So, because of Facebook, I don't blog at all anymore. Sad, I know. But I don't have much time for it anyway, so it's probably ok. :) However, I have been frustrated with my recipe storage methods and I keep forgetting amazing meals we have that should be "family favorites," but that I fully forget about and we never have again. I was toying with creating an online recipe collection somewhere that I can store and access them any time... then I remembered: I HAVE A FOOD BLOG. Idiot.
So, I am going to be archiving my favorite recipes on here now so I can easily access ALL of them, like I already do with 5 or so I repeatedly make off this blog. Most of them are not my recipes, so I will link the post where I found them, but some (ok, most) I have altered somewhat and I will note that as well. :)
Also, for some background (because it's going to become apparent otherwise)... we have switched to a vegan-style diet (I say vegan-style because people are fucking stupid and when you say that word, it creates a mindset where they want to "catch" you with an animal product, or hyper-focus on the products and choices you are making to show you where you're wrong. This isn't why I want to be vegan. More below.) as a family and so my recipes will mostly be animal-product-free and I am trying to eliminate as many preservatives and synthetic ingredients as possible from our diet.
So, this begs the question, "What the heck for?" Good question. Well, beginning in September of 2013, I got sick... your normal gross head and tummy stuff, just basic sick. Then a few days later, my Dad was paralyzed in a car accident which increased my stress level 10 fold, and from that point until the beginning of the year, I was sick almost exclusively (and I gained 20 pounds in two months)... I would get "better" from one sick and then a few days later, immediately get another sick. I had everything! Chronic bronchitis, sinus infections, colds, the flu, norovirus, and eventually, pneumonia. All in a matter of 3 months. I thought I was dying. I know this year has been tough on almost everyone in the sick department, but my hair was being limp and weird, I had the worst eczema flare up that I have ever had, that would not get better, regardless of creams that typically work fine. So I started to wonder if this was more of an issue than I thought.
This lead me to an embarrassing amount of research on immunity (70% of your immune response is directly related to the health of your gut, just FYI. :)), diet, and chronic illnesses. I watched dozens of videos and documentaries, I read even more research studies and meta-analyses of research spanning decades, and eventually, I came to the conclusion that I needed to change my diet. I was eating too much crap, and not enough "real" food. And then I watched a documentary called Vegucated. I would highly recommend it, but it was the final catalyst that made me decide that to make a true change for my health and my family, it needed to be to a fully plant-based diet. We have tried saying we will "eat less meat" in the past, but with all of the research I have done, I am convinced that animal products do not need to be in our diets as humans, and with the current state of big agriculture, industry practices in the beef, pork, and dairy industry are downright revolting and simply not nutritious. Antibiotics and genetic engineering are more prevalent than they have ever been and only history will be able to tell what we have gotten ourselves into as a culture and how it will impact our health.
As far as the health side, I have always been very concerned with what I feed my kids, and this has just reaffirmed why I care so much. There are correlations all over the place between dairy and meat consumption and health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says vegans are less likely to develop a whole host of illnesses including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
And then there is the impact on the planet that meat production has. I could literally go on and on, but I will spare you. The point is, we decided this is the best choice for our family right now. I am not trying to live by a label and I certainly don't want to say "we don't eat _____". But I want to try to keep my family as healthy and happy as possible (vegans have lower instances of depression and anxiety than meat eaters, hehe). BUT, I have found a ton of alternatives to meat and dairy that we have easily implemented in our diet, and I am loving trying all the new recipes I am finding. So here's to this new adventure! (Also, I've lost 21 pounds a counting... I still have 40 to go, but I have been on a slow and steady course of weight loss since my birthday in the beginning of February so I am very happy with my progress so far). My goal is to be the healthiest I have ever been by my 30th birthday this coming year. Readyyyyy, set, GO!