Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Blogging an Annoucement (And No, I'm Not Pregnant)

I have decided to become a vegetarian!

I owe this decision in part to my daughter, Bethany, who gave me an inspirational, eye-opening book for Christmas called Diet For A New America. Becoming vegetarian is an idea I've been toying with for many years and I feel I am ready to take the leap. My reasons for becoming a vegetarian are numerous and it's too late in the evening to get into them here, but I feel that I have ample motivation to make this lifestyle change. It will be challenging, but worth it, and I've done challenging things before, like home schooling for 13 years, being an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for 30 years, taking my children to church without my first husband's help for 16 years, and last but not least, choosing to bear and raise 9 children over the past 19 years! If I can do those things, I can do this.

I'm not worried about what I'll eat. That's a no brainer. I don't even like meat that much and rarely consume it anyway. What I am worried about is having to defend myself, especially in a cattle-raising community like the one in which I live. I'm going to have to buck up and take it like a woman.

I also have miriad questions about where this will lead me in life. I've chosen to go the lacto-, ovo- route, which means I still consume dairy products and eggs, as long as they are produced by my cow and chickens, but will I be satisfied to stay on that course? Or will I want to persue the course of veganism, abstaining from all animal products? What path will I seek to encourage my children to follow? Will I still cook meat often for them? Will I change my mind in the future and go back to eating like a typical American? Will this change bring about the health and longevity I so desperately desire for my old age in order to enjoy my, hopefully, large posterity?

These are the questions I've been pondering as I've made this life-changing decision. I feel good about this, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the research I've been doing on making sure I get the iron, protein, and other nutrients I need. I'm a person who loves change and I am looking forward to this next phase in my life with enthusiasm and joy. If you would like to know why I made this decision, let me know, and perhaps I will do a post on it.


My first vegetarian/vegan recipe!

Non-Dairy Almond Milk

2 Cups Almonds
8 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Pinch Salt

Step 1: Soak the almonds overnight in a bowl of water...

Step 2: Drain the almonds and place in a blender with four cups of water. Blend for three to four minutes.

Step 3: Strain almond mixture through nylon hose or cheese cloth into a pitcher. You will have almond pulp left, as shown below, which can be used in other vegetarian recipes...

Step 4: Pour 4 more cups of water into the blender, along with the honey or agave nectar, the vanilla, and the salt. Add the strained almond mixture. This should fill your blender to near capacity, so blend on the lowest speed in order to avoid overflow.

Step 5: Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined, your almond milk is ready to be refrigerated.

This is a great drink for the kids, those who are lactose-intolerant, or anyone who would simply like to decrease their intake of diary products. I hope you love this as much as I did!

Thanks for the recipe, Bethany, and for the inspiration you are in my life. I look forward to embarking on this adventure with your love and support.

Any other vegetarians out there? I'd love to hear from you!

I am pleased to list this post at...

-Tip Junkie's "Talk to me Tuesday",
-5 Minutes for Mom's "Tackle It Tuesday",
-Tammy's Recipe's "Kitchen Tip Tuesday",
-Blessed With Grace's "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday",
-Mary's "Tightwad Tuesday",
-The Lazy Organizer's "Talk About Tuesday".

Check out these blogs! You're going to love 'em!

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Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with your decision to do this. I could do this as I don't eat very much meat. I'm in fact allergic to red meat.

Eggs are one of the most perfect ways to get protein! Protein & fiber is what you will want to consume. Fiber will make you feel full and protein to give you....you know all of this! :)

I can't wait to see more recipes!


Anonymous said...

Good Luck Jen.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for you for becomign a vegetarian! I've been a veg for almost 4 years and it's been great. Don't worry about what other people are going to say, you get used to the comments after a while. I'm sure you already know this but there's lots of "hidden" animal ingredients in foods so read labels and good luck!

Dianna said...

Way to go! We're not vegetarian, but we don't eat much meat. In fact, I think vegetarianism is in perfect keeping with the Word of Wisdom, and that we should all pay attention to how much meat we're eating. :)

We eat lots of beans and eggs around here. I can't wait to see your new recipes, and how you like them!

Live.Love.Eat said...

The almond milk sounds good! Good luck with your new path!

Joelle said...

Way to go! My family is vegetarian (mostly vegan, too, unless you count honey). If you need vegan/vegetarian recipes, feel free to let me know. I blog (though not regularly - I need to do better) at healthynhappyhome.wordpress.com. Blessings to you.

Angie said...

i could do without meat some days but others I couldn't, however you go girl! I will support you. no one should judge a person by what they eat it's not for us to decide. Good luck! angie

Brenda said...

Good for you! Let me know how that goes!

Dreamer said...

I just found your recipe for granola bars on your side bar and I am going to make tham right now, they look killer!

Rhonda said...

Our society eats wayyyyy too much meat as it is.

Half my house loves meat and the other half can take it or leave it. Will you have an uprising against you at your own house with your own kids? Hope the transition goes smoothly! Keep us posted.

Amanda B. said...

Good luck to you! I, unfortunately, truly enjoy meat too much to be vegetarian. I do like my breads/fruits and veggies, but not enough to totally cross over. I am happy for you- I hope it goes well! :)

Michelle said...

I had to stop over because my daughter is recently no dairy... which is a struggle. We've been drinking soy milk and it's ok but not her favorite. I'll have to try making the almond milk for her one day soon, as I'm sure she'd love it!

So what else can you do with the almond pulp? I'd love to be able to use it elsewhere rather than just tossing it!

Anonymous said...

Good for you. I wouldn't worry what other people think I think for the most part they probably won't notice. I have friends and family that are veg and I hardly notice or have to make any changes they just eat the sides dishes. I also think it will be easier if you still eat eggs and dairy. Now no eggs are dairy would seem really hard to me. Good luck!

Kelli said...

Jen, Tracie can't leave a post and she said you never read your emails so she wants you to call her and discuss a discussion you, Greg and Tracie had in EP about this very subject. Call her now she is bugging me while I am at work....

Vikki G said...

Sounds great! If this is what God has put on your heart don't let anyone stop you~ Almond milk recipe sounds great! Will try it as I buy almond milk at the store and this sounds so easy and a great deal healthier.

Unknown said...

Interesting. I didn't know that you could make that with almonds.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Wow, that is a big change for the new year. It will be interesting to see your recipes and how your are doing with your new lifestyle change. Neat.

Jennifer @ Her Southern Charm said...

Holy moley girl! That is a big change and I totally commend you for it! In Texas, that's down right ludacris, but if I could do it, I would in a heart beat. I'm such an animal rights defender and it's people like you that make my day go a bit better. Now, if I could only give up my chicken fried steak....drats! :(

FeeBeeKay said...

I think this is an incredible commitment, especially since you have given it so much thought. I read somewhere I while back that until a substantial proportion of the developed world eats less meat (or goes the whole way to vegetarianism) then it will be nigh on impossible to eradicate world hunger. Good luck with this - I hope it goes really well for you all!


Stephanie said...

Well, my husband and I aren't vegetarian, but we have made the decision to go "almost vegetarian," cutting out a lot of meat from our diet. Our choice was pretty much made from a financial viewpoint - meat is expensive and alternatives (like beans and wheat) are cheap. We aren't making a big deal about it, we already don't eat much meat as it is. In fact, this is the first place I've mentioned it. It will be an adventure making sure we get all the proper nutrients and learning to cook more meals without meat.

The almond milk sounds like horchata, but with almonds instead of rice! I bet it tastes great!

Coralee said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it soon. I just wanted to let you know that I went to JSA high school and love the colonies. My parent's served a church mission there for 4 years. I think I know your in-laws. Anyway, it's a small world. Just wanted to say I love your blog and it gives me a connection back to "home"! Wishing you the best!