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Remembering Vegetarianism


The following is an addendum to the original post.  I moved in with my parents after my daughter was born out of financial necessity.  My family ate a typical American diet, meat and potatoes, milk and eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and refined sugars and white bread.  It was not unhealthy and was well balanced but I found myself preferring to eat differently.  The kind of diet I ate when I was at college and the years following was whole grains, honey and maple syrup, nuts, falafel, fresh fruits and vegetables.  When I returned to live with them I had to give up this whole diet because there were no stores in our rural region that supported this kind of diet easily and my family due to habits, and preferences was unable to eat this way.  It is not a judgment on their behalf, rather it is meant as a reflection of the choices I made, and then how they have now come full circle.

Now back to the original post:

For a few years when I was younger I was a vegetarian, when I was pregnant, I craved sausage, kielbasa, hot sausage, breakfast sausage and pepperoni, I didn’t care, if it was spiced ground meat in a casing, I wanted it.  After I gave birth I lived with my parents for a couple years, and lets just say being a vegetarian was basically impossible in that household.  Impossible.  Then once I started living on my own, my daughter had already developed the taste for meat and sugar, which she has never really gotten over the latter.  I really do wish my family had supported me at least on that, not giving her sugar, but anyway, its too late now and she is a fiend for sugar.  It was hard to cook for her, because she never wanted vegetarian food.  I eventually gave up, buying and fixing meat meals to satisfy others, foregoing the brown rice, and whole grains to satisfy others and out of laziness.

My diet has changed tremendously in the last three and a half years.  I rarely eat out, and when I do it is almost exclusively vegetarian Asian food.  I have eliminated dairy almost completely from my diet, I still have cheese a half dozen times a month.  I no longer buy white rice.   And I have had to, recently cut out added sodium in my diet, ultimately due to high blood pressure, which is because that is what adding hormones does to my body.   Then the other day I started watching this movie called Forks Over Knives.  It talked about how the meat and dairy industry has this agenda of pushing us to eat large quantities of protein and dairy, a truth confirmed by my daughter the nutrition major, and her Diatetics magazine, and it talked about how it is important to eat whole foods, and a plant based diet.  I have been trying so hard to lose weight and I thought about how, at my thinnest I ate a whole food, plant based diet and I am considering changing my diet even further.  I thought too about the pirate, and how he eats kind of a crappy diet sometimes, and thought it would help him if I cooked vegetarian, even if it meant one or two meals a week and a lunch here and there, at least it would be cutting back on the high fat, high salt, high meat based diet he eats.

Today I made Cashew Chili.  I don’t even know where this recipe came from and I feel uncomfortable repeating it, because I am certain it came originally from a cook book.  But it is basically, onions, peppers and garlic sauteed in olive oil until soft, chopped unsalted cashews sauted lightly.  Two quarts of canned tomatoes crushed and then simmer on low for about an hour.  Add a lot of chili powder and cumin and a dash of oregano and salt, and some cayenne pepper and or chipotle pepper powder and two cans of drained dark red kidney beans.  Simmer another forty five minutes or so.  And serve.  The pirate added a bunch of shredded cheddar.  I ate mine plain.  He is a willing healthy food eater, because he called me from the bakery to ask if he should get bread, and I said something healthy and he said, not white then right?  Good guy, got a nice whole wheat bread to have with the chili.

I don’t know how far this will go or whether or not it will be too time consuming and if I will give it up or not.  But I don’t think I will.  Today I thought of several recipes that are time tested favorites, the chili, my lentil soup, my marinated baked tofu, black beans and brown rice, curried chickpeas, dal and split pea soup, all vegetarian options for the winter months, black bean salad, jicama salad, black bean spread on tortillas for summer.  I realize now that summer will be tough, I will have to find some nice cold summer salad recipes that are easy to make!  I am not sure I will cut out meat completely, probably not, I have too much venison in my freezer, but at least for a while I will try to eat vegetarian more often.  Today two people said I look thinner, and a couple days ago two other people did also.  I am at the lowest weight I have been in several years.

I will continue on this path.  I actually feel really good about it.

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