Friday, May 3, 2013
Yeah, so I haven't blogged since before Thanksgiving? How is that even possible? Time goes fast when you're making major life changes? It's been a definite blur. Holiday, Holiday, Holiday,birthday , birthday, birthday, birthday, birthday, birthday, family trip, holiday. YIKES! Thankfully blogging is not my job or I'd have been fired long ago.
Well, honestly.... Nope. I've been a very well behaved vegan for the most part. I cannot speak for every ingredient I've had when I've eaten out but I've done all in my power to ensure I've been eating pretty darn clean. The holidays were 100 times easier then I thought they would be- they came and went and I actually spent a lot less time in the kitchen then I had previous holidays and the food was just as wonderful so all and all we're pleased and see no issue in keeping with our vegan lifestyle moving forward.
Yes, indeed not all is smooth sailing... but when in life is it all perfect? If it is the case for you please let me know what the trick is so I can enjoy too!
There has been continued issues with friends- who knew food was such a trigger for people's anger. At this point I try not to mention food at all around certain friends- even when I'm eating it and it's the best thing I've tasted in my life. I won't even say Yum if I can muster up the strength to control it. It literally angers them for some reason. It's put a serious wedge in 2 friendships. One friend's husband explains that every time I appear to enjoy my food- it tells his wife that my food is better then her food and that's just not allowed. Hum, what? Seriously? She also doesn't want to hear about any good food prices I've found unless it does not involve the word organic. Buying organic means I'm now a snob apparently. ::blank stare::
Another acquaintance will no longer even make eye contact with me during events with our kids let alone say hello. We were always friendly but apparently I made a huge mistake with Facebook. I don't talk to people about being Vegan- unless they specifically ask me. In the event of being asked I answer the question as best I can and refrain from any tangents because I don't care to perpetuate the stereotype that- all vegans talk about is being vegan. BUT I am also pretty angry about a lot of the things I've learned about the food industry and our government since becoming Vegan- I'm mad no one ever told me things so I could have woken up a bit earlier. So when I find an interesting article or something funny about being vegan I'll share it or like it on Facebook Just in case someone wants to know they can read it- if not they can scroll on by. Well I posted an article about 3 cans of diet soda being worse then smoking a pack of cigarettes - because when I read it my reaction was HOLY CROW how do people not know this?! Now I no longer drink soda- I see no nutritional benefit to it, but my only comment on the article was "you might think about drinking regular soda if you're a diet drinker". Not- "soda is awful if you drink it you're a poor misguided soul who deserves what you get from the empty calories and aspartame". So I linked it and what did I get- A comment "something is going to kill me anyway, let me enjoy my life." and my daughter is now the only girl scout troop member not invited to her daughter's birthday party and I'm completely not even worthy to say hello to. Okay then. People sure are sensitive about the things they ingest- you would think it would mean they would want to know exactly what it is then.
I feel great. I feel like I'm making huge steps in my life, my husband's life, and my kids to better health. I'm 24 lbs down since September and working out about an hour or two a day- which comparatively may not be a great ratio for most people, but I gain muscle fast and have thyroid issues so losing lbs has never been my strong suite. I made it through the 6 month mark as a vegan and kept going. I'm still learning, still trying new things every day and still working on making more changes.
My current agenda is to move forward with cleaning up my house and personal products. No more toxic chemicals where I can make a homemade replacement. We shall see how that goes. I also want to learn more about meditation and work it into my daily routine. Something is going to kill me someday, but if it's within my power I refuse to help it along any more.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
It's almost here!
Time is flying by, quickly, as usual. I'm always shocked to think something is so far away and then it's just suddenly here. So the big eating holidays are rushing in and I figure it's probably about time I start making a plan. To be honest normally I think about Thanksgiving the day before but seeing how this will be our FIRST Vegan Thanksgiving it will probably require more thought.
Fear and Eating
I want this Thanksgiving to be a huge success. I feel like if I can survive the biggest of the food related holidays then I have nothing more to be scared of. I've conquered eating at home, I've conquered eating out, I survived my daughter's bday party and made an amazing vegan cake- the only fears I have left are holidays and summer BBQs. So let's kick this Holiday's booty so hard we kick the Turkey right out of it (and safely into a field with plenty of food where it can start a family and grow old in peace).
Where to begin?
I figure the best way to have a successful Thanksgiving is to start with what made it so yummy to begin with.
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Corn Pudding
- Veggies- Broccoli & Corn
- Cranberry Sauce
- Corn Bread
- Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Pie
- Other MISC. Dessert
The changes being made...
- Turkey- Clearly I'm not going to make a Turkey. Because I feel this is an important part I'm going to take 2 approaches to this and hope at least one if not both works out. 1) I will be buying either a Tofurky or Gardin Turkey Roll. I've heard mixed reviews which is why I will not be fully relying on this. 2) I have a recipe for turkey loaf that I plan to try to make. I will serve this with my Plum Sauce since I think it should pair nicely and have a nice fall flavor.
- Stuffing- I always make this from scratch because I don't like celery or onions (it's a texture thing). I'm going to use earth balance butter in place of real butter and vegetable stock in place of chicken broth- simple enough.
- Mashed Potatoes- not much has to change here other then my milk being almondmilk and my butter being earthbalance...
- Sweet Potatoes- My family loooooves the sugary, buttery, marshmallow covered ones- yes candied yams. I still have hope to make this- I'm going to go up to whole foods to see if I can find these mysterious vegan marshmallows I keep hearing about! If I find them and they taste good we're golden- just switch to earth balance and should be good to go.
- Corn Pudding- This one will be complicated- it's a must have for my thanksgiving as it has been made every thanksgiving for as long as anyone could remember by my Grams, when she passed I took the torch and made it each time. I can replace the butter easy, I can probably replace the sour cream with Better Than my worry is how to replace the Jiffy- I don't do processed foods anymore and there is plenty of nasty in Jiffy that I don't want to use it. I'm not sure however if I can just make a corn bread dry mix to replace it or if there is more to Jiffy then that. This one I'm going to have to think on and probably experiment with - but it is a MUST.
- Veggies- will be made as they always have been- steamed .
- Cranberry Sauce- will probably try to find a recipe to make my own- since I don't want the canned one no matter how much I love it. More research required as I don't want the chunky type, there has to be a way to get the smooth gelatin type - perhaps with agar flakes?
- Corn Bread- Found a recipe, will try it!
- Desserts- We shall see, haven't looked at anything yet. My mom's apple pie should be fine as long as I make a vegan pie crust.
That's all I have so far, I'll post recipes as I figure things out with more detail!
I'd love more ideas so feel free to speak up!
at 9:40 AM
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Ignorance WAS Bliss
I am the first to admit I've lived blissfully unaware with my hands over my ears going "la la la la la" when it came to being an animal eating, animal product using omni. For 34 years if someone would say something about being vegetarian/vegan - I was the person saying " I could never do that I love Cheeeeeeeze etc." I now know I was wrong and I was able to change my lifestyle, I just didn't. Duh! If anyone offered to talk about the animal products I flat out told them I didn't want to know.
Open your eyes girl!Now I've been at this a limited amount of time so my view is quite narrow, but I am really really trying to be educated and do the best I can so this lifestyle change sticks for my whole life. So after doing this for a few weeks I started opening my eyes. I read the articles about animal cruelty in the food industry, learned about the "products" I had been eating and was thoroughly disgusted. I saw the videos, I saw the pictures ::vomit:: That being said- I wasn't ready to know earlier. I wasn't interested. It wasn't time for me yet. There are a lot of Vegans who after reading forums and articles I think would punch me in the face for saying I became a Vegan for Health reasons. The fact is the one and only reason I started reading those articles is because I need more "backbone" for staying with this through the harder points- Holidays are coming baby!
New info - new changesMy lax approach to my kids-" well it's okay if they get regular food at friends', relatives' or school" has seriously changed. I had a talk with them about it. My daughter understands as a almost 9 year old what we spoke about- I didn't show pictures, I didn't discuss how the animals are treated- hate me for it but I would like her to be a kid for as long as possible, and I believe I can guide her to better choices then I made without all of the gory details up front- one day yes but not now. My son as a 5 year old just said "okay mommy", but I control most of his food intake with him still anyway. They both are worried about snacks/desserts. I had let them buy lunch at schools on Fridays because they always go ta surprise treat, now they'll get packed lunches then too. As a compromise I promised to keep the house stocked full of vegan snacks they can enjoy- PETA's accidentally vegan list was a huge help if you haven't seen that yet check it out. I also started looking around for HEALTHY bake goods that I can start making.
Being Vegan != (does not equal) Healthy Eating
Did I mention I became a Vegan for health reasons. If I didn't have major Migraine issues my family and I may have never tried becoming vegan. News flash in case it wasn't obvious- you can be a Vegan and not eat healthy. I know I know most out there think vegan and picture some waif-like pale creature, but UHM, no. That's not the reality for most. I do think I will lose weight with my changes to eating, but it's because I've forced myself to keep searching and finding all of the extra information on how to eat the healthiest I can. There is a lot of prepackaged vegan crap-great in a pinch but not so great for daily eating if you're looking to be healthier. You can also as a Vegan life 100 percent off of smarties and ruffles if you want- how healthy is that though?
I cook, from scratch, daily. I look at every ingredient and question if it's good for us, how it can help, if I should change it in any way- and make the healthiest, most well balanced meals I can. I have tried recipe after recipe, making small changes or large and done a bunch of experimentation in my short few weeks as a vegan. I've made mistakes, and have had wins. I'm still learning.
Now I am learning that there is a lot of judgement and dislike for vegans like me. I am a lesser breed of Vegan.
Get to the point already!
In the end this change is about me. 100 percent. I'm not going to apologize for taking care of myself and my family, even friends, first. I don't know that I will ever be that person lecturing about animal cruelty. It does bother me, I have changed that for us.
BUT- I think for a lot of people the interest in making a change can come easier from less abrasive information. I would love to stuff people I know full of VEGAN yumminess and have them say "are you sure this is vegan OMG delicious" and tell them the benefits I have seen in myself and my family from the switch- I do that. I don't want to be judgmental. If they ask about the cruelty part I have been directing them to some good information. I don't want to be that pushy Vegan. I don't think it helps me, them , OR the animals.
If we want more people to make the change, we need to make sure we aren't instantly turning them off. With most things in life that require change- you need to come to it in your own terms, or it won't stick. Look down on me all you want for the fact that I'm a health reason vegan- but in the end I'm still doing my part for the animals as well, and truth be told I think more of my friends/family/acquaintances will start adding vegan meals to their diet with my approach then if I shoved pictures in their face about the reality of the world.
When you, as a vegan, look down on another- consider that some of us are not as strong as others and your attitude just might push someone backward in their progress. There are enough frustrations with major lifestyle changes, don't add to it! Pushiness and a judgmental attitude also affects how people in general view us as Vegans. I know I do not want to tell someone I'm Vegan and get that "oh god, not one of them" looks. There is a reason people get that attitude. Let's give people a good view of us and there might be more willingness to try it out.
Be happy I'm on your team. Whatever the reasons were in the beginning, the animals I'm not eating do not care that it's because of health reasons (firstly) that I'm not eating them.
at 10:01 AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
La la la la I didn't hear youNooooooooooo veggie shreds cheese is not vegan. I just got the memo, while browsing a vegan forum I had found- I'm new at this what do you want from me? lol. Anyway I'm totally bummed. I've tried the daiya and I find it greasy and gross so now what?! So just so ya'll aren't as oblivious as I was- Casin is a milk product. Boo.
It has a friend too!
Dear Veggie Parmesan cheese- it turns out you have Casin in you as well so I'll be saying goodbye - however not to damage your already probably fragile self image from not being a real milk product or real milk free product- I seriously won't miss you at all.
Help a girl out here!
Seriously does anyone out there have a good suggestion for my Vegan pizza cheese? ::sigh:: I guess I'll have to try a seasoned tofu cheese, but I'm not keen on non melting cheese on a pizza. I'm open to suggestions people!
Where am I?So I've been MIA for 2 weeks- still sticking as closely as I can to my whole foods/vegan diet but it's been hard! I was out in PA visiting my sister! <3
The kids and I went without the hubby (he had to work!) and I thought for sure the hardest part of the trip would be the 12 hour drive with 2 kids solo, but it turns out it was the food! I had packed for the trip to try to not buy anything on the way, but my resolve wasn't as strong 10 hours into the trip as it was 3 hours into it. I ended up cheating slightly by getting myself a McCafe Caramel Frappe and an Plain Auntie Anne's Pretzel. I had intended to try out some meals I found (just add hot water) in my organic section that had great ingredients by asking for Hot Water at Starbucks or something, but the lines were too long and I was too hungry and too tired. I ended up with a migraine and throwing up. McCafe != Starbucks Soy frappe. Apparently my tummy wasn't happy taking that step backwards food wise. Won't make that mistake again!
The Food ShockerI was smart and brought almond milk and breakfast stuff (oatmeal yum) with us so the first morning at my sis' we were fine food wise. But I very quickly pushed to get to the store and YIKES! The only store in the area with any organics was Wegman's - which I loved very much when we lived back in PA, but my fellow VegHeads it's been years of living in Indiana and I much prefer our food prices. What do you mean that bag of organic apples is $14??? I had to pick and choose my organics to be able to afford food for Me, the kids and my sis, her hubby and her kiddo. Rough!
I missed my food processor, I missed my Juicer, I missed my kitchen full of gear/utensils and a full pantry of all good ingredients- did I mention I miss my Juice. I would like to state for the record that anyone claiming drinking fresh juice breakfast and lunch doesn't make a difference is a liar! I lost my energy, I was cranky, I was constantly looking for something to munch on- I really really missed my juice. I loved the two weeks visiting with everyone, but I was really happy to get home to my "stuff" and dependable prices.
Noooo not you again!I had a total of 4 migraines while I visited her. It felt like a setback, lucky they weren't severe or anything and I was smart enough to bring my meds but you're talking I had had only one/two prior in the 6 weeks before the trip (bad food choices both times).
The first was the last 2 hours of the drive. I blame the drink and "food", and sheer exhaustion on my part and the kid's.
The 2nd I blame on the butterscotch schnapps which I should have realized were a bad call on my part. I had about 2 shots worth and could feel it almost immediately.
The 3rd was while vising my grandparents- they cooked pasta. It was simple enough- not organic, not whole foods in any way and I tried to make sure I didn't each much but I also didn't want to make them feel bad- so I ate. They were trying and trust me at their age hearing that their overweight, out of shape veggie hating granddaughter is now whole foods/vegan it's a bit hard to understand. I didn't let them know, but I also didn't take the meds since I had to drive back home so it was a very rough night. The fourth was a similar event with my parent's - it was very mild but just bad timing as I had to get up at 5:30 am the next morning to drive home. It kept me awake till about 3am- so yeah not fun.
I wasn't sure if I should kiss my kitchen or my hubby first...I've been home since Friday night. I am back to eating my food fully- cooked in my kitchen, with my ingredients. I've felt pretty grumpy and tired still but as of yesterday I'm finally feeling it turning around again. I'm back to my juice, and my energy feels like it's coming back. I'm sure in another day or two I'll be back to where I was completely. Thank god for good food!
Last night I made black bean soup. YUM!
First I started some Brown Balsmati Rice. Make however much your family needs.
-1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water.
-Note the waterline and swirl the rice around and dump it back out- rinse the rice 3 times or until the water is no longer starchy.
-Now fill the pot back up to that water line (or just below) and bring the rice to a boil.
-Turn the boil all the way down to a low simmer and put the lid on- cook 20 minutes with no peeking.
The black bean soup
2- 15 oz cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup organic medium salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
Better than Sour cream (to top when served)
Veggie shreds- cheddar cheese(to top when served)
1) Get out a pot
2) Dump everything into the pot with the exception of the sour cream and cheese
3) Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer with lid on for 20 minutes + ( I let mine go a full hour or whatever just more flavor!)
Now to the side/topping
Get out a decent size frying pan. Put a tablespoon or two of cold pressed Olive Oil in it on medium high heat. Throw in a heaping tablespoon of garlic and saute till lightly browned.
- 1/2 Sweet Orange Pepper (diced)
- 1/2 Sweet Red Pepper (diced)
- 1/2 Sweet Orange Pepper (diced)
I like my colors!
- Corn- cup to cup and 1/2
- Cherry tomatoes- diced up
Saute them in the pan till they get a bit carmalized then take them off and put them to the side.
Back to the soup
4) Get out your immersion blender and go to town smoothing that stuff out.
Now the way we do it is to have the veggies, rice and soup all available separately- because of the kids. The kids prefer the soup with a dollop of sour cream and cheese with the rice on the side and the veggies on the side of that. Depending on our mood the hubby and I do it one of two ways- Soup with dollop of sour cream and cheese with the rice and veggies on the side but mixed together OR I put the soup in our bowl- top it with rice, top that with the veggie and mix it all together with a dollop of sour cream and some cheese. Both ways are delicious, have some homemade bread with it for dipping and it doesn't get much better then that!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Is that a question?Have you noticed that when someone asks about being vegan/whole foods the organic question is soon to follow? Have you also noticed instead of that being a question with a ? at the end it always ends in this little tee-hee giggle? It's this "I know something you don't know and if you answer with a yes, you're wasting money" giggle questions. The first few times I was asked, it threw me a little.
My Current AnswerYes. The next "question" is something along the lines of " why, don't you know it's a made up label- that you're really buying dirty stuff from China?" I'm sorry was that a question or an argument? "Well, don't you know?" I know what you're saying- I'm not an idiot (unless you count the fact I microwaved an empty cup this morning in trying to make tea). I'm not as I've said- a scientist, nutritionist, Chinese or organic or a Chinese organic farmer.... I get the feeling you're waiting for me to say "OMG, are you serious? Tell me more? You mean I missed out on Penn and teller's expose on organics?" Nah. I shrug. You don't want me to say what I really want to say. I shrug and say "Okay." This may be a surprise, but I'm not here to convert people. You are hopefully a grown adult with a fully formed brain (age 24+ right? lol) and are capable of making your own choices. I have no interest in changing or bashing you and your info. I'm sure that, indeed you did read that.
My real feelingsThis may come as a complete surprise but- my blog name has nothing to do with the fact I buy organic or not. I was going for a play on words... naturally, truthfully me or something along those lines. I like how it sounds in the end. I read read read as much information as I could on the subject of - buy organic or not. In the end my decision was this: I eat so many fruits and veggies in the day a ton- my family eats a TON of them, mostly raw even- the information is so all over the place the only I know for a FACT is: if you buy non-organic you are most definitely enjoying pesticides, herbicides, additives, preservatives and who knows what else that may or many not have been grown in china or in any other number of countries in the world. No doubt. We have food regulations for food being imported, and the sad fact is that the amount of foods actually tested is a very very small percentage- so we don't know. The organic label may not always mean what it's meant to mean- but I know there are people fighting to make it a strong word, fighting to make it as healthy as possible, and outside organizations that really care testing those items and fighting for healthy, natural foods. Is it 100 percent of the time exactly what you're buying- probably not, but I'll take a decent chance over no chance. Don't you know your organic food is from china? No, I don't know that, but while we're on the subject where exactly is your non organic food from? Incidentally I buy local organic, so it's probably not from China since you know... that's not exactly local. If I can do anything to keep chemicals out of me and my family I will do it, regardless of added cost. I am also super lucky it turns out- our local store has created it's own organic brand which has considerably brought down the prices to the point it's maybe .30 cents more a pound then the non-organic. My no longer buying meat products honestly has balanced out my grocery bill, so there isn't much of a difference. Here in PA though- I will say I flat out exclaimed- "holy cow, how can anyone afford to eat organic/healthy here" to which several of my aisle-mates giggled.
The bottom lineDo what's right for you and your family IN YOUR OPINION. I'm not judging you. Really!
(Broke this week but still)Organically,
The subnote:If you're here, then you want to hear me talk about this whole foods/vegan thing- if you don't want to hear about it then walk away, because it's all this is about.
The sub subnote:I made the following facebook post recently directed to all of my friends and acquaintances, it is purely how I feel- the blog post following is my much more anonymous outlet. This is a part of making such a big change apparently- it's not what I expected but it is what it is.
"Hi, I'm wholefoods/vegan- all of the food I cook will be whole foods/vegan to the best of my current ability. I will not make a point to say it anymore. I will not always be able to keep my determination. I hope my food is good, I hope it's really good and I plan to celebrate it when I find something I can love. I quite honestly hope the food I now make kicks the ass of anything I use to make, or anything I use to enjoy, because I want to believe I can keep this up for the rest of my life for my own good. The life change I made is HARD, it's not simple, it's not easy and I will talk about it, and look for support. If you're a friend I appreciate you cheering me on, and happy for me- please do not think my celebrating and happiness is a slight to you or your own cooking- because as a friend I wouldn't do that to you. "
The problem:I act tough. I act like I can handle things. I act like I know exactly what I'm doing, because it is what I need to do in order to keep strong and do what I think is best, even when I'm not sure at all. This whole vegan/whole foods thing is new to me. It is by no means easy, it feels 100 times harder now with being away from home- visiting my sister. I'm in unfamiliar territory without my trusty pantry, and fridge filled with nothing but the- yes you can eat this food.
I, most of the time, am willing to walk away without a word when a friend hurts me- because it's what I've been trained to do. I've learned over my past 34 years- that if you upset family/friends they walk away. I've trained myself to avoid that potential as much as possible. So if you're a friend and you hurt my feelings you probably aren't aware of it at least not much.
This whole food switch as been strange- it's somehow ruffled feathers and upset people that I care about. This change is about me. It's not about you. I know I feed a lot of friends and have done so happily for ages, but seriously this is 100 percent about ME. I don't need to consult anyone else on this, it's not a gray area- it's about me and my body and how I want to treat it. I've had sit down convos many times since this began and explained my position and listened to other options. I apologized for how I made you feel, but I do not apologize for my position or actions- it's not about you, it's about me.
If you don't have migraines or have never had one- you have no idea how I've lived for the past- let's say 5 years since they really ramped up after having my son. You have no idea. NONE. If you had lived as I have the past 5 years you'd understand. I have not lived as you the past however many years, I did not live your experiences- so while I accept you have had certain experiences with food etc and am happy to listen- I cannot live my life by your past, what you did and how you did it- that was your choice. I have to make my own. Why do I research instead of asking all of my friends their thoughts on the food- because I need hard cold facts- and they themselves can be confusing and all over the place. The info I can get from you is tainted by your experiences and based upon your taste-buds, not mine- it's not helpful. Things change rapidly in all facets of life- including the food industry, so even things you knew a few years ago are not the same. Me going whole foods/vegan is not the same as you going vegetarian. Two different beasts.
I'm away, and I hear that still some friends are talking about my change- and how I did it and how quickly I did it and how sick they are of hearing about it... we've had the talk- i sat down and spoke with all of you at one time or another, why are you still acting like this is about you? I told you why I did what. You're not going to get answers any clearer from other friends then you got directly from me.
The truthI don't know what to do anymore- I am throwing my hands up in the air. I feel like with friends I should be able to celebrate a food wins. I walk around currently during the day questioning every choice I make. I look at labels and then look again to make sure I checked everything. I ponder if I'm getting the kids 100 percent covered nutritionally, I fear that the meal I make tonight will be gross. I'm unsure about EVERYTHING. That's the big secret. I have NO idea if I can do this the rest of my life. I 1000 percent feel this is what I need to do the rest of my life but facts have little to do with feelings. I don't know- I'm not as strong or as sure as I seem. Why do I go on about food that turns out good? Because I need to feel good about it, I need to feel the wins so that when I'm feeling weak I can think back and have something to use to keep me going. This isn't easy. My feelings change 100 times over the course of the day. This isn't going to be how it always is. I know, understand, that the longer I do this the easier is SHOULD get. But I am by no means there yet. When I make something that amazes me how good it is- it gives me what I need to keep going a bit more, it adds one more weapon to my arsenal. This is is no way a competition. I need the food I cook now to be just as good or hopefully better then what I use to eat, because that is how it will keep going. I am not saying- your food sucks- I am not saying my food is better- I am saying Holy shit I made something I can see myself eating the rest of my life - and it won't even feel like I"m being shorted or missing out. The food- it's not about you, it's about me. Your feelings about me trying to be happy- that's all you.
Me as a friend:
I'm a damn good friend to have because I will always have your back. 90 percent of the time I will always care more about your feelings then my own. I will always do whatever I can to make things easier on my friends when I can, I would do practically anything for them. I have done my best to make things easier for you- I have eaten things that I'm trying not to just because I knew you were trying. I have eaten things I don't care for because I know you are trying. Boxed stuffing and canned condensed soup do not fall within my diet, I bit my tongue when you yelled at me about not wanting to eat something that makes me gag- I am trying. But I know, now that you have issues with what I'm doing, that you're not going to let go anytime soon. Fine. I will do my best to internalize my happiness, wait till you are not around to celebrate. I will keep quiet about the recipes I'm happy with. I will not tell another friend about an amazing dish I made last night if you're in the room. I will shut my mouth and not offer another word about being vegan if I can help it, but your part in this deal means you need to accept my "no thank you" without argument when I turn down something you make. I am willing to do this because I want to keep you as a friend- and that means I don't want to hear anymore about an hour long rant about my new habits. This is the 4th time, that is why I sat down and openly talked to you. I tried to end it that way. That wasn't enough, fine. I accept that you and your personal issues need to come first in your life- I will not rub anything in your face, though I'm not sure why you even thought that was what I was doing. It's not me. I'm not trying to rock anyone's foundation out from under them when I get excited about being able to make pizza that I actually enjoy. I'm sorry if it made you feel insecure about your pizza crust- I can't eat yours anymore, I will not be offended if you choose to not eat mine. It's not about you, it's certainly not in competition with you- but you know what I will always be happy for you if you make something you love to eat. I would only expect you to be equally happy for me. I don't make anything in competition- but you know what, I always hope right before the first bite that it's the most amazing things I've ever eaten, because that is what I need to keep going. As a friend I would hope you'd be wishing that for me too.