Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Fresh Start for 2012!!

Welcome back my friends. I sincerely hope 2011 has been a good year for you, as it was for me. Well, I am going to make sure that I start off 2012 with a bang! I am participating in a 21-Day Vegan Kickstart beginning on January 2nd (although I will be jumping the gun on the 1st). Here is the link!

This past year I have been flirting with veganism, but eating mostly pescetarian. Although I have felt great compared to my years of fast food and red meat, I know I can do better. As my body ages I realize I need to nourish every part of it with the food God intended for me to eat, so that I can be able to handle the physical stress of my job without the shackles of over-the-counter medications. I would also like to get rid of the 10 pounds I've been struggling with this year!

I will be documenting my journey on here, everything from recipes I'm using to cravings that are driving me nuts, maybe even a grocery list or two. I encourage anyone to join me on this quest. I promise you this regimen will be the best decision you ever make! Even if you don't stick with it after the 21 days, the learning experience and personal challenge alone is worth the effort.

Well everyone, have a safe and fun New Year's Eve, and I will see you in 2012!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Winter Supply of Freshness!

Hello to my friends and followers! I know its been awhile since I've blogged but things have been hectic around here! We have experienced a terrible heat wave this summer and it seemed it would never end. Unfortunately for our local farmers that means most of their crops have suffered the full effect of the sun, limiting our seasonal supply of fresh summer fruits and veggies. The local farmer's market here in Oklahoma still had a good variety of items, but mostly they had to be brought in from regional areas that were not hit as hard with the weather. No worries, I get what I can as locally as possible! That being said, summer has finally appeared to be leaving us with temperatures in the mid 80's this week. Believe me, mid 80's temps feel like winter compared to our 110's we've had for 4 months!
With fall around the corner, I am left pondering my options for staying healthy and fresh during the winter with the lack of variety available in my area during that time. I mean I love winter squash and all, but one can hardly make a squash smoothie! I always miss clean fresh tastes of berries, melons, corn, and okra when winter rears its ugly head. HAVE NO FEAR! I have come up with a plan of action! The answer to these problems is in the FREEZER! Such a marvelous invention that has made my life as an aspiring vegan so much more convenient and cost efficient. In fact, I believe homemade frozen products are the healthiest "convenience" food around! With the correct techniques and a bit of prep time, you too can easily turn your freezer into the ultimate go-to for healthy year-round meals.
Let me break this down into sections. First here are the different food groups and my way of prepping and freezing each specific food. Once you get down the techniques you can apply them to preparing and freezing all of your favorite foods to enjoy later!

I love smoothies. There is nothing better for breakfast or even a late-night snack than an ice cold nutrient dense drink that not only fills you up but nourishes your entire body. When we blend our smoothies, the blades of the blender completely destroy the cell walls of the ingredients, making them easier to digest and absorb the nutrients. They also taste great!! One fantastic way to enhance any smoothie is to include frozen makes the smoothie ice cold without having to dilute the flavor with water! My favorite fruits to use frozen are berries, peaches, and bananas. They are all simple to freeze.
Berries- Simply rinse and dry the berries of your choice, then lay out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes, then transfer to a freezer bag, remove air, and seal.
Peaches- Wash and dry the peaches, then slice. Soak them in a bowl of cold water mixed with the juice of 1 lemon for about 30 minutes. Remove the peach slices and allow to dry. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag, remove air, and seal.
Bananas- I buy the "over-ripe" bananas on sale and freeze in bulk to save money. Peel and slice, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes, transfer to a freezer bag, remove air, and seal.

Make your own mixed veggie bags that can easily be thrown into chili, soups, stir-fry, or sauteed to enjoy as a side dish. My favorites to preserve for winter are zucchini, squash, okra, corn, and fried green tomatoes! Yes, I know tomatoes are technically a fruit but since I don't add them to smoothies I have included them in this section :)
Zucchini and squash- These are easy to do. Think about what you will be using them for...if for a stir-fry, you will want to cut them into slices or half-moon shapes. If for soups or chili then my preference is a small dice. For the grill, its best to cut into lengthwise quarters. When you decide what shape you want, prepare them accordingly. At this point you can either blanch and shock or leave raw. I like to blanch all shapes except for the small dice. Dry and place into freezer bags, remove air, and seal.
Okra- Of course in Oklahoma the only way to have okra is fried! Its my guilty pleasure, and not the healthiest food, but as long as its homemade its definitely healthier (and tastier!) than in a restaurant. Remove the stems without exposing the seed pods and blanch/shock while whole. Slice into 1-inch pieces. Dredge and flour using your favorite recipe like you normally would before frying. Instead of frying, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag, remove air, and seal. Then all you have to do is heat up your oil and fry those tasty suckers up!
Corn- My preference is to leave the kernels on the cob and freeze as is. Some like to cut the kernels off of the ear and freeze, either way is great! Shuck the corn and blanch/shock. Dry and transfer to freezer bags, remove air, seal.
Fried Green Tomatoes- A Southern delicacy! Prepare the tomatoes for frying using your favorite recipe. Instead of frying, lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag, remove air, seal. Oh soooo good!!!

Chili/Soup/Stew- I cannot stress enough how cost-effective this is. You can buy your ingredients in bulk, make a huge batch of veggie chili or soup, and freeze most of it for later! Simply make your choice stew/soup/chili and cool to room temperature (or close). Transfer to a freezer bag, leaving about 1/4 of the bag empty for the liquid to have room to expand when frozen. Lay flat in the freezer...this makes it a handy flat shape that you can stack when frozen, which maximizes freezer space. This method of freezing works for most anything in a liquid or even saucy form. A friend of mine used it for chicken tetrazzini and it worked great! You can also portion out into smaller bags if you are only feeding 1 person at a time. Great for portion control!

A word about blanching/shocking: To correctly blanch you need a large stockpot of boiling water. The time of blanching varies with the veggie, but typically its done when the color is enhanced, around 5-10 minutes. Shock in ice water for an equal time to blanching.

Removing air: Ziploc makes special bags with an air remover you can buy, however the bags are pricey. Of course if you have invested in a vacuum sealer you can use that! I of course have devised my own cost-effective technique. I seal the bag almost all the way, then push as much air out as I can. Then I insert a straw into the open corner and suck the remaining air out and seal quickly. It works great! Be advised, only use this technique with DRY ingredients such as fruits and veggies. I am in no way responsible for the inhalation of veggie chili, you have been warned! lol

I sincerely hope this has been helpful and inspirational to you. While fresh is ALWAYS better, freezing is the next best option we have to keeping our diets rich in variety and fresh in taste. Happy freezing everyone, and good health to you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Green Smoothies: My Miracle Food

Well friends it has been quite an adventure for me these last few weeks. I have discovered things about myself that I never dreamed possible. I feel great, I have more energy, my skin has never looked better, my joints have less pain, and I'm finally shedding that annoying holiday 10lbs. Are you just dying to hear my secret? I thought so! :)
It all started with my current read, "12 Steps to Raw" by Victoria Boutenko. It is quite an enjoyable book even though I do not plan on switching to completely raw food any time soon (my lifestyle does not currently support it, however it is my ultimate goal to become a raw foodist at some point.) What I really like about this book is the fact that she gives scientific explanations on why we (anyone on the SAD) have cravings, mood swings, lack of energy, etc. She talks about the chemical changes our food experiences when it is cooked past 108 degrees, no longer being in a raw state. She calls it "dead" food, as opposed to "living" food. Can you imagine what "dead" food gives us? Nothing!! (Except cancer, maybe??) I recommend this book to everyone! It really is an eye-opener. Now to the miracle part.
I had already heard about Green Smoothies from a website,, but for some reason never found the motivation to actually try them. Thank goodness for Victoria's book, it finally gave me the push I needed to give them a shot! Believe me when I say they are actually quite delicious and satisfying, and have TOTALLY eliminated my cravings for "bad" food. The gist of the Green Smoothies is very simple: drink 1 quart a day in addition to regular meals. The beautiful thing about this is they will give you the much needed green nutrition in an immediately usable format. When you blend the greens with the fruit, the cell walls become ruptured, thereby releasing their nutrients to be absorbed by your body as soon as it touches the inside of your mouth. Basically the blender does all the necessary chewing. Perfect!
Okay so here is how you make them. All you do is blend together 60% fruit with 40% greens of your choice and water until it is the consistency you like. My favorite combination so far has been:
2 bananas
Handful of fresh spinach
1 cup of filtered water
I also enjoy mango, banana, and spinach. As you can tell, my favorite green so far is primarily spinach, but it is good to rotate the type of greens you use, so I will switch it up sometimes and use kale or even parsley! The great part about the 60% fruit, 40% green ratio is that all you can taste is the fruit.
I really hope you try them and enjoy the benefits as much as I, because I promise once your body gets used to proper nutrition, there will be no turning back! Have a healthy day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where's the Beef?

I am often asked by many people who are on the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) "how do you get your protein if you don't eat meat?" or better yet I am bluntly told by ignorant carnivores, "you don't eat meat so you are deficient in protein." These banters irritate me to no end, however I have become so accustomed to them that I normally can smile and give a calm educated response, which they are never expecting. Yes, animal flesh is a source of protein, but what most Americans don't realize is that when you cook your meat over a period of time you lose around 50% of the digestible protein value. Also this type of protein is very harsh on the body to properly assimilate, absorb, and excrete. Red meat is a huge contributing factor to chronic problems such as heart disease and colon cancer. So where can we get a healthy animal-free source of protein? Plants!
All vegetables contain protein, however most are incomplete proteins, meaning they do not contain all the 9 essential amino acids or lack the necessary amount of one or more amino acids for our dietary needs. But the S.A.D. also overindulges as you can imagine. For example, although cereal (wheat, rye, oats, rice, millet, etc) protein is particularly low in lysine compared to animal protein, even the lysine in cereals is adequate for adult needs. It is best to consume whole (complete) proteins, which contain all 9 amino acids in adequate amounts. Soy, quinoa, amaranth, hempseed, and buckwheat are examples of complete proteins, with no animal flesh required! That is great news for anyone interested in keeping a healthy heart and colon (not to mention weight!).
My preferred complete plant proteins are soybeans and quinoa. They are the most convenient to prepare and eat in my opinion, and I can buy them at regular grocery stores. Most people now are familiar with a certain type of soy, edamame, which is served as an appetizer at many Japanese restaurants. You can also buy edamame frozen and either steam or boil at home, toss with some kosher salt, and serve!
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is not as commonly known to Westerners. It is an ancient grain, thought to be domesticated by the Andeans over 3000 years ago and held sacred by the Incas. So believe me skeptics, this grain is no American fad. Quinoa contains 12-18% protein, a good source of fiber and phosphorus, gluten-free and easy to digest,  and is a high source of magnesium and iron. Quite the miracle food, don't you think? As I am sure my blog has inspired you to try such a wonderful superfood :) I leave you with a recipe. So go ahead, enjoy that protein, and don't worry about the missing beef!

Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small pear, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, halved
2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills scraped out
1 cup red or white quinoa
3 cups tightly packed spinach, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475°F.
Put vinegar, mustard, pear and garlic in a blender with 1/3 cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Cut mushrooms into chunks and combine in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of the pear balsamic dressing. Spread mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast mushrooms until tender, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
While mushrooms roast, prepare quinoa. In a medium pot, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, 10 minutes more. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.
Combine mushrooms, quinoa, spinach, green onions, almonds, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup more pear balsamic dressing in a large, wide serving bowl. Stir to mix well. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Per serving: 280 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 43g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 12g protein

I got this delicious recipe from the Whole Foods website. I first tried it when I visited their prepared foods bar and absolutely loved it. It is great served warm or cold, and keeps very nicely in the fridge for the week! Have a healthy day and enjoy!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Saving Face

The past revolving year has brought me many things. A new husband, a photography business, and at the end of my list....turning 29. Yes, in a few short months, I will be celebrating my last year in my 20's. I never thought I would care about aging, and before you want to smack me in the head for saying 29 is old, let me explain. Its not that I'm researching my near future retirement home or making sure my life insurance is still good, but it is kind of depressing to me. Mostly because I am approaching the years where I will have to work to maintain my youthful appearance and current weight.....I am finding that they no longer come naturally. Oh well, I like a good challenge.
I believe the fountain of youth is found in the foods which nourish our bodies. That means whole fruits, vegetables, lean fish, whole grains, etc.....not food from any drive-thru or "greasy spoon" in your local area. But eating these delicious foods is not the only way to use them for a youthful look! Ever tried a homemade facial treatment? If you haven't, I encourage you to try it. At least twice a month or so, I like to treat my face to a natural scrub or paste using things I find in my fridge and pantry. Sometimes when I make morning smoothies I just rub that mixture on my face! Fruits and vegetables increase the supple look in skin that babies have....just what I'm looking for! Oils and juices add moisture to prevent drying, and dry goods act as exfoliants to scrub off any unwanted old skin. Here's a list of my favorite ingredients put in any combination, just make sure the mixture is thick enough to rub on your face. I typically leave the mask on for around 5-8 minutes then rinse with warm water and follow up with my Burt's Bees Milk and Honey lotion. The feeling after is to die for!! Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Flour
Ground Flaxseed
Loose Leaf Tea (Black, White, or Green)
Brown Sugar
Ground Almonds
Ground Walnuts

Fruits and Veggies: (either pureed or juiced)
Sweet Potato

Other Add-Ins:
Peanut Butter (preferably freshly ground or natural)
Olive Oil
Honey (I use a creamed clover honey)
Cocoa Powder

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hot Soup on a Cold Day!

Hello friends! It was rather chilly here in Oklahoma City last night, so I was inspired to make my Vegan Potato Soup. Don't worry carnivores, I have included an optional toppings list that will satisfy you as well :) Makes great leftovers too, so don't worry about making too much!

Vegan Potato Soup
makes 8-10 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more if needed
1 white onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 cups water or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp blackening seasoning or Old Bay
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups plain soymilk or almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
1 bag frozen sweet corn
1/2 bag frozen peas

Heat the oil over medium in a large dutch oven or soup pot. When hot add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes more, adding more oil as needed. Turn the heat to high and add the vegetable stock or water. Scrape the bottom of the pan and get all the bits unstuck. Bring to a boil and add the seasoning, boil for about 10 minutes. Stir together the flour and soymilk and slowly pour into the soup. Continue to boil for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender then turn the heat down to low. Season with salt and pepper then blend briefly with an immersion blender, leaving lots of chunks of potatoes. Add the hot sauce, corn and peas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve with toppings.

Optional Toppings (warning: this will no longer be vegan! lol)
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Bacon bits
Chunks of ham
Sliced green onion
Crushed crackers
Extra hot sauce

*A word on vegetable stock....I use a "better than bouillon" vegetable paste, dissolving a teaspoon of paste in some of the hot water. Its more cost effective than boxed or canned vegetable stock.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ode to Vegetables

As I munched on raw veggies the other day, this came to mind. It's a verse from my favorite childhood book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Hmmm....I wonder if this is why I love vegetables so much?! :)

I love carrot tops better than lollipops
and peas if you please, instead of bread and cheese!
McGregor's got an acre full of crunchy treats for me!

There's just nothing like the crunchy texture and explosive flavor that you get from raw veggies. It can't be beat! And the beauty is you can eat as much as you want and not worry about sodium, calories, fat, or cholesterol. Also your body immediately reaps the benefits of the living energy in the raw foods, and will thank you for it in the form of energy and focus, PLUS the moisture content hydrates you. I absolutely love to pack a bag of mixed veggies such as baby carrots, sugar snap peas, and celery for work....they are fabulous to keep at my side all 12 hours and munch on whenever I get hungry or bored. Then if I have leftover veggies at the end of the week, I either make a soup out of them or turn them into juice!
Veggie sushi is also a favorite of mine. Here's a recipe I know you will enjoy making. It's not only delicious, but it also makes a great packed lunch during the work week and is fun to do!

Veggie Sushi
makes 1 roll, about 8 pieces

1 sheet Nori (toasted seaweed sheets, found in most grocery stores and specialty food stores)
1/2 cup sushi rice (found at Asian grocery stores)
2 slices avocado
2 strips of steamed sweet potato
2 thin strips fresh jalapeno
1 strip cucumber flesh
1 Tbsp Spicy Mayo, recipe follows

Place the Nori onto a bamboo sushi mat lined with plastic wrap, shiny side down. Wet your fingertips with either water or sushi seasoning and spread the rice evenly over the Nori, leaving a 1-inch border around the top and bottom. Place the remaining ingredients side by side on top of the rice in rows, then moisten the borders with water and roll using the bamboo mat. Let rest for a minute then slice into 6-8 pieces and serve with a side of spicy mayo or store-bought Sweet Chili dipping sauce.

Spicy Mayo

1/2 cup Hellman's Mayo or Japanese Mayo (found at Asian grocery stores, I use Kewpie brand)
1-2 tsp Shriracha (Thai hot sauce)
1/4 lemon, squeezed and seeds removed

Mix the mayo and Sriracha until blended and add the lemon juice. Add more Sriracha until it suites your level of spiciness.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Juicy Inspiration

This week has been tough for me in many aspects. I recently lost my grandfather who was my last living grandparent, which caused me to be somewhat depressed as you can quite imagine. Unfortunately for me (and I'm sure many others) my mood strongly affects what I eat. So being lazy and depressed for 5 days straight, my diet was very much lacking from any flair or interest whatsoever. Yet there seemed to be no way out of the "funk" I was drifting in and out of...sleep, lay around, eat crap, repeat. Finally my dear husband convinced me to get off the couch and drink some fresh juice. Simple, right? Well yes and no. 
It is quite the ordeal at my house to drink "juice" :). I use the Breville 200XL Juice Fountain to make my own, which includes selecting my mix of fruit, washing, peeling the citrus, and cutting the larger pieces into smaller ones. Then I run it all through the wonderful juicer, dismantle the juicer, and clean all the juicer parts. Only then do I get to enjoy the deliciousness to follow. Don't get me wrong, its TOTALLY worth it! I swear once you juice your own fruit you will never look at shelf-stable sugar laden "juice" the same way again. It tastes completely different and after your body gets it once, it will crave it again and again. Also there is a therapeutic value in preparing the fruit for juicing, the same way you appreciate a made-from-scratch meal that inevitably tastes better than anything commercially processed. It allows me to get in touch with the living foods I am about to ingest, which I believe contributes to their nourishment. 
So, my husband convinces me to juice. Thank goodness!!! After one glass I felt good enough to do some laundry...then dishes...then fixing on and so on. I was re-inspired. Something as simple as a fresh glass of natures living liquid gave me the strength to get back on track. You may think I'm crazy or ridiculous by these statements but I encourage you to be open to the idea of juicing. Tell you what, anyone who wants to try fresh juice can come by my house and I'll make you your first glass! Then when you venture into the juicing world, you can try out these favorite recipes of mine.

Morning Cleanser

1 cucumber
3 stalks celery
2 apples (I prefer Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious) 

Afternoon Delight

2 tangelos or small oranges
1 apple
1/2 pineapple

Crazy bout Carrots

5 carrots or 1 bag baby carrots
1 apple (Granny Smith apples work well with carrots)

*Another thing I enjoy doing is juicing the remains of this weeks fruit salad! A mix of mango, pineapple, orange, kiwi, and who knows what else tastes fabulous when run through the juicer all at once.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Recipe You've All Been Waiting For

Haha catchy title, eh? I have had multiple requests for my veggie chili recipe, and I knew it would be included in this blog at some point, so instead of beating around the bush I figured what the heck, do it now! It's cold out and with the superbowl coming up I figured it was a good time to do it.
I have made this chili many times, and to be honest its different every time. I always like to use up ingredients that are  in my fridge and pantry so you never quite know what will show up in the chili that week :) The other thing is I have never used a recipe, so this will be the first time I've written it down. With those two points in mind, I decided to write a base recipe and then add optional ingredients that you can use to your own taste and preference. Don't be scared if you've never attempted anything like this, I know a particular soy-based ingredient is intimidating, but there are carnivores who love this chili as well as veggies.

*a note about soy crumbles: I use Morningstar brand crumbles which I have easily found at Crest, Walmart, and Target. Target seems to have the best price and variety on Morningstar products. (Try Morningstar Riblets, they taste just like a McRib from yucky McDonalds but its delicious and vegan!) The crumbles are high in protein and give the chili a meaty texture. I promise, my carnivorous husband even likes it!


3 Tbsp Olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
1 large can whole tomatoes with juice
1 large can stewed tomatoes
2 cans chili beans
1 can northern or navy beans, drained
1 can diced green chilies (found in the Mexican isle at the grocery store, Rotel works as well)
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste (I use Kosher salt and a pepper grinder)
1 package frozen soy crumbles

In a Dutch oven, start by heating the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and green pepper and season with a pinch of salt. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the whole tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, beans, chilies, and spices and stir until well mixed. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low-medium and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Break up the whole tomatoes with your spoon and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add the soy crumbles and stir, cook for an additional 10 minutes and serve with toppings and crackers.

Optional Ingredients:
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
sliced or minced mushrooms
diced zucchini
diced carrots
*add optional vegetables to the onion/pepper mixture and cook until soft before adding remaining ingredients

Topping options:
shredded cheese
sliced scallions (green onion)
sour cream

I hope you all try this and enjoy it as much as I do. The leftover chili goes great on tortilla chips, fritos, and cornbread! It will feed you all week!

What Am I?

You have already heard me say I aspire to be a true vegetarian. Well let me explain some things before we proceed so you do not think me as hypocritical (I would rather be thought of as a lost soul than a hypocrite!). Of course I was one who was raised in the midwest on a standard meat and potatoes diet. I do remember however as a child, flocking to items that did not contain meat. My favorite food item at any mexican restaurant (and still is) was always guacamole. In fact, my mother tells us often about the time when she put me in my highchair at a local mexican eatery and fed me guacamole- it sounds like I was barely old enough for solid food at the time. Apparently the other restaurant patrons were all amused by the  small child with guacamole on her face and commented on never seeing a baby that young enjoy such a "strange" food. Not much has changed, I find myself often times wanting to gorge myself on avocados, I just do it in a neater manner now :)
Anyways, back to the present. I was raised on meat and potatoes, but gravitated away from red meat around 10 years ago. I would occasionally eat a steak at a nice restaurant, and partake in the barbeque scene when amongst others in said barbeque scene. Afterwards I always noticed a sick disgusting feeling that lingered for the next few days. So, goodbye red meat, I listen to my body. It wasn't hard for me to give up chicken and pork either, because I have never really like them. Fish is a different story.
My reasons thus far for giving up "meat" have been for the health benefits and the fact that my body says "NO" every time I consume it. I also support the ethics behind it. I am a lifelong animal lover....and the thought of eating something furry and cute does bother me, but my foremost reasons are health related. Fish however is something I'm not sure I could ever give up. The only time it bothers me to eat fish is when I catch it myself and think about the killing, scaling, gutting.....ick! Not my cup of tea. Hence why in Colorado when I caught a gorgeous rainbow trout, he told me his name was Jasper and that he had a wife and many children that required his presence, so much to my husbands dismay I released Jasper back to the wild. Crazy I know, but Jasper really was grateful. After that my husband did not let me participate in the catching of our dinner.
There is apparently much debate amongst omnivores on whether you can call fish "meat" or not. I personally do not consider fish "meat", I consider it "fish". To me the term "meat" refers to mammal flesh, and fish are not mammals, they are fish. If you disagree, more power to you, this is my blog and I can call it what I want :). I also love the health benefits of fish, everything from the essential fatty acids to the awesome protein content. And since my primary reasoning for my chosen diet is health, well there you go. Oh, and I could live on sushi. So at this point in my life, I suppose I fit into the Pescetarian category which means the only "meat" I eat is fish. And I may stay that way forever....depending on which way the road on my food journey takes me!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My food blog

Hello to new, old, and lifelong friends. It has finally happened: I have been sucked into the blog world! I decided to start this in hopes that I can organize my recipes, ideas, troubles, woes, and whatever other expressions I may feel are necessary that day. However, I'm sure it will come out as being one crazy random compilation of bipolar nonsense. So if you are game, continue reading.
I am a 28-year-old female living in Oklahoma......aka cattle country. I am a food pilgrim in an unholy food land. I love healthy food. I love cooking. I love taking quality ingredients and letting them speak for themselves. I love the reaction people give when they eat something truly delicious and then discover it is good for them. I love the inspiration I get from food. I aspire to be a true vegetarian. Do you know how difficult it is to be an aspiring health-nut and vegetarian in the middle of the carnivorous midwest? Exceedingly difficult! I am hit at every turn with advertisements of steaks, burgers, and buffets. Not to mention I am constantly persecuted (by those with sometimes malicious but mostly joking intentions) for my food choices. Why is it so hard for people to accept the fact that I make food choices, just like they do, only different food choices?  I guess at least around these parts most people are very close-minded and unwilling to accept change. Let me not forget however to mention the wonderful support system I have in place, namely my friends and darling husband, who encourage me to continue my quest to be healthy and happy.
And so begins the food pilgrimage.