Since March, I have been asked the above question more often than I can keep track of. There was a point in my life when my mantra was “I could NEVER ever stop eating meat.” It’s not that I was a ravenous carnivore ripping strip steaks to shreds with my teeth, but I did enjoy my mom’s chicken wings and the honking turkey dagwoods we constructed post-Thanksgiving. Family favorites like cubanos and corned beef sandwiches for St. Patty’s day as well as Italian prosciutto crudo were some of my favorite savory dishes. I think I had prosciutto once a day while I was abroad in Italy. I could eat the meat on anything: with a cracker, on a pizza, in salad, rolled-up, with melon, in a dessert. Given the opportunity, I probably would have eaten prosciutto-flavored gelato.
I decided to stop eating meat in an effort to control the random times my face decided to swell up and leave my face looking awkwardly asymmetrical. I had no idea if this was going to work or not, but at the very least it would be a cleansing exercise. Katelyn had given up meat for Lent to feel healthier (I gave up sweets), so I joined her in a meatless endeavor about two weeks before Easter.
I thought I was going to begin eating meat again after spring break, but I found that I did not really miss it and continued to be veggie. It helped that I had friends Faye and Hillary around for vegetarian support. Luckily, Dickinson provided fresh produce in the main cafeteria from both the college farm and local farms in central Pennsylvania, so I was able to avoid the mystery meat on the grill in the caf.
Five months later, I find myself living California and embracing the green lifestyle of doing yoga and recyclable grocery bags and eating a ton of veggies. Not that I didn’t or couldn’t do this on the east coast, but west coasters seem to be a bit more in tune with being healthy all around. I could get used to this.
I am starting to blog with the intention of documenting the culinary adventures of a new(ish) vegetarian. That might include a dish I eat at a restaurant, something I cook, a bad-ass recipe I come across, or a single ingredient about which I have a lot to say. Although I consider myself relatively healthy, I have a rather large sweet tooth so I will probably post about dessert from time to time :).
I’ll leave you with an anecdote explaining the title of my blog:
My sisters, mom, and I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida over spring break to see some family. My mom, grandfather, and I went to the grocery store to get some staples for the week, as we were staying in our grandfather’s condo in St. Augustine. My mom was running around the market while my grandfather and I stood in the middle of the store with the cart. He looked down at cart abundant with a spectrum of fruits and vegetables not unusual for us. Taken with the amount of produce in the trolley, he then turned to me and said, “Kels, I wasn’t put at the top of the food chain to eat grass.” I didn’t say anything to him, just chuckled to myself and nodded silently.
Well, Nagypapa, sorry to break it to you, but I choose to eat grass.