Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A whole new chapter

I think the tipping point was my friend Ragnar deciding to take the leap, thanks to the influence of Paul and Linda McCartney.

I knew my time had come.

I couldn't deal with the realization that too many animals suffer far too much to feed us when we have so many other healthy alternatives.

Realizing just how inhumane corporate slaughter is finally did it for me.

As of January 1, I am eating veggie.

I have been considering it for a very long time. Problem is, I - basically - do not cook. I don't eat "fast food," either. It's easy for me to grab prepared foods - and there are more vegetarian dishes that are actually tasty now.

I pay more attention in the frozen healthy foods freezers at grocery stores now - and have been choosing more and more veggie selections as I find what tastes best.

I actually love vegetables and find steaming them is fast and easy. I'll still eat dairy products, so massive amounts of broccoli with cottage cheese and/or tofu actually sounds good to me these days.

My start to consciously making this decision was choosing to eating eggs from cage-free hens fed organic meal. More expensive, yes, but I've cut back my servings from two to one - which is plenty for me.

Even though fresh vegetables and fruit are expensive, I've actually started to save money as I learn how to waste less food - how to shop properly by preparing menus.

My attitude toward cooking is changing - it does consume time, but I am finding I can prepare stuff, toss it in the pan to steam while I do other things, then bingo - it's ready. The frozen meals are also a snap.

The fewer ingredients, the faster the process, the less money I spend, the happier I am.

Some vegetarians I've known have had a certain pungent smell in their homes that I'd just as soon avoid; come to think of it, they probably feel the same way about my house. I'm avoiding the seasonings that apparently permeate walls.

Interestingly, one of the world's foremost vegetarian icon/cooks shares my name.

Colleen Patrick Goudreau is not only an expert in vegetarianism, but holds cooking and other classes IRL and online, running a virtual dynasty to educate the world in a way to help its people make informed choices about what they eat.

We have expressed a mutual admiration for each other, but I've been a little queasy about staying in touch because I haven't gone completely veggie - which is my problem because she has never been judgemental about the what anyone chooses to eat.

I believe I was uncomfortable because I knew I could treat myself, animals and the world a little better by going veggie. So making the firm decision feels like I'm taking better care of myself, animals and by extension, the world.

It's going to be a challenge - changing longtime habits is always a tough go. But I've been working at it for a couple years. First, becoming more aware of what I'm eating instead of eating stuff just because I always do. Or have. Or it falls into the category of "comfort food."

I have generally seen eating as something that I must do rather than a spiritual experience - and when I consider all the evidence, it seems like the way we treat our bodies is in fact a spiritual relationship. I've always thought of my spirituality taking place in my head, soul and heart - a key component was MIA.

No more.

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite thing to do is learn - and I know I have much to learn in this new way of eating.

I think the first thing I'll do formally is figure out the tastes I like; actually write what I love and don't love; seasonings I like and don't, and grow from there.

Simple and easy does it for me.

Baby steps.

I guess even with great veggie knowledge and educators, we students need to be ready to listen and willing to learn in order to make the difference in our own lives as well as others.

I figure this is a much easier time to go veggie - thanks to so many like Colleen, Linda McCartney, Amy's frozen foods and more who have developed good veggie choices for us uninitiated folk still finding our way.

Having said all this, I'm sure to let my friends know that this is my decision, which is significantly affecting several aspects of my life, but I don't expect anyone else to do what I do. I will only share the experience of my journey.

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  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger ryan dot cooper at gmail dot com said…

    Colleen- Congrats, this is huge! I've been abstaining from meat for over four and half years. It's been great and I've never felt better. It will be a adjustment, but well worth it. Will this also exclude fish? Good luck.

  • At 2:24 PM, Blogger cp said…

    Thank you, Ryan.

    Not letting go of fish just yet - but the goal is all food without a face!

    I'm shocked at how many vegetarians/vegans I know - who told me about their veggie status after I made my announcement.

    Yes, I see it's going to be an adjustment; I'm taking my time making decisions consciously now rather than relying on unconscious habit.

    And that relates to more than my food choices!


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