I am sitting across from a mountain of produce, Macbook and starfruit actually touching, enjoying feelings of happiness and general well being. There is something so healing about visiting the farmers market and seeing how many different ways there are to dress up your dog. There are sweaters, little hats, scarves, mufflers, and for the luckiest dogs, antlers.
There is also a sense of community and connectedness that comes from elbowing your way to the front of the line before the last pineapple mixed fruit container is sold to one of the retirees that was patiently waiting. The fruit is chilled in ice and frankly I think it might have been too cold for them anyway. Plus the grapes were very firm, more of a young man’s fruit… and I am a young man, assuming that you agree with the wise and widely held belief that 39 is the new 24. We young-ins need our chilled pineapple fruit mixes.
I’d like to warn you that starting on Monday there will be a three post series during the week chronicling the types of foods and different diets that I have lived through during the last 39 years that my body has been in use. You will find the honesty both brutal and soul searching, but that can only be expected when discussing Waffle House. The first post covers birth through high school, the second covers the college years (it WAS a 14 year period), and finally, the third post will take us through the last eight on and off Atkins years.
I felt that there needed to be a better personal dietary history available to put this transformation into perspective. I also hope to illustrate how I have no idea what I am doing even though I might seem to be stumbling in the right direction now. These posted gems should also herald the beginning of some regularity for this blog. It is the least I can do to honor the regularity that a plant based living has brought me (*rim shot). You should find these and subsequent blog posts available around 9am EST on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I wanted to give you enough time to clear your schedules and prepare a quiet reading nook with tea, some slippers, and plenty of quiet reflection time afterwards that can be best spent re-posting, re-Tweeting, and email forwarding the posts to as many people as you can. For the dolphins.
Speaking of dolphins, I would like to share three blessings that have made the switch to a vegan lifestyle easier.
1. Raw Organic Cheesy Kale Chips– Jen (Pure Mobile Cafe or @PureMobileCafe for the Tweet enabled) makes these delicious snacks that I discovered at the farmers market today. I’d seen all the words that make up this snack’s name used before, but never together, and NEVER in that order. I’m not kidding when I say it tastes better than Cheetos and any other chip you’d serve at a Super Bowl Party. I should also mention that the Faux Cheesecake she made is way better than the cheese-eater variety.
Jen, the vegan chef, also pointed me in the direction of a market that focuses on locally grown produce which is going to be my family’s new primary source of food. I didn’t realize how far the farmers market produce traveled to get to market. That is why the vegan community is so spectacular. There are solutions for any cruelty-free bump in the road and vegans love to help each other. There is a wealth of knowledge that comes from plugging into the v-community.
2. Vegan Holiday Kitchen/Jennifer– the first part of number two is a book by Nava Atlas filled with everything I thought I’d be missing during the holidays. My incredibly supportive sister is the second part and she mailed this cookbook to me the other day. I continue to paw through the pictures and whimper with gratitude and anticipation.
Besides sending cookbooks, Jennifer was the first to read this blog back when it was still in the single digits. She was the first to follow @Atkins2Vegan on Twitter and the first to like Atkins to Vegan in a Heartbeat on Facebook. Her support and encouragement were surprising considering the number of times I’d pinned her down in our youth playing ‘Dodge the Loo-gee.’ Either 30 years of water under the bridge has healed those wounds or she wants me healthy and happy when she runs me over with a truck. Even if that happened, I’d still be grateful for all of her support.
3. Shannon– this is the woman who I met in 1991, married in 1993 and who later, magically made our three kids, Number One, Number Two and Number Three. We have some history together. The mother of my children and I have run a very similar dietary course over the last twenty years. She was a driving force in the decision to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle. She loves cookbooks, cooking, food, and anything that you would find on the Food Network. Shannon’s love of dairy made her change to a vegan lifestyle a little rocky, but after all the curds and whey settled, she had fully embraced the lifestyle and all of the cookbooks and special utensils that come with it. I am now living the life of the happiest guinea pig ever. I am subjected to experimental salads, sauces, squashes, sushi… all that without even leaving the S section. I love her.
Making the change to a plant based lifestyle or a vegan lifestyle (a complicated Venn diagram that we can hash out in a later post) can be challenging. I highly recommended finding food and people that can help you when willpower alone doesn’t seem like enough. I have been gifted with an abundance of both and have not stopped being grateful for it.
So grateful that I am going to finish that Faux Cheesecake while Shannon is taking her nap (*sad trombone). Grateful doesn’t necessarily mean fair minded or strong willed.