I know the exact day I became a vegetarian--April 9, 2013. And though I am a fitness professional, this wasn't a move I made for better health. It was a decision made from the heart, coming from the love and respect I have for all of earth's creatures. I realize this isn't a decision for everyone.I do not judge others, nor do I wish to be judged by others. I do not ask others to cater their menu to fit my dietary restrictions, nor do I wish to preach vegetarianism or veganism as the right and only way. But it is right for me right now, and I will continue on as long as I feel this way. Will I ever eat meat again? I honestly don't know. When asked from the beginning how long this "phase" would last, my standard response was "I don't know. I might have a hamburger tonight, tomorrow, or maybe next week." I have never pressured myself by taking anything permanently off the table, and so far I have been meat free--this includes the restriction of any animal products or by-products that are rendered from an animal that has died (to the best of my knowledge)--for over 8 months. Looking back over these 8 months, I realize, perhaps, I have gotten even a little more strict with my diet and lifestyle, crossing over into what many people may consider vegan as I have removed animal products from my clothing and personal care products. I still eat cheese, but only those cheeses that are free of animal rennet. And though I do not like labels, it seems I have settled into that gray area between vegetarianism and veganism...and I am OK there. I am doing what is right for me. It feels natural, and it's working.
When I first became vegetarian, I actually wasn't making the healthiest food choices. I turned to a lot of convenience mock meat products right after my transition. But my body started to crave more and more whole foods, foods that would nourish my body and provide it with the nutrients needed to function better. And though I still enjoy an occasional veggie burger or mock chicken patty, the trend has changed as I have rediscovered my lost love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. One of my new great loves is creating vegetarian dishes that are not just acceptable, but amazing, to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, providing the edible answer to the question I hear almost every day, "What can you eat?" And that's why I have created this blog. I look forward to sharing my journey with you.