"- don't be so quick to knock it. People don't usually part with the weird shit they personally know because they know how easy it will be to punch holes in. Now I'm tellin you somethin. It's for you to poke through the soup and find the meat." John Patrick Shanley's 'the dreamer examines his pillow'

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Good Life

Eating high raw and vegan while traveling – what a trip! (no pun intended) My apologies for my lack of posts – I arrived in Minnesota last night to attend my grandfather’s memorial service, and haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and bang out my reflections until now.
First, I must say that I am very fortunate in that my family (both extended and immediate) has been ridiculously accommodating. There was not a snarky comment to be heard when I opted for only fruits and veggies at dinner last night. I was even taken at my word when I said “no, thank you, this will be more than enough.” Immediately after dinner my jet-lagged parents and brother drove me to the grocery store to pick up some fresh food for my time here. I couldn’t ask for a more loving and supportive family.
At dinner, as we munched on our respective veggies and pork sandwiches, my uncle flipped on the slide-show that will be shown at the memorial service. My handsome grandfather grinned at us from the television, a king in his fishing boat, towering over my fierce little grandmother, letting smaller versions of us cousins pull at his beard, smirking at a stupid joke his son was telling, pipe in hand. He spent his adult life doing what came naturally to him and what he was passionate about; soaking in the great outdoors, shooting the sh*t with gentlemen who needed a good man to look up to gardening, and the social work & counseling that he was still involved with when he passed away. Looking at these snapshots of his life, I couldn’t help but think, “this was a life well lived”.
I want to live my life fully like my grandfather, to be satisfied with the breaths I take. Obviously each of us has to answer for ourselves what the definition of a life well-lived is, and for me, a piece of the puzzle is as simple as exercising most days and eating lots of fruits and veggies - & no meat and dairy. Not only does it make me feel more alive and stave off depression, it’s a choice I can make every day that’s in line with my beliefs about how we should treat the land we live on. And it gives me infinite more energy to be with the people I meet and those I already love, which is deeply important to me.
To be honest, I am so exhausted in so many ways (it’s been a busy few weeks) that once we finally made it to Minnesota, I was tempted to just give up, sleep in, and eat whatever was in front of me. But I want to do honor to the potential for a “life well-lived”, so I’m going to drag my butt out of bed each morning and don my running shoes, and I’m going to say “no thank-you” at least 5 times at every meal, and it will be more than worth it. I know I’ll have more energy and clarity to listen, to be compassionate, to laugh – and I know when I make my body happy it is so much easier to just relax – which may be the most important thing when spending a week with the entire family...

May we all come closer to living our version of a good life this week – and in the years to come.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Hot Tasty Treats

It's more difficult to VegWrite than I imagined... there are so many things to take into consideration; I want to write about the glory of French Fries: how they can be shared joyously with just about anybody, are always cheap and available, and never fail to bring a twinkle to my friends' eyes when they realize they can share a precious part of their big greasy meal with their friend on a “strict diet”. But my conscience is panging at me - is someone who hasn't had much exposure to veganism going to read this and be turned off by the thrill I get out of eating soggy ol' fries? Will they (mistakenly) think that the only joy I find in my diet is in those "naughty" foods that everyone else eats anyway? Do I really want my very first post to be about a digestible whose consumption has contributed to the illness and death of a frightening number of Americans?

Let me tie together my scattered thoughts by saying that while I do believe in the cases where veganism is a choice, the choice is a serious one, whether it's for environmental reasons, health, ethical reasons, etc. It's taking a bigger picture into account than the here-and-now and requires time, effort, and yes, sacrifice, so I do want to take it seriously. However, one of the reasons I am so excited by VeganMoFo is the fact that it puts an undeniably human face on a lifestyle that is often dehumanized. Anyone with the patience to scroll through a few of these blogs will (I'm sure) find the diversity and sheer humanity a potent aspect of the experience... so here's to French Fries and frivolity in the midst of our valiant but flawed attempt to do the right thing.


Thursday, October 01, 2009


I am unbelievably excited for an excuse to chatter on about one of my favorite subjects - food!!

For more info about VeganMoFo (The Vegan Month of Food) check out http://theppk.com/blog/2009/09/18/its-veganmofo-the-vegan-month-of-food/.

I'm typing this on the run, so can only give a quick shout out to Sugar Snap Peas as one of the Perfect Foods this glorious earth has to offer and say - I promise I'll be back tomorrow for my first official VeganMoFo post!

Love and Veggies,