Sunday, November 08, 2009

Midlife Food Crisis: What Is Your Food Story?

I've been having a little bit of a midlife food crisis. Ever since I saw Alicia Silverstone on The Joy Behar Show talking about her new book The Kind Diet, there has been this little voice in my head bugging me each time I'm choosing what to eat that says, "Eat less animal products."

You have to understand, I was a vegetarian, and then a vegan for most of my twenties, and then a full on meat eater in my 30s (Thought: maybe my body likes different diets for different decades?). We don't cook a lot of meat at home, but I do love milk and eggs, and once in a while, a good hamburger.

You can see why I'm feeling a little confused.

Anyway, I've been eating a lot less animal products lately, and have been cooking up a storm with my Veganomicon (I recently made her chili cornmeal-crusted tofu, which was delish), and my How It All Vegan and The Garden of Vegan. I'm being flexible in social situations, or when eating out, and just seeing how it goes, and how I feel.

If any movie was going to convince you to become at least a vegetarian it is Food Inc., which I watched this weekend, and highly recommend. I've included the trailer below to give you a taste.

So tell me, how do you make the food choices you make, whether it is to be a meat eater, a vegetarian, a vegan, a flexitarian, or whatever? I'd love to hear your stories.

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  1. You really want to know? In 2001, the World Trade Center got blown up. There was an amazing amount of debris in the atmosphere, and I had the good fortune a few days later to be listening to the radio and Robert Cohen—the Not-Milk man—was talking about how dairy is nothing but "pus with hormones and glue."

    I saw this as my cue to cut out the dairy so I could breathe; I live only a mile and a half from Ground Zero. I did, and it was a revelation: no more clogged nasal passages! I gave up meat shortly thereafter.

    Why do we eat animal products? Because they're delicious. Do we need them? No, we could get the same nutrients from plants—even B12. But on the other side of the coin, some people rationalize that they're only going to live once, and there's nothing to compare to crisp bacon, and dammit, they're going to go for it! It's totally your decision; after all, no one alive on the earth today is going to be alive 100 years from now. In the long run, it doesn't matter.

  2. I love eating everything - call me equal opportunity or just plain hungry... :)

    But since being with the hardcore vegan love of my life and now having a daughter we decided to raise as vegetarian, I too have struggled with my meat and animal product consumption.

    Tasty - oh my yes yes yes. But it seems in stark contrast to the way I live my life in other areas - peaceful, compassionate, as green as possible and sustainable. I just can't justify it anymore.

    What's helped me through this awkward phase (and yes, I still very very occasionally eat meat socially -- but eventually I expect that to drop off too) is discovering how darn easy it is to make a lot of my fave meat-based dishes sans the meat. Seitan, beans, tempeh, tofu, shrooms... it's been a fun adventure :)

    The best part of all this is the fact that the less meat and animal products I eat, the healthier, thinner and more energetic I become. A total win-win-win.

  3. After being hospitalized for a week from the results of a typical American diet coupled with typical American "health" care, I can totally relate!

    In the past year, I've added considerably more raw food to my diet, cut down on meat and sugar, buy only organic and begun juicing every morning.

    I'm still working on it, but feel well on the way back to health.

  4. Scuba Diva, happykatie, and Pamela Grow,

    Thanks so much for sharing your food story. I really appreciate hearing them as I figure this out.


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