I started this blog in 2008 while working at my first 'real' job teaching English to adult immigrants and refugees, a federal program through Immigration Canada. I started this blog with a desire to create some space for my passion- cooking, and to share the food I cook and the recipes I create with others. However, as with (some) things that start on a whim, it continued inconsistently for years going in phases of activity and inspiration, to pure abandonment.
The blog you see today is that of the empowered, passionate, food loving, joyous vegan I've turned into over the years. I've created space in my life to focus my attention on delicious, healthy, home-cooked, whole food, plant based meals. I've created space to learn as much as I can about nutrition, about local food, about what it means to be vegan, about the diet of the future. And through this blog it's my desire to empower, inspire, excite and encourage readers to become more connected to the food they eat and more connected to their health and well-being.
My life as a vegetarian:
I became a vegetarian in 1995 after un-enthusiastically eating meat in low to moderate amounts on and off throughout my childhood. I was, what I consider, lucky enough to have parents who were health conscious, who dabbled with vegetarianism themselves throughout their lives. The decision not to eat meat anymore was made from a lack of desire to consume animal flesh; a simple lack of taste, and texture, if you will. Reasons such as animal welfare, compassion for living beings, the environment, and the simple fact that raising animals for food is an uneconomical way to feed the world, all came as a result of my initial decision and have continuously reaffirmed my desires to not eat animals.
It wasn't until the summer of 2011, through a short series of events and conversations, that veganism came into my life. I now live my life with the feeling of lightness, a weigh having been lifted, the knowledge that through my actions I harm no animals, I contribute to no mothers suffering the loss of her infant animal being pulled away at birth, I contribute to no torture and I contribute to no human suffering with the un-human job of killing animals in assembly line fashion. In this compassionate lifestyle, I find immense joy in preparing meals and exploring the richness of plant-based food from the earth.
Food in life:
The action of becoming vegetarian in 1995 did not correspond with becoming healthy. In fact, within a year from this time I would find myself living in a new city, in a new high school trying to make a new life, at that awkward time of 10th grade- halfway through 10th grade to be exact. Everything changed and food became first a comfort and later an enemy. It was a focus to fill voids. I developed an eating disorder that would sit in the background of my life for 6 years before I reached out to my family and chose change. Slowly things became better. I focused on being gentle toward myself, on choosing healthier foods and on adding more activity in my life. But it wasn't until 2005, while backpacking through Asia that things finally came together for me in a holistic fashion. Cycling, hiking, walking, swimming and kayaking became consistent elements in my life for 3 months. Eating local food, the new tastes and pleasures, became a passion. There was no time to sit and eat unhealthy food. Happiness filled the void where unhappiness had often resided. Passion for life grew. Pleasure had appeared in many forms and changed my body chemistry, changed my tastes for foods and changed my desires.
Since 2005 I have had a clearer picture of what it means to be healthy. It's not about food, it's not about being vegan or running 10k daily. It's about balance. It's about happiness and finding what works for you. It's also about being in control of your life and not letting popular culture have its way with you. The world we live in seems to be about industry first, people second. It's important for people to think independently and challenge the norms. Being healthy must be approached holistically. Through food, exercise, nature, happiness, relationships, even money, can we find health. For me, food is my passion. It's my puzzle piece for a healthy life. I have a desire to cook and share whole, home-made, plant based food with you through this blog, to share my happiness with you. I consider myself a survivor of the popular-culture-mass-media-eat-this-like-that-processed-food-craving-inducing-brain-fogging treadmill.
I finally feel free.
My goals from here:
I'm currently working towards becoming a Vegan and Vegetarian consultant. A list of services will be available soon. I'm looking forward to this website becoming a tool for my clients and a place where people can connect and find support. I have many ideas for the future and things are moving quickly. Please check back regularly and see what happens in My Little Vegetarian Kitchen.