I got that (sort of desperate) email from my good friend Tara the other day. (Fun facts about Tara: she has been committed to a vegetarian diet for the past few months and she is currently living in Galway, Ireland! and I miss her.) I was a vegetarian for about five years, for animal rights reasons, until I started college and my roommate Jocelyn and our good friend Kelsey began to force feed me wings every so often We managed to keep it a secret until I felt too guilty and had to come clean. Plus, after watching Food, Inc. I realized that it was not just the American meat industry that I didn’t agree with, it was the entire American food system!
So for the past year, I’ve tried to live as closely to a “thoughtfultarian” diet (as Kath described) as I could. This means eating wholesome (organic, local, karma-free) foods whenever possible, wile not restricting myself AND sticking to my college-gal budget.
But I must be honest: I haven’t been happy or satisfied with that diet. I still truly believe that animals can serve a much greater purpose in life than our dinner (just look at Heifer International). My response to the veg question lately has been, “I have vegetarian sympathies,” though personally, I still identify myself as a vegetarian. In fact lately, I’ve been even more closely identifying myself as a vegan.
- I am trying to avoid dairy because of my skin issue and a slight lactose-intolerance I tend to suffer from.
- I am trying to avoid meat because I believe in the life-changing potential of all animals
- I am trying to avoid all animal products because of the cruelty they suffer and because I wish to eat karma-free
- I may never be able to give up fish because of the strong fishing culture of my family and its unparalleled health benefits
- I am trying to eat produce that is local, organic, and in-season for the sake of our depleting family-farm values, our environment, and its nutritional value
But at the end of the day, I’m not going to kid myself. I know that right now I cannot commit to this diet because of money and my frequent traveling. Though inside my little head I believe I am a “vegan,” I can’t publicly identify myself as such because I don’t want to offend those who do live a committed vegan diet. But I can commit to awareness. I can commit to eating a wholesome, healthy, balanced diet, and that is the most important eating philosophy of all.
So what did I eat today, you may ask? Before my run, I had a piece of wholemeal toast with crunchy peanut butter. Best fuel ever. On my way home, I stopped at The Juicery for a Green Monster! My yoga friend, who owns the place, asked me if I was out “Sporty Spice-ing” lol!!
As I power-walked the rest of the way home, I enjoyed an ice-cold blend of leafy greens, apple juice, pineapple, banana, almonds, and sesame seeds (and I added chia seeds!).
Yay a new sticker for the collection! For lunch, I had some very eggy French Toast.
Two slices of wholmeal bread dipped in an eggy mixture (eggs, cinnamon, a dash of oat milk) then grilled crispy-perfection
and loaded with mixed berries and banana!
On the way to class, I had one of my homemade oat bars:
It wasn’t enough I have class from 2-7:30ish every Wednesday. Class is held in the Marae, a sacred Maori building in which you cannot eat or drink. This is proving to be very challenging for me. By the time class is over, I’m totally out of it with a headache and ravenous hunger.
(Class was very interesting today, despite my fatigue. In Maori society, we learned about the mysterious discovery of New Zealand. Maori tradition and Western beliefs clash! In Leadership, we talked about the importance of being proactive. We learned about the first female Maori Queen who was a pretty cool chick! More on that later, I have to write a paper on it.)
Dinner was very replenishing and satisfying: lettuce wraps!
While I babysat the quinoa as it cooked on our ghetto stove,
Hannah cut some tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini.
balls falafel balls
I love when I eat something that is also an activity, I had so much fun building my wraps!
I also enjoyed an Isaac’s Pear Cider. SO refreshing!
The rest of the brownies were eaten for dessert. I’m sad to see them go But maybe my next dessert rotation will be vegan!
What kind of diet to you try and follow?