Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Six Year Veggieversary!

Today marks six years since I declared myself "vegetarian." Over the years, my definition of vegetarian has changed, and I think it is an ever-growing process of self-discovery and finding balance.

When I first transitioned, I was still eating fish pretty regularly. Then, I transitioned to occasionally eating fish. Next, I ate absolutely no meat at all (true vegetarian). I eat no eggs, do eat dairy, and am finally becoming more flexible with my eating habits. Why have I become more flexible? I fell in love with travel, and eating in restaurants or having others cook for me means that I have to be more flexible.

Everyone can just feed me this

When I was in Europe this past summer, the only area I felt I "skimped on" the experience was in the food department. Many traditional meals contain meat, so I missed out on that. I did find an amazing vegetarian restaurant in Dublin, but other than that, I did not eat many outstanding meals. When I work in Costa Rica, my host mother usually has a hard time figuring out what to feed me. One plus side, however, is that Costa Ricans do not a TON of meat, so I don't ever feel like too much of a burden.
Cornucopia restaurant in Dublin

I currently live in the Bahamas and still eat relatively little to no fish. In fact, the only meat I will eat is lionfish because it is invasive. One of the reasons that I am vegetarian is for environmental reasons, so it makes sense for me (in my values and convictions) to eat lionfish. I still do not eat eggs, even if that means having a very small breakfast when eggs are served at the dining hall. However, I have had to learn to have blind trust in those preparing my meals (the women in the dining hall), because they are preparing meals for 200 people, 3 times a day, 6 days a week. It's a lot of work. So, instead of panicking that I might have ingested chicken broth (i honestly don't know what their ingredients are, so I trust they are cooking true vegetarian), I serve myself the soup they spent hours preparing. I miss having control of my food, I miss certain aspects of my diet, but I am appreciative. I will continue to grow as a person and a vegetarian, as life is a learning process!

Do you have any food fears? What's the hardest part of traveling for you?