For years I was a vegetarian of the Amy’s microwaveable entrée variety. Meals came from boxes, fresh from the microwave, steaming and sliced free from plastic wrap. My dietary staples were pasta and .99-cent bean & cheese burritos from Del Taco. Extra cheese & extra red sauce, please. For someone who adopted a label with the prefix “veg-“ in the title, there was very little room for actual vegetables in my diet.
So after a 2 year hiatus I've been thinking about my diet again. In fact, it's consumed me these past months. As I’ve taken note and delved into debates around organic food, locally grown harvest, slow food, the obesity epidemic, etc., my approach to food as changed. I’ve drastically reduced my reliance on processed food and placed a heavy emphasis on taking the time to think about what I buy and what I serve to myself and the people I love. And I’ve discovered that I absolutely love to cook.
More recently, I’ve become obsessed with vegan cooking. Initially, it was to try to integrate more vegetables into my diet, but I’ve come to see it as this wonderfully innovative and bold cooking style that I want to be a part of my life. Perusing vegan blogs, I discovered VeganMoFo, and on a whim, just last night in fact, I decided “to hell with it! I’m going vegan!”
My first day as a vegan was a thoroughly average day for me. And I’m heartened by this outcome, because it raises the likelihood that I will be able to carry this challenge through the entire month. I’m the first to admit that, in my personal life, I rarely finish what I start. So this challenge works for me. There is a goal, and a set period of time that’s manageable. And so we’re clear, the challenge is that I will eat a thoroughly vegan diet from October 1-31, dates coinciding with Vegan Mofo (Vegan Month of Food) and I will record my experiences in this blog.
By the time this wraps up perhaps the October Vegan project will morph into the Autumn Vegan, the 2010 Vegan, or even the Perennial Vegan?! And if not, then maybe this will just be an annual tradition for me. One month out of the year to set aside my omniverous ways and go vegan.