I’ve been a vegetarian for over a year now (as of September 1st, 2007). I became a vegetarian because I wanted to be more healthy and because I had gradually stopped liking meat and had started realizing how bad it actually is for you. I did not become a vegetarian for any sort of animal rights, I think that is a stupid reason to not eat meat, if you’re going to commit to something like that you should do it for yourself and your own health.
I competed a Master Cleanse (lemonade cleanse) in early/mid September 2008 as a transition into a healthier vegan lifestyle (and the start of an eventual raw food lifestyle) and have been vegan with a few minor exceptions. It took my family a while to be supportive of my choice to become a vegetarian, they are a very SAD based diet family and literally have meat at every meal except breakfast (and only not at breakfast because it’s usually on the go), when I came home from school last year they complained when they had to make lasagna without meat because apparently adding more vegetables wouldn’t make it just as delicious? My mom worries that I don’t get enough protein right now though she doesn’t believe me that the average American eats far more protein than they need and that I’m am getting plenty without eating meat and in a healthier way. So I have not told my family that I do not eat ANY animal products anymore because my mom (a nurse, educated by the nutrients from the wonderful SAD diet), would worry about me being malnourished so it is easier for both of us if I just keep it to myself for now. And since she is a nurse, no matter how much I could explain to her the benefits of vegan/raw vs. yucky/SAD, she "knows better" because she is a nurse and has been educated in nutrition. I think one of the issues is that my best friend tried being a veggie a few years back and miserably failed because she didn’t like beans/legumes or nuts so basically she didn’t get enough protein or iron and it effected her health. I’d hate to have her be on my case with getting enough calcium as well (because clearly the only thing that has calcium in it is animal-based products…not)! It's actually fairly easy to stay away from animal products when I'm home, especially over short weekends and since I will be going home less and less as I further establish an independent life, I don't find these few instances to be damaging to my health in the long run and if it keeps my family from worrying about me, then that is definitely a sacrifice I am willing to make.
I’m hoping this website will help me in my journey to a raw lifestyle and I’m excited to try the new dishes found here! I am not going to aim as high as 100% raw right now...I love my coffee and will probably not give it up until my first pregnancy (which will not before AT LEAST another 7 years). I will slowly transition myself until April when I will give myself the final push to be as close to 100% as my minor addictions/indulgences will let me. Mid-April is when the farmer's market opens here and I always find it hard to NOT eat more raw with such a wonderful resource at hand. Until then I will be transitioning myself by having breakfast and lunch being 100% raw (green smoothie and fruit). For dinner I usually have (cooked) brown rice and steamed veggies. I mean, not the most horrible cooked food you could eat, right? I want to finish the rice I have left (I'm not a waster) and I steam my veggies because right now I have bags of frozen ones. Once those are used up I will transition to raw veggies on cooked quinoa (since I feel like that is slightly more raw-friendly?) and at the same time begin experimenting with sprouting and soaking. Right now my "junk food" is trail mix so that fits in with the whole raw thing (as long as I start making my own raw trail mix and not eating it TOO much). So I think I'm off to a pretty good start! I just want to make sure I have my research down and the right resources at hand and then hopefully I can stay at 80% raw and above for the rest of my life :)