That Vegan Life

In 7th grade home ec (rebranded Family and Consumer Science by that time #politicalcorrectitude), our class watched a movie on vegetarianism. I don’t remember much of the movie except that it upset and inspired 12 year old me to declare my new resolution to become vegetarian. I was even committed enough to get some books from the library on being vegetarian and eating well!  The only flaw in my plan was that during this phase of my life (ages 0-20) I ate approximately 0 vegetables and pretty much sustained myself on fruit, meat, and carbs.  In fact, this foray into vegetarianism coincided with Easter weekend (a.k.a. the Catholic Ham Holiday) and, since I did not partake in any of the side dishes full of veggies, my meal consisted almost entirely of potato chips.  And chocolate.  Because Easter candy… NEEDLESS TO SAY, my first meat free diet attempt did not go well or last long.

About a year ago, Collin and I decided to “go local” i.e. we tried to only buy meat and eggs from local farms.  We decided to do this because it helped to make us much more aware of what we were consuming, not only for our own health, but so that we did not take the lives of farm animals for granted.  We got our meat from a farmer who worked with Collin and we got eggs from my coworker who was living on her boyfriend’s parents’ farm (which was a GREAT system).  The main comment we heard from people was that eating local was expensive and that’s true, it is more expensive.  So we started to eat less meat and we really enjoyed it when we did.  On the nights that we did have meat for dinner, it was a big deal and that was kind of the point for us.  It should be a big deal.  We also tried to eat local when we went out which is where everything got a little fuzzier and where we yielded way more often to our food cravings.  We would try to ask where the meat came from but slowly our convictions started sliding to ordering food with meat sourced from New York or Montreal (not really local) if it was from a good, organic, ethical farm, because that made it okay, right?  Things just started being good enough and we would casually laugh it off and enjoy our pulled pork burritos or McDonald’s chicken nuggets.

Enter, Veganism.  Collin got there first.  He read a book loaned to us by our already vegan friends – Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran-Foer.  I have not actually read the words off of these pages, but I have heard a lot of them read out loud and a lot of the points of the book were discussed at length in our house while Collin was reading it.  I really should pick it up one of these days though.  Essentially- it was the catalyst for Collin go make the leap to go vegan.  I won’t speak for him as to his personal reasons for making the choice.  They are similar to mine, but they are also different.  I took another couple weeks to make the step on my own and it basically came down to this – I cannot ignore the fact that I believe killing and abusing animals for my consumption is wrong.  Factory farming is a horrible, horrible system.  Dairy cows and egg-laying chickens live awful, disgusting, and miserable lives.  Those are facts.  And I can’t and refuse to pretend like I don’t care about it anymore.

The most common reaction I have gotten to my “I’m Vegan!” announcement has been, “wow, that must be so hard” or some variation on that theme.  Honestly, it’s not hard at all.  Not when I believe this is the right thing for me to be doing.  And I believe it so hard.  Yea, it does suck eating salads when you go out with friends  (which, luckily, is not the norm!) and yea, 100% I miss cheese but what I don’t miss is the guilty conscience and the needing the bury my feelings about it whenever I asked for extra parmesan.  And cooking at home is a piece of cake with the internet!  Just search vegan anything you want to eat and it exists.  Trust me!  We’ve had vegan buffalo “wings” twice!

Veganism is not for the faint of heart, I will say that.  I couldn’t have lived this way 2 years ago and I feel very strongly that it’s a decision a person needs to make on their own for their own reasons.  It is hard if you don’t care enough and I can’t fault anyone for that.  AND SO 7th grade Katherine played the long game, who knew!  She and I are very happy with where we’ve ended up.

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE VEGAN EATS:

  • Vegan Mac & Cheese – seriously I could stuff this in my face all day long, guys.  Try it, you won’t regret it.  Or notice that it isn’t cheese probably.
  • Garlic Pasta w/ Roasted tomatoes – I made this on my own the other night when Collin was out of town so you know it’s easy!

  • Pad thai – One of our big go tos.  Also, most thai food can be made vegan if you substitute soy sauce in for fish sauce.  FUN FACT!
  • Apple cider donuts – YUP.
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HELLO.

  • And my bagel recipe that I posted here!

Bottom line, I being vegan feels AND tastes good and I am more than happy/willing to answer any questions you may have.  Also there’s a lot more I could say on this subject so BE PREPARED FOR A SEQUEL POST.

 

The Great Purge

On Sunday afternoon, I pulled everything out of my closet.  Everything out of the drawers and those trusty winter storage boxes that somehow always manage to spell just a little musty.  I laid out all of my things on my bed carefully and then started making piles, the main pile was, of course, the Eliminate Pile.
Since starting my first big girl job in a business casual office, I’ve been struggling to keep a grasp on my personal style while also being work appropriate.  And, not surprisingly, made the classic mistake of trying to acquire as many pieces as I could all in the name of “keeping my options open”.  The problem was, with more options, came more indecision and insecurity.
So began the Great Purge.  Everything that I either hadn’t worn more than twice maximum this year got thrown in The Pile.  Let me tell you, there are not many things that are quite as therapeutic as getting rid of sh!t you don’t need!
I’ve donated clothes before and Saver’s is a godsend to get rid of things you just don’t want to deal with anymore.  It seemed a shame, however, to lose out on such an investment.  Earlier this summer, with our move from Newmarket, Collin and I explored Second Time Around.  I must say, I enjoy shopping there, I did not like selling there.  Their policy is to evaluate the donated items based on use (fine), age (alright), and, most of all, brand (wait.).  I mean, I get that.  I shop by brand too.  But it was the unworthy feeling of having some of my belongings labeled as “lesser” that I really didn’t like.
So this time, with my Pile, I looked online for some other options.  There are sites that operate a lot like STA – thredUp and Twice.  These are, honestly, really nice options if you a) have a closet full of brand name things and/or b) don’t really care.  I decided to use Poshmark because it gave me the ability to list all of my clothes and price them as I thought was appropriate.  I’ve even made one sale!  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sell all of my clothes and I may end up mailing them to a third party to pick through or donating them to Saver’s, but, right now, I really like the control I have.
SHAMELESS PLUG: If you have ever wanted to shop through my closet or have no idea who I am and are interested on gr8 dealz, check out my closet!  Seriously, I listed almost 40 pieces (WOW) on there.
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I’m making the commitment to myself, to keep my wardrobe down to the essentials and down to pieces that I truly love.  It’s so much easier to get ready in the morning and to go about your day when you know that you’re always putting something on that you feel 100% comfortable in.  And all the extra space is really nice!