I love to cook! I had dabbled in cooking throughout college, and into my early twenties. However, with just myself to feed, many meals consisted of cereal. That all changed when my husband, Irving*, and I started dating. I had an adventurous eater to use as a guinea pig, and I started experimenting. As I practiced and practiced, my meals got more and more creative!
Somewhere in the beginning of my experimenting, Irving, then my boyfriend, asked “could you ever become vegetarian?” I laughed at this notion and said I could never give up steak, I liked it too much! 3 or so years later, I began reading The Gorgeously Green Diet by Sophie Uliano. She explained some of the environmental impacts of meat consumption and I started trying some new dishes that were more veggie-centric. A few months later Irving and I watched Food Inc. If you haven’t watched it, go watch right now! My eyes were opened and we resolved to buy only the best, most grass fed, free range, natural meats we could find. This was a little pricey though, so we took it one step further. We decided to make vegetarian meals during the week, and splurge on the weekends. We did this for about 5 months, and then made a resolve to clean up our act a bit more. We were planning to start a family, but wanted to get ourselves into better shape before we took the next step. Irving enrolled in a hard core exercise and diet plan with his gym. I decided to begin exercising more as well, but knew I had to cut down on my food intake as well. I wasn’t about to give up desserts, so I gave up meat instead. In four months I had lost 25 pounds! Better yet, I wasn’t missing meat at all. I felt great, had more energy, and was hooked on this new way of living.
Fast forward a year and a half to December 2011 and our almost 1 year old son, David kept getting hives on his face when I would feed him yogurt, cheese, or any other dairy. It didn’t seem to be bothering him, but I saw my opportunity! I decided to bite the bullet and start following a vegan diet for my new year’s resolution of 2012. It has been a challenge to come up with toddler friendly vegan food. Staples like cheese and yogurt are out the window, and tempeh and tofu are on the menu! And for all of the doubters out there, David is in the 95th percentile for height, and 75th for weight! He is a thriving, healthy and happy boy!
I feel that the healthiest foods to put in my body come from plants. This is not to say that I am the healthiest person in the world, or that I always make healthy choices. This just means that for me (and my son), I have chosen to eat a completely plant based diet.
*I should note that Irving is not vegetarian, let alone vegan…he chooses to eat meat when we go out. However, he happily eats my vegan cooking at home, and supports my choices for myself and David. I think that is a testimony in itself…with creative cooking, vegan food can be enjoyed by everyone!