Friday, October 11, 2013

10 Year Veggie-versary

It is SO hard to believe, but I have been a vegetarian for ten years today!  What started really just as a "try it for the weekend" sort of thing became my lifestyle - and I never looked back.  I am so excited that I can say that I have been a vegetarian for ten years - a decade!  When I first became a vegetarian, I was so worried I would not get enough protein, so that I would get only carbs.  But becoming a vegetarian allowed me to discover so many wonderful and delicious foods that I probably never would have tried, and I am so thankful for that.  In fact, I plan to only serve vegetarian food at my wedding next June!  I love the three dishes we have selected, and I am sure my guests will too.

In 2003 I was very aware of vegetarianism because many of my friends were vegetarians.  I cared about animals, and I did see a disconnect between my love of life and compassion towards animals and what I was consuming.  But when I began researching the process of farming - namely factory farming - a bit further, my resolve quickly deepened.  As much as I had enjoyed bacon, chicken tenders, and turkey sandwiches, I could not eat them with a sound conscience.  At first I craved the foods I was used to - that is normal.  But now, ten years later, I almost always forget that my dietary choices are different than the masses; I am reminded only when I find myself at a restaurant that offers nothing but a side salad for vegetarians - and luckily, those restaurants are becoming fewer and fewer.

I am proud that I made such a life-altering and mature decision so many years ago, and grateful that my family and friends have supported and encouraged my choices.  To read more about why I became a vegetarian, click here.

Check out some of my favorite vegetarian recipes below!  I eat a lot of vegetarian bean chili, spaghetti with tofu shirataki and Morningstar Farm crumblers, veggie patties, Greek yogurt (14 a week!), and of course, tons of fruits and veggies.  I try to avoid packaged foods, but I do enjoy popcorn once a week :)

Minestrone (an all-time favorite of mine!)
And for dessert, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake


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