People have asked me recently about eating primarily vegetarian and why I chose to do it when my diet was already restricted with a gluten intolerance. Through educating myself with books, online research, and close friends, I decided that it wouldn't hurt to try! And what I found out, just like when I found out that I was gluten intolerant, eating vegetarian/vegan wasn't restricting but again opened up a box of new recipes, ideas, and feel-good lifestyle.

I knew that I had to take it slow. I had tried a 30 day challenge with my husband in the past and it was not easy AT ALL for me. I can admit that. Because like any new lifestyle change we encounter obstacles. We challenge ourselves sometimes to the point of panic. That is what happened to me the first challenge. I felt deprived. Needy. Grouchy. I was craving what I wasn't letting myself have and couldn't wait for that month to be over. After the month ended, I binged and I got sick. You can see without me explaining further that I clearly went into the diet with an unhealthy and uneducated mindset. Hey, I can admit my mistakes! How else do we learn right?

My New Years Resolution of 2011 was a goal to make veggies the star of the show when I prepared meals. I had no intention of cutting meat out completely. I also had no intention of cutting out cheese, eggs, or any other animal product. I centered my meals around vegetables and in doing so "accidentally" cut out meat. And you know what? I didn't realize it until I had done so for over a month! My running times improved, I had a ton of energy, and overall I felt great! I was digestively healthy as well, and those of you who suffer I am sure that in itself can entice you!

I decided that my life was to be lived without deprivation. If I wanted, I would eat it! I waited for those walls to come crashing down on me and my body start shaking for a steak. It never happened. Quite the opposite actually. I noticed that my taste for milk had dissipated. Eggs followed. And one day, I woke up and didn't want cheese. No, that's not made up...I literally did wake up one day and decide that I didn't really want it. I also read a lot about nutrition and what was best for my body. I found out so many interesting facts about my body and how we process plant proteins vs animal proteins.

People go vegan for a variety of reasons. I always strive to make myself as healthy and happy as I can be. And for me, it's eating a plant based diet, but I if I feel like it I will eat it! Regardless of my personal opinoins I think it is a great subject to learn about and will do my best to support the healthy/ no cruelty lifestyle.We will see how this adventure goes, and I look forward to sharing yummy and healthy recipes with you!!

**The opinions below are from Vegan Action. There are not all my own, but I do appreciate and share beliefs in the Vegan Lifestyle outside of just health.

Some information from Vegan Action:

what is a VEGAN? A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.

why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals' lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.

FOR THE ANIMALS Despite the common belief that drinking milk or eating eggs does not kill animals, commercially-raised dairy cows and egg-laying chickens, whether factory-farmed or "free range", are slaughtered when their production rates decline.(1) The same factory farm methods that are used to produce most meats are also used to produce most milk and eggs.(2) These cows and chickens live their short lives caged, drugged, mutilated, and deprived of their most basic freedoms....Read More Here

FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Animal agriculture takes a devastating toll on the earth. It is an inefficient way of producing food, since feed for farm animals requires land, water, fertilizer, and other resources that could otherwise have been used directly for producing human food. Read More Here
FOR OUR HEALTH The consumption of animal fats and proteins has been linked to heart disease, colon and lung cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and a number of other debilitating conditions. Cows' milk contains ideal amounts of fat and protein for young calves, but far too much for humans. Read More Here