Growing up, I was a very picky eater. Not quite the same picky eater I am today. I avoided greens and didn’t care for fruit. I loved meat, was addicted to all cheese and had an obnoxious sweet tooth. Since age 8, my parents often found me cooking my own dinner before they could even start prepping dinner for my family. I couldn’t help it. I still can’t. I love having control over what I eat.
Fast forward to me at 22. I’m vegan. This lifestyle didn’t happen overnight and I never expected myself to be Vegan. It’s been a gradual learning process with many transitions over months at a time. Working in a variety of restaurants, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a close look, feel, and taste for what some chefs are doing. Over time, my transitions went as follows.
First, I cut down on my portions because I was always eating until I was full. Second, I cut out soda because it made feel sluggish. Third, I switched to only whole wheat products (bread, pasta, rice) and to dairy free milk. I started dating a vegetarian and I decided to never cook meat at home again. At first, I found this challenging because every dish I had ever cooked or eaten revolved around meat. However, I quickly saw this as an opportunity to be more creative with my cooking.
The moment that truly pushed me into ‘vegetarian-land’ was one of those brutal videos inside factory farming. You know the videos. We all do. Most of us choose to look away and turn our ears off. Others haven’t watched them because they feel they already know what’s going on behind those doors. I began to question myself: if this is happening and I’m fully aware of it…why would I continue to support this?
Many books, articles, and online research later, I decided to go vegan. I went from eating solely with my tongue to eating consciously. I feel more energized and have tapped into an awareness of the consequences of my meals.
As it is important to think before you speak – it is more important to think before you eat. These simple daily contemplations and decisions have impacted my mind, my body, my friends and family, and our planet. I now ask, what is the impact of me buying and/or eating this? Every time we eat, we are making an investment.
So what are you investing in? What are your dollars voting for?