Friday, July 4, 2008

veggie ventures of self-reflection

Prompted by a comment the other day, I figured I'd share some recent thoughts... It's been quite the interesting challenge trying to keep my vegetarian lifestyle intact. There are almost endless reasons why I strive for it: my health, the environment, and animals. I simply feel better, cleaner, and more at ease with myself when I eat a plant-based diet. However, at the same time, I also understand those who can not fathom a vegetarian lifestyle or even a vegan one (I'm with you all in the latter.) I have read literature on the unfortunate consequences of dairy and eggs in those 3 broader topics as well and as much as I can stay away from eggs, (I've never really been a fan,) to think of living without my beloved milk, and Greek yogurt, and cheese! I hate how selfish this sounds, as I pride myself on being a compassionate person, and I don't mean to offend anyone, but honestly I take pleasure in consuming the products above, I cannot help but do so. My eating philosophy is largely taken from that of Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat. I love food, delectable, nourishing, wholesome food. Futhermore, I love knowing that I am fueling myself with food that nutritiously sound. Then again, I'm not perfect and sometimes the two points don't mesh, especially when it comes to, say, Italian gelato.
Luckily, I believe there is a balance, and this balance is individually based. From time to time, especially in the near future, I may very well have a piece of Argentine steak, a seafood-based Chilean soup, even a delectable French pastry made with dairy products I'm sure. But I think that's alright. I have to eat what is right for me and sometimes that means stepping outside my boundaries to try something new. It doesn't mean that I care any less or will suddenly forget about my usual healthful, largely vegetarian eating habits. There's simply no room for guilt when it comes to food, it should be fun, and right now, now that I'm able to be on such a once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure, I'm not going to hold myself back with such feelings. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from. I've given this subject a lot of thought and I think I'm finally at ease with my decision. Bon appetit!

Whew, okay, I'm all outta words. I think I'm just going to give a brief title to each of the photos and if you have questions ask... deal? :) Most recently I went with my friend Courtney (above) the La Govinda's, a vegetarian restaurant where she had a Jugo de Tomate de Arbol.

I was cold so I got Mint Tea and a Small House Salad to start.

Followed by Una Hamburguesa de Lentejas (Lentil Hamburger). I didn't eat the fries...

... but only because I saving room for half of the dessert I couldn´t refuse, Ensalada de Frutas.

The previous night I shared a Pizza Vegetariano with a friend from Roma Pizza. So many veggies!

Lunch that day had also been eaten out, out at Cafe Eucalyptus. I enjoyed a spicy Eucalyptus wrap, vegetarian Mexican burrito.

I was satisfied after my meal but between 5 hormonal girls at one table we could not pass up their incredible dessert menu. We all split the Flourless Chocolate Cake O:).

And last but not least the lunch the day before. At home my "mom" made me a large salad with Romaine lettuce, Onions, Green Peppers, Peas, and Corn.

It was so big though that by the time I got to my Fritatta with Peppers and Potatoes I could only finish half! I think I've eaten my share of veggie-licious meals these past few days, don't you?
By the way, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY AMERICA! I hope all my American friends have a wonderful holiday weekend, make sure to celebrate for me, I'll be missing you!

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