I first became a vegetarian a little over 4 years ago, just before Thanksgiving. You see, I'm all about timing. Growing up on a farm, especially when you're poor, requires you to eat everything that's put in front of you (well, except for pineapple and baked beans. No way, no how) I had stomach issues that started in middle school and ended when I stopped eating meat. If I was the least bit anxious, I'd be sick. If something smelled weird, I'd be sick. If I ate too much (and back then, I ate very little) I'd be sick. After graduation I moved in with my then-boyfriend and we were surrounded by quite a few fast food restaurants. This is where my health went downhill. It was so fast, cheap and easy I was eating it everyday. I gained over 80 pounds and felt awful. My face was broken out all of the time. I kept having to buy bigger clothes and I was so sickened by myself, but I either didn't know how to fix it or I didn't want to try.
After I broke up with the boyfriend, I lived on my own. I decided I was sick of being sick and started Weight Watchers with some coworkers. I'm not an advocate for the program and I'm not getting paid to say this, but it worked. The program got my brain on track of what I was putting into my mouth and how much. I stayed on for about 2 months and couldn't afford to go any longer so I started to apply the ideas to real life, on my own. I also quit eating meat and (most) dairy. I thought that they were the culprits in my stomach issues....and they were.
Now, 4 years after going vegetarian and a couple months of veganism, I had lost a total of 80 pounds and gained a little bit back (still need to cut back on the oil, obviously!) My stomach issues disappeared when I stopped eating processed crap and started making my food from scratch, and not from a box. I absolutely love cooking now. This is coming from a girl that made "scrambled egg soup" and "macaroni soup".
I will relate my first experience at making tofu. I was so excited to make it for my sister in a stir fry - I just assumed it would cook the way it did at Thai restaurants. I don't remember anything about how I attempted to make it, but it was cold and slimy and and neither one of us could eat it. Silly me.
In my next post I'll relate my experiences with crepes and brussel sprouts. Don't get too excited!