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The Unlikely vegetarian
Where's the beef?
Growing up in cattle country makes me an unlikely vegetarian. I was born and raised on beef, chicken, pork, and fish. Food is a way of life! In my family we show love by the care and time it takes to prepare a meal. Large family gatherings for holidays were always about big feasts and yummy dishes that were tried and true. Fruits and veggies would enter the picture but were always in the shadows of a delicious plate of meat. This show stopper is hard to compete with. I still remember many meals with my family by just the mere smell of a grilled steak or barbecue something smoking in the distance. In my family, being a vegetarian is just unheard of and unlikely.
My Journey actually started almost a year ago in 2012. Some girlfriends of mine had watched Forks Over Knives, a documentary about plant based diets & Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a documentary about Joe Cross and his journey to find better health. I remember how empowered they felt to make a change in their lives but mostly in their diets. I, of course being the carnivore I was raised to be, scoffed at the idea of giving up meat and going on a juice only fast for 7 days. After a few weeks of hearing them talk about how great they felt on a juice fast, I decided to check out the documentaries for myself.
I watched them both and was astounded by the results in Joe's life and the correlation to high amounts of protein in our diets being linked to cancer gene mutations. I recommend watching them for yourself. I have my own set of health issues. I was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in 2005 and Hypertension. Later in 2008, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and in 2010 with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Prior to 2002 I was relatively healthy, at my ideal weight based on height, I hardly ever got sick, I exercised, and lived life like any 20 something would.
My husband Adam & I in Oregon at Multnomah Falls, Spring 2012.
Over the past 10 years the weight has really packed on and my health has continued to decline. I remember the first diagnosis of Kidney Disease was so shocking and scary. My husband is active duty Navy and has been since before we were married. Like many military wives, the terrible news came while he was deployed. I went through the many stages of grief. At one point I was so afraid of death and dying that I just shut down and couldn't move in any direction good or bad. I felt alone and hopeless. My dreams of a family were shattered in that moment as I'm being told don't get pregnant, don't get in a car wreck, don't, don't, don't! Never once was there a conversation about do or you can. Finally I got sick of the pity-party and decided I would find out more about this disease and how to manage it on my own.
Like many people, I am lazy and stubborn. I will have to make a decision on my own terms. No one will tell me what to do! It takes me realizing that I want to change before it will happen. As you can see, 10 years is a long time of me stomping my feet like a child before I decide to make a better life for myself. This is the beginning of my journey. I know that I will fall and stumble, but I plan on taking my life back. I don't have to give up the love of food, I just have to change what that looks like. I will continue to show love through the meals I feed my family, but I want them to be a delicious and healthy meal. I don't know if I will ever be able to kick the habit of meat in my diet, but I'm sure going to try. I'm not looking for perfection, I'm just looking for a permanent change for a better, healthier me.
This website is still being built. Please excuse the mess while I create it. In the mean time send me an email with a recipe you enjoy or you would like for me to try to make into a vegetarian delight. Thank you for your patience!
Copyright 2013. The Unlikely Vegetarian. All rights reserved.
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