At the start of this year I quit eating meat AND dairy (and for lent--which we attempted to participate in because Hannah thought it would be a fun challenge--we gave up sugar too!). Many people (a number of my family members included) think my decision is strange, unnecessary, and silly. Clearly I think otherwise. While I did watch a number of food documentaries that sped me along the path to pseudo-veganism, the biggest reason I took the leap was health related. First, I think eating a whole foods, plant-based diet is very healthy, and also, I have suffered from eczema and over-sensitive skin since I was a small child. I got tired of it. When I heard that a dermatologist recommended my niece try going dairy free to help with her eczema, I decided to try it too. Lo and behold, vast improvement occurred! Then we threw out meat for good measure!
So while my family is largely vegetarian, I am the only one who eschews dairy completely. As a whole, the rest of them east far less than they used to, and I think we are healthier than we've every been. Eight months in and I am 12 pounds lighter as well as having softer, clearer, less sensitive skin than I have had in many years.
This fresh attempt at keeping track of my recipes in one location will coincide with a fresh approach to eating. I am trying so many new things and I don't want to forget what I did and what I've tried that worked. It is also the first year I have participated in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and so I have my own garden produce and a load of fresh, organic produce from a local farm as well. It's been great, but I have really had to work to find ways to consume all that produce! It is forcing me to get creative and to try new things. So far this year we have tried kohlrabi, garlic scapes, fava beans, and various new greens. Also new: quinoa, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut and almond milk, and nutritional yeast. Experimentation is fun!
With hope, I will maintain better than I did before, though with me working on my masters degree, and student teaching this fall and spring, I might need a little luck!