I was a lazy vegetarian for nine years. This may have been because I didn’t actively choose to become a vegetarian — it just kind of happened. Towards the end of high school and while attending college I lost the taste for meat: beef, pork, and poultry. I no longer liked the way the texture felt in my mouth, so I stopped eating it. I didn’t have a grand plan or strategy, and I wasn’t making a political statement.
Unlike most vegetarians, who make the choice to change their eating habits for an ideological reason, I just didn’t like meat and didn’t miss it from my diet. I wasn't campaigning for other people I knew to stop eating meat, or joining campus vegetarian or animal rights groups. It was almost a passive shift to another diet rather than something I did because of a deeply held belief. I didn't find it interfered with my life to stop consuming meat, or even that it really inconvenienced me in any particular way. There were always vegetarian options, although that often amounted to ordering something filled with cheese and starches. Even Thanksgiving dinner back home with my parents was just fine. I filled my plate with macaroni and cheese, stuffing, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, and potato rolls with butter. No meat, no problem.
I wasn’t really thinking about calories or nutrients and didn’t connect my energy levels or mood with what I was putting in my mouth. Like most young adults, I was focused on other aspects of my life, and food was either fuel to continue with my activities, or an enjoyable experience to share with friends. I didn't give it much thought beyond how convenient certain options were, or how well they fit my student budget.
After nine years of rather mindless eating, life had moved on for me: I was married and had just found out I was pregnant with my son. Suddenly, I could think of little else other than how to best nourish and protect this growing baby inside me. I remained a vegetarian throughout my pregnancy but I started eating more vegetables, beans, lentils, and brown rice in an attempt to get a balanced diet and the correct nutrients to support both myself and the second life I carried. I read up on how to ensure I was getting enough protein and vitamins, and stocked the kitchen in a way I had never bothered with before.
During the first year of raising my healthy and energetic baby boy it was time to start introducing him to solid foods. This was when I started to reconsider my own eating habits yet again, and realized I didn’t mind eating meat so much anymore now that I was preparing and cooking it myself. So, I started eating meat again. I didn't go wild and cook a "turducken" or anything — I just began cooking healthy recipes that happened to include meat as one component of a meal.
This began my interest in simple foods. I didn’t have a lot of time as a working mother with a long commute to try different recipes every night, but simple two or three ingredient meals fit the bill. As a bonus, this type of simple cooking was a hit with my child, so the whole family was eating well, and more importantly, eating together. With some help along the way from friends, relatives, and co-workers, I realized healthy eating didn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. It was an easy set of changes to make and stick to, and I found that eating healthy on a regular basis gave me the ability to balance work and family life. This realization fueled my passion for helping others find their way to a simple, healthy lifestyle. Today I find so much fulfillment from teaching people how to eat in a way that gives them the necessary energy for living their dreams and reaching their goals.
Stephanie is a Holistic Health Coach who specializes in helping busy women honor themselves, their family, and their future by showing them how to streamline their life, eat better, create more energy, and make better decisions thus decreasing stress. Find out more at www.StephanieKatherine.com
Stephanie is a Holistic Health Coach who specializes in helping busy women honor themselves, their family, and their future by showing them how to streamline their life, eat better, create more energy, and make better decisions in order to decrease stress.