What I Learned When I Became Vegetarian - Month Three

Half way! My confidence in myself was overflowing. I was feeling so much better now that I was two months into my new plant-based life. But I still had work to do....

Letting go of fish was fairly easy, but still I did my due diligence and made sure to be in this phase for as long as I needed to be. As you know, I love to learn, so it was important to me in this part of the journey to learn more about the fishing industry. And this included the sea life entertainment industry - I was living in Orlando, Florida after all.

I watched films like Blackfish, Chasing Coral, and Plastic Ocean, really focusing on seeing the ocean as an ecosystem. And what I ultimately realized was that as a land dweller, I have access to tons and tons of amazing food that is the right fuel for my body. I didn't really see a need to include fish. In a way, I sort of lost interest and decided that it was best to leave the fish in the sea for the natural food chain.

I know I'm only one person, but my intention - then and now - is to lead by example and vote with my actions and my choices. This feels very much aligned with my values and also bumped up my empowerment because this was a proactive choice that I was making. Again, moving toward a personal value because it was appealing, instead of away from something because of shock, fear, or disgust.

I was feeling great about my transition into vegetarianism. The fish counter at the market was no longer in my loop when I shopped, I avoided this section of the menu and went straight for the vegetarian options instead. I was settling into a vegetarian lifestyle and was very interested in settling in here before I tackled the last category - cheese/dairy, and eggs.

During this time, I had fun exploring vegetarian cookbooks, restaurants, and in my own creativity at home. Like I said, I REALLY wanted to get settled here at this phase. I knew that I'd be here for a little while, so in a sense I took a break on my road trip to being vegan.

I made sure to appreciate how far I'd come, to get some "rest" by spreading my vegetarian wings in the kitchen, and it was at this point that the ideas started to flood in for a new way of cooking. Plant-Based Fundamentals started to take root, pretty much out of necessity. I was determined to figure this out for myself, and to really feel that sense of empowerment and ownership before I continued on my journey.

I'd make vegetarian tacos and pizzas, tried out some veggie burger recipes, and started to learn how to make my own salad dressing. I became a student of the lifestyle, and I was having a blast. I began reading cookbooks like novels again and I was excited to have arrived at this vegetarian party.

A new job I'd found with a juice bar and raw kitchen, Press'd in Winter Garden, Florida, eventually helped launch me into veganism. I was totally impressed with how flavorful the food was but even more so by how simple it was to prepare! What I learned while working here impacted my journey immensely. Their approach was simple - real food that was both delicious and approachable.

With my newly acquired skills and yet another boost of confidence in myself, I was ready to pack my metaphorical bags and continue on the rest of the way to my vegan destination. I'll remind you once more, I didn't continue my transition until I felt good and ready, almost giddy with excitement and curiosity for what foods and feelings awaited me....

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