Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Latest Tangent: Vegetarianism

Hello world! It's been awhile. I figured I'd start writing again, since something hugely significant has taken place in my life. If you've been a faithful reader of mine in the past, or if you know me at all, you know I've had struggle after struggle with food. Well, the latest "tangent" (as my mother likes to call it) is that I've become a Vegetarian. I'm going to start blogging about what I'm eating, why I'm eating it, recipes I fall in love with, Vegetarian products I like, etc. For this post, I'm going tell how I got started on Vegetarianism... I believe it was the Holy Spirit, you can believe what you want. :)

It all started with Lent. I went to church one Sunday when one of our Pastors was preaching about Lent: what it is, the history of it, why people give things up, etc. Since leaving the Catholic denomination, I never felt "lead" to give anything up. But, this sermon struck me differently and I heard that still, small voice in my head saying, "Facebook. Give up Facebook." It wasn't until I realized that I didn't WANT to give up Facebook that I knew I NEEDED to. Facebook had become a "filler" for me. I was spending all my extra time on there... looking at people's pictures, playing the games, etc. So, I obeyed and gave up Facebook.

In the 40 days I spent away from Facebook, God started revealing things to me surrounding food. Here's what I learned:

1. Facebook was a substitute. Since I couldn't spend my time on Facebook, I read books instead. My favorite book I read was Julia Child's "My Life in France". It made me reconnect w/one of my passions: FOOD! I love the entire process: shopping for the freshest & best ingredients, cooking/baking/preping the food & finally, consuming the food! I got so excited about food again!!! So hence, Facebook was a substitute - God was showing me that what I think is a good "filler" is really not the BEST filler. He knows what's BEST, He knows reconnecting w/my love for food would fulfill me more than Facebook would.

2. Next, He had me re-examine my relationship with food. I've battled with it for years... eating disorder clinics, Overeaters Anonymous, Weight Watchers, etc. God showed me that food is not the enemy! In fact, He had me ask myself, "Do I even KNOW what foods I like and don't like?" I mean, I've been so sucked into the "weight loss" side of the food, that I stopped ENJOYING my food! I ate turkey dogs, instead of hot dogs, because they were "healthier", but did I ever really TASTE what I was putting in my mouth? So, I started a food journal... not your typical, at X time I ate X and it X amount of calories, etc. BLAH! Nope, this food journal was the food item and all the properties I thought about it: what does it remind me of? Is it crunchy, mushy? Salty, sweet? Etc. WOW! What a revelation! I discovered that I LOVE green grapes and that I HATE turkey dogs! haha! I started TASTING and ENJOYING my food again! :)

3. From there, I started reading Julie Powell's book, "Cleaving". I LOVE Julie Powell, despite many people disliking her. I connect with her and relate to her on many different levels: she's been ridiculed for giving "too much information" about her life, etc. Anyway, I LOVED her book Julie & Julia (and also watch the movie like once a week!) So, this was a natural movement to read the next book. While I still like the book, I had to stop reading it one day. I was always bothered by the descriptions of her cutting through meat, bones, tendons, etc. But in this particular chapter, she witnesses and describes in grave detail, the killing & "preparing" of a pig for the US meat industry. I wept through the chapter. My Spirit couldn't handle it. I immediately felt led to start researching Vegetarianism.

So, that leads me here. I started asking fellow Vegetarians about their lifestyle & follow the blog of an old friend, who turned Vegan. I went to my Pastor's blog to read up on his biblical reasons for being Vegetarian. These things lead me to other resources and the more I learned, the more I knew that God was calling me to give up meat. I feel like this journey has been small baby steps towards this larger lifestyle change. Our God is gracious that way. So, last Friday, I gave up meat and haven't eaten it since.

Here is the video that pushed me over the edge.

Though there have been challenges the past few days, it's been fairly easy. I have to give a shout out to my amazing husband, because though not a Vegetarian, he has been extremely supportive of my decision. He always has been supportive, no matter the "tangent" I'm on. Without his support, it might be a lot harder.