Posts Tagged ‘
Thursday, July 25th, 2013
2 years, 8 months.
I’ve decided that in addition to writing about the funny things you do and say on a daily basis, and covering trending parenting stories, I want to start teaching you “life lessons from dad.”
So here’s the first one:
I have learned that the topics of politics, religion, and food are so interwoven into emotions, moral beliefs, and sense of identity, that to bring up a point that goes against or even questions a person’s already established viewpoint…
Well, it often ends up becoming an insult, a threat, or a display of arrogance: It could put you in danger of being perceived as self-righteous or judgmental; even if you have the purest of intentions.
While it seems most people are familiar with the fact that politics and religion are sensitive subjects, I recently learned that the topic of “food you don’t eat” is equal in regards to one’s emotions, moral beliefs, and sense of identity.
But my opinion about these topics isn’t worth dividing people. I want to connect to people and make them feel included, and I’ve learned that openly talking about, or even just asking questions about, these three topics isn’t the way to do this.
So for the past month or so, I’ve been trying something out. I’ve been very careful not to use the “V-word” to label myself in regards to my eating lifestyle or the “L-word” to label my political beliefs.
And when it comes to speaking about my religious faith, I am trying to focus on humility, more than anything; which is one of the most important aspects of what I believe anyway. What good are my religious beliefs if my personal beliefs regarding politics and/or food distract people from my faith?
This is me trying to deliberately not perpetuate America’s polarizing tendencies, especially in social media. Both CNN and Fox News are pretty good at that already. I’ll leave it to the experts.
Regarding politics, religion, and food I don’t eat, I’ll let my viewpoints remain as much of a mystery as possible… until people specifically ask, or it works its way into conversation more naturally.
I want to earn the right to have these conversations with individuals, not broadcast my lifestyle across the universe to the masses like I’m the ultimate authority on these three sensitive subjects.
Here’s to finding out if my actions can speak louder than my words.
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Sunday, July 7th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
I can barely remember it, but for the first five months of our marriage, Mommy and I didn’t have any dietary restrictions.
Whenever we took a road trip, we didn’t have to consider where or what we could eat; just where and what we didn’t want to eat.
Then we went kosher in November 2008, and vegetarian in December 2011, then I went vegan in March 2013; as you and Mommy are pretty much there with me too by now.
With that being said, gone are the days of not having to carefully plan out in advance every single meal and snack over the course of a road trip.
As you know, this past weekend for our 5 year wedding anniversary, Mommy and I decided to take you along for a mini-road trip; a 2 and a half hour drive to Louisville, Kentucky.
Using hotel points we had earned last year, we made it an overnight trip and visited the magnificent Louisville Zoo.
Just as we had to plan out in advance which hotel we’d be staying in, making sure we could not only redeem our points there but also that it was closest to the zoo, we additionally had to find out its proximity to the nearest Whole Foods Market.
Basically, we packed half the food we would need, including plenty of water and snacks; then bought the other half of the food at Whole Foods the next morning.
We dined on veggie wraps, fruit snacks, and bottled water in the parking lot. It was like a picnic in our car; fortunately, it was the perfect weather for it… not too hot or wet.
Plus, I knew from previous visits to Loiusville that the city is laced with 14 different Heine Brothers’ Coffee shops. Not only is their coffee perfect, which Mommy and I could definitely appreciate as a fun way to start the day, but they also have plenty of vegan options for snacks.
So was it difficult to make our road trip a health-conscious one? No, because we carefully planned for it.
But was the actual driving part of the road trip difficult because it threw off your sleep schedule? Absolutely!
(That’s a whole different story and I plan to tell it in the near future.)
Our mini-road trip served as necessary practice for the big one up ahead in a few weeks, when we will be taking our annual family vacation in Sacramento to see Mommy’s family.
It’s one thing to avoid eating at restaurants for 23 hours, but another thing when we’re staying at someone else’s house for over a week and trying not to become a burden because of our alternative lifestyle.
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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
About a month ago or so, you began stuttering regularly.
You suddenly had trouble getting through any sentence that had the word “he” in it:
“He-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-he drives a purple truck?”
There for a few weeks, it got pretty bad. So I began Googling “my 2 and a half year-old stutters.”
I read that you should outgrow your stuttering within a few months, but if it persisted for more than 6 months, that at that point it might be a good idea to take you to a specialist.
At the same time, one of my coworkers was telling me that she and her husband had recently took their own stuttering 2 and a half-year old to a specialist; who basically said, “Don’t worry about it. Your child will probably outgrow it.”
Within a few weeks, his stuttering began diminishing.
The funny thing is, now that I think about it, you’re not really stuttering like you were a month ago.
Although the word “he” still trips you up some of the time, as does “why,” I can recognize that your stuttering seems to be more of a nearly forgettable phase.
Actually, that’s why I’m writing about it to you today- to document it so that a year from now I actually remember it happened.
I wonder if it’s a common thing for 2 and a half year-old’s to go through a stuttering phase? The fact I so easily found matching results on Google would lead me to believe so.
So in this case, Google was right. Mommy and I did best not to freak out about it and instead just let it run its course.
Sure, some children surely do have ongoing stuttering issues, which I am not intending to underestimate. (I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice of any kind; just sharing a personal experience.)
As for you, though, yours appears to just be a phase that is fading away.
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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
You were born in an interesting age, to interesting parents, who happened to be part of the rapidly growing minority of Americans who choose to live a lifestyle in which animal products are shunned for the sake of strict veganism (like me) or strict vegetarianism (like Mommy.)
As for you, you’re the kid caught in the middle of it, not realizing that we are making an important decision for you; at least for now. (What an appropriate shirt for you to be wearing today: Pizza vs. Broccoli.)
It used to be that vegans and vegetarians were perceived as predictable stereotypes; hippies who didn’t bathe. Not to mention, they looked down on anyone who didn’t share the same lifestyle and beliefs as they did.
I think of those animal rights ads that use shock value to get the attention of carnivores, often using images of nearly nude women or the slaughter of animals.
That’s not me or what I stand for.
The truth is, I don’t want everyone to go vegan, like me. Just as important, I don’t think everyone should be vegan. It’s not for everybody.
I don’t believe in forcing or pressuring my beliefs upon anyone for any reason. If someone is influenced by a conversation of mine, then so be it- that happens everyday to everybody.
Part of the process of becoming an individual is by (ironically?) collecting the ideas of other people you respect. That process, which included several pivotal documentaries on Netflix, led me to my extreme (yet not-that-weird-anymore) lifestyle.
Really, though, the main reason I don’t want everyone to become a vegan is because it seems like that would drive up the demand for organic foods, causing a shortage in supply, causing a hike in the prices of our groceries.
I’m not convinced there’s enough organic kale and chia seeds for even half of America to live this way.
So I best stop talking about how happy I am to have found this lifestyle and the positive health benefits (as well as, peace of mind) it brings our family.
It’s funny to think how 5 years ago, no one could have paid me enough money to go vegan for the rest of my life. Now, I’m trying to think how much money would be enough for me to go back to my former lifestyle, permanently.
I best stop trying to make our family seem relatively normal and decent.
However, to not share helpful and relevant information to curious people; well, that just seems selfish.
Hmm… the classic vegan dilemma.
I’m stressing out a little bit now. I need some vegan chocolate cookies…
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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
2 years, 4 months.
In theory, a family who buys no meat products should have a lower grocery bill each week. We don’t, though.
However, we still spend less money on food; it just depends on a person’s definition of groceries…
As you lifted up the “tailgate” (box flap) of your “pick-up truck” (Chobani yogurt box) and started to “drive it” (pinched the box with a pair of salad tongs) it somehow prompted me to discuss with Mommy how much our grocery bill has went up or down, compared to the days before we were aware of things like Yellow 5, sodium laurel sulfate, and Monsanto.
Our grocery bill is actually the same amount as it was when we were carnivores. This is because we make up for the cost of meat by buying higher quality (and more expensive) vegetables, fruits, and grains.
It’s not just about avoiding meat, it’s about avoiding toxic chemicals like artificial colors, flavors, MSG, and GMO’s.
Since our conversion, we have learned there are actually few food brands that we trust anymore. One of the few is Chobani.
While most brands try to disguise their ingredients, Chobani is very clear about what is and is not in their products.
They are one of the few exceptions we have found; as well as Annie’s Homegrown. We simply ignore most other brands, because we don’t trust them.
We are paying for quality and it’s worth it, to us.
So even though our grocery bill is the same, what has definitely changed is the amount of money we spend on eating at restaurants. It used to be between $100 and $200 a month, now it’s basically zero.
It’s not a moral issue; instead, it just seems pointless by now. Mommy has, by default, become a vegan/vegetarian chef for our family; thanks in part to the Oh She Glows recipe website.
Making delicious healthy meals is now becoming a sacred (and fun) thing for our family. It is difficult for us to trust random strangers at restaurants who we have to assume may be cooking our food in or with mysterious chemicals. Not to mention, a restaurant meal typically doesn’t ensure leftovers for lunch the next day, the way a home-cooked meal easily does.
To answer the question of whether it’s cheaper to go vegan/vegetarian, the answer is ultimately yes. We now save between at least $100 to $200 a month by simply avoiding restaurants alone.
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