elaby: (Cheburashka - Juggling)
[personal profile] elaby
I’m going to talk about food and my dietary choices :D I’ve learned that food is something that touches people on an extremely personal level, so please know that my decisions, my likes and dislikes, are what’s best for me and only me – I would never want anyone to feel belittled or as if I think they should change their own choices because of what I do. Just sayin’ <3

Major changes in food choices tend to happen over long periods of time for me. I had always been picky with meat, and then I would only eat meat we cooked ourselves, and finally I would only eat it on special occasions like Thanksgiving. This developed from a feeling I’ve always had: meat grosses me out. When I examined that, I realized it was the idea of eating the flesh of an animal that disturbed me. When I decided to become completely vegetarian, I was incredibly happy with my decision. Sure, it’s been inconvenient at times, but never as inconvenient as a myriad of other dietary restrictions can be. I’ve never regretted it.

When I had to give up a bunch of different foods last spring in an effort to solve my (ultimately anxiety-related) digestive problems, I stopped eating wheat, soy, nuts, and eggs all at once, cold turkey (so to speak). I was utterly miserable. Giving up food for health reasons feels very different from giving it up for ethical reasons.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with eggs. They’re such a good non-meat breakfast protein that I’d eat them whenever we went out for breakfast, and then I’d just get to feeling terribly sick of them and avoid them for months. I used to bring an egg to work every morning and microwave it in a ramekin to make an Egg McMuffin. Then all of a sudden the egg just grossed me the hell out (even though it was cooked the same every time). No more Egg McMuffins after that. Since I made the decision to be full-time vegetarian, I’ve thought more and more about why I’m doing it. I tell people it’s because I don’t like meat, and that’s true – sort of. I loved the taste of corned beef hash and I loved roast turkey. What I don’t like is the idea of meat. And I’ve come to understand that I don’t like the idea of eggs, either.

I find eggs to be too close to the concept of “animal flesh” that made me not want to eat meat. Most commercially available eggs aren’t fertilized, which comforted me for a while, but that was splitting hairs. Coupled with this are the horrifying practices of factory farming. I can find organic, cage-free eggs that remove the concern that the chickens are treated cruelly (and I did buy those for a while) but why continue when the idea of eating eggs at all is unpleasant to me?

Yesterday I talked about it with Rachel, and I stopped eating eggs or anything with egg in it. We’re going to experiment with baking and see what egg substitutes we can find for things like pancakes and cookies. This may seem like a small change, but it makes me feel really good. I’m in control of what I put in my body and I want my choices to be conscious.

I don’t have any feelings of revulsion towards milk or milk products. I do want to choose my sources carefully, though, because I know that the large-scale dairy industry raises just as many concerns about animal cruelty. There’s a local dairy cooperative called Cabot that operates in New England and New York, and we visit their factory whenever we go to Vermont. The cooperative is made up of 1,200 farming families and 100% of the profits go to the families. They also have a stringent ethical code that supports the comfort and health of their cows. None of their cheese is made with animal rennet, much to my happiness, and they have the appropriate religious authorities certify most of their cheeses as Kosher and Halal. They seem to be really responsible and I’m comfortable buying my milk products from them.

Date: 2015-02-25 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] minyan.livejournal.com
I have a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies that I love (written down awhile ago from a friend's vegan cookbook) that substitutes almond milk or soy milk for the egg and vegetable shortening for butter. I first made them with something like earth balance, I think. You make a chocolate dough, and a filling from peanut butter and powdered sugar, and roll balls of the filling and surround them with the dough … and they're amazing.

And the vegan restaurant on Route 4 near you guys, which is still one of the best restaurants I've ever been to, hands down, used to make a chocolate pie with a filling made from melted chocolate and silken tofu. Tasted like dense chocolate mousse.

There are a lot of delicious things to eat in the world, is all I'm saying. :-) And feeling good about feeling in control of what you eat sounds healthy and natural and empowering. And who was it who said … it's hard to beat a good ripe peach? Bless you, my dear, and I'm glad you're feeling happy. And it should be maple season soon.

Date: 2015-02-25 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elaby.livejournal.com
<3333 I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to maple season! That recipe for cookies sounds AMAZING. I definitely have to try it :) And Susty's is one of my favorite places ever!

So much love <3

Date: 2015-02-25 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sugarmaplelife.livejournal.com
:) New baking experiments! :D

Date: 2015-02-25 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elaby.livejournal.com
<3 I'm excited! :)

Date: 2015-02-25 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mermaiden.livejournal.com
This is wonderful, Katie. <333333333333 I'm super happy that you sound so happy. <333333333333

If you have ANY QUESTIONS EVER about what type of egg substitute to use in what situation, you can ask me! (And I'll just tell you some stuff here, just for a quick note! Ener-G Egg Replacer will be your new best friend in all baking situations, but especially in pancakes [whip the hell out of it when you make it!]. If you're doing a fruity baking thing, chia can replace eggs, and if you're doing a bread, a flax egg will work perfectly. If you're doing a banana baked good [or a baked good that would taste fine with a banana edition], use one banana per egg, and use one quarter to one third cup applesauce, if a recipe is fruity. Again, let me know if you have any questions! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!! <333333)

Date: 2015-02-25 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caitirin.livejournal.com
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. I love being able to ask people I trust who have tried all these things before. It'll help a lot!

Date: 2015-02-25 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elaby.livejournal.com
<333333333333! I love you too! *HUGS* Thank you so, SO MUCH for this information! It's really wonderful to know that there are different substitutes for different situations. I'm also really excited to try these egg substitutes in baking. I feel so lucky that you've done so much baking experimentation and that I can ask you about recipes <3 <3 <3 <3 You are amazing!

Date: 2015-02-25 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lathriel.livejournal.com
I didn't know that about Cabot! That's lovely to hear, they're one of the less expensive cheese options out here.

Kudos to you for listening to your body and your heart! Too many people refuse to acknowledge when conventional foods aren't suiting them, and end up making themselves sick in the process.

(I go through egg phases myself, even though I'm a meat-eater--can't explain it, but sometimes I eat eggs every other day, sometimes I won't eat them for a year. Same with chicken! *shrugs*)

Good luck with your kitchen experiments!

Date: 2015-02-25 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elaby.livejournal.com
Thank you! :D <3 <3 <3 I thought you might have Cabot around where you live! I'm pretty impressed with them.

Date: 2015-02-25 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brightmarie.livejournal.com
Sometimes I feel like meat is a bit gross and I can only eat it if it's cooked in a few specific ways of my liking. I like meat but I don't tend to eat it much probably because I'm blood type A. I pretty much only eat pork, chicken and beef like most Americans but I really don't like turkey, never developed a taste for it. It probably has something to do with the fact that my dad cut one in the throat and bleed it out in the backyard once when I was young.
I had to completely give up eggs because I developed an allergy to it but I don't miss it and it kinda grosses me out because of the texture. But I can still eat it processed and I don't mind because the idea doesn't bother me.
Milk doesn't bother me but I think people should stop drinking milk after infancy.
Be picky, eat what you like and do what you like regardless of people's opinions.

Date: 2015-02-25 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elaby.livejournal.com
Yeah, I'm glad I made the decision :)

Date: 2015-02-26 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coastal-spirit.livejournal.com
I love your subject line! Hee.

Good for you for making eating choices that make you happy and satisfied. I have always believed that no one should put anything into their body that they don't want to eat, and eating anything that grosses you out is not in your best interest, even if it's a healthy food. As always, I totally support your eating decisions. ♥ ♥
Edited Date: 2015-02-26 02:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-02-26 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elaby.livejournal.com
You're the best, Mama <333 I thought you'd like the title XD


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