I’ve been vegan for about a month now (depending on when you’re reading this). So far, it’s been easier than I thought. I’ve had a few moments of temptation, but I’ve never thought about throwing in the towel and giving it all up- and I’m really proud of myself.
I’ve had the usual bacon craving – that’s to be expected I think. I’ve also craved cheese and eggs a lot. I freakin LOVE cheese and eggs. Not being able to eat them makes me sad sometimes. But then I think about the process in which eggs are produced and what cows have to endure so that they can produce the milk that is used to make the cheese…. then I’m not sad – at least not for myself.
I’ve learned several lessons so far about how to stay on track, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is to plan. Like the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
Since it’s been fairly easy more me to stay on track, it may not be for everyone. So here are a few tips to help anyone who’s struggling to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet:
1) Remember why you’ve made the commitment: This is to keep you motivated. Food is all around us and advertisements from companies are there to constantly convince us why we should eat it. So it makes perfect sense to constantly remind yourself why you should stick to your commitment.
2) Research Constantly: I’m always reading articles and blogs, watching documentaries, and getting advice and info from vegan friends about everything vegan-related. This keeps me informed – and that is key. How can you effectively stay committed to something you know nothing about? The answer is, you cant. This will also help to remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. In the end, you’ll be able to inspire others to make the commitment if they’ve been struggling too.
3) Plan your meals: This is so important! It’s really easy to cheat when you have excuses. The biggest excuses you can have are that you don’t have time to cook, you don’t know what to cook, or you can afford to cook healthy meals. Yes, those are excuses. You can! You just have to plan it out. Planning leaves no room for error or vulnerability.
4) Cook your own meals: This goes without explanation. You can control the ingredients, which ensures that you’re eating the right things and healthy amounts. Take time during your evenings, mornings, and/or weekends to cook for other days of the week.
5) Surround yourself with encouraging people: They don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan, as long as they support you in your lifestyle, keep them around! Many people get defensive when you tell them you’re vegan. Some actually try to convince you that veganism is too extreme and that you’re crazy for taking such an extreme approach. If you have people like that in your life, you’ll want to limit or eliminate that discussion – at least until they become more open-minded. You don’t have to cut them off, just don’t talk about it with them. You can even tell them that you’d rather not discuss your eating habits with them because they make you feel unsupported.
6) Actively search for recipes: This is extremely helpful! Nowadays, you can find recipes on Instagram and Facebook, in addition to blogs and cooking web sites. This makes it fun and exciting instead of a chore.
7) Be happy about your decision: This may sound like common sense, but it’s easy to get discouraged. Eating in restaurants can be particularly discouraging because most places aren’t vegan-friendly. This is why it’s important to stay educated. Most places will have a veggie burger on their menu, so you can ask them to leave out any meat, dairy or eggs and you’re set. Also, most places will have burritos or fajitas. Same thing, eliminate the dairy and meat and you’ve got a meal. The key here is to be happy because you’ve always got options – as long as you educate yourself and have fun!
As I learn more, I’ll definitely share what has helped me. I encourage anyone who is thinking about adopting the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to start by educating yourself. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, educate yourself. Google is your friend! Stylefreeblog is your friend! Instagram is your friend! Kikistylingfree is my IG name and I post tons and tons of vegan recipes and information. Facebook is your friend!
Here are a few names that are Google-worthy:
Forks Over Knives
Vegan Starter Kit
Are you hungry? Need a snack idea? Do you have 10 minute or less? Perfect! I’ve got a quick and super-simple snack recipe that you will love – and it’s vegan!
Mortar and Pestle
1 zucchini (preferably organic)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Sal de Ibiza (pure sea salt with no additives) *You can substitute with another sea salt (like Sel Gris) but be sure to use pure sea salt.
1) Chop the parley and garlic. Put ingredients in the mortar
2) Zest the lemon and add it to the mortar. Add the salt to the mortar
3) Crush the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and salt to a fine mixture
4) Slice the zucchini into 1/2 inch rounds
5) Place the zucchini on a plate and drizzle with the EVOO
6) Sprinkle the salt mixture over the zucchini and olive oil
And scene! That’s it! It seems almost child-like, but the key to this meal is the fresh ingredients and the mortar and pestle. You need quality ingredients like the Sal de Ibiza salt, EVOO and organic zucchini. Also, the use of the mortar and pestle allows the flavors to marry together beautifully.
Try it and you’ll be hooked. I promise!
“We like to be with some, because they’re funny
Others come around when they need some money
Some you grew up with, around the way
And you’re still real close too this very day
How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
– Whodini “Friends”
Can I be honest about this subject? I’m a bit of a flake. I love my friends, and for the most part I try to spend time nourishing our relationships as much as possible. But you know that one friend who is always down to go out for some drinks or to go shopping or whatever, but ends up canceling at the last minute (via text)…. yea that was me. I’m guilty and I can admit it now because I’m not like that anymore.
In my 27 years of life, I’ve had many “friends” and have learned to identify the different types almost immediately. In an effort to better myself, and maybe help a few folks take a look in the mirror and do some self cleansing as well, let’s play a game! I call this one…
What kind of friend are you?
This is the friend who you can always count on… to cancel on you – at the last minute – via text – and pretend like it never happened. SMH. It can be easy to be angry with the flake because you feel like you can’t count on them, but they have good intentions. The flake doesn’t mean to cancel all the time, and they almost always cancel via text because they feel bad it. So if you are the flake, I have two words : do better. Otherwise, your friend list will be quite thirsty this year.
*deep sigh* This is the friend who only (or mostly) calls to talk about what’s going on in everyone else’s life, and it usually includes information that was told in confidence and not meant to be shared. Now I’m not judging, because I’ve had my share of “tea sessions”.
*Note: a “tea session” is a conversation between two people where one is actively sharing information (about someone not currently involved in the conversation) that is both personal and extremely entertaining (i.e. hot like a freshly brewed cup of tea) and the other is actively listening and providing detailed feedback on how they feel about the news. We’ve all been there. If you’re the gossip, just remember that what goes around, comes around. Positively speaking, when you’re spending too much time talking about what’s going on in the lives of others, you’re neglecting to take care of yours – and end the end, it makes you look bad. You ever heard that saying, ” If someone talks about others to you, they will talk about you to others”?
“The Hot Mess”
The hot mess is always, I repeat, always complaining. If it’s not about a man, it’s about money – or lack thereof. This person is a hot mess, simply because they always complain about what’s going wrong in their life and why it’s someone else’s fault. They usually make Facebook statuses about how men are dogs or about how they are “doing them”. If you are the hot mess, please get yourself together.
The situation is the friend who only calls/contacts you to brag or to complain – that’s all. This friend usually hits you up on only two occasions: (1) when something good happens to them or (2) when something good happens to you. They got a promotion, they’re going to Vegas, they bought a new car, etc.
Don’t get me wrong. You should be happy for your friends when things go right for them (otherwise you’re the hater – more on this later). But when they ONLY call to brag about their good news and don’t bother to ask about you, then that’s a problem. Or they call when they find out something great happened to you, only to complain about how EVERYTHING is going wrong for them. Seriously? Who does that?
I don’t even need to go into detail about this friend. They always have something negative to say about everything! This person has some serious personal issues to work out. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been the hater at one point in our lives. Women especially tend to hate on each other for some reason or another. I think it’s because society perpetuates competition among women. Whatever the case may be, my advice would be to stay away from all haters. It’s just not a good look on anyone.
This is the friend who is always working on a project, or finishing a project, or about to start a new project. All they talking about is how they are in “grind mode”, or they “stay grinding”. Usually, it’s an illusion. Honestly, it’s been my experience that people who are actually “grinding” don’t have time to talk about how they are always “grinding”. #foodforthought
This is the friend who make it seem like everything in their life is perfect and nothing is going wrong whatsoever. Period. The job is great, the boo is on point, the kids are perfect – everything is fine. Come on now! Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s perfectly fine to struggle every now and again. This friend has some serious control issues. If you’re the illusionist, let me let you in on a little secret. Your friends know that you are faking it.
This friend is the one who disappears for weeks at a time and then magically pops up via a phone call or text and acts like nothing is wrong. If I had a dime…. seriously. And when you do hear from them, they usually have a long list of reasons why they disappeared (i.e. school, work, kids, significant other). Been there, done that. If you are the magician, please please stop disappearing. It takes two seconds to send a text at least.
You know who this friend is. On the outside their your bff, but in real life they spend all their time trying to be better than you. They want to dress better, make more money, have more things, pretty much get more attention. But they need your acceptance to be happy. I’ve always been confused by the frenemy. I just don’t understand how someone could genuinely want to be your friend while at the same time put so much effort into being better than you. These types of people need Jesus and Oprah.
I think I”ll stop here for now. Did you pass the test? Are you one of these friends? I know I’ve been a few of them at one point or another in life. it’s human nature.
Although I listed these all in good fun, I am a firm believer in positivity and personal growth. Life is too short to take your friends and family for granted. Cherish the people in your life, because you never know when you may take your last breath. Each moment we let pass by is an opportunity to sew a seed in someone’s life.
What will you do with the time you are given and the people who are in your life?
I must admit, I used to hate zucchini. I’ve only had it one way – boiled with salt and pepper. To be honest, it was absolutely disgusting, but it didn’t make me a veggie-lover.
I think it was more of a texture thing. Zucchini tends to get mushy in the middle where the tiny seeds are, so if you cook it for too long (which isn’t long at all), you have a hot mushy mess.
But the vegan in me has been determined to find ways to love all kinds of veggies. Insert my Food Network plug. If you know me, or read my blog often, you know I pretty much only watch the Food Network channel. One of the chefs prepared a zucchini crudi that looked simply delicious. I tried it and loved it – but I’ll share that recipe later.
I’ve been on a french fry kick lately, but the pretend culinary artist in me decided to kick up my usual potato recipe for a veggie fry. This is how my zucchini fry was born.
Want to know how to make it? Read on baby. Read on…
Fact or Fiction?
- Zucchini are an excellent source of Vitamin C
- Zucchini are rich in folate, potassium, and Vitamin A
- Zucchini contain beta carotene
- Zucchini have a high water content – more than 95%
Akia’s Zucchini Fries
- Oil (Canola or Vegetable)
- 1 Zucchini
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Chickpea flour
- Cayenne Pepper
- Lemon Juice
This recipe is more about technique than ingredients.
1) Pour enough oil in a skillet to fry the zucchini quickly. Set to high heat
2) Wash and cut the zucchini similar to the shape of french fries
3) Drizzle, I repeat, drizzle a little of the EVOO onto the zucchini. You only need just enough so that the flour can stick to the zucchini
4) Mix the flour with the cayenne pepper then toss the zucchini in the chickpea flour
5) When the oil is hot, use metal tongs to put the zucchini fries in the oil
6) Fry for approx. 2 to 3 minutes. The zucchini should still be firm but the flour coating should be golden brown
7) Remove the zucchini from the oil, drain on a paper towel, then salt and squeeze lemon juice on the fries
Now, these bad boys are no substitute for traditional french fries. But if you want to explore zucchini, have at it! You’ll be happy you did!
Nutritional facts source: I googled “Zucchini”
Did you miss me? I’m back with another green smoothie. I call this one “Something New”. I literally looked in my fridge and freezer and challenged myself to add new ingredients to my morning drink – and thus Something New was born.
Sadly, I don’t have measurements, so you’ll have to play this one by ear. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine!
Something New Green Smoothie
Strawberries – high in Vitamin C and Flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation and strengthen blood vessel walls
blueberries – full of antioxidants, free-radical fighting machines
Peaches – Get their color from beta- cryptoxanthin that specifically helps to lower lung cancer risks
Apple – rich in fiber (as long as you keep the skin on)
Carrot – loaded with beta-carotene (that’s converted to Vitamin A in the body) which is essential for healthy eyesight
Kale – Full of beta-carotene
Honey – Known as the “food of the gods”, it’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
Ginger – An effective digestive aid, it combats inflammation, and reduces pain and swelling
Lemon – the acid helps to break down waste in the kidneys, and calms gas and nausea
Instructions: Blend, drink, grow muscles, lift a truck off a baby, be sexy
- exactly in that order
Nutritional source : Reader’s Digest Food Cures
I’ve always loved the word edamame. Before now, I’d never tried it. It looked disgusting, but it sounded cool. Now that I’m an adult (not by choice), I’ve put away childish behavior (yea right) and have learned to try new and exotic foods. Granted, edamame isn’t new or exotic to most, but it is to me. But, as a fledgling vegan, it’s practically mandatory that I least TRY foods like edamame. So I did! And the result was…
It’s freakin delicious!!! I bought one of those little packages of salted edamame and had to stop myself from devouring the entire thing. So since I love orzo pasta so much, I decided to throw them in an impromptu warm orzo salad I made recently. Without further ado…
Orzo with Portobello and Edamame
- Edamame (soybeans) are loaded with B vitamins, protein, potassium, zinc, and iron
- 1 cup of boiled soybeans provides up to 6 grams of fiber – that’s more than a baked sweet potato!
- Edamame contains more protein and iron than beef
- Edamame contain more calcium than milk
- Edamame may help to fight against breast and prostate cancer, lower blood pressure (because of the estrogen) and keep bone loss at bay
- Edamame may reduce your risk of heart disease
1/4 Red Onion chopped
1 clove Garlic chopped
1/2 cup chopped baby Portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup cooked Edamame
1/4 cup cooked Orzo pasta
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1/4 cup chopped Vegan Mozzerella
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1) In a heated skillet on medium heat, add the chopped onions, garlic , and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent and the mushrooms have reduced in size. (approx. 10 minutes)
2) While the onions, garlic and mushrooms cook, boil the orzo according to the box instructions.
3) When the onions, garlic and mushrooms have softened, add the edamame and a few dashes of the Worcestershire sauce. Cook just until heated through. (approx. 8 minutes)
4) Put the orzo in a serving bowl and season with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
5) Add the onion, garlic and mushroom mixture to the seasoned orzo.
6) Add the mozzerella, cilantro, and lemon juice and toss.
Guess who’s ready to eat? You are!!!!!! Add some Sriracha sauce for an extra added kick of heat. Oh, and be prepared to fall in love with edamame.
I’m back at it again! As usual, this recipe was inspired by a show I saw recently on the Food Network channel showcasing food trucks. I’m completely obsessed (I use that word a lot) with food trucks and plan to one day have my own, but I digress. On to the beer and avos please!
The particular recipe I tried to recreated was actually a beer-battered avocado taco, mmmmmm. The ingredients are few, the prep is easy, and the cooking is fast. Since I’m vegan, I had to substitute a few things, like the dairy. So when it comes to that, use what you like and make this dish your own.
Did you know?:
- Avocados are the fattiest fruit on earth. Don’t worry! It’s good fat! The monounsaturated kind
- Avos are loaded with folate ( a B vitamin) and Vitamin A
- Avos contain more soluble fiber and protein than any other fruit
- Half an avo provides more potassium than a banana
- Avos are high in beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol that blocks the absorption of cholesterol from food
Beer-Battered Avocado Tacos
Ingredients: Frying Oil (Canola or Vegetable)
You’ll want to use a small cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, use a small pan that’s relatively deep with high sides.
1) Fill the skillet approx. halfway with oil on medium high heat.
Prep Raw Ingredients:
Ingredients: Scallion, Purple Cabbage, Lime
1) Chop 1 scallion (green onion) and set aside
2) Chop approx. 1/2 cup of purple cabbage and set aside
3) Cut one lime in half and set aside
Vegan Sour Cream
Ingredients: Vegan Mayo, garlic, parsley, cilantro
1) Mix 1/4 cup of Vegan Mayo ( I used Earth Balance brand) with 1/2 teaspoon of fresh chopped garlic and 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley and cilantroTip: if you like spice, you can add some Sriracha hot sauce to the cream . You could also add it once you’ve assembled the taco
Ingredients: Chickpea flour, beer, Old Bay, Avocado, Panko breadcrumbs
You will need metal tongs and a paper towel or a paper bag for draining the oil.
1) Mix 1/2 cup of flour ( I use chickpea flour aka garbanzo bean flour) with 1 bottle of beer. Note: You may want more or less beer according to your taste. For a thicker batter, use less beer. For a thinner batter, use more.
2) Add 1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
3) Slice your avocado into long “strips”. Think chicken or steak strips.
4) Submerge the avo slices in the batter gently. Leave them there until you are ready to fry them.
1) Gently remove one avo slice (DO NOT fry more than one at a time) from the batter and place in the panko breadcrunbs to coat
2) Once coated in the panko, place the slice in the oil
3)After approx. 2 seconds, turn the avo slice over using the tongs.
4)Remove from the oil when the batter is golden brown
5)Drain on paper towel or paper bag
Ingredients: Flour Tortillas
I decided to use soft flour tortillas instead if traditional corn tortillas. They fluff up and get puffy when you fry them. If you prefer the traditional, use corn tortillas. You will need metal tongs and a paper towel or a paper bag for draining the oil.
1) Use the tongs to place the tortilla in the oil.
2) After approx. 3 seconds, use the tongs to fold the tortilla in half, making the shape of a taco shell.
3)Allow the first side to brown in the oil, approx. 6 seconds, then flip to brown the other side. 4)Remove the shell from the oil and drain on the paper towel or bag.
Once everything is prepped and cooked, assemble your taco to your liking, then squeeze some lime juice over the whole thing.
That’s it! Be prepared to reach Nirvana after the first bite. Oh, and thank me later!
Avocodo source: Reader’s Digest Food Cures
I’ve always been a foodie – a cousin of mine often says that our family is obsessed with food. Since my early college years, I’ve been, well, obsessed with food – and would often keep my TV on the Food Network channel so that I could learn how to cook. I must’ve learned a thing or two, because now that I’m vegan, coming up with creative meals that taste amazing hasn’t been difficult for me.
I usually post a picture of my latest vegan or vegetarian meal on my Instagram account Kikistylingfree or on my Facebook page Stylefree, but lately I’ve been getting messages from people asking me to share my recipes along with cooking information. So here I go!
Sweet Potato Fries, Garlic Kale and Quinoa with Kalamata Olives and Portobello Mushrooms
For the sweet potato fries:
Serving: 1 to 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 30 minutes [should go into the oven first with the portobello mushrooms]
What you will need: 1 sweet potato, olive oil or vegan butter, salt, cayenne pepper, foil, a baking sheet
Step 1: PRE HEAT YOUR OVEN to 400 degrees! This will save you so much time. Step 2: Peel then rinse the sweet potato with cold water Step 3: Cut the sweet potato into approximately 12 “fries”. They should be cut like steak fries. Cut the potato in half. Then halve the two halves. You should now have 4 huge sections. Cut the 4 sections into three steak cut fries Step 4: Line a baking sheet with foil and place the fries evenly on the foil. Make sure they are not touching each other. Step 5: Drizzle olive oil or melted vegan butter on the fries then season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Note: cayenne pepper is extremely spicy so a little goes a long way. If you have never cooked with cayenne pepper, it gets even spicier when it is heated. Taste a little bit first to see if you can handle it. If not, use red pepper flakes or regular black pepper. Step 6: Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the side touching the foil is brown. Turn the fries over and bake for another 15 minutes or until the other side is brown and the fries are tender.
For the garlic kale:
Serving: 1 to 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 20 minutes [should be made 3rd, after the fries and mushrooms go into the oven]
What you will need: 2 cups of kale, 1 garlic clove, 2 cups of vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Rinse kale leaves with cold water. If you’re using kale that has not been removed from the stems, wash first then remove the kale leaves from the large stems by simply pulling. Step 2: Roughly chop the kale into small pieces. BE CAREFUL not to cut them too small. They don’t need to be chopped – just a quick, rough cut is fine. Step 3: Chop one clove of garlic. To chop garlic, remove one clove from the bulb. Smash the clove by placing the knife sideways(so that it is flat) on the garlic clove and hitting it with your other hand, very hard but very carefully. Peel the skin from the smashed clove. Chop Step 4: Heat the vegetable stock is a large pan until it comes to a rolling simmer. Add the garlic and kale. The kale will start to wilt and reduce in size. Continue to let it simmer and stir occasionally ( I like to use tongs) until the kale is tender but still has a slight crunch to it (apprx. 20 minutes). It should still be very green in color. Add salt and pepper to taste
For the quinoa with kalamata olives
Serving: 1 to 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 15 minutes [should be prepared 4th after the kale has been put into the pan]
What you will need: 1 box of quinoa, vegetable stock, kalamata olives, salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Add fresh chopped cilantro or parsley when rice is fully cooked
Step 1 Follow the cooking directions according to the brand of quinoa you have listed on the box. Substitute the vegetable stock for water Step 2 Chop the kalamata olives into quarters Step 3 Once the quinoa is cooked, add the kalamata olives and stir. Add pepper and cilantro or parsley to taste. Add salt only have you’ve tasted with the kalamata olives because they are evry salty and your quinoa may not need extra salt.
For the portobello mushrooms
Serving: 1 to 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: Approximately 30 minutes [ should be made 2nd and go into the oven with the sweet potato fries]
What you will need: 1 pack of portobello mushrooms whole or already slices, Worcestershire sauce,olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, foil, baking sheet
Step 1 Wash the mushroom by either QUICKLY rinsing them under cold water (most recipes tell you not to rinse mushrooms because they absorb liquid, but Ive had no trouble when rinsing because I do it very quickly and rub them briskly), or by wetting a clean rag or paper towel and wiping any visible dirt from the mushrooms Step 2 Chop mushrooms into large, thick slices if the mushrooms are whole Step 3 Splash the mushrooms on both sides with the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste Step 4 Place the mushrooms on foil and a baking sheet. They should be even, flat and not touching Step 5 Bake the mushrooms until slightly tender, approx 30 minutes. Do not put on the top rack closest to the heat because they may dry out Step 6 Place cooked mushrooms on top of the quinoa to serve!
I’ve fallen in LOVE with green smoothies! Since going vegetarian/vegan, I’ve been trying to find ways to have breakfast without eating bacon and eggs and so far these smoothies have been saving my life – literally! Green smoothies are essentially smoothies made with fruit, veggies, and other life-saving ingredients like oats, nuts and seeds, and soy.
I used to drink smoothies religiously before and after my boxing workouts, so I’m no stranger to the smoothie-making game. I usually look in my fridge and craft my morning drinks based on what looks good that day or what I’m in the mood for. Usually there’s no real method to my madness, but I do try to keep in mind the health benefit of each ingredient and make sure I have a well-rounded drink.
My most recent creation is the Ginger Candy Smoothie. I named it Ginger Candy because it has some ginger in it (duh) and the fruit is so sweet that it reminds me of candy. It’s such a beautiful and delicious drink. It reminds me of the Caribbean Islands. You have to try it!
I’m not counting calories yet, so I can’t give that info for this drink. And I’m not well-versed in the nutritional facts of each fruit and veggie yet either, but I do plan to start learning that info like the back of my hand soon enough. Also, I did include a 100% juice drink in this recipe, which I don’t normally do. All I can tell you is that it’s ridiculously delicious.
Check out the recipe below and let me know how you like it!
Ginger Candy Smoothie
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup frozen peaches
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup frozen cherries
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 fresh lemon
1 tablespoon flaxseed powder
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cup Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry juice (100% juice blend)
Directions: Put all ingredients into your blender. Mix until smooth. Enjoy!
Hail to the V!
Ahhh the infamous V word. So, I’ve decided to stop eating meat. Now this may not seem like a big deal, especially since so many people in America are vegetarian now, BUT it’s a big deal to me. Especially since I’ve tried it once before.
A few years ago, I decided enough was enough and I wasn’t going to eat meat anymore. I’m an avid animal lover and one summer while in college I came across several YouTube videos that explicitly showed how some animals suffer before being slaughtered and butchered for consumption. It was indescribable. I literally cried in the arms of my (then) boyfriend after seeing images of cows and pigs and even dogs being cut open or their skin peeled off while still alive or shot multiple times before dying. I realize that this doesn’t happen everywhere, but it shows that there isn’t enough being done about animal cruelty in this industry.
I was so shocked by what I learned, that I decided to go cold turkey – I cut meat out completely. I did pretty good for a few months. My meals consisted of veggie fried rice and pastas mostly. I didn’t even miss meat. Until ….. bacon. *DUN DUN DUN* (insert evil laugh). I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember what I was doing or how I ended up there. All I know is, I had bacon and my whole world was turned upside down. Once I had that salty, porky goodness, it was all downhill from there. I know I sound like a hypocrite, and I was, but it was hard for me and I didn’t really prepare myself for the temptation. So eventually, I got off the vegetarian ride, but I promised I would get back on someday.
Now I realize where I went wrong. First, I didn’t educate myself. I made the decision based purely on my emotions. I failed to plan, so my plan failed. Second,I didn’t surround myself with people who could encourage me and keep me motivated. With anything, you need a support system to help you stay on track. Third, and I think most importantly, I didn’t transition. I chose the guerrilla approach because I was so passionate, but I should’ve taken a slow and steady approach instead.
This time, I plan to slowly eliminate meat from my diet. I’ll then move on to eliminate cheese, then eggs and so on until eventually I am vegan. For now though, I’m focusing on being vegetarian. I’ve already started to cut red meat out of my diet. Pork will be next, followed by poultry, then fish and seafood.
I’m actually pretty excited about it! Although I’m a health fanatic and a huge part of my decision to go vegetarian is because of the health benefits, I have to admit that an even bigger part of me can’t stand what animals have to endure just so that I can eat a cheeseburger and some hot wings – so I won’t continue to eat them.
I’m reading articles and blog posts on everything from vegetarian recipes to animal cruelty laws. The title of this post actually came from a video I found while searching the internet for content.
So if you’re reading this post and you have any advice, PLEASE share! I welcome tips, criticism, links, documentary suggestions – whatever! Join me on my journey if you like! I would love to have a veggie buddy!