The Reluctant Vegetarian is a mother, wife, and public school teacher of French.

I also am very interested in Buddhism, writing, photography, and none of these are pursued in any formal manner whatsoever.

My decision to revisit becoming vegetarian comes from several factors, some of which include my decision of a few years ago to study and follow some of the tenets of Buddhism, and my awareness and unease with how animals are handled, raised and processed in North America.

After having watched documentaries like Food Inc., and speaking to individuals involved in the food industry, it just really no longer made sense to me at all to be so disgusted by the industry, yet continue to consume it as though I knew nothing about it. I mean really, if it grosses you out, why keep eating it? Just didn’t make sense to me at all.

So, despite the fact that my first attempt at vegetarianism of many years ago ended with me becoming anemic and not being able to get over it until I started eating meat again, I decided to do a Take Two. Hopefully, with the help of some web sites that help track calorie, protein and iron contents of the food I’m eating, I can make some healthier choices and avoid becoming sick again. So far, so good — I’m going on almost a month and feel really great about my diet and decision.

This blog is a space for me to share my experiences as a vegetarian in a very meat-centric neighborhood: The majority of my neighbors are farmers and country folk whose main diet consist of dairy, meat and potatoes. I’m not mocking, it’s a fact of this region, and they have reason to be quite proud of their heritage.

To that end, my approach in this blog is going to be showing how one can survive as a vegetarian/aspiring vegan in this type of environment. Can I successfully attend “bring a dish to pass” events without grossing everyone out yet still giving myself a viable, filling option? How am I juggling the idea of making a meat dish for the rest of my family while I make a meatless dish for myself?

Finally, this blog also is designed to provide a space for me to share recipes — some will be found (all the found ones will be sourced as best as possible), some will be my own — that are for foods that do NOT attempt to make ‘pseudo-meat’ dishes.

One of my pet peeves is “meatless meat” foods — think soy turkey, facon, fake ham, etc. It has always bugged me that some vegetarians want their cake and eat it too. There are so many amazing meatless vegetarian and vegan dishes out there to be had, I never understood why anyone would spoil that by trying to re-create a whole turkey out of tofu. Ew. The disturbing irony of that is just too great for me. I can’t do it.

There is no need for it, and with this blog, I hope to prove that.
There’s more to my meatless philosophy, and you can read more about it if you’re interested, on my other blog about my Buddhist practice, here:http://beginningdharma.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/the-reluctant-vegetarian/

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey there! I just discovered your blog and I love it! More power to you for choosing a vegetarian diet after having issues with it in the past. My husband and I have been following a vegan diet for a year and a half. We started for health reasons (to help lower my husband’s blood pressure and cholesterol). We generally follow the diet from Esselstyn’s “The Engine 2 Diet.” We later watched the movie, Vegucated, and learned about how animals are treated on factory farms. This horrified us and added an ethical component to how we eat.

    I’ve just finished the book, “Vegan for Life,” written by two nutritionists specializing in vegan diets. They had lots of good info about how to eat a healthy vegan diet. I realize that you’re vegetarian and not vegan, but you still might get something from this book (lots of info about how to get iron). In a nutshell, here’s what they have to say about getting iron: Vitamin C helps you to absorb iron, so eat vitamin C-rich foods with every meal. Don’t drink coffee or take calcium supplements with meals as these keep you from absorbing iron (okay to have these between meals).

    It’s a pleasure to e-meet you!! Celeste πŸ™‚

    • Nice to e-meet you too!

      Thanks for all the great information! I’m going to need to look into these authors, they sound like a great source of helpful information.

      While I’m not vegan at this point, I’m an aspiring one. I have to admit that with two kids and two working parents, I find it difficult to do what it takes to even be vegetarian, let alone vegan.

      I’m actually working on an entry about that … slowly LOL. That being said, I definitely do agree with that idea that eating any animal products is basically ethically wrong. I try to eat most of my meals as animal-free as possible.

      Thanks again for your health tips! I”m going to keep them in mind! I’d also love to hear any further ideas/advice you might have about issues I run into and questions I have.

      Talk soon!

      • Thanks for your thoughtful reply! I so get how hard things can be when life is busy (I say this and I don’t even have any kiddos!). Anyway, it took me a while to transition to being vegan and even now I’m not perfect. You’re doing what you can, and that’s wonderful!! Celeste πŸ™‚

  2. I have been a vegetarian for about four years now and the path to vegetarianism sounds a lot like yours. Food Inc. sealed the deal for me (among other reasons). I too have been diagnosed anemic but I make sure to include iron rich foods, such as greens (lots and lots of greens) as much as possible. I invite you look at my blog for recipes you may enjoy: http://veggiechica.com

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