Thoughts on Veganism and Glimpses Into My Kitchen

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This past weekend we made pierogies together. Pierogies are something that the whole family enjoys and so I decided to make my own homemade recipe. I have one on my blog for vegan pierogies, but now that we are eating more animal foods, decided to try out a recipe that uses eggs instead of tofu in the dough and butter and cheese with the potatoes in the filling, which I plan on sharing very soon.

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As always, we girls have so much fun in the kitchen together! The girls did an awesome job at cutting the dough and pinching perogies. We enjoyed them with some fried onions and sausages!

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Other things that we have been enjoying are: red lentil and cauliflower stew, date apple pear muffins (recipe coming soon), Finnish Pulla (cinnamon buns and bread), eggs and toast, and banana pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. The eating is good around here these days.

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Autumn read, while I get the soup on. The girls are both feeling sick and decided to cuddle in their blanket. This is how we have to homeschool often. I like to call our homeschool, “free school,” some days can be so random and chaotic, another reminder that there is no such thing as “normal” or “perfect.”

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We also made buns.

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Although it is still hard for me to cook and eat meat (it is more like a side dish to me); I have decided to add some animal foods back into our/my life because I feel my body needs it at this time and I am hoping that it will make life easier in terms of meal planning and being able to spend less time cooking and eating, as meal prep is more simple and the animal foods take longer to digest. This is just my experiment and am not sure if this is what I really want for us.

All summer I was eating a high-raw vegan diet and doing a lot of exercising, so now I feel ready to let that go and gain some weight for winter. My husband and I are planning on trying for a new baby sometime soon too, so I want to be sure that I have enough body fat to even be fertile, as I have never been regular. I realized that this is probably unhealthy and I want to feel like a regular woman again. I was down to 105 lbs (which I have never been in my life. other than being a kid). with a body fat of around 12%.

I feel as though my body has needed to slow down for a while, so I am also taking a break from yoga and am going to focus more attention on Serafina, homeschooling the girls and coming up with new recipes, which I LOVE to do. I love my ashtanga practice, but I also know that yoga is not just a physical exercise, but a spiritual practice and that homeschooling, helping Serafina find her words, and being a providing mother and nurturer are all a part of yoga (union with the divine) as well.

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I have always struggled with wanting to be vegan for health, spiritual and ethical reasons, but have often felt so isolated from others because of it. I just don’t believe that it could be right spiritually to feel separate from others or fear foods as making one less of a human being, just because they do contain lower vibrations than raw, or living foods. Do we always need to be vibing so high anyway? I believe that it is like the bible states:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Now that we are eating animal foods more regularly, I feel like we can have more of a social life and I have been feeling lonely and isolated from others for a long time now. I miss going to my in-laws for dinner or having family or friends over to share a meal. I miss friends and connection and not having to worry about food or preparing special dishes. This past Sunday we went to church and had breakfast there, as well as had my parents over for a ham for dinner. We had some new experiences and I enjoyed them very much.

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Ultimately, I just want to be free and able to be a being of love and freedom, modelling an example to my children that life is wonderful and that we need not fear anything, but be grateful always for the food, friends and family that we do have. Even though those foods might not be the “healthiest” foods, life is about more that being the most healthy, it is all about love; the love and connections that we share with those that we are blessed with in our lives; and that to me should run deeper than any dietary label, religious identity, or anything else.

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(Me, a busy mother, teacher and cook! Life can be so exhausting, but I am grateful to God for all that we are blessed to have)

Much love!

tiffany6

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12 thoughts on “Thoughts on Veganism and Glimpses Into My Kitchen

  1. Life is quite a journey, isn’t it? Did you find it challenging to talk with your girls about your change in diet? We are home with my family and for Thanksgiving my family roasted a turkey. My girls and I ate some Gardein cutlets that came with gravy but enjoyed the rest of the dinner together. It was hard for Svara to see the turkey and when I had some of the turkey gravy (I really didn’t like the veggie gravy) Svara was confused. I guess it takes years to process things, how the world works, there is no black/white, etc. Most important, I think, is to be happy and at peace with life, diet, etc. And that looks differently to different people and different to an individual in different seasons of their life.

    • Well, the girls have some meat here and there at family gatherings and birthdays already throughout the years and Craig and the girls have all been eating vegetarian (eggs and cheese) for many months now. I added meat back into my diet in the spring for a while, but then wanted to go back to my vegan diet. I love being vegan. I love the way that it makes me feel physically lighter and that I feel that I am doing the “right” thing for the animals and for my spirit, but I also hate feeling isolated from others and different than others, or as though our diet alienates us. I also want my girls to never have to be afraid of eating foods or feel that some are “good” and some are “bad,” or that they are “good” for eating a certain way, or “bad” for eating another way. I feel that my mind does this to me all the time. Once you have read so much about food and diet and what is right/wrong/good and bad, your mind really creates such a duality!

      I guess for me, I am constantly wanting to free my mind of fear. Now one of those fears that I wish to face is the fear of certain foods and of losing what I held to be sacred. I want to know that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” and there is nothing to fear. I know that I needed to model this in myself by partaking of these foods in front of the girls too and creating more sit-down meals. I don’t know if they find it confusing nowadays, because (like I said) they have been having them for a while, but at first when I started buying some GMO foods (cereals, crackers, etc.) and animal foods that I had deemed “bad,” they were wondering what was up. I explained to them that we don’t have to fear what we eat, especially if we eat our food with a heart of gratitude and thanks to God for what we have. We always say our meal blessing and of course, I still make nearly everything homemade because I want to have healthier food in our lives and just plain like everything better homemade! Also, I do buy mostly organic. It just feels easier (and less stressful) to be able to cook a bit of meat or eggs sometimes and feel fuller longer, or to be able to go to dinner with friends or family, or order a pizza once in a while.

      I think ultimately it is all about freedom. Maybe, in your case, just explain to Svara that a vegan diet is what you choose, but it is also OK to be human and partake of other things too.

      I used to be so afraid to model any imperfection in front of my girls. Now I see that it is necessary. They need to know that there is no such thing as perfection and they need to see us mom’s make mistakes, get tired, by moody or lazy, get upset and say and do the wrong thing sometimes. I used to be so hard on myself for ever being imperfect (or modelling what I didn’t want for them) in front of them. I am grateful that God is healing this in me these days too.

      Much love Honey! 🙂

      • Thanks for your response 🙂 I guess the challenge with Svara is that she is SO compassionate about animals. Actually she is very compassionate towards anything. This is a girl who had a crying meltdown when we once left an empty grocery cart in the middle of a store because we had to exit quickly – she was afraid that it would feel lonely. So she gets upset about the eating of animals. Which I get, but she also needs to learn that everyone has a choice and other peoples’ choices do not have to reflect on you. Each person needs to do what they feel happy with and comfortable with. My husband often eats fish and she is never too happy about that either, but she is better than she used to be about it. She also insists on only eating “happy eggs” from free range chickens.
        I guess as a mother I sometimes wish to avoid conflict with her, but I know in the long run it is necessary for her to face conflict to learn how to deal with life!

  2. Funny how things change and we make different decisions along our path. We too have been introducing a little raw dairy cheddar into our diets recently, after quite a few years without it. Little man doesn’t like it, but hubby and I are happy to enjoy a little bit now and then.

    We had a pretty strict vegetarian diet when little man was younger…no dairy, no meat, no unfermented soy, no gluten. Like you said it made life a little exclusive for us, and in the last few years I have wanted to change that so we could be more involved with community and family. We eat very well at home, but when we are out, I let go of the reins a bit for the enjoyment of everyone, and it feels right for us. Little man and I still avoid meat, but hubby likes to indulge when we are out.

    It is hard sometimes for me to let go, and there are definite things we still won’t eat when we are out, it is partly due to my studies in nutrition, but also growing up with eating issues of my own.

    The wonderful thing about the paths we walk is that we can choose new directions, and always take a turn here and there if we need to, right?

    Thanks for sharing my friend. Hope you guys are staying warm. xo

    • “The wonderful thing about the paths we walk is that we can choose new directions, and always take a turn here and there if we need to, right?”

      Thanks for that Kim! I always find your comments insightful and inspiring! 🙂 ❤

  3. I love this! You are going with what you feel is best for you! And the blessings are the important thing, God is good! The scripture is such a great one with so much truth, that is life, a time for everything :). I honor your new path and like I said it’s all ebb and flow right? Love to you and family sweetie ❤

  4. Hi Tiffany,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and have been inspired by your vegan meal ideas and healthy eating philosophy. I started eating a vegetarian diet in 1999 and graduated to veganism two years ago. I am so passionate about animals, the environment, and health that I am happy to share my knowledge and experience with whoever is interested. I cannot imagine ever not being a vegan again and find it so disheartening when I hear of vegans who start eating animal products again. It is rather shocking that someone who seems to share my passion for animals, health, and environmental preservation as much you did has woefully regressed, I don’t feel at all isolated in my veganism; in fact, my enthusism has inspired others to live more conciously and evaluate their own choices. Several members of my extended family have altered their eating habits to include more whole foods and minimal meat. Baby steps, perhaps, but still significant. More than anything else, as an avid animal lover, I cannot imagine choosing to consume animal products again for any reason. When you make that choice, you also choose to participate in the unspeakable abuse, neglect, cruelty, and bloodshed that accompany all levels of commercial animal husbandry. I hope you will return to a life of ahimsa soon and wish you the best.

    • Said kindly: If you are feeling shocked and disheartened about people who are no longer 100% vegan or vegetarian, you might want to take a deeper look into yourself to see why you are so affected. It doesn’t mean anything to your life how others eat. It is great that you are a good example to your family and have influenced healthier eating. However, in the big wide world there are people in all levels of eating and each one is following their own journey.

  5. Very disappointed to hear you are eating animal products as well and the mixed messages your children are receiving 😦

    I hope you find your path ago…..

  6. Dietary preferences keep changing throughout the long journey of life. What matters is you being happy with the choices you have made. Sometimes changing our diet gives us a direction and allows you to know more about yourself. Once you see yourself in a clear light, diet does not really matter. It was just a tool.

    My kids understand that dietary preferences are individual choices. Though we are vegetarians but my husband has to eat fish/chicken when he travels to places where it is impossible to get anything vegetarian. My kids know this and understand it. I tell them that the diet you chose later on in life is going to be your choice and we will respect it. They take eggs. My son tried chicken once but did not like it.

    I have never being a perfectionist but I believe in giving my best in whatever I do. My kids know that I have my limitations and flaws. We keep learning all the while and fix our flaws along the way.

    The post shows your honesty. You are being true to yourself and others how follow your post. Love you for this, my friend.

    • “Sometimes changing our diet gives us a direction and allows you to know more about yourself. Once you see yourself in a clear light, diet does not really matter. It was just a tool.” I think that this is very, very true. I am feeling more free these days and able to take more time for self-reflection. I am doing a lot of inner work and healing these days. Sometimes I think diets and different ways of eating can be a trap.

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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