Growing up an Iowa girl, supper (dinner if you’re from the big ol’ city) was meat and potatoes. I grew up on a farm in Northwestern Iowa, where we raised pigs and chickens for some of my childhood. Meat was how I got my protein and honestly I never thought much about it. Which has been making me contemplate writing this particular blog post. I worried what other would say and what type of feedback I would receive. Lately, I have been getting a few questions, so here it is.
It all started New Year’s Eve 2017. Derek couldn’t sleep and ended up watching a documentary, they are his favorite. As I was getting ready for the gym the next morning our conversations went a bit like this:
Derek – You’re going to hate me
Me – You want to go vegetarian don’t you
Derek – Even crazier
Me – Sh*t, you want to go vegan (insert panic mode in my brain)
For those of you who don’t know, Derek has a permeant ileostomy (a surgical operation in which a piece of the ileum is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall – thanks google). This means eating fibrous foods (some fresh fruits and most raw vegetables) isn’t an option for him. I freaked out, what was he going to eat – no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no honey, and no fibrous foods.
Out of laziness and not wanting to cook 2 different meals every nights, I decided I would try out the vegan life too. Luckily, I had taken a week long vacation and I was able to start diving into vegan options. We did really well that first week (vegan mac&cheese, pizza, tofu, etc.), but as soon as I returned to work I just wanted to pick up something on the way home and Des Moines does not have a lot of vegan options. At this point, I decided vegan wasn’t for me. I missed dairy and eggs and it was extremely difficult when we went out to eat with friends.
In the last couple of months we have been sticking to more of a vegetarian lifestyle, we still eat meat occasionally (with family or out with friends). I honestly cannot tell you the last time I bought meat and cooked it at home, it has been months. So what do we eat? We often have tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Also, through trial and error, I have found a couple meat substitute brands that we both really enjoy – MorningStar Farms & Beyond Meat.
Be on the lookout in the next couple of weeks for a few of our favorite vegetarian recipes. Also, if you have any vegetarian recipes – send them my way!