That is to say, veggies and I didn’t always have a great relationship. However! Here’s where things start to change.
For the sake of context, some back-story:
A few years ago, I found out that I have a raging case of Celiac's disease (that, obviously, is complex medical parlance). I’d always enjoyed cooking, so this presented a challenge – but it wound up being pretty fun, and I learned to cook gluten-free foods that were just as good as what I’d eaten in the days before gluten and I had our nasty, contentious, no-holds-barred breakup.
Considering that it took me 27 years to get an accurate diagnosis for my whole “autoimmune disorder on legs” motif, I know I have to take really good care of myself if I’m going to lead a healthy and productive life. I hadn't been doing a bad job of it (it's not like I feasted on Doritos and tubs of icing) - but I recently learned that the presence of one such disorder increases the probability that a person will contract other related ailments – and as with most diseases, that probability gets higher with age. I realized this just as my 30th birthday was fast approaching. I wasn't getting any younger, so that meant I had to start being really careful, really soon.
Moreover, as Ben Franklin once said (the man was a veritable cornucopia of great quotes!), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Reforming my eating habits doesn’t guarantee that I’ll never get sick, but my theory is thus: if there’s a chance that eating better can help keep me healthy, it’s worth doing. It may not be a sure thing, but it certainly can’t hurt. It might even help.
So as my birthday loomed, I decided it was time to make a few changes up in here. I'd recently read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, and I loved it. The book’s motto, “Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much,” really resonated with me. I mean, hell - I knew I didn't eat enough plants, and I certainly didn’t eat enough vegetables or whole foods.
So I decided to live by that motto. I started eating more fruits and veggies and cutting way back on my consumption of animal products. And, wouldn't you know it, my energy levels have gone up dramatically. My skin is clearer. I only got one headcold this winter, which is an impressive feat for me - especially considering that most winters have brought bouts of acute bronchitis and at least 2 colds. I've even lost a few pounds.
And I crave veggies. This, I'll admit, is totally new to me. If you'd told me to choose which scenario was more likely, me craving veggies or the Austro-Hungarian Empire being resurrected, I would've chosen the latter. But now, as I type this, I'm thinking about bell peppers and black beans - and I'm pretty effing stoked about it.
So join me, if you will, on an adventure (well ok, it’ll be an adventure in the most domestic, innocuous possible sense) as I, an avowed carnivore, eat more vegetables and live on a mostly plant-based diet. I’ll be doing lots of cooking, taking lots of pictures, sharing lots of recipes, discussing fitness and food, and generally trying to make healthy food generally, but veggies specifically, both fun and delicious. Just because it's green and good for you doesn't mean it should taste like the bottom of your shoe.
(Requisite legal caveat: I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or trainer. My Master's is in international affairs, not nutrition, or biology, or anything even remotely related to health sciences. Any and all advice I dole out is anecdotal; if you’re looking for truly sound scientific, athletic, or medical advice, please consult a professional. Seriously, I just write about stuff.)