My Vegan Journey (Part 1)

I feel like I should start from the beginning (not “in the beginning” but definitely pre-pregnancy) since this journey didn’t really start with my pregnancy. It actually started long ago when I met a beautiful young woman named Dana while working at Olive Garden (don’t judge me, we all have bills). I had tried going vegetarian multiple times before but had always “failed” due to my lack of knowledge about the options that were available to me. You see, when I went vegetarian I didn’t like vegetables (unless they were potatoes, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers or peppers) and I had never touched tofu, tempeh, or whole grains. I was like so many people that enjoyed a standard American diet so when I went vegetarian all I saw was loss.

When I met Dana she was a vegetarian, a very knowledgeable one, I might add, and essentially she took me under her wing as I worked to find the courage to give up what I had known of food and embrace change. I know it sounds dramatic but for me it was. Food, as you’ll soon learn about me, is a central part of who I am. It brings me happiness, like so many people, and it makes me feel rooted to where I come from as a human being. When you only see what you can never have again then you begin to obsess about the idea of losing yourself, your family, your friends, and the traditions that made you who you are today. Despite my reservations, I boldly walked into my home one day and declared to my newly-wed husband that we were now vegetarians. Without thought he responded “I guess I’d better throw out the chicken.” And that was that. Have I mentioned how amazing he is? I will, don’t worry.

It turns out that Dana was going vegan at the same time that I was going vegetarian (an unthinkable thing at the time, I assure you!)  so we went shopping together and she graciously introduced me to all of the amazing things that would become staples in my life, like Quorn (why aren’t you vegan?!) and the cookbook “Vegan With A Vengeance”. She also cleaned out her freezer of all her non-vegan food and threw them into my open arms, which I still appreciate to this day 😉 She probably doesn’t even know this but getting to know her and her awesome (soon-to-be) husband  and seeing their dedication would inspire me to make the leap into veganism. Well that, and my husband’s resilience, but we’ll save that for the next post…

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