Yup, I did the college, eco-girl thing...I went vegetarian. And it stuck. For about 4 years. And I was in the BEST SHAPE/HEALTH OF MY LIFE! 150 lb., toned and limber. So why did I stop? What was the change? Honestly, I'm not quite sure. But reflecting back I think it could have been two things: moving to a new place and discovering humane meats. Yup, that's right, my beloved South Carolina. Until you can reflect back it's really hard to see but I now realize how much comfort I found in food...and fat. Which is a slippery slope (for me at least).
I don't recall any "homesick" feelings when we moved from NC to SC. But I guess food must have taken that place for me. Just a little at a time. Okay, I eat fish/seafood. Okay, a little chicken...but only hormone/antibiotic free. Well, that BBQ pork DOES smell divine. . . And so it goes.
Fast forward 5 years...moving to IL I was homesick for SC. For my friends. But with a healthy lifestyle so much easier here (walking everywhere...it's awesome!) my meat choices again became stricter. Local, Organic, Pasture raised, etc. But after two children and 5 years of veggie backsliding I was still 80 lbs. heavier than I should be.
Now? I may be friend-sick for folks but not homesick, I'm loving where we are! I love that my tree hugging nature is "normal" here. The things I miss other than people? Strawberry season starts earlier, lighting bugs are already out and about there, and the beach...the REAL beach, is just hours away.
Like I said, I walk to work. We live on the third floor of a no-elevator building. Talk about instant health boosters! Not to mention an AMAZING farmers market just blocks from our door. But this week I made a conscious switch. To eat almost all vegetarian. And my body is rejoicing! I have so much more energy...I just FEEL GOOD. Now I still think that a little meat is okay, as in maybe twice a week. But not as the focus of my meal. It seems I have discovered what my body showed me so long ago. It's just healthier and happier on a whole foods, plant based diet. None of that over processed "fake meat" either. But that's a post for another time...
As a family we have always chosen organic and tried to make the healthiest choices. Does that mean my children never have sugar or pizza? No. But we do try to teach them the healthier habits. And the best teachers are the actions we take, not the words we speak.
Recently my oldest sprout and I started talking about meat. She didn't realize how we got it. I didn't want to freak or gross her out. She has to make her own choices. However, I think I may have another future veggie on my hands...
I hope that everyone will continue to follow our family on our green living/eating journey. I'll be here, sharing!
Please share your successes, favorite veggie recipes, etc.
And remember to eco-live and laugh!