Closeted Vegan

About 3 years ago I encountered a health problem. A painful, persistent, and obnoxious health problem that I would rather not discuss in detail. I visited many, many doctors, was on a lot of medications, and was pretty much in constant pain all the time. Nothing helped. I was desperate and began to lose faith in western medicine.

At the time I was living in California, and a friend asked me repeatedly to watch Forks Over Knives. I dismissed her suggestions thinking it was just another food documentary that was going to try and change the way I ate. No thank you! Eventually, we did watch it. We thought it was informative and maybe one day when steak didn’t taste good anymore we would try it. As you can imagine, steak continued to taste reeaally good so we didn’t try it.

My problem persisted, and in a moment of complete desperation I decided to adopt a plant-based diet for 4 weeks. What did I have to lose? I was already completely miserable. What could a couple a weeks without any animal products really do? Well, it did a lot. When the four weeks were done my pain was gone. Gone! I tried to deny it was the diet. I went back to eating all the wonderful goodness that is meat and cheese, and guess what, my pain came back. I don’t know exactly why dropping the animal products makes a difference and frankly I don’t care. After almost 4 years I am finally pain free.

There is only one problem. I am ashamed to be vegan/plant-based. Mostly because I’m in the food industry, and for many years I mocked vegans and vegetarians, scoffed at their personal preferences, and thought of them as nuisances that would just ruin the flow of service at a restaurant. I have no problem whatsoever with the humane killing of animals. I love a good steak, would do almost anything for a stinky French cheese, and don’t even get me started on ice cream. Honestly, I just don’t want to be THAT person. You know, the one that goes to a fancy restaurant and orders a salad and some steamed vegetables. Sigh.

I am also a firm believer in never refusing food, especially when you’re a guest at somebody house. It is plain rude. How do you tell your host that you will not be eating the food she spend hours making, because you have suddenly decided not to eat meat? It is particularly difficult when they have seen you stuff your face before with all kinds of delicious animal products. You see what I mean?

Eventually, I found an acceptable solution. I started taking one day off a week. This way I can still eat my cheese and not look like a total jerk when I’m invited over for dinner. I don’t know if someday I will be able to accept this new phase of my life or how long it will last.

Don’t worry, this blog is not going vegan. However, you will be seeing more vegan/plant-based recipes, but there will also be some good ol’ artery clogging ones. That of course I will be making on my day off:)

Here are some of my favorite recipe so far:

Amaranth Hemp-Seed Apricot Granola

Quinoa and Zucchini Stuffed Chiles Rellenos & Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Banana Cinnamon Ice Cream



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