Thursday, June 24, 2010

Personal Vegetarian Goals

I was taking a look back at one of last year's personal journals and I came across a list of my vegetarian goals.

The Journal entry was dated June 15, 2009, so yes, it's been a year, and I think it's a good idea to post them and my thoughts on them, because I'm working on coming up with new goals. I may or may not post them. But there will be goals, and they will be written down somewhere.

So, here are the personal goals I created:

1. Go Vegetarian for the Summer - I know I wanted to transition to vegetarian for life, but that first goal was to make it through the summer. If I couldn't make it through the summer, then what was the point.

So I was successuful in that goal. After that, the goal was to make it through the rest of the year. And I did that.

2. Obtain a subscription to a Vegetarian Magazine. Not a problem. Of course I didn't know how to start.

Not to jump off subject, but this goal reminded me of the nature of my friendships. It messes my head UP when I hear of people drifting apart due to someone making changes to better themselves. Oh it just hurts my heart. I don't see much of that in my life. I told a friend what I was trying to do, and even though they had no intention of doing it too (and NO! I am NOT the type to drag people into my ventures. No way, no how), she immediately made a phone call to one of her veg friends on her own and they told me what magazine I needed to take a look at. (That's how friends should be. I'm the same way with mine. I will cheerlead your tail all the way if you got goals, man. It ain't my goal, but I'm just happy you trying to do something special, and I wanna be in on it!)

So I began reading Vegetarian Times. OH HOW I LOVE THIS MAGAZINE.

It is a great magazine, very nice for beginners like myself. Every issue is chock full of good recipes, and nice articles on different fruits and vegetables and products. I get many ideas from it, and it gives me hope. LOVED-ED it.

I read the magazine for about four months, and I got a subscription. I love opening my mailbox and seeing it there! Look forward to it each and every month!

3. Purchase one vegetarian cookbook. I did that. The one book that was recommended by the friend's above friend was The Passionate Vegetarian.

I'm not a big fan of this cookbook. Oh, don't get me wrong. It's nice, and good for someone just starting out. BUT, I'm strange. I like cookbooks with big beautiful pictures of food. This isn't that type of cookbook. Not one picture in the book. Sigh.

But it is the size of a telephone book. And I LOVE how there are HUGE history and nutritional discussions on each and every fruit, vegetable, nut and grain. That's what I will remember about this cookbook. So I learned much information.

I can't say that I've used it much. Although there is a ginger lemon sorbet that I've made in my ice cream maker that is DIVINE. That is the best sorbet in the world. I think I had a sore throat one day, and it completely knocked it down. I was happy for that. And I have gotten many ideas from it. Knowing what I know now, and the plethora of new fruits, grains, and vegetables I've tried over the past year, I can go back to this cookbook and start working on some of the recipes!

4. Cook 3 new vegetarian dishes. That's a bit vague. I think the context of which I wrote that was probably to cook three new vegetarian dishes for the summer. I accomplished that goal. No, I don't remember what I cooked.

I think right now, I cook 2 or 3 new dishes a month. I try just as many new items a month. So that's good.

I read somewhere that I should eat something new every DAY. Yes there are enough items out there to achieve that (I have a pepino melon in the fridge right now. It is the size of a small mango. And I cooked purple cabbage last week.)

But for now I think I'll stick to making sure I stay on track with that goal above.

5. One day every two weeks (biweekly), go completely raw. Nope, I haven't done that. Should be easy enough, but it is something I would have to plan. Raw diets are like, the height of veganism. And I wasn't attentive enough to do that.

Here's what people that only eat raw food believe (and it appears to be true): when you cook food, you destroy many of the natural enzymes. Yes, this does occur with heat, so they get over into a way of cooking where nothing is heated over 110 degrees, I believe.

Interesting. And there are classes in "raw cooking". One of Green Eyed Bandit's homegirls took a class in the ATL somewhere. And uh, yeah, Bandit, you need to hook us up in a 3 way phone call so I can talk to her. I would LOVE to take that class.

There's a raw food section in the cold area of the Vegan co-op where I shop. Some company in the ATL specializes in it, and they make up little TV dinners and desserts, etc. Real interesting. They have dishes like vegan salmon croquettes and pad thai. BUT that ish is expensive. Averages around nine dollars or so per entree. And no, not family portions, but basically enough to fill a small saucer. I've never had those.

Now I did buy a piece of apple pie. The portion size is the size of a small brownie. That was six dollars. Uh, let's just say I made that apple pie last a couple of weeks. It was GREAT, and I'd love to know how to prepare it, BUT I think taking a class would be more helpful. Organic food is terribly expensive as it is, but prepared raw food takes the expense to some other level.

Not for me. But I could easily have a day where I eat salads with a dash of lemon juice. And fruits. That's not a problem and I may revisit the idea.

6. Read a book on Vegan or Vegetarian living per season. Yep, that was easy enough. It started out with one of the Dummies books, Vegans for Dummies. I've read a few other books since then. I like to read, so this is simple enough.

This is how I feel about books: I'm not trying to soak up everything. Just those one or two things for me. Certain things stick with me. Like from one book, I learned much about water. From another, I understand much about the nature of raw food and enzymes. And with me being a chemist, I love and remember anything that gets down to the chemical nature of food (Afterall, I am a food chemist and a closet phytochemist, lol). For this reason, I changed the type of mushrooms I eat, etc.

Books can get a little strange. Information abounds, but it can get politcal real fast. There are a lot of soap-box vegetarians, who seem to look down on anyone who even thinks about eating a piece of meat. And that comes through in the books. Much is said for shock value. Sorry, but just because you are where you are in life, that doesn't mean it's easy for everyone else, and you have the right to look down your nose at people. This happens all the time, and I hate it. I am nothing like that. We all have our paths in life, and my goal is to walk my path, and support you in your life path. PERIOD.

This is why certain things are missing from my goals list. This is probably the reason I've not reached out to a vegetarian support group. I don't look like the everyday vegetarian. I'm not picking up a picket up a picket sign to protest animal cruelty. I am not picking up the "Protect the environment" mantra. I hate to admit it, but those things are not on my life's board right now.

I want to learn to eat healthier, as it may help with my lupus problems. THAT is the ultimate goal. And like I said before, I've kilt off 90% of my symptoms.

I want to LEARN.

I like books with that in mind. That is hard to find. But I do learn from all books. Not a problem.

Sometimes you have to pick through the chaff to get to the wheat. And that's cool. As long as you get busy picking!

Okay! So I ended with a little food for thought. Heck, there's a bit of food for thought scattered throughout the post. I want to write whole posts on such, and I think I still will.

So those were my goals starting out. I look at them now, and they seem a bit vague, as they should be for me who is starting out from the ground, and alone.

I pat myself on the back. I am proud of the progress I've made in the past 12 months. To be eating healthier, and to have reduced my meat intake by some 95% makes me happy. My confidence is high, and I will continue to learn.

So, I will think on this, and use them to come up with future goals.


  1. I am going to take care of that today!

  2. Great progress, sis! I've been a pescatarian (no meat except fish) for ten years, and I wish I had made my transition as diligently as you have.


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