My mom brought me into the kitchen when I was 8 and began guiding my hands in the process of kneading bread. She passed on skills and recipes, but she gave me more than that. She also taught me to think – to improvise, substitute, taste, season, to consider the foods I nourish my body with. My mom planted the early seeds of who I have become as a mother, a wife, a chef to my family.
. . .
In our home food has always been a conversation. I am a curious consumer, and so by association are those who eat with me most often – my family.
A few months ago, D and I began a new conversation. We began talking about eating more whole foods, healthier foods, less meat, less dairy, etc. My husband loves meat and cheese, so the fact that he was even willing to explore new ideas with me is basically awesome. But in the end, he said he has begun to think about the kinds of things he eats in new ways (since being with me!), and he is just curious enough to go bold with me.
We brought the smalls in on the conversation. Small girl is an adventurous eater – always up for trying new things. Small boy may not be as adventurous as his sister, but he is also pretty laid back and did not take much convincing.
As the conversation continued though, it became clear that we wanted to experiment with veganism, not just “healthier.” Whole foods, plant-based eating. No animal products in our diet.
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So the adventure begins. . . Well, almost. The plan is to commit to veganism for a month and re-evaluate. I think we are all pretty convinced we will go back to eating animal products in some capacity. But the goal is to remain open-minded, to evaluate how this new way of eating makes us feel (for better or worse), and to at least decrease our reliance on animal protein after the month is over.
First step: Use up the non-plant foods we currently have in the house. This meant a major overhaul of our pantry, fridge, and freezer yesterday. I was actually surprised to see how little we have in the house.
One shelf in the fridge. No, our kimchi is not vegan – it has fish sauce in it. I guess I will have to rethink that recipe, because I do not plan to give up kimchi.
One drawer in the freezer. Some fish. A jar of chili. Pancakes. Yogurt culture (I will miss yogurt). A pound of ground beef from a local farm.
Our gorgeous pantry. It is hard not to want to eat plant-based foods when they are this beautiful. Seriously.
. . .
Today we shared a few thoughts about this upcoming change. Some things I want to remember:
The hardest thing to give up.
Small girl: Cheese.
Small boy: Bacon.
The most anticipated thing.
D: Beer is vegan (sigh of relief). Trying new recipes.
Small girl: More vegetables.
Small boy: Lots of avocado.
Me: Paying attention to how my body feels.