Boston Veggie


Final blog assignment
December 2, 2009, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Personal

As you may know, I started this blog for my Online Journalism Class. It is hard to believe that it’s already over, but as the semester is coming to an end, so is my blog. As my final assignment, I am going to write about my experience blogging. This one is for you, Professor!

I liked blogging for the most part, but disliked it at times. I am fortunate enough to have a great topic to write about, aka veganism. I’m really passionate about this topic so it was fun for me to try out recipes and do research on it. Also, I liked having an outlet for my personal issues with veganism. The first long posts were almost therapeutic for me being able to write about my personal experience “Coming Out” as a vegan and explaining why I became vegan in the first place. There are only a few people who I was able to tell the whole long story to, so I’m sure my first post probably helped some people understand my decision better than if I had told them verbally myself. I didn’t realize that a few of my family members started reading my blog and talked to me at Thanksgiving, explaining that they never meant to make me feel bad about being vegan (Thanks Meg). Unfortunately my mother was not one of them, but I haven’t decided whether I’d like her to read my blog or not anyway. It’d be a very passive aggressive way to show her how her passive aggressive comments make me feel, but it almost isn’t worth it to start a conflict.

But I didn’t like the “pressure” to blog. We had to try to blog 4-5 times a week, which lessened the quality of my posts significantly. My first few posts were really long, taking hours to write, and full of quality writing (if I do say so myself). But as the pressure to reach a certain number of posts loomed, the quality of my writing deterioriated, and I found myself regurgitating news articles left and right to try to meet my quota. If I wrote a blog for fun, I’d put more thought and personality into them. Maybe I wouldn’t have 5 posts a week, but they would be much more self-fulfilling than what many of my posts were forced to be. But hey, this isn’t a self-fulling blog, it is for a grade, so you do what you have to do!

The recipe posts always worked well, and I wish I had had more time to cook this semester or else there’d be more recipe posts. I didn’t think “soy latte from Starbucks while hunched over papers and exams” would be a valid recipe post. I had so many recipes in my mind to post, but I just never got around to doing it. That was unfortunate. What didn’t really work was my podcast. It is strange to have to record yourself speaking and post it on the internet for all to hear. And in my podcast, I covered four or five topics I could have blogged about (aka 4-5 more posts for the ever present 4-5 post minimum), and I know that almost no one listened to it. People read blogs at work, or in class, but usually not at home in their free time. So I feel like for my blog in particular, the podcast fell on deaf ears. I know most of my “readers” (aka my only reader, Hi Allison!) didn’t listen to the podcast because you can’t listen to a podcast while you’re pretending to do work on co-op. But it was a good learning experience if I ever do want to do a podcast in my future journalistic endeavors.

I will not continue my blog after this course, but mostly because I am going to Prague next semester and will not be able to maintain a vegan lifestyle. Perhaps I’ll throw up a post or two about what it’s like to be vegan abroad, and how accessible or inaccessible it proves to be, but we’ll see. While I’m galavanting around Europe, I’m not sure this blog will be my top priority.

I definitely feel comfortable writing in my own voice, probably most comfortable writing in my own voice. That is one thing I’ve always hated about journalistic writing, how dry and “objective” most of it is, so I have enjoyed the ability to write what and how I want. For example, just being able to use the word I is SO refreshing. I feel like the more journalism progresses the more “I” will be allowed in articles. Even now, I find more articles writing the way I like to, more personable, more friendly, more casual. Not every article needs to sound like the Wall Street Journal, sometimes you just gotta say I or spell out the word gotta or say “ain’t”. Obviously I know proper English grammar, but writing words like “gotta” or “aint” are deliberate writing choices, whether it be to convey sarcasm or for comedy or whatever else.

That’s why I feel like blogging definitely has a valid place in journalism. Even now, you go to Boston.com or NYT online and many of their columnists have blogs! I read the Mommy blog on boston.com and I’m not even close to reproducing, but I just think it’s candid and fun to read. And obviously more people than just me feel that way. The more journalism switches from print to online, the more social media explodes, the more acceptable blogging and casual writing will be. For example, of course there are very journalismy articles about the inauguration of Barack Obama. But I’d rather read a first hand account from a journalist who was there, how they felt, what the mood was like in Washington D.C. Or if a journalist is captured in Iran or Afghanistan and they are released, I look forward to their first hand accounts. How can you delete the word “I” from an article like that? If anything “I” should be the main subject.

Overall, I loved to blog. I loved the ability to write how I felt and how I love to write. I liked writing about veganism so pe0ple who know me and bothered to read my blog would better understand my decision and the food I eat. I loved researching my topic, and I feel more connected to veganism than ever through all the articles I’ve read. In fact, it will be very difficult to eat meat, even while abroad, after knowing all the things I already knew before and all the new things I learned while writing this blog. The only downer was the constant pressure to blog, which even now I don’t know if I’ve met my quota. But let me tell you, I really really tried.



Raw Results
November 20, 2009, 1:24 am
Filed under: Personal

Four days ago, I enthusiastically began a “five day raw cleanse.” Four days into it, I AM QUITTING. The raw lifestyle is just not for me. I thought I would feel the same way I felt when I first went vegan, full of energy and healthier than ever before, but to my chagrin all I felt was HUNGRY. And the thing is, I eat ALL DAY. When you’re raw, you have to eat all day to maintain normal caloric intake. But the recipes I tried weren’t very good, and I always wished that I had just eaten the ingredients separately. Like last night I made a “soup” with avocado, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper. Sounds like it could work, right? WRONG. The texture was really gross, and I found myself closing my eyes and forcing this gloppy green goo down my throat. If I had just had an avocado, and also some spinach, that would have been significantly better.

But this little experiment certainly proved to me how perfect my vegan lifestyle is. Compared to being raw, being vegan is like a walk in the park. Someone once justified their choice to eat meat and cheese by saying “Life is too short to eat things that don’t taste good.” And that person was absolutely right. My vegan food tastes OH soooo good, while still being so good for me. Every so often I crave the crisp taste of a carrot or a piece of celery, but I don’t crave that flavor all day everyday. And that was what raw life was like for me. Going vegan was so easy because while I was improving my nutrition, I was not sacrificing flavor.

Another great thing that came out of this experiment: GOJI BERRIES. I had never even heard of goji berries before, much less eaten them, but I tried them this week. They don’t taste AMAZING, but they are so full of nutrition that I will definitely be sneaking them into food. For example, I like smoothies. I make smoothies all the time. And it will be very easy to sneak these little gems into “berry themed” smoothies. They have 19 AMINO ACIDS, including the 8 that are essential for life, 21 minerals, protein, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and so many other things.

So now my five day cleanse has turned into a four day one. I definitely feel like I gave it a valiant effort, I really tried to enjoy it while it lasted, but I will take warm, soothing, COOKED soup over cold gloppy goo any day.



Fruit for Breakfast!
November 18, 2009, 12:35 pm
Filed under: Personal, Recipes

While oneweekraw.com has been a great resource for my week-long raw “fast,” many of the recipes require too much prep time. So this morning for breakfast I just had a fruit salad with apples, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapes. Fruit is the best way to start your morning whether you’re raw, vegan, or a full blown carnivore because all fruit is PACKED with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the easiest form possible for your body to digest.

For your stomach, eating fruit is like taking a first grade spelling test, whereas eating something like pot roast is like taking a Chemistry exam in Med school. Eat your fruits and veggies and make your stomach happy!



Raw for a week!
November 17, 2009, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Personal, Recipes

As I prepare to embark upon the holiday season, I know that even as a vegan, I will be endulging myself in all the treats that come with this time of year. So with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I want to take a week and try to eat the healthiest I can eat, before I eat the least healthiest I eat. I am going to TRY to be 90% RAW for five days using guidelines laid out by oneweekraw.com. I found this website and was so impressed. I had always wanted to try the raw lifestyle (just for a little), but was unsure how to do it. Well, oneweekraw.com gives you seven days of recipes and lists all the things you need to buy to make them. Unfortunately it also lists all of the “equipment” you’d need to be full blown raw: a dehydrator, a spiraller, juicer, and more. So the recipes I’m choosing to do are the ones I’m already equipped for because I’m certainly not trying to go out and buy a dehyadrator.

For those of you unaware, the raw food movement advocates against cooking food above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw foodists vary in their creed. Most are raw vegan, though even within that sect there are those who think eating mostly fruits is better and those that think eating mostly vegetables is better. And then there are raw foodists who eat raw meat and raw vegetables and raw milk. I can’t really wrap my mind around that one, but raw veganism makes sense to me.

The theory behind raw veganism is that there are enzymes in food that get broken down when we cook, and that the cooking process also destroys essential nutrients in food. The reason I’m not raw is because while that may be somewhat true, I don’t believe that the cooking process destroys all nutrients and sometimes it just changes them. For example, if you steam carrots, you almost completely depleat its Vitamin C content. However, you triple the Vitamin A content. So you win some you lose some. Also, I still try to eat plenty of raw food in my diet: fruit for breakfast, salads, etc.

And besides, people already freaked out when I told them I was vegan let alone RAW. It would be nearly impossible to carry on a social life as a raw vegan, unless you live in Manhattan where raw restaurants are a plenty. Then again, how would you get omnivores to go with you? There is A raw restaurant in Boston called Grezzo which I have reviewed before. It was okay, but very expensive. Even on this five day stint, I’m probably not going to go to Grezzo.

Regardless of how incredibly good it is for you, I just canont see myself being 100% raw all the time. Even on this “fast,” I know I am going to eat hummus, which is not raw (the garbonzo beans are cooked before being turned into hummus). But most raw foodists do consider themselves 70-80% raw.

This morning, I made oneweekraw’s “Green Smoothie,” which is ironic because my smoothie came out bloody-mary-red. But here’s what’s in it:

1 banana
2 cups frozen fruit
1/3 bunch spinach
1/2 cup goji berries soaked in warm water for 10 min. (optional)
water for consistency

This smoothie was pretty good. It wasn’t AMAZZZZINGG but it was fine. Goji berries are the strangest things though. They are like raisins mixed with sliced almonds but taste like ginger/cranberries. And that is the world I will be living in this next week. The world of goji berries and raw kombucha and smoothies, OH MY!



Coming Out
October 7, 2009, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Personal

When I first went Vegan, I thought I had discovered a secret that everyone would want to know. I had always tried to pursue a healthy lifestyle, and to find out how incredibly wrong I was made me think others wanted to be equally inspired.

I finally knew the truth about food. And they were things you knew all along, but you never wanted to admit. I always knew that fruits, vegetables and whole grains were the way, but now I had no choice but to face the facts. Dead, decaying animal carcasses full of hormones, pesticides, and steroids are DISGUSTING. And so are the fat laden, equally poisonous “food products” they produce such as milk and eggs.

I thought everyone would want to know about this new truth I had discovered. WOW I WAS WRONG. People haaaaaaaate hearing about it. I just tried to think about it from my perspective. When my friend told me she was vegan, I was curious, not scornful. Well, not everyone is as curious as I was.

A week after I went vegan, I had to go home for a family function. When I told my parents my news, they actually seemed insulted. And of course they asked “Well how are you going to get your protein blalala” like everyone else. I was prepared for that, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the literal torture that ensued.

My brother ran around the house carrying milk cartons and screaming “AAAH ITS MILK RUN AWAY AAHHH SO SCARY,” as if being vegan meant I was afraid of animal products (He’s 23, I should add). I expected him to act like an idiot, because he has always been an idiot (Oh sibling rivalry, how fun).

But what I didn’t expect was the general reaction from my parents. It’s an odd thing when your parents stop encouraging you to eat vegetables and start telling you to eat junk food. It seems like even now two years later they’ll still say things like “But you don’t eat eggs?” It really isn’t that hard to cook vegan food. IT’S JUST VEGETABLES.

But my mom, who is an amazing cook, acted like a monkey trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle. She had no idea what to make for me. At first, I tried to be understanding. I’d be like “Oh mom that recipe you always make, just use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.” And this woman who has cooked for 30 years would ask me to come look step by step like “Is this okay? Is this okay? Am I doing it right?”It’s not because she was trying to be nice. Believe me I would be ecstatic if she was trying to be understanding and supportive. It’s because she’s pointing out that I’m weird now. She wants me to say “Oh don’t worry about it Mom, I know it’s sooo hard to cook vegetables, throw the crap in there, you’re right. I’m wrong. What on earth was I thinking?” IT’S A RECIPE SHE HAS MADE FOR TWENTY YEARS AND ALL THAT WAS DIFFERENT WAS THE STOCK. THAT’S IT.

But I’d still try to be understanding. Until it got insulting. On Easter, I was at school and I made a “Vegan Easter” for a friend and myself. My mother called to say Happy Easter, and I told her I had cooked dinner for my friends. She said “Oh what did you make?” and I said peas, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, roasted vegetables, and some type of pasta. AND SHE SAID “Oh, that’s too bad…”

THAT’S TOO BAD?! I was ecstatic to eat this delicious meal I had prepared! My omnivorous guest loved everything I made! But to my mom, eating that many vegetables in one meal was just a shame. Too bad there’s no crap in it!

There’s like a zillion instances I can mention about my mom being a crazy anti-veg, but this isn’t a therapy session so I’ll continue.

On Thanksgiving, I tried to research a bunch of recipes to bring to my family gathering. I didn’t try to force them to eat tofurkey, I made peas, mashed potatoes, and a green bean casserole with soy milk. There wasn’t a single fake thing in the meal (except the soy milk), and they all avoided it like the plague. You could have saved yourself 1,000 calories by eating my mashed potatoes, but heaven forbid we try to be healthy during the holidays!

I made chocolate covered strawberries for desert. My family didn’t know I was the one who made them. They started scarfing them down, talking about how good they were, until I smiled and told them they were vegan. My dad spit his out. He spit it out of his mouth. As if before, when he thought there was stuff that would clog his artery, that was totally cool. But to find out that it was pure cocoa from the plant, the kind that happens to be full of antioxidants and doesn’t happen to be bad for you, it was disgusting.

Getting it from my crazy obese Italian family made sense, I knew that my 50 something year old parents and my ADHD brother wouldn’t understand. And you should be prepared in the same way. I know vegans who thought “my family will be different,” but they never are. They are just so misinformed and so conditioned to the American lifestyle that any stray from the norm is scary. It was the reaction from my peers that really sucked.

“That’s sooo bad for you.” “I love eating dead animals.” “Humans have evolved to eat meat.” (If only people knew we’ve evolved not to eat meat!).

These are just a few quotes that stick out in my brain. Even one of my best friends in the world told me that my vegan brain was smaller than hers. (P.S., she’s vegan now).

I couldn’t understand! Why do people hate me so much for not eating meat?! I realize it is really hard to talk about it without sounding incredibly uppity. I can’t help it that when you order your steak and cheese and I order my veggie sub, you are clogging your arteries while I’m nourishing my body. But regardless, it comes across that way.

So my number one tip to give to people about veganism: Just tell them you love animals. Maybe that’s the case. Most vegans are in it for the animals. If I had known to just say “I LOVE ANIMALS” whenever anyone asked, instead of spewing off all the nutritional pitfalls of meat, I would have avoided many an awkward conversation.

People find that an acceptable answer. Not that their meat is laden with crap. I’m not the one saying it either! If cheesey meaty eggs were good for you, I’d eat them everyday! But they’re just not. It’s not my fault. Want to hear it from a source other than me? Click here. And here. And here.

Anyway, there were some people that reacted positively. Two of my best friends went vegan instantly. Another went within a year. It just seems like anyone who puts any research into it at all comes to the same conclusion.

So now that you’re vegan and you’ve told people it’s because of animal abuse instead of all the zillions of other reasons you could choose, now what? As I’ve said, my family apparently doesn’t know how to make fruits or vegetables without drowning them with butter or cheese.

So my best advice? Be prepared. Don’t expect anyone to do you any favors. In my experience, they don’t care about supporting your choice. Going out to a restaurant with the family? Look up the website and make sure there’s something you can eat. I always try to make sure the things I can have aren’t just salad, because that’s what people expect you to eat, as if you eat twigs and grass all day.

Family function? Bring your own meal. I will eat whatever someone serves one night a year, and that is Christmas Eve. I just love the food my family serves, and for that one night I feel like I am an acceptable member of the Spoleti clan. But Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays, they just aren’t worth putting my body through eating animal products. Because once you go vegan, it isn’t easy to go back. My body literally hurts when I eat cheese. I’m constipated for days. I have cramps. I’m in a bad mood. So only one night a year, when I’m good and drunk, can I manage to slip dead animals down my throat. Every other holiday, I go prepared.

Cook! Experiment with recipes and find ones you think other people will try! I tried that on Thanksgiving, and to my chagrin it did not work. But that doesn’t mean your family isn’t more open minded.

If you have to, trick them. I should never have told anyone about the chocolate covered strawberries. They would have been none the wiser. As long as I don’t put the word “vegan” on something, they’ll eat it. I mean carrots are vegan! Apples are vegan! But if I gave my mom an apple and said “This is vegan,” she probably wouldn’t eat it.

And don’t judge people for what they eat. I certainly don’t. I was once you, Mr. “Extra cheese please.” I know that you are hopelessly addicted to that food, because the food industry wants you to be. Who do you think pays for “Got Milk?” commercials? It isn’t the Department of Health and Human Services, it is the Dairy Council of America. They want you to think these things are good for you so they can profit off of your obesity.

I don’t judge people for eating meat, so I can tell them not to judge me because I don’t. It would be nice if all the world were Veggies, but alas the heart disease and obesity rates speak to the contrary.

Tell them you just love animals, go prepared, trick ‘um if you have to, and don’t judge.



Introduction
September 20, 2009, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Personal

My name is Carly and I am a 21-year-old college student in Boston. I’m using this first post to introduce you to me, and my goals for this vegan focused blog.

For 19 years, I was as omniverous as they come. I was brought up in an Italian household, so meat, cheese and empty carbs were common place in my home. Meat lasagna, bolognese sauce, stuffed shells, baked ziti, spaghetti and meat balls… you name it, Mom made it. Don’t get me wrong, I think these things are delicious. Buffalo chicken pizza and cheesy eggs were my favorite meals as a teen. So trust me, I did not grow up on some hippie compound with a bunch of tree huggers. Quite the opposite, actually.

However, as you can probably guess from that short list, most people in my family have a weight problem. Me included. And that led my family and I to constantly be on fad diets. Cabbage soup diet, Atkins, south beach, the lemonade diet, the 7-day-diet, the blood type diet, we tried it all! Some of these diets really do make you lose weight… temporarily. The second we returned to our Italian-American diet routine, the weight all came back and than some. So I grew up pretty confused about food.What was good, what was bad, etc.

From the age of 15 to 19, I was a firm believer in the low-carb-high-protein nonsense that was brought on by the South Beach craze. That’s the diet where you can eat “lean proteins” like tuna and turkey but you can’t have fruit or “carby” vegetables like carrots. Looking back I laugh at how ridiculous the idea is, that you can have turkey with melted cheese and lose weight but don’t touch those carrots! Too many carbs!

But like I said, I followed that way of life for many, many years. No pasta (Oh how I love pasta!), no potatoes (Love those too), no fun :-(. But I convinced myself that I enjoyed egg white omelets and tuna with no mayo and it actually was a great cop-out to not eat any fruit! Gotta watch those carbs, ya know.

So how does a meat, cheese eating Italian go from carnivore to herbivore? On Friday, May 16, 2o08 (yes I remember the date), I made the trek from Boston to Manhattan to visit my best friend from my hometown at NYU. Being such good friends, you can imagine we share similar tastes in food. She was a low carb girl too, but to my great surprise, when I arrived at her apartment she told me she was vegan now. Waaaait a second. Vegan? As in, no cheese? Is that what that means? (What a terrible word vegan is… it does not sound fun at all. If the word were more like “Cuddly Bubbly Sunshine,” I think people wouldn’t be so scared of it). But there I was, looking at her like she had 8 heads, and I just had to ask, “Oh My Goodness WHY?! That sounds terrible.”

She told me her reasons, but I already had my mind made up about this ridiculous notion of no cheese and no meat, so I just figured it was a phase brought on by living in the Village for too long. That weekend, I went to her vegan restaurants with her. They were okay, I didn’t really mind eating veganly. But I didn’t love it either. Overall we had a great weekend and the food thing was quite secondary to the overall situation. But on Sunday as I’m packing my things to go back to Boston, I couldn’t help but delve. She used to be right there with me, melting cheese on bacon on the South Beach kick and I just had to know what made her change. Also, I should mention, she looked AMAZING. She was in such good shape and her skin and her hair was glowing. I really became interested in what she must have done because she looked so good.

So again, she starts spewing stuff about “animal abuse” and “ohh you don’t know the treatment they get” blah blah yadda yadda. I’m not much of an animal lover, I’ll say it right now. I’m a vegan who kind of hates animals, actually. To me they smell, they can’t take care of themselves, they’re loud, and overall I’m just not a fan. So when she tried to appeal to me by talking about animal cruelty, it didn’t work. However, she ended her shpiel by saying “You just have to read ‘Skinny Bitch.'”

Now, as I’ve mentioned, I have been trying to reach an ideal weight for some time. Telling me I could be skinny from this diet, well that appealed to me. She told me the book could explain it better than she ever could, and she leant me the book for my four hour bus ride back to Boston.

Can I just tell you, I could not put the book down. It was funny, it was smart, it was well-researched; it had me laughing and crying and I finally understood. They explained so many things, like how the hormones and steroids that are in most meat could be contributing to America’s obesity problem: Steroids go into the cow to make it larger so it can be mass produced -> you eat the cow with steroids -> steroids make you larger. It also explained that cheese = fat. Human milk is designed to make a baby go through the biggest growth spirt of its life. It is supposed to make a 7 pound newborn turn into a 25 pound baby. That baby is quadrupling its size in a matter of a year or so. Well, cow milk is supposed to do the same thing for baby cows. A 100 pound calve will quadruple its size by drinking milk to become a normal sized adult cow. So, as you can see, milk is designed to make you fat. Plain and simple.

Of course, people can disagree, I’m not here to preach to anyone. I’m just explaining why I made the decision to be vegan. And the book appeals to many different people. To me, the ability to lose weight appealed to me. To my friend at NYU, the animal cruelty it details appealed to her. And for others, the environmental costs of the meat production industry and its affect on global warming (Quoting from  TIME Magazine article “Where’s the Beef?” published 5/27/2009 that you can read, here “According to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization, meat production accounts for 18% of annual greenhouse-gas emissions — more than transportation, which accounts for roughly 14%”) appeal to them. Anyway, I’m not trying to advertise the book here, I’m just saying that what I’m telling you here is what appealed to me, but if you read it, maybe a different section would appeal to you.

It is important to note that I didn’t just stop eating animal products. I stopped eating crap! I read the ingredients on everything I eat, I avoid sugar, I avoid high fructose corn syrup, I try to eat organically, and I am conscious of how much nutrition I am getting from my food. People always ask, “Well how do you get your protein?” and let me tell you, not only do I get enough protein, I get enough everything! Do you know how many omega-3’s you’ve had today? How about lycopene? Iron? Calcium? Vitamin E? The B’s? C? Antioxidants? Well I do, because I have to. And because my high vegetable, high fruit, low crap diet pretty much does the work for me.

Oh and carbs… I LOVE carbs and finally someone explained it to me: White nutritionless carbs = bad, whole grain/whole wheat carbs = good. FINALLY I could eat pasta again! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise God, praise Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, pick your deity, I can eat carbs again! I could eat pasta and bread, as long as it was whole wheat… FINE with me!

So on May 18, 2008, I boarded a bus to Boston at 11 a.m. as an omnivore and by 3 p.m. when I arrived at South Station I was vegan, to much of the surprise of my friends and family. Let’s just say for now, my veganism was not met with bells and whistles, but that will be for a later post.

So how’s a girl to adjust to a complete life style change? Pretty easily, actually. I thought I would be vegan for a few months until I reached my goal weight and go back to at least eating cheese again. But it just felt SO good to be vegan. I had so much energy, I could tell my skin was better, my hair was nicer, my body just felt so good. And I dropped those pounds. It melted off. Within a month, I had lost close to 15 pounds, which is amazing. My whole life I wanted to drop 15-20 pounds, and finally I did… and it was so easy! I had always worked out, so that wasn’t the problem. In fact, I was always baffled by why my 3 mile runs never worked. But compounded with my new eating habits, I was finally able to get into shape. And it’s been that way ever since.

Unfortunately, at the end of August I went on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and had no choice but to eat cheese. And can you believe it, I gained 10 pounds in ONE week of eating cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely ate a lot of cheese. But I still couldn’t believe how much weight I gained. So now I’m back at school, back in my element, and back to full blown veganism and it feels great. I can’t wait to watch the weight shed again, to feel that energy of being vegan again, and finally go back to being me. Because almost 2 years into it, this lifestyle is part of my identity.

Now, to the blog. I am calling this blog “Boston Veggie” because when I first told one of my friend’s parents that I was the dreaded “V” word, she replied by saying “Oh so you’re a veggie?” I don’t know if she thinks it’s some kind of religion or cult or something, but it sure made me laugh. And since most of my posts will be Boston based, it just made sense. In this blog, I hope to address the many facets of veganism. Of course, there will be recipe posts a plenty, and tips on eating veganly in such a carniverous city like Boston, but sometimes I’ll talk about other things. Like how hard it is to tell your family you’re vegan, how to deal with those issues of acceptance and isolation that come from being the only vegan at the table, and the good, the bad and the ugly about vegan substitutes. I personally don’t love the substitutes, I just embrace eating lots of fruits and veggies, but my friend at NYU loooves her substitutes. So we’ll explore it all, basically. Until next time!