My weekend

June 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in Auto-biographical | Leave a comment
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This past weekend my husband and I traveled to North Carolina for my sister-in-law’s wedding. It was a wonderful weekend, and we had a great time seeing our families! I enjoyed being a bridesmaid in the wedding, and it was so much fun to visit with everyone! I put a lot of thought beforehand into how I would handle my vegan lifestyle while traveling: I took vegan soap, shampoo, conditioner, and cosmetics in 3-oz. containers, in a plastic quart-size ziplock bag (for air travel). I bought some vegan shoes to wear with my bridesmaid dress. I took some healthy snacks with me– Odwalla cereal/fruit/nut-type bars, tamari-roasted cashews, a banana, and some date/raisin/sesame seed squares.

Even though I’d been worried ahead of time about how I would manage to eat vegan food in the heart of the South, I managed to (mostly successfully) navigate my way through all the meals. When my in-laws picked us up at the airport, they took us out to eat at an Indian restaurant, which was the first time they’d ever eaten Indian food, I think! So that was fun! I ordered a lentil curry and rice, and it was delicious! The next morning, for breakfast, my mother-in-law fixed me a breakfast of fruit (fresh local organic plums!), tea (she knows I like tea, so she always makes tea for me when I visit her– she’s so sweet!!), and a cinnamon bun. I ate the cinnamon bun, even though it was not vegan– in cases like this, when I am someone’s guest and they make an effort to feed me, I feel it’s more important to appreciate their hospitality, than to make them feel bad by refusing their food (although I don’t ever eat meat). For lunch that day we ate at a Mexican restaurant, and I ordered veggie fajitas without cheese, sour cream, or beans (they only had refried beans with lard).

The rehearsal dinner was a bit difficult: the dinner was at a steak-house. The guests had their choice of steak, chicken, or salmon, along with salad and a baked potato. When the waitress took my order, I asked for just a salad and a plain baked potato, without any meat. I asked what salad dressings were available, and she said that they all came with ranch, so I asked for a plain salad without dressing. And I ate some bread, without any butter. I had mixed reactions from the people at my table: I got some very strange stares from the groom’s mother when she heard me say that I am vegetarian, but my husband’s uncle, who was sitting next to me, asked if I was vegetarian or vegan, after seeing what I ordered. He was very impressed that I was vegan, and said that his son had been vegetarian for two years. He also said that he and his wife have started eating a lot of raw vegetables after reading about the raw food movement. I was impressed!

The next morning was the bridal brunch. It was a buffet, with bacon, eggs, sausage, chicken salad croissants, various pastries, and a fruit salad. I knew that this would be the only meal I would get until dinner, since we would be busy with getting ready for the wedding during lunchtime, so I decided that in order to not starve during the day, I would eat some (non-vegan) pastries. I felt like I really didn’t have much choice, so I don’t regret it. I ate an apple-walnut danish, a biscuit with jelly, and some fruit. It was still not a substantial meal, but at least I was able to avoid meat. (And I munched on my vegan snacks around noon.)

After the wedding, at the reception, I ate some fruit and crackers (the only vegan items), and for dinner that evening, my mother-in-law prepared a really great meal– I was so happy and impressed!!! She made brown rice (since she knows I like healthy foods), and a vegetable stir-fry (fresh local organic zucchini, squash and onions, with olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce), and sliced tomatoes. She also made chicken with mushrooms and onions, separately, for the meat-eaters. All the vegetables were really fresh, and really local– they were grown by a local couple who have a vegetable garden behind their house, and sell the veggies at a roadside stand next to their house, just 2 miles away from my in-laws’ house! The veggies were delicious!!! I was so happy– that was a very good meal!!! Anyways, so that was my weekend. I had a wonderful time; it was great to see family!!

To finish up, here are a few pictures. This is a meal I made sometime last week– mashed yellow potatoes (with a little almond milk stirred in), topped with portobello mushrooms (cooked with olive oil, onion, a sun-dried tomato tapenade, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander), and broccoli topped with a “cheesy” white sauce (pureed cannellini beans, firm tofu, olive oil, almond milk, garlic powder, salt, and dried sage). (In this picture you can see Mirabella sitting on a chair underneat the table– isn’t she cute?!!)

And here is a yummy, easy breakfast dish: cornmeal mush (cornmeal and water), with a little wheat bran, some flax seeds, walnuts, almond milk, a little salt, and pure maple syrup.

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Intro

March 19, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Auto-biographical | Leave a comment

I’m Katie, and I’ve been a vegan for about five months now! I love being vegan; it’s wonderful! A little bit about me: I grew up lacto-ovo vegetarian, since my parents were (at the time) in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which has a wonderful emphasis on health and vegetarianism. I’m very grateful for that vegetarian upbringing; I feel like it taught me compassion towards animals and conscientiousness towards a healthy lifestyle in general.

My parents left the Seventh Day Adventist Church when I was a teenager, and hence we started eating meat. Sadly, my very first experience with meat was a filet-o-fish sandwich at a certain worldwide fast-food chain!! Needless to say I was disgusted, but ended up being an omnivore until college. I briefly became vegetarian again in college, but that didn’t last.

I married a wonderful man (Scott) whose father, ironically, had a long career in the poultry industry before becoming a preacher. Anyways, long story short, I decided in November 2006 to return to my vegetarian roots. I felt much better in general (health-wise and conscience-wise) being vegetarian. I strongly care about animals, and it really pains me to think of animals being used for food.

I’ve been vegan now since October 2007 (five months!), and I love it!! I lost several pounds of extra weight (without trying) that I’d half-heartedly been trying to lose for the last few years. I’m now back to my ideal weight, and I feel great! Also, I feel much more at peace as a person. I am, to the best of my ability, trying to live a peaceful life, and not harming any animals by the choices I make of what to eat and wear. And it amazes me how quickly (in just five months) being vegan has became a vital part of my identity. I feel like this is one of the main things that defines me, in a way!

I’ve really enjoyed finding wonderful new vegan recipes, buying new vegan cookbooks, and adapting some of my old favorite recipes. My husband still eats meat, but I respect his choice. I believe each person has to make their own decisions for their own reasons, and he respects my choice to be vegan, so I respect his choice too. He actually doesn’t eat meat as much as he used to now, and I still (secretly!) harbor hopes that he will eventually become vegetarian, if not vegan. But in the meantime, we have found wonderful ways of compromising on food, and continually enjoy many delicious meals together!

On this blog, I hope to share a little about myself, lots of pictures of food, and some recipes. Maybe some thoughts on life in general also.

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