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Facing opposition

As I’m sure you know by now, the Yankees won the World Series!

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Even though I’m not a big baseball fan (I used to follow the closest team to us, the Cincinnati Reds, when I was much younger) my husband loves all the New York teams because that is where his dad is from and since I visited New York earlier this year and fell in love, I figured, why not?

I look a bit sleepy in that picture, huh?

Since I was already up late last night watching the end of the game, I figured why not de-seed a pomegranate and use it in my oatmeal in the morning? I hadn’t had pomegranate since it was in season last year, so I was very excited to use it, especially after hearing all the wonderful stories of the bloggers who got to visit POM in California.

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I love how the arils (aka seeds) have sort of a sweet and sour taste. They really complement the oatmeal well and for me, oatmeal just isn’t complete without nut butter. Seriously, how did I do it before?

Serious Stuff

Now, as per the title of this post…I have been doing a lot of observing and reflecting lately on this whole vegan venture. I would not go as far as to say that I have faced much opposition but there are things I notice about how people act when you make personal, dietary changes.

There are those people, like many of my friends, who are very supportive and literally go out of their way to accomodate you, which is more than I would ever even think to ask for. These people are definitely the majority. I’d like to think that I too fit into this group because I have had many friends over the years who were vegetarian off and on, plus Josh who has very picky eating habits. Not to mention my family. 

On the flip side, there are people who will still accomodate you but complain about it as they do it…I don’t want that either. I dislike it when people try to hang stuff over your head to try and make you feel guilty, whether it is 100% intentional or not.

There are the people who roll their eyes because they associate “vegan” with sign-holding, PETA card-carrying, red paint throwing, etc. There are the people annoyed because they think I’m doing all of this to get attention, which, if they really knew anything about me would know I hate attention. I don’t even take compliments well.

And there are also those who don’t take you seriously because you’ve changed your diet so many times. Honestly, if I wasn’t me, I might not take me seriously either. But this life of mine is a journey, constantly evolving, and I choose to make food a big part of that.

I have also found it very challenging living with someone who eats the complete polar opposite of you. I’m not talking about a few differences here. Josh likes meat, potatoes, pasta and not a lot of fruit or veggies. I eat pretty much nothing but veggies. We do try to have dinner together at our dining room table as much as possible during the week even though we prepare separate meals and we go out to eat on the weekends, taking turns at who gets to pick the place, which is becoming more difficult too. Thank God for P.F. Chang!

We are opposites on a lot of other things too and both severely stubborn and hard-headed. That’s Taurus and Leo for you. But for many other reasons, we love each other and Josh and I have defied many odds together over the years, so I’ve no doubt that this is just another adventure in our relationship. I know he thinks I’m crazy, but I also hope that in some weird way, he respects me for my choices too.

For me, other than having a growing relationship with God, food is my biggest interest. The thing I spend so much time thinking about, what I get so much enjoyment out of. Considering how the first 25 years of my life were spent with an entirely different relationship with food, most of it disordered, this is huge. But I know as far as my close friends and family go, I am alone in that. I don’t expect anyone to understand or share my same level of passion, unfortunately. I think this is hard for me to accept sometimes because so much of what we do, socially, revolves around food.

And I do struggle with my own judgments sometimes, when I see how other people eat, because in a lot of ways I think they are dishonoring their body. I’m not talking about non-vegans, I’m speaking of the “I just don’t care” people. The people who mindlessly eat anything without any consideration for what they are putting into their bodies. The people who are ill and diseased but refuse to learn or change anything. But I’ve been there too. And I know firsthand, a person’s diet is such a private thing (even if it is on public display) so I try my hardest to just suck it up and not let it bother me.

I have never been more thankful for the food blogging community than I am right now. Thank goodness there is an outlet, a place to air my thoughts about food, a group of people who understand and feel the same way I do. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. So if you are reading this, or you’ve left me a comment before, or you write a blog too…THANK YOU.

All this being said, I am not going to waiver or give up on my goals. I chose this for me, which is not something I do very often. I love animals and I am learning more about the ethical side of veganism (with the help of some really great cyber-friends) as I go along, but first and foremost, I chose this diet for my health and for my own reasons. I happen to feel the best I have ever felt in my life. I have no digestive problems, my energy levels are insanely good and I’m hoping this will also eventually have a positive effect on my hormones.

I am also the happiest, most content and peaceful I have ever been. This experience has provided me with so much clarity that I have been able to focus on what is really important in life and stop sweating the small stuff. Coincidence? Maybe. But why change anything now?

Have you dealt with opposition toward your diet before? How did you handle it?