Strive not Perfect

It has been one month since I started this blog, and it has been a labor of love, working on posts in the evenings after my kids have gone to bed. My friend once told me, the best way to promote a plant-based diet is not to show people all the horrible conditions of factory farming or facts about the climate crisis, but to show people how to eat a plant-based diet. That has been my goal in starting this blog.

It is a blog for everyone – meat eaters, dairy eaters, vegetarian, and vegans. My hope is to inspire ways to eat more plants. Maybe a meatless meal. Maybe a meatless day. Maybe a dairy-free week. It is about baby steps, small goals. To quote a fellow vegan advocate, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, “don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.”

It is not about perfection. I’m not a perfect mom, a perfect wife, a perfect daughter, a perfect person, how could I be a perfect vegan? To me, it’s about striving, learning, mindfulness, and effort.

My own plant-based journey has been 28 years in the making. I did not go plant-based overnight. I first started my path when I went to a friend’s house for lunch, and they served hamburgers. I took a bite into an undercooked burger, and I gagged. I was horrified to have bloody meat on my plate. I have not eaten any red meat (beef, pork, lamb) since that day. I was 12 years old.

But I continued to eat chicken, dairy and eggs, until, when I was 13, I bit into a hard vein in a piece of chicken. I vowed to never eat meat again. I became a vegetarian for almost 2 years, but I was not a healthy vegetarian. I remember eating ice cream and corn nuts for lunch. I started to have dizzy spells, even fainting once in the bathroom and busting a hole in the wall. I was probably anemic, though I never went to the doctor. Eventually, I went back to eating chicken when I was 15, but only boneless chicken breast. I never wanted to see a bone or a vein again. I tried to dissociate from the fact that I was eating an animal.

It was not until I was 29 (14 years later) that I committed to becoming a vegetarian again after reading the book Skinny Bitch while on vacation in Hawaii. I read about the extreme slaughter speeds and how chicken are often plucked and boiled alive. I decided I would never eat any meat again. I have not eaten any meat since reading that book.

Cutting eggs and dairy, however, has been a more gradual process. Cutting dairy from my diet was initially incredibly hard. I avoided it, but I still ate it. Eventually, I developed the habits, adapted my taste buds and discovered awesome plant-based alternatives that I was able to remove dairy from my diet. But it was a 4 year process.

Eggs have been a whole other battle. Eliminating eggs from my diet has been the hardest hurdle, and I still occasionally baked with pasture-raised eggs up until just 6 months ago. Now, I have been having fun experimenting with Just Egg in the kitchen and finding different egg replacers for baking, even carbonated water! 🙂

So I share all this just to illustrate that eating plant-based is a journey. It is a process. Slow and steady wins the race. Slowly reduce meat in your diet. Slowly reduce dairy with all the amazing alternatives out there. I can tell you the plant-based meat and dairy options have greatly evolved since I started this journey! Give them a try! And allow your taste buds to adapt!

Of course, the journey is even harder with children, which requires a whole other blog post! Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be hard, but I believe the key is repetition. I will also share with you in future blog posts some simple kid-approved recipes, including dairy-free mac-n-cheese! Don’t give up, and don’t give in.

And if you have any specific questions or requests, let us know! Thank you again for following, subscribing to and even sharing our blog!