Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jumpin' Jack Flash-Back Elf

For our Elf-fort today, we are re-publishing our very first blog oddly enough on the exact same date as the inaugural (5/21/14). This is in celebration of THREE years of blogging and the initiation of our FOURTH!! We hope we've learned a lot over the past 3 years and can continue to contribute and grow as a vegan and blogger. Enjoy and remember to always DO EPIC! 

To V or NOT to V
With all the blogs about eating and food and diets and stuffs like that, why ON EARTH would you want to read this one. Well, simply because it’s meant for folks who are THINKING about adding more plant based meals to their eating routine OR folks who in the back of their minds are CONSIDERING what it would be like to NOT eat any meat OR people who are seriously STUDYING the reality of being Vegan or Vegetarian.

This blog is about my journey—past, present and future—as a vegetarian gone vegan. It’s not meant to be prescriptive for anyone else nor is it meant to condescend, rant or
Tofu Scallops
otherwise run-off-at-the-mouth about how EVERYONE should be vegan (or vegetarian). It is strictly a story of an aging baby-boomer who made a decision and sometimes has to struggle to stick to it.  So many folks have asked about how this decision was made, how I sustain a vegan lifestyle (in the South especially), what I eat, how I cook, how I get all my essential nutrients and, most importantly, how they could possibly do the same thing (or at least eat better than they do now). So, this is the result and we hope it has meaning for you.
Vegetarian First—Vegan Comes Later….Much Later

I became a committed vegetarian on 9/30/10, the day I turned 64 years old. My frequent travel and work partner (my dear pal Shannon Hall) had become vegetarian to help her lose weight and be healthier.  My frequent travel and work partner (my dear pal Shannon Hall) had become vegetarian to help her lose weight and be healthier.  I agreed to eat 'veggie' with her (well, most of the time) when we traveled together. Then I read a book called Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer. A long time animal lover, I was moved by the conditions the animals in many factory farms endure. So on 9/29/10 (my 64th birthday EVE), I decided to go vegetarian. Easy as pie...or maybe not. Read on... 

Well, Shannon and I met my brother at an Italian restaurant in North Carolina where we were working that week and since it was my birthday, we were going to celebrate. I did not often get a chance to see my brother since we live so far apart (he’s in NC and I’m in MS). When it came time to order, I had my mind set to order veal piccata (one of my favorites), figuring that my birthday celebration meal took precedence over any vegetarian decision I had made. As I mentioned that selection as my entree, Shannon leaned over to me and said, “Well, you almost made it 24 hours.” That did it!  I was so ashamed of being a ‘wuss’ and not following what I said I would do…I ordered eggplant Parmesan instead and haven’t looked back. The thought of becoming vegan was not even a germ, not even a molecule of an idea.

From that day until 6/30/13, I ate a vegetarian diet..but not without some pretty tempting times. In fact, I declared in December of 2013 that we’d have a ‘vegetarian free’ day on New Year’s Day so we (my husband, Big Solid and I) could have ham hocks and black-eyed peas, cabbage cooked with bacon and corn sticks. The more I thought about that, though, the more I realized I just could not take that first step backward. So, we prepared the same menu without the meats and used veg friendly seasonings instead. Did it taste the same…NOPE. But, I’ve learned a lot since then about seasonings.
I had often thought of making that last commitment to becoming vegan during the past 3 years as a vegetarian but just could not bear the thought of NO CHEESE, NO DAIRY, and NO EGGS (Waffle House has suffered greatly, I’m sure) and all the delicious derivatives of
Three Vegan Cookies--YUM!!
 those three foodstuffs. Then we went to a lecture by Dr. Neal Barnard (June 29 2013). The evidence of the health benefits of a vegan eating regimen was so compelling, that I signed up for the 28 day vegan challenge and began the next day.  SOO--in a little over a month, I will be celebrating my first full year as a vegan. It’s been challenging, fun and a tremendous learning opportunity. More about all that later.

This is the start and I hope to become savvier about blogging. In the meantime, here’s to all of us who are trying to make a difference in a differing world. I have always maintained that you change the world one person at a time through how you live your own life.  I will share with you the good, the bad and the ugly of the work in progress that is me. Enjoy, comment, join in, or just lurk…we are glad to have you.
I want to add that this blog will include resources (books, websites, other blogs) and recipes that have and continue to be meaningful to me. Two blogs that I use a LOT are and

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