faces followed by empty little stomachs :(

I lasted 3 days.

The next day I had icecream... and you know, it really didn't taste all that great but then again I've never been a huge fan of icecream.

Now I am figuring out how to use that $350 of vegan food!

The term I have come to feel more affinity with is 'conscious omnivore' or 'ethical omnivore'. I first read about it on an excellent blog written by Chandelle. She recently returned to omnivorism after 4 years as a vegan and 4 years before that as a vegetarian. Her story is well worth a read. I first read it when I was not interested in veganism. Day 3 into veganism I thought I'd better read it again. The second time round I was struck by her devotion to all life - human, animal and plant, even the planet itself. By adopting a more conscious attitude toward food choices whether they be meat or plant products it would seem that there is far more that we can do for the planet and for ourselves by looking at food items individually and sourcing the best that we can based on our own location and the foods that are produced near us.

Just tonight I came across this article at the Huffington Post that nicely lays out a whole bunch of the arguments for "Meat or No Meat". A very sound article if I may say. I have once again done the wide swing to the left and to the right only to come back to the place I regularly try to remind myself that I like to be and that is a place of balance. I have the rest of my life to make changes one by one to my diet based on sound evidence and scientific enquiry, not to mention a bit of common sense. Everything in moderation, including moderation eh!

So with my little vegan freak out I would like to acknowledge the things that I have learned. I have learned that I need to (want to) be more selective when choosing meat products - organic and raw and top quality for my belly; cruelty-free for my animal friends. I have learned that veganism can be great for a detox! I have learned that I want to be more conscious of what I am eating. Is it really food? where did it come from? how are the animals treated? I really want to build that chicken coop we were talking about and get some egg-laying beauties to shower our love upon.

Finally, I (re-)learned that food can be just like religion. We can tend to get so caught up in our own beliefs about food that we shut others out with our firm stances and exclusive rhetoric. I am glad to have learned once again to take myself a little less seriously and to find the path that best suits me, not the person next to me but ME.

My summer reading list?


  1. M,

    I didn't know you knew Chandelle and was all set to send you links to her blog.

    Woot! She's a very good friend of mine and has some wonderful things to say on this subject.

  2. Oh, I found Chandelles blog not that long ago through a link that Sara (CWC) posted on fb. She is fabulous and has thoroughly inspired me. Today I found my local growers markets online and I will be able to go check them out Saturday morning! so excited.

    You know I think that food will be the thing to re-connect me with my Mormon friends. I noticed on fMh that there seemed to be a lot of inter-faith connection through growing food, cooking food, storing food etc. My MIL and I now bond over the Thermomix!! Food seems to be our common link and I suspect that as I delve further and further into 'getting to know what I eat' that we will have a solid new friendship to build on.

    I may not be able to personally visit Sara and her beets, Chandelle and her local pig farm, you and your tomatoes BUT I sure do love being connected online and inspired to get my own 'grow on'!

    p.s. my house is looking better already, go 365!!!

  3. so glad to hear that 365 is working for you. it's made a big difference in my house.

    there's a post about my chickens on fmh right now. did you see it?

    i wrote it a few years back but it's still relevant.

  4. Great post :) very relevant. Did you know that everyone is asking for Part II as in people want to know how the chicken killing went?