Friday, March 20, 2015

Why are we vegetarians?



I’ve been a vegetarian, well,  for what seems like since I can remember, but I guess officially since the age of 10 when I told my mom I wanted to be a veterinarian and she said something like, ‘oh that’s sweet to want to be a doctor for animals.’ Wait, what? I don’t want to be a doctor for animals I just don’t want to eat them.  ‘Oh, you mean a vegetarian.’  Yes! A vegetarian.

My mom will tell you that I never liked meat.  Never wanted it, never asked for it.  She tells me I did eat it growing up, but it was a rarity.  Honestly, I have no memories of eating meat. I have memories of picking the meat out of my food, memories of just eating rice and gravy because I didn't want the meat and memories of crying because my Dad and brother (and the rest of my entire male family) brought home dead ducks to cook.   To me it just seemed sad.

So at the ripe old age of 10, I think I finally put together that I didn't like meat and it made me sad and I had learned what a vegetarian was and so it started.  I haven’t eaten meat in 20+ years.

My mom was very accepting and probably not all that surprised.  She bought vegetarian cook books and most nights would cook 2 separate meals.  My dad, well he tried but it was so foreign to him and I’m pretty sure to this day, after 20+ years he still thinks it’s a phase.  After a few years he accepted it (understand it? no) but he did cleaned his vegetarian plate of food at our wedding and liked it…or so he says.   Pretty sure that was the first and probably last vegetarian meal he has or will ever eat.

When Bob and I moved in together in California, Bob was not a vegetarian.  He didn't eat a lot of meat but he ate chicken and turkey.  I even would cook it for him occasionally…with gloves, a scrunched up nose, and a gag reflex of course.  But over time he ate less and less meat.  Some may think I persuaded him but I didn’t…not at all.  Sure it was easier for me to cook a vegetarian meal because I liked it and knew how to do it but Bob made the choice all by his big boy self.  Now, bob is not 100% vegetarian... more like 99.5%.  He’ll eat turkey on Thanksgiving/Christmas but that’s about it.  Bob’s decision,  I feel comes more from compassion then just not liking it.  Bob is the most compassionate person I have ever known…hence why he captures and releases ANY insect or rodent that he finds in or near our house and why he has the job he has. 

awwwww....i had just moved to cali and we had only been living together for a few months.  so crazy

We don’t force Lars to be a vegetarian but on that same token, vegetarianism is our lifestyle and well Lars is like the main part of our life so there’s that.  Lars has tried meat on several occasions and sometimes he’s been cool with it and other times he’s pushed it away.  We want Lars to be raised with compassion and love and kindness and for us (just us personally) part of that is having compassion for animals.  Now, I’m not saying people that eat meat aren't compassionate…don’t go and get your panties all in a wad, but for us love and compassion includes being vegetarians.

he's been an excellent (and mighty adorable) vegetarian from his first days eating solids

There are most certainly times that I question a vegetarian lifestyle.  With all this paelo and GAPS diet information it’s hard not to wonder if I should incorporate meat into our meals.  But you know when you’re thinking about making a decision and you know that if you make it, you just wouldn't feel right…that’s how we feel.  I can read the testimonies and the studies of how including meat and meat by products (bone broth and gelatin and meat and fish) in your daily routine can make you magical and have superpowers and super immunity but, we, morally, just wouldn't feel good about and that, aside from not liking it, is the main reason we have chosen to be vegetarian and have a vegetarian family.

Being a vegetarian is not so much a health conscious choice for our family but more a compassionate and moral choice.  For me, personally it’s not a choice at all.  I love animals and I don’t want to eat them but I also really dislike the texture and taste of meat.  Just like some people don’t like raw broccoli or bananas…I just don’t like it. Sidenote: when I was pregnant I was terrified I was going to grave medium rare steaks….it’s still a fear for the any future pregnancies.

Perhaps one day Lars will grow up and rebel and become a hot dog eating professional but until then we're going to stick to our veggies. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Cabin Fever


Just when we thought it wasn't going to be too cold this winter (at least for Texas) Mother Nature reminded us that the weather here is without a doubt batshit crazy.  Two weeks ago we were eating outside at a restaurant and it was hot…like 80 degrees.  Lars had on shorts and I wished I hadn't worn jeans.   Well, the past week and a half has been the complete opposite.  It’s been cold, rainy, icy, cloudy and windy with one day in the mix that was 75 and humid because ya know…it’s Texas.

Yes, I’m aware that other parts of the country probably would think it feels like summer down here and would be more than happy to trade places with someplace that doesn't have 100 feet of snow, but again…we live in Texas and when it’s cold and icy for more than a day we get stir crazy.
Lars has woken up every morning asking if the sun is out and if it’s warm.  He’s chomping at the bit to spend his days outside like usual.  We can bundle up and spend maybe 45 mins outside here and there before the wind becomes too much or it starts raining.

We've had to get really creative to keep all of us from going completely stir crazy. Over the weekend we pulled off all the couch cushions and laid them on the living room floor, covered them with a blanket and poured all of Lars’ stuffed animals around them and pretended to be on a boat or a safari or in the tractor on a farm.  We baked and cooked.  We made popsicles.  We wore out our excitement with play dough, colors, markers and glitter (bob bought glitter and I served him with divorce papers….not really but it was close.  I despise glitter).  Lars even found some paper lanterns from Ikea that use to hang in nursery and he thought they were the coolest for the 30 minutes they lasted before he destroyed them.  We organized his books and purged some of his toys.  I even purged my closet.  We were getting desperate.  I think even the cats were going a little nuts. They have a little doggy door that allows them go outside whenever but the whole thing was covered in ice all weekend.

We ventured out yesterday to pick up some indoor activities (being that the rest of the week is a total cluster of more clouds and rain and cold) that included a wooden animal paint set, balloons, play dough tools, coloring books, bubbles (because we wanted to see if they would freeze outside….they didn’t), cut out animals and food…lots of food.  We emptied out beer boxes and made animals caves out of them, we had dance offs and made up songs.  We filled the master tub up as high as it would go with bubbles and jumped in.  All of this was fun, but it just doesn't compare to playing outside. 


We don’t mind the cold but we want a little sunshine please.  

morning snuggles may be my favorite part of the day

making granola bars

he asked if it was warm out and when i said no he laid on the floor and siged.  a bit dramatic? yes, but i feel his pain. 

the magical paper lanterns and a beer box = fun for at least 30 minutes

these two make my heart swoon.  they walk alike, talk a like, look alike

all his stuffed animals on the boat

paper lantern fun

never in my life did i imagine i would love so much and find such joy.  true happiness is looking into those sweet big blue eyes. 

We are dreaming of these days

painting rocks and flower pots

looks like i interrupted some boy talk but they sure are adorable!

hiking on the property

walking through the creek hunting for dinosaurs. 


FOOD

corn and black bean fritters with cilantro lime yogurt sauce and sweet potato fries

homemade roasted butternut squash and kale pizza with goat cheese


smoothie bowl with chia and hemp seeds, honey and bananas. 

our homemade granola bars

vegetable soup.  no recipe needed, just empty out the fridge. 

hummus...can never have enough hummus






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