2011 Resolution: Food Evolution and Making Time

Had this post ready to go last night and the doorbell rang just as I was checking over for final edits. Was a great night; find the post in original form below:

Once again on New Year's Eve I find myself sitting here with Tim enjoying the start to a low key evening. We have invited over some of my very best friends for a mighty feast, all ethically sound - local organic beef, local shrimp, organic potatoes, and organic greens.

Upon reflection of my past 3 food related resolutions, I'm proud to look back at where I began and how each of the small steps I've taken over these years has helped me evolve to the mindset I live each day with.

In keeping with the idea of food evolution, I've decided to join in on a challenge Tim has set: eating a solely vegan diet for the first 12 days of the new year. This means no animal byproduct whatsoever including meat, dairy, or eggs.

While neither of us plan to become vegans for the long term, we are both really interested in the challenges, hurdles, and hopefully advantages of adapting a vegan diet over the next several days. Personally, giving up meat will not be as challenging for me as giving up eggs and specifically dairy will. I know Tim's biggest challenge will be the meat.

Throughout my personal journey during this challenge, I'm hoping to find a few new alternatives for the dairy products I can't get enough of in my daily routine that might just stick with me after the 12 days are over. Tending to have higher cholesterol, transitioning into whole grains, healthy fats (oils), and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables has been a breeze over the past few years and has even been rewarded with little weight losses here and there. Then there's dairy...a complete weakness in every way.

Wish me luck on the challenge! I'll be documenting any mood, energy, and weight changes in a follow up post once it's all over. Take a peek at the mega vegan shopping trip we made at Ellwood Thompson's earlier today over on Tim's blog - be sure to keep up over there for documented updates and recipes we'll be trying.


In addition to the vegan challenge, this year I'm finding it more important than ever to make time for my family and friends. This time last year, I made the transition from living in Brooklyn, New York back down to my home town of Richmond, Virginia. It's been an incredible journey getting to know my roots again in a new way while working remotely for the company of my dreams.

One thing I am not as proud of is while my life continues to be amazingly busy, I've sometimes let this become an excuse for not making time to spend with those most important to me. I joke that since I've made the move back to Virginia, I haven't really seen my family and close friends any more than I did while living in New York. Long story short, time to turn that into a joke of the past.

I hope each of you are keeping safe over this New Year's Eve and are looking forward to the possibilities the new year has in store just as much as I am. Would love to get any of your tips, pointers, favorite recipes, and words of advice on the vegan diet.
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  1. What an exciting challenge! I love both meat + dairy too much, I think, to be able to do this without being grumpy at least some of the time. There is however a fantastic (and popular) vegan bakery near me in PA, and I know they stock various places in the surrounding states. http://www.vegantreats.com/

    Best of luck!

  2. A lovely post, Mary. I wish you and Tim well on your adventure.

    My life changed when I became a vegetarian in ways I never expected.

    I hope it is a sweet journey for you. If you are craving something, let me know and I'll help you come up with an alternative!

    Happy new year to you and your loved ones,

  3. Thanks so much for the link Faith, I can't wait to check it out. Sherry, your words of wisdom have already helped us immensely. We both thought of you in the grocery store while scooping up cereal, bananas, and almond milk - thank you for the tip. So far, natural peanut butter has been an unexpected treat on fruit and powerful craving stopper.

    I just may be knocking down your email soon though :)

  4. A low key evening is my kind of evening and the food sounded fabulous!

    Over the past 8 years of marriage my husband and I have changed our diet drastically. We've now come to a point where we have found a perfect balance for us. It involves a little meat, a little dairy, very little wheat and lots of fresh fruit and veg. Most importantly it works for us :)

    I hope you're able to spend some more time with your family this year. My brother lives in Richmond so I'll be making my way over there for the first time soon. I'll be looking for some restaurant suggestions!

    Wonderful wishes to you, Tim and Basil!

  5. Monica how exciting - please do keep us posted as to when you might be in town - maybe we could meet up at one of those recommended restaurants!

  6. Wow, that is one of the best photos of you I've ever seen! Looks like you are up for any challenge & dietary ones are some of the best. Remember, there are always avocados + quality blue corn tortilla chips! Plus so many dishes you never think as being vegan, like chili and Panang curry with tofu (yum!). I'm also trying to head down a path of discovery (self & food) - so best of luck to you & Tim, and Happy New Year!


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