Monday, November 29, 2010

Mirror Image Acorn Squash Supreme

Hi! Long time no post! A lot of changes have been going on in my life, not the least of which is that I now aspire to the label "nutritarian" rather than vegan. That transition has been happening for a long time, as anyone who's followed me in the past or spoken to me personally probably knows.

For example, I would no longer pack Oreos or potato chips in a lunch box just because they contain no animal products. Vegan does not automatically equal healthy. I would also not turn down something that contained a modest amount of an animal product if it were the healthiest choice available. I don't believe that animal products are unhealthy in the amounts that would have been present in humankind's natural diet before SAD came along. Rather I think of modern processed foods as the enemy: white flour, white sugar, oil, etc.

I wanted to go on record with this because I've kept pretty quiet about it out of fear, and I'm tired of living in fear of being who I am openly and honestly, 100%. I fully support and admire Voracious, the once-vegan blogger who shared in this now-infamous post about the health problems she experienced on a strict vegan diet. That took a lot of courage. I can relate, and I think that when being vegan becomes more important than listening to your body, or when it becomes a "vegangelical" fundamentalism that leads to actual death threats against those who don't agree with you, it has become something unhelpful, unkind, and unworthy of us.

That doesn't mean that I will be changing the fact that all the lunches I post here contain no animal products. I mean, I did write two vegan cookbooks and stand behind the idea that most of our meals should be entirely plant-based for optimal health.

And speaking of "coming out", let me also add that my divorce has been final for almost a year and I'm now with a beautiful woman that I love very much! For the first time, I'm in a relationship with someone who not only supports and encourages me, but also likes the same foods that I do and has transitioned to a mostly-nutritarian diet alongside me. It's amazing to be with someone who doesn't make fun of my food or hightail it to McDonald's when she sees what's on the table. Instead, she's loved all the dishes I've made so far and is even surprised that some of her long-standing health problems have gone away with this new way of eating.


We have a deal that she makes breakfast for us, usually a green smoothie or maybe oatmeal with fresh fruit, and I pack lunch. Today I packed us each some Acorn Squash Supreme from Eat To Live and big fresh salads with salsa for dressing and half an avocado each. I added a pear for a snack or dessert.


I even used a pear cozy!

124 comments:

westcoastsoul said...

I love this post! It's so nice to see someone who is really listening to their body instead of stubbornly sticking to a label. And congratulations on your new relationship! What a lucky woman getting to enjoy your delicious and healthy cooking : )

Jen said...

Wow! that is so fantastic! It sounds like you've made some incredible moves toward wholeness and health, and I can't wait to read more about it. I'm a longtime reader, but I've always found a vegan diet to be unhealthy for me, although I often do eat vegan.

Alicia said...

Always been a fan of your blog - even though I'm an omni.

Congratulations on your new found happiness - and you shouldn't feel the need to live up to a label!

Start posting again! I miss you!

Jessica said...

It's so nice to have you back!!!!!

I give you all the kudos for eating what you need and loving who you love!! Something to be proud of for sure!!

Looking forward to more posts!

Shannon Drury said...

I think you make a great case for why labels aren't healthy--for foods OR for people! Since I'm a fan of both your blog and your books, I hope these positive changes mean you'll be sharing your thoughts & recipes more often!

Ron said...

You are always so wonderful, and your food creations are nothing less than spectacular.

Sometimes our views of ideas evolve as we learn more about the world around us. All it means, is that we are still open to learning new things, something that we should always aspire to do!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for your courage! I have decided for myself that dogma can be left behind, and doing what's right for myself and those around me is my priority, whatever that might be. Good for you for seeing what you need and acting on it!

Poochie said...

As a long time reader (albeit not a frequent commentor), I am happy you have made choices that have made you happy.

However, given that your philosophical choice of saying it is okay to eat animals (even in "modest" amounts), and how this helps to further confuse the issue about eating and living vegan, I will not longer be a reader, supporter or promoter of your site. These are not threats - I just don't feel you represent what veganism is about and therefore you are not a good example to give to people. It's a shame that you have cookbooks under the vegan designation. Now it people come to your site they will be even more confused, making it harder for those of us who do not feel it is okay to eat any amout of food that is sourced through the cruelty to animals.

Best of luck.

Samantha said...

I chose to no longer follow a vegan diet quite as religiously a few months ago, and finally mustered up the courage to write about it on my own blog. http://www.noveleats.com/becoming-vegan/why-i-chose-to-call-myself-a-vegan/ I have never thought that vegan equates healthy, and a lot of people assume this incorrectly. We should all listen to our bodies more, and respect what we're hearing! Besides, it sounds like you are MORE healthy now anyway! Lots of luck and don't worry - you will still have many fans old and new. :)

Tabitha said...

It's good to see you posting again! And congratulations on the new relationship - having people in our lives who respect us and make us happy is so important and it sounds like that's what you've got now.

On the vegan vs nutritarian issue, anyone who would stop being your friend over that wasn't much of a friend to begin with, IMO. It is your life and your body, and what you eat is your decision and no one else's. Sure, it might be odd for people who have known you as a strict vegan to learn that you're now willing to eat some animal products, but that doesn't really matter. They need to accept that you are your own person and that it is not their business what you choose to eat or not eat.

Life should be about happiness and peace, and anyone who doesn't contribute to that in your life isn't worth your time. :)

Jess said...

Thanks for sharing things you totally don`t have to justify to anyone on the internet!!
I always assume people are vegan for ethical reasons, and I`m surprised to find out they`re not (you`re not?? How could you not be? that kind of thing) I mean, the ethical problems with our use of animals are so varied and ubiquitous, and deeply problematic, I sometimes forget that not everyone sees them that way. So in a sense I'm sad- not because you've chosen to eat animals, but because you're not what I thought you were. Of course, none of this is your fault, I totally made up this image in my head of a rocking ethical vegan mom, you never gave any reason to think that you were an ethical vegan! But yes, it's like losing something you never had... thank goodness there are lots of rocking ethical vegan moms to choose as role models!
Good luck with your new life, it sounds exciting and inspiring, I really hope you find the happiness you've been looking for!

Juniper said...

Congratulations! I'm glad you are happy! I've been reading this blog for a long time and nothing you said in this post would make me stop.

Badger said...

I'd like to echo the comment above from Juniper. I've been reading your blog for a very long time and have been so inspired by your delicious-looking vegan dishes, even though I'm an omnivore (I got terribly ill on an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet years ago; turns out my body cannot utilize non-heme iron at all). I'm so glad you're in a happy place now, both personally and in terms of your diet, and I hope you'll start posting more frequently again because I'll be here reading!

Terita said...

Thank you for this candid post! You have nothing to fear when you are eating and living the way that brings you abundant health and happiness. Congratulations on all your positive transitions. I'll look out for more posts. I WANT that pear cozy.

MonsterAteMy said...

You = awesome and brave.
Congratulations on grabbing some happiness!


(I hope you will post some more lovely lunches, vegan or not.)

Jenelle said...

It's funny- I've been following and loving your blog since about the third post (the original vegan lunchbox cookbook is very beaten up on my cookbook shelf) and yet I always felt a kind of distance since I'm not vegan (I'm lacto-ovo and I've flirted with veganism but it's never really stuck) and I was always a bit put off by the whole stay at home mom with an unrelating but present husband thing; I can relate a lot more to where you're at now :)

I'm really glad you've managed to find a place you're comfortable in. Please start posting again!

foster mummy said...

As a vegan and not a dictator, I always say it is up to other folk what they eat, not up to me! Food is for life, and to make you happy!
The same goes for your life choices, it is your choice, no bugger elses!!
Good luck, whatever you choose to do - you get my support simply for being a strong woman.
FM x

Nelle said...

Congratulations on your new and supportive relationship! I'm hoping that this means you'll be posting more often? It doesn't matter to me what food you eat for your personal health as long as the meals you post on here are meat-free!

I've always had to be a lacto-ovo vegetarian (as opposed to vegan) for health reasons. I wasn't able to cut out dairy and eggs AND be healthy, so I understand where you are coming from.

Good luck to you!

showmeyourcookies said...

Hey, that's awesome! I used to be vegetarian and lately have begun to change my eating philosophy. I can relate to how tough it is to admit to the transition. People get tied up in their perceptions of others and when it changes, sometimes it's too hard to accept. I agree that we have to eat in a way that makes us feel healthiest. This is the same philosophy I espouse. Congratulations on a supportive partner. Glad things are working out so well for you.

Heather said...

I'm with Poochie. You are NOT a brave person for doing this, you've profited off of the vegan title and now are mucking it up for the rest of us. Basically it makes you a sad sad cop-out.

K said...

Hi, I just read your latest post. I'm not sure what to think. I have looked to you as "VEGAN!" not "vegan?" but perhaps that is my own issue. In any case, good luck with all the changes going on in your life... Incidentally, how is Shmoo adjusting the lunch change?

The Vagabond Priest said...

Thanks for the post! What a cute lunch (and pear cozy). I've always said I'm vegetarian-mostly, since it was never for ethical reasons- I just ate vegetarian because I really, really love tofu and I don't really like the taste of meat. (Except bacon, once a year or so!)

I have really been enjoying Ani Phyo's Raw Food Essentials, because she talks about balancing what is right for your body- I'm learning a lot this year about giving my body what it really wants without being extreme.

I'll look forward to more posts! Especially on the nutriarian part.

BTW, I will plan to take and eat all those Oreos you have given up. I have them very rarely, but they may be my Kryptonite!

Tabitha said...

Poochie and Heather obviously didn't read the post very closely:

That doesn't mean that I will be changing the fact that all the lunches I post here contain no animal products.

The blog's content will still be vegan - so how exactly will people be confused or whatever, if all of the posts are about strictly vegan food?

Also, you are both being quite judgmental and really enforcing the sad stereotype of the uptight vegan who thinks their choices are the only right ones. Heather, she is not a "cop-out" because her body is telling her it needs something other than what she's been feeding it. How on Earth do you know her personal physical/mental situation? It's not your business to determine what someone else needs to feel healthy.

Jemibook said...

Congrats! I have always believed in someone who is educated in their food choices make positive choices based on this and what their body is telling them they need! Kudos!
I hope you start posting more again <3

Kelsey said...

So glad to read a new blog from you! I've been following you since I was in high school. Glad you posted this -- it's good to stand behind what you believe in, don't fear criticism.

skupannis said...

I'll probably keep reading your blog because I enjoy the concept of your lunches, but I'm really disappointed you're no longer vegan; I assumed you were vegan for the animals, just not yourself. I definitely won't be buying any more of your books or recommending people interested in vegan recipes to your site. It's a big loss and one I hope is temporary.

Jonathan Foley said...

Is something automatically healthy or nutritious because it is nominally vegan? No of course not. I'm not sure how animals products are ever the 'most healthy option'. When are fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain and unprocessed foods not available? Many vegan alternatives are of questionable health, but if you don't like them, then don't eat them! Don't use the existence of those products as a ruse to ease your exit, its ridiculous at best and insulting. Furthermore, health related considerations are merely one aspect of veganism and for many are the least important aspect. Ethical and environmental considerations are compelling on their own, the health aspects are a nice bonus. One has to be mindful of nutrition and health regardless of the base diet one adheres to .Veganism does not guarantee health, but it sure does give you a considerable leg up on the competition. I think really this comes down to convenience for you and anyone else who argues for alleged health deficiencies of veganism. One has to be mindful of nutrition, you can't just stuff some animal product in your face and assume that you're getting all the stuff you need because that dead animal you just ate was once alive. You have to say no to many things you encounter at parties, at friends houses, offered by colleagues. You have to be creative in unfamiliar situations. Sometimes you have to bring your own food. It takes courage, which you clearly lack.

MamaSquared said...

Hey friend,

I am very proud of you for posting your feelings on this subject. Life is an ever evolving process with no one right or wrong path for everyone. I think it is close minded for people to judge based solely on "vegan" or "non-vegan." There are so many options out there and I think the meldng of many is part of what makes us unique as human beings. It's like if people vote Republican or Democrat based solely on the party without looking at the issues or the candidates (sorry, pet peeve!) I am so happy for you and am totally supportive! You go girl!

P.S. Your cookbooks are totally vegan and therefore, have ridden no coattails! Your cookbooks rock! Love ya, friend!

Lady Lent said...

It's been difficult for me to become vegan because most people in my life disagree that it's the healthiest option or they just think I'm being too extreme about my choices in food. It's interesting to see the flip side of that, the fear and difficulty for you (and Voracious) to admit to the changes in your dietary needs.. People can have the "better than thou" mentality no matter what age, race, sex, etc so it doesn't surprise me this can be an issue for omnivores and vegans alike. Even when I first started reading your blog, I started to feel a little defensive and then I realized what I was doing, and I felt really grateful for your bravery in admitting this.. and congrats on the new relationship, it's beautiful when people can be who they want to be and just enjoy life!

Kristi said...

Kudos to you for having the courage to be who you are! I am a ovo-lacto vegetarian (for spiritual reasons). That is my personal choice. I'm not looking to impose my life or choices on anyone else. I admire anyone who can live their life with purpose and conviction! I'm looking forward to many more of your inspiring blog posts!

Alexis said...

I've been following your Twitter and am glad that you're following the evolution that feels true and healthy to you in all areas of your life. I don't think there's a better way to be a wonderful human or a role model than that.

Yay for more and more yummy plant-based lunches!

Hayley said...

Welcome back! As a vegetarian>vegan>wannabe nutrarian myself [and not doing so well] I would love to hear more about your experiences with that transition. I have a hard time creating balanced meals after having such strict self imposed rules for so long and I adore your recipes in Vegan LunchBox.

Congrats on creating a happy & healthy life for yourself!

Cheers!

Magdaline said...

I've been a long time follower of your blog and seeing you post something like this shows that you HAVE COURAGE. I absolutely love and support this post. I don't know what kind of person would claim that you being up front and honest about no longer being vegan is a display of not having courage. These are the kinds of people that give us non-meat eating folk a bad rap. I am all about eating REAL FOOD and look forward to seeing what you will be posting. Congratulations on all the wonderful changes in your life. <3

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

I have been reading your blog forever! I am a Omni, but your lunch ideas opened a new world for me! Your bravery and courage to be true to your self just makes you more awesome! And I am happy you found someone to make you happy. How is shmoo adjusting to the new diet? Best Wishes and BTW missed your posts a bunch

Julie said...

Great to see a post from you on my Google Reader again!!

Congrats on your new relationship! She sounds great.

Everyone's life evolves and I can relate to your vegan --->nutritarian transition. Do what is best for you! I will still be an avid reader.

Sarah said...

What a fabulous post! Congratulations on finding a great partner, following your heart, eating what is right for YOU! I have always loved this blog! (I'm not a vegan, I am just creeping steadily toward a more plant focused diet.)

Sarah said...

I have health problems now (gluten, dairy, corn and soy allergies) that I think are related to my 16 years of being vegetarian and eating processed foods. Hoping that a more whole-foods diet including some animal protein (but no dairy!) will help.

Congrats on your self-awareness and happiness!

Ashley said...

I love you're blog. It actually helped me transition from vegetarian to vegan when I saw that options were available. I never try to judge others for what they eat and it really upsets me when people make fun of me or emphasize the fact that they are eating meat just to try to make me feel bad. I feel that being vegan is best for me, and I respect that you need more. I will always love your blog even if you started adding adding animal products (I can always substitute). Congratulations on the relationship btw she sounds really nice! Keep blogging, I won't stop reading. <3

Kris said...

this makes me so happy because, it was through a comment of yours that I found DrFuhrman.com. You had mentioned that your skin cleared up when you stopped eating sugar, and I was like REALLY? And once I began reading his site, there is just no going back from that knowledge. It's been a struggle, but I know true North for me, food-wise. And that's a good feeling. Congrats on being 100% you and 100% awesome.

mynaturallife said...

I am very much on the side of eating the better, more nutritious food as opposed to one that just doesn't contain animal products. Plus, I generally just don't like vegans.

I'm glad you're happy and healthy!

Poochie and Heather: People like you are the reason why most people just don't like vegans. The world isn't black and white. It IS possible to eat a small amount of animal products in a humane way... just ask the farmer whose eggs I buy - her chickens are the most spoiled and loved animals I have ever seen.

Mel said...

I've loved your blog and bought your books! I've always wanted to be vegan, and admired those who can, but I can't honestly give up animal stuff completely. I eat about 80% vegan and I'm okay with that. It's not fair for women to be judgmental about food (of all things). I'll still read your blog and I enjoy your vegan books. It's very refreshing to hear honesty (a rarity in the blogging world lately).

Marcia said...

I was very happy to see you posting again. I am glad that you are back and are so happy. I love reading about your fabulously delicious lunches, and don't consider you any more a cop-out for having vegan cookbooks than I consider Mollie Katzen a cop-out for having vegetarian cookbooks.

Good food is good food.

As far as I'm concerned Poochie, Heather, Skupannis, and Jonathan Foley can take their sancimonius butts and go jump in a lake.

I have two good friends who at the age of about 38 and 42 and had been vegetarian (>10 years) and vegan (>20 years), respectively. They both eventually got very ill on their diets and had to revert to eating small amounts of animal products. Despite being very concerned about the ethics of eating animals, even eating a whole foods diet of the very best plants can't always do it.

Some people thrive on a vegan diet. Some people can't. Some people do well for years and years, then get sick.

Annodear said...

Nice pear cozie!
Thank you for 'coming out' ~ about everything. I have likewise felt sort of in the middle of food issues because I'm a pescatarian; a vegetarian who eats fish. "Real" veggies don't think I'm one of them, and meat eaters know I'm not one of them! lol And generally no one but me really gives a crap, but it does make me feel a little weird sometimes, and oh yeah about living with someone who doesn't eat the same. It was a very rough transition for my husband and I when I stopped eating meat 6 years ago, but I stuck to my guns and I'd say he's pretty much over it. But it would be SO nice to be able to make a tofu dish for dinner once in a while and actually share it. But as I would never accept him telling me what to eat, I understand that he is entitled to his diet, too. Still....

My 'rules' are fairly simple and I try to be flexible, too. For instance, when I'm buying the groceries and making the food, I can of course be in complete control. Eating out is so much more challenging, and we don't frequent veggie places, so I *know* there's lard in the refried beans at our favorite Mexican restaurant, but I eat them anyway. Ditto the hot and sour soup before lunch at a fave Chinese place. So, while I eat vegetarian most of the time, and vegan probably on average one meal a day, too, I try not to be a pain in the patootie when eating out. Simple. If I can control it, I will. If I can't ~ without giving up what I *want*... well then I won't. I figure the only person I have to answer to is me. And it sounds like you have found a similar path.

Congrats on the new, healthy relationship, too. Always good to hear of people hooking up and being happy.

Didn't know I had so much to say! lol

Georgie said...

I am in such awe of your amazing strength and courage. It is people like you who make me believe that true happiness is indeed within the grasp of each individual if we choose to strive for it. I send you my best wishes, and by the way, your recipe for tofu puff char sieuw is freaking awesome! XX

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abolitionist What? said...

I am really sad to see this change, because at the end of the day, veganism is not about the food we eat or even our health (though, good health can be a nice perk if handled properly), but about justice for nonhuman animals.

Becoming an ex-vegan is somewhat like becoming an ex-antiracist or an ex-antisexist -- you have to wonder just how unprejudiced the person was to begin with.

Someone else mentioned "humane" animal products, such as eggs -- what they completely fail to address is that even in such ideal circumstances, for every hen that her friend cares for, a rooster was killed as a chick. Chances are also high that her friend will not keep the hens for long once their production decreases to the point where they are no longer profitable (however defined) -- that has at least been the experience with my neighbours to have chicken coops.

Yes, it may be possible to eat small amounts of animal products and be healthy -- but it is never a fair trade for the nonhuman animals involved.

DumbledoresAmy said...

If someone told you they were going to just enslave someone a little bit bit how would you feel? The logic is the same.

Veganism is about more than food. It's about not seeing and treating animals as resources just like we no longer see other people as resources. Is anyone's life really worth your convenience or pleasure?

Marigold said...

I'm glad to hear you're happy in your life these days. Please, keep writing cookbooks, they've been a great inspiration for me, and i'm never been vegan!

underneath the bunker said...

First of all, how adorable is that pear cozy? What a great solution to the easy bruising!

I'm a - what, flexitarian? I was ovo-lacto-veg for ten years, and the last couple of years included never knowing whether the blood bank would take me, followed by iron pills, followed by a series of iron injections, followed by the conclusion that I needed to digest some meat-based iron already.

I've been reading your blog for a while and also follow you on twitter (so I knew about your domestic happiness already - congratulations!).

So often, I've seen comments on food-related message boards about judgmental vegetarians, but I had come to think of them as a myth, because I only saw comments about them, never FROM them. Unfortunately some of the other comments here have introduced me to the reality. I am all for ALL of us trying to eat as ethically as we can while trying to stay as healthy as we can. We're not all the same, and that balance point will be different for many of us.

Best wishes, and kudos - I'm sure you suffered many a moral dilemma about this, and perhaps a courage dilemma about going public!

Erica said...

good for you and congrats on your happiness!! i gave up vegan after two years 'cause my body wanted eggs and goat cheese now and then. i don't regret it at ALL.

Earl said...

Congrats on your happiness! It is wonderful that you are willing to share this with us.

It is so important to be happy with our lives.

I have been following you blog from before the book! Keep up the good work.

Stacie said...

Everyone has the right to eat what they want, when they want. You have no reason to feel shame, regret or like you are letting anyone down. In the end, we need to listen to our bodies, and what my body wants vs what your body wants might be two very different things.

It is great that you have decided to listen to your body!

Congrats on your decision and your new relationship. I wish you all the best and am looking forward to new posts!

Marcia said...

This:

"Is anyone's life really worth your convenience or pleasure?"

That's not the question here. The question here is "is any ANIMAL's life worth your health?"

The answer is yes. If you want to be sick, run down, unhealthy, all in the name of "saving the animals", have at it. I'd rather be able to have the energy to go to work, pay my bills, play with my kid, and LIVE.

Christina said...

I love you!!!!!!!!!!

Love is grand!

Check out my blog at QuasiVegan.com

Jen. said...

Hi,

I agree that you were very brave to post this & I hope you don't regret it.

I've been following 'Eat to Live' for almost 2 years now & have remained vegan. A nutritarian diet doesn't necessarily HAVE to include animal products. Dr. Furhman 'allows' no more than 10% of your calories coming from animal products & recommends not having any. He even sells a vegan Omega 3 supplement.

People who follow a vegan diet come to it for a variety of reasons, but it needs to ultimately be about compassion. To me, that includes extending compassion to fellow humans who struggle with maintaining a purely vegan diet. Righteous indignation on the behalf of animals who can't speak for themselves is completely understandable, but we can do a lot more good for them by encouraging people to eat as much of their diet plant-based as possible than by condemning people & making them give up altogether. After all, 5 people who switch from SAD to a 90% animal protein-free diet together help the animals more than 1 person alone who eats no animal products at all.

Christina said...

Yes. Even if people just eat 50% veg, that is better than a self righteous vegan turning off people left and right. It is totally true and really bad for the animals. I think the vegan and the ism need a separation of church and state.

QuasiVegan.com

Trish Loter said...

As a long time reader and owner of your books I am very glad to see you back. I am also a long time vegan, about ten years in, doing it for myself and for the animals. I am excited to see you move towards a healthier approach because it makes it easier to find those options for myself. We eat way too many processed foods these days, especially as a vegan. We should, first and foremost, consider our own health.

It shames me to see the negative comments here and even more to know that you stressed yourself out in fear to 'come out' to the vegan world. When will you people (the negative ones) figure out that the best way to convince people of veganism is with education and kindness, not with hate filled insults.

I for one, will definitely keep reading and keep buying your books. I will also keep recommending you to my friends.

Also, congratulations on your new relationship! It sounds awesome. :)

Patricia said...

Anyone who is expressing negativity or disappointment here is clearly missing the point: you are happy! I am so glad to hear that you are happy, and I wish you the best in this new chapter in your life.

I am grateful for all of the healthy ideas you have given me for my son's lunches (even my own lunches) over the years. It was your blogs and books that convinced me I could pack him healthy, delicious, vegan lunches that he would like! And he does like them (well... Most of them....)! So although the vegan world will miss you terribly, thank you for all that you have done :)

DumbledoresAmy said...

"I would also not turn down something that contained a modest amount of an animal product if it were the healthiest choice available."

This is the quote that makes me think this decision is based on what is more convenient and not what is more healthy or what is right. To me it seems that health is being used as an excuse. As adults, we all have complete control over what we eat so the choices "available" to us are completely up to us.

It seems that people with logical criticism are being written off as "uncompassionate". If this is the way I come off, I think it's because most people see animal rights as something that come behind human rights. I think that animal and human rights are as inseparable as civil rights and human rights. I don't see an ANIMAL's life as coming behind anyone else's. I realize this seems radical now but I'm sure that one day this thinking will be as normal as a gay rights being equal to a civil rights is slowly becoming.

To quote Gary Francione, "If you think being vegan is hard, imagine how hard it is for the animals that you're not vegan."

Christina said...

The best bet is to encourage others to eat less meat due to factory farming. Some will go vegan, some will go vegetarian, and some will not support factory farming by getting their meat, eggs and dairy from small, family farmers, and some will hunt, not but it's not doing animals any good to ostracize people. Will it really matter to animals if a few people go 100%? Since most people don't. Certainly many an omnivore has attested that the veganazi behavior is a major turn off and they eat bacon without abandon! But if all people did 25%-50% reduction in animal products, it would help animals across the board. I recently came to the conclusion after many years of vegetarian diet and 6 years as a vegan that it's not the most healthy for everyone. For me, yes, but for others not at all. We are not clones of Donald Watson, each one of us is unique. http://quasi-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/11/another-ex-vegan-is-vegan-diet-best.html

Kelly said...

Glad your posting again!!!!!
Congrats on your new relationship, how fantastic to have found someone who supports your ideals and as you say doesn't run screaming to McD's at the sight of vegan/healthy food!!
The last few weeks have been interesting in terms of the vegan community. I have to say I find your admission of the ocassionla laps into animal products a lot easier to swallow than THE blogger who now it seems is conducting a love afair with bacon ;)
I have vowed to not hide behind labels anymore, they are too constrictive. I alsways feel vegan and outside the home am 100%, but the eggs we recive from our ex-battery hens DO end up on our plate and I'm 100% comfortable with this even if some vegans aren't.
keep on blogging!!! xxx

London Mabel said...

I completely agree with Christina.

And good for you for being honest about your experience. Good luck! :-)

Jenny said...

Congratulations on finding a way to live honestly in all the areas of your life. :)

Ilana said...

I've been a reader and a fan of yours for several years now and I am SO HAPPY to hear things are well and that you're happy!! The most important thing in life is doing what's best for you- everyone benefits from it. Esp congrats on a fabulous relationship - you deserve it!

vslockhart said...

Jennifer - I am so happy to see you posting again, and delighted to hear about your happiness. I am omni, but I have always enjoyed your posts about eating healthily and your tips on delicious and nutritious packed lunches.

However, I am horrified to see the judgement and vindictiveness displayed in the comments here.
I might point out to Dumbledore's Amy that her comment that "As adults, we all have complete control over what we eat so the choices "available" to us are completely up to us." speaks to an incredibly wealthy and first-world worldview. Many people in this world have no such luxury, many of them in the USA. We are all faced with issues of availability for a myriad of reasons, and we all do our best with what we have.

Zinfandelina said...

I just wanted to add another vote of support! Labels are restrictive and I've always said you should just do the best you can with respect to your health, the environment, and animal welfare and not worry about living within the strict confines of a label. I've always loved seeing your posts and recipes and I look forward to seeing more.

I never understood people's anger at such personal decisions as diet. I've had some friends go from vegan to vegetarian and even back to eating meat as well and I still love and support them because they are my friends and I don't give a hoot what they eat! Personal choices should be just that...personal. Random angry strangers on the internet shouldn't try to dictate that!


Also congratulations on the new relationship! It's great to find someone supportive and appreciative of your passions. Best of luck with everything!

Christina said...

Yes! It's unifortunate that vegans -- who are self righteous -- are nicer to animals but they are not so nice to humans and that is not helpful to farm animals. So it's defeating the purpose. Ethical Omnis can do SO MUCH MORE. Humans have the forks! I have defected in spirit to the omnis. Check out this latest blog post:

I've never been good at math, so that's probably why this just hit me. Live and learn:

1. Given the vast amounts of omnivores out there, the percentage of vegans is what 1-2% if that?

2. What does it matter if one person goes 100%, since that person is rare?

3. More animals will benefit from more people reducing 25-50% than a few doing 100%.

4. Picking on vegans or people not doing it 100%, which I am so HAPPY to say, I didn't do, is such a waste of time.

4. I've killed a cockroach* or two.

5. Purity is for the puritans, religion sucks!

6. Factory farming stinks so bad. You have to be near it to fully appreciate the stench. I smelled it driving across the country, there are some places that reek! Near the dairy capital in CA, 1 in 6 kids has an inhaler. It is soooo nasty.

http://quasi-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/12/sharing-meat-reduction-in-meat-not.html

Elizabeth Marks said...

Well, I'm part time vegetarian, part time vegan, although the vegan part actually came about at my husband, the part-time omnivore's suggestion.

Ahem, anyway, for me what's resonated is Ayurveda- foremost its help in speaking to something that's always puzzled me- why the rules that other folks established for their diets didn't work for me.
Ayurveda, as you might know, believes that as we all have individual constitutions we must eat for -ourselves-. My body doesn't like a ton of raw food. It doesn't like one type of diet across all of the seasons. It doesn't even always like green smoothies for breakfast.
So, I eat healthy. I eat based on what I need :)

Tahirah said...

Thank you for your posts I have really missed them!

I have struggled with the vegan/vegetarian/omnivore "diet" for many years. It's great to hear someone working on "health" rather than a title!

And congratulations on your new relationship! There is nothing better than love and I wish the two of you many happy years together!

mynaturallife said...

I find it highly disturbing that many vegans think that being healthy should be an afterthought, and that being "humane" is the most important thing.

So people should just walk around feeling sickly, not enjoying their lives, not making the contribution they could be if they were feeling great?

Give me a break.

I have been a vegetarian for 18 years (since the age of 12) and there are many reasons why I will never go vegan, one of which is that I never want to be one of "those" vegans.

Let people live their lives.

DumbledoresAmy said...

How is it a "wealthy and first-world worldview: to make yourself some rice and beans? Or a simple salad? Or some oatmeal? Pasta?

Think about other moral issues. Is there anything such thing as a "part-time slave owner" or a "flex-rapists"? No. Something is morally right or it isn't.

I would like to let everyone live their lives. People AND animals. Someday this view won't seem so crazy but this change will never happen if the people who care about animal rights the most advocate for anything for full-time, abolitionist veganism.

Visit www.abolitionistapproach.com for more information. I encourage everyone to check out the forum and ask questions there.

Tabitha said...

Wow, DA - you are being a real jerk, and incredibly offensive. People who eat meat are akin to slave owners and rapists? As a sexual assault survivor, and also just as a damn human being, that is disgusting and reprehensible to me. For all your preening about what a wonderful person you are for being vegan, you're coming across solely as a cruel and hateful asshole.

And you are being classist by insisting that everyone can live how you live and eat how you eat. You think poor people should just live on rice and beans because animal rights are more important than human rights? You do realize some people live different lives than you do? Not everyone has access to fresh produce, not everyone can afford it. You need to check your privilege, for one thing. And you need to step off and stop thinking you're better than everyone around you. You're NO BETTER THAN ANYONE, especially not with an attitude like that.

I'm a vegetarian, nearly-vegan, and I support many animal rights causes and charities. I adore animals and I despise animal abusers. But I can still be a good person to other PEOPLE as well, and not shame the crap out of someone for their choices or needs. You, on the other hand, are clearly able to avoid eating animal products because you subsist on shame and nastiness. Good for you. Nice life you've got there.

Christina said...

I've been wrong about a lot of things, particularly when I thought the vegan diet, as a diet (food) works for all people. I no longer believe that. People are just as innocent as animals. Where does that leave me? I have to use a different construct, a different philosophy to suggest to people to cut back or to eliminate in a healthy way. There is no cookie cutter diet. As far as ethics and morality are concerned, for MOST PEOPLE they think of religion or God and then comes guilt and fear. Those tactics don't work. They don't work for religion (it's just for short term unauthentic worship). People leave the "Church of Vegan" and become militant ex-vegans. Just like there is a middle path in Buddhism, there has got to be a middle path here too.

And that is why Buddhism has no freaks compared to the other isms. Oh there's some, but nothing like the other religions.

Christina said...

Yes, tonight's dinner was tons of fresh veggies, hummus, quinoa loaf and various other veggies and it was 80 bucks for 6 people. That's a lot! Most people can't afford produce like I eat. Hell, I have to cut back a little. I have no cable TV. I'm lucky I can make my own hours, but the economy for me is really bad these days. 2 dollars for each bunch of kale. If I ate meat, I could get two burgers and if I knew nothing of factory farming or anything, why would I eat differently or try. But what if I did know and I couldn't do it. Count our blessings! In all my years as a vegan, I never belittled or thought ill of the mother of 4 just dragging her feet, working all the time, trying to feed her kids at KFC. She has no time for herself and no time to think. Do you really think she can afford a bag of Gardein or the forethought to soak some beans and that gets old. Even a can of beans is more than a burger! We all do the best we can do at any given point in life. Ever been to the ghetto or to the streets of Mumbai with emaciated children? I have. Man your life changes a lot. In the ghetto there is pretty much only liquor stores, packaged processed meat, and McDonalds and KFC (and their prices are sometimes higher than on the rich side of town). There's horrible injustice in this world to both people and animals.

Dumbledore was very understanding and saw things from different perspectives. He was always tactful and polite. People in his army need to learn from his example. Get out there with the people on the street and you'll learn.

DumbledoresAmy said...

The foods that I listed are the foods that I regularly eat. When I say regularly, I mean 95% of my meals consist of those things. Pasta, rice, beans, oatmeal, PB&J. Sure, I would like to have more variation but my current diet is more a reflection of my part-time income and not veganism.

I'm not better than anyone else, I am lucky. I was presented with a clear message when there are so many confusing messages out there! The majority of animal rights organizations promote veganism as an option and I don't see it that way. Why? Because causing unnecessary suffering and death to others is wrong. Does this reasoning make me an asshole? I don't see why it should.

How is harming an animal different than harming a person. The intent may make the deed less malicious but it doesn't take the act away. Think about it. What makes animals ours?

DumbledoresAmy said...

Dumbledore was understanding. He saw the best in people. I believe that when people are faced with the facts they will make the right decision. Not the easiest decision. Not the most popular decision. Not the tastiest decision. The right one.

Although vegan food is the tastiest when given the chance.

"...we must all face a choice between what is right, and what is easy." ~ Dumbledore

DumbledoresAmy said...

Also, right now, I'm not talking to children living in ghettos. I talking to adults debating over the internet. I think it's safe to assume that everyone reading these posts here can eat a diet similar to mine, of not better.

Christina said...

Do you think any of us here are full blast carnists here?

Everyone has a different version of what is right and what is easy. It's all relative. That's not a cop out, it's a fact. One persons ethics is another persons genocide. Rwanda is a fine example of that. Look at Palestine. There's so many examples.

I personally don't think that animals are mine, any more than I think my husband is mine. They are their own beings. I would love to see the end of all suffering, Do I have a big ole stick to make people shape up? Big sticks don't work. Even though my husband and I are close, can I change him? Not by guilt, ethics, or nagging! No real change occurs unless it comes from within. So therefore you must appeal with words and manner in a way that validates the other person's perspective, however horrible and immoral it is in your perspective.

Peace to you, dear DA. Say hey to Neville.

DumbledoresAmy said...

I'm talking to people not carnist. I'm hoping that people here will be able to see that if they believe it is to do something immoral, it is illogical to do that immoral thing at all. It isn't morally ok to participate in the immoral activity whenever it is convenient to do so. I can only educate people, but I can't hope for any change if I don't educate people.

Bliss Doubt said...

Oh Jenniferschmoo poo, I'm glad you're happy. I've checked your blog periodically while you weren't posting, and have also been following thisiswhyyourethin.

I read a lot of vegan blogs, and many others have lately posted about "falling off the wagon". I don't judge. I never was totally vegan, but I enjoy the recipes, and try to make vegan choices as much as possible.

I'm wondering, with so many decamping, if there isn't a vegan fatigue syndrome having to do with always being judged, answering hostile questions about your choices, always having to order carefully and ask questions at restaurants, being unable to partake of party and wedding food, being the odd man out so often.

In any case, I wish you the best, and will keep reading.

yseult the fair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yseult the fair said...

Hi Jennifer-
Congratulations on your happy new life! I too found the courage to leave my marriage five years ago, and now am in a relationship with someone who LOVES my vegan cooking, instead of sighing. Since I love to cook, it really brightens my world.

I appreciate it was very hard to make your dietary change public. I also appreciate your need to be honest.

I suppose Tasha at Voracious should get credit for honesty too, but I'm having problems with her manner of coming out. I see a world of difference between your 'I don't believe that animal products are unhealthy in the amounts that would have been present in humankind's natural diet before SAD came along' and Tasha's 7000 word screed which throws veganism and her vegan friends under the bus. She says 'everybody is different' but then goes to great pains to prove that veganism is dangerous and impossible for anyone to succeed at. Worse, she now affiliates herself with the Weston Price/Nourishing Traditions/Paleo crowd. She hasn't just added a judicious amount of animal products to her plant-based diet; she has joined the fanatical meat cultists. Two sides of the same coin: once a fanatical vegan has now become a fanatical carni.

Veganism has suffered from holier than thou attitudes and purity tests. I have long believed we need to heal the breach between vegans and vegetarians, and even vegans and omnivores. Tasha's public spectacle doesn't read to me as brave but self-indulgent and hypocritical. This will damage the whole dialogue for probably years to come. People only vaguely acquainted with the issues will use this to shut down any conversation about food ethics, and harken back to 'that vegan who almost died'.

I much prefer your thoughtful and measured approach and honesty,

Oh, and I too have been reading and lurking on your blog since practically the beginning, and will I'm sure keep reading. Best wishes for you, your new life, your future endeavors.

saniiralo said...

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions in these comments about vegans, veganism, and what is the morally right thing to do. I've been vegan for over ten years. In that time I've been a poor student and a competitive martial artist. My health has never been better than as a vegan, and I've never had a lack of cheap, nutritious and delicious food options. Not once did I ever consider 'cheating' or felt the need to.

Am I somehow better than everyone else? No, of course not. I am just the same as all the vegan friends I've made, in person and online.

The main problem, in my opinion, is that most people commenting here are not aware of their own inherent speciesism. It's easy to place non-humans in a lesser position than humans, just like it's easy to care more for people of your same race or for those in your circle of friends and family. However, non-human animals are sentient, just as we are. They feel fear, pain, and desire life over death. This is not some wishy-washy hippy talk - it is fact. So, just as it's wrong to discriminate based upon race or gender, it is wrong to discriminate based upon species.

And it's not about using animals differently with supposedly less harm. It's about not using them at all. Free-range organic farms are just as harmful as factory farms. All animals are used, abused and killed.

Finally, DumbledoresAmy is not being a jerk or offensive. She is merely pointing out facts and a rights-based point of view. If you are reacting emotionally to these words, don't blame her and fall on tired claims of vegan "judgmentalism". Explore the ideas presented and open your mind to a non-speciesist way of thinking.

"I adore animals and I despise animal abusers."

This comment is a prime example of moral divergence. If we truly think non-human animals deserve respect, then the least we can do is to not go out of our way to unnecessarily harm them. Consuming animals in any quantity is abuse and we simply don't need to do it. Veganism is living the belief that almost everyone strongly believes - it is wrong to unnecessarily harm animals.

Christina said...

Tasha is doing what most people do when they switch "religions" they have to create a new ethical construct to validate why they are doing something. Her health was failing, I believe it. The vegan diet failed her and many people failed her for not believing her. I have a number of posts on why, but basically the big reason why is that there's this idea that the vegan diet is for all people, when we are not clones of Donald Watson, how is that so? There's people who absolutely need dietary cholesterol, you can read about it here:

http://quasi-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/12/if-vegan-diet-isnt-healthy-for-all.html

Feel free to peruse the blog at QuasiVegan.com

fw said...

Dear Jennifer,

I'm confused by and disappointed about your choice to applaud the once 'Voracious Vegan' but thankyou sincerely for continuing to keep the vegan lunch box vegan!

I agree with those who have reminded us that veganism is a practise of compassion- not just a dietary preference, but a commitment to reducing unnecessary suffering for animals and others.

Sadly, many so-called 'ex-vegans' seem ironically committed to the health of their own bodies, at the expense of ongoing health and longevity for the bodies of others.

"The Sexual Politics of Meat", and a new anthology coming out in June called "Sister Species" are but two must reads for women (and men) interested in the intersection between speciesism and sexism, racism, homophobia, etc,

The animal fat-promoting Weston A Price Foundation appears to be responsible for misleading some so-called ex-vegans, like the formerly Voracious Vegan, and the likes of Lierrre Keith. WAPF advocates are notorious for backashing vegans in online forums and the organization has gone so far as to link being gay with excessive soy consumption!

Well respected vegan dietician Ginny Messina has a number of recent posts on the topic of so-called 'ex-vegans', and the inherent problem of the vegan movement relying too heavily on the merits of vegan nutrition in 'our' anti-oppression work in the world for animals and others.

No one needs to eat 100% 'vegan' to be healthy. Without an ongoing commitment to veganism as a means of opposing exploitaion and reducing suffering for others in the context of a much bigger picture, I think the words 'vegan' and 'veganism' are more and more often being sadly misused and misrepresented.

The vegan movement has never been about choosing not to eat animals simply because of the healthfulness that avoiding animal products and incorporating a wide variety of plant-based foods into our diets provides the vast majority of us ... it's about refusing to be complicit with the oppression and exploitation of animals in every way possible.

I sincerely appreciate everyone's efforts along this continuum...but please, let's not make the mistake of turning back the clock. We need to promote sound nutritional advice from the experts in vegan nutrition like Ginny Messina and others...not turn our backs needlessly on those animals who through no fault of their own remain valued more as commodities than as individual beings with their own interests in survival and freedom from fear and suffering.


http://www.theveganrd.com/2010/11/do-ex-vegans%E2%80%99-stories-make-the-case-against-vegan-diets.html

Shelly said...

Congratulations to you on some positive life changes!

I'm not a vegan, or even a vegetarian but I have been following this blog ever since I became interested in bento lunches and I have gotten some wonderfully healthy ideas and recipes from here.

I am so happy to see you posting again! I miss your posts when you're away. :)

Jenna and Trevor said...

Hi Jennifer,

I'm glad you're happy in your life. I however, wont be reading anymore. I understand that you became a vegan for dietary reasons and I am the same. Animal rights was always more of an additional benefit for me. The thing is, that I feel I can't support someone who in return supports the meat and dairy industry. The meat and dairy industry have done so many things to spread misinformation about the diet you and I follow. The diet that has changed my health and my life. It surprises me that you would want to financially support them.

But, I also believe this is your journey. Good luck to you.
~J

Rachel said...

Congratulations on your big news, both relationship and food!

As a vegetarian for 20 years who has recently decided to start eating meat and fish, I can totally relate. I have been thinking about this for at least 2 years, and when I read that Voracious Vegan post, I felt like it was written just for me. I am currently seeking out real, local meat and eco-safe fish at local restaurants (I assured my horrified vegetarian husband that I wouldn't bring it home or eat it in front of him).

Vegemommy said...

Jennifer, I've been following your blog since before your fist book. And, that book is dog-eared on my shelf. Thanks for writing such a great book that has personally revolutionized the way I cook vegetables, among other things. You're great! I'm a life-long vegetarian and judge you not at all for your choices. I'm glad you are happy in regards to your love life and your dietary life! :) -Heidi

Andria said...

Thank you for this post!! I love your blog and "Vegan Lunch Box." EVERY recipe you write/post is helpful to me -- I have tried out so many of them on my (vegan) children and (non-vegan) husband. We have many favorites. Every recipe has helped us to be healthier and more ethical. What I am trying to get at here is that you have had a real effect on people -- you have helped us -- to be healthier, more ethical, and more informed!! There is NOTHING wrong with that and never can be, so please don't take to heart the naysayers.

Per the naysayers: I think it is easy to feel disppointed/ threatened when you are part of a small and committed movement. Some of the things the negative commenters are saying on here are extreme, and I think even they would admit that; but I think they are just trying to stay focused and committed, and overall are probably doing the best they can with what they believe, like everybody.

Don't listen to the naysayers too much; if you are doing what is right for your own life, and helping other people into the bargain, it is good all around.

K said...

Hi Jennifer, I tried the voracious vegan link you provided but it is no longer working. Do you know what happened? I would really like to read her perspective .. Thanks.

Jennifershmoo said...

Gee, I don't know. It looks like the whole site is gone. Maybe it is just down at the moment?

VegetusMaximus said...

Jennifer,

I've been reading your blog from the very beginning, making plenty of my own vegan lunch boxes along the way. Years later, I'm still missing my daily fix of Schmoo lunchboxes! You've always come across as such a kind, caring person, so I'm glad to see you've found a relationship that makes you so happy. I hope you stay true to what you know you need to do for yourself and don't let others get to you. I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

Jen

Christina said...

It was very hard for me to interview ex-vegans and vegetarians and read about them too, but the perspective I've gained is amazing.

The Vegan Disillusionment: One Plant Based Diet Doesn't Fit them All and Some Royally Suck

http://quasi-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/12/vegan-disillusionment-one-plant-based.html

Yes, the title is a grabber. I could easily replace the word vegan with the name of any diet there if it doesn't live up to the hype and/or the romantic concepts inside one's own head.

I've immersed myself in ex-vegan and ex-vegetarian stories. Besides it being depressing, it has been a real eye opener. What I'm about to write will piss many people off. Too bad.

With the exception of one story of person with eczema, which could be indicative of Leaky Gut Syndrome or a severe allergic inflammation from gluten (Celiac disease), many of the failure to thrive vegans were raw foodists (can't they call it something else like "Rawganism" — sounds sexy) and low fat vegan or vegetarian dieters (can't they call it something else like "Malabsorptionism"). Also Macrobiotic based vegan diets have their share of ex-vegans. Can't we rename it "TooMuchGrainism" or "PullingYourYangism".

Read more at the link above.

Ruthie said...

I love you :-)

Laura said...

I can't help but find it unkind, unhelpful, and unworthy of you to reinforce the notion that any vegan who actually understands that veganism never was about human health, but about not exploiting animals because it is not necessary, is some sort of "vegangelical" who makes death threats against people who do not agree with them.

It seems just as fundamentalist on your part that people who do not agree with your "nutritarian" views deserve to be unfairly and publicly characterized as people to whom you feel you must either justify your choices or fear their reprisal.

There is no proof that the people who allegedly sent "death threats" to the Voracious Sitophile are vegan, or even that they were real death threats, and not just staged to help her make herself look persecuted by mean vegans. To give them credence is an act of cowardice, not courage.

Tamara said...

I love all of your changes, it's great to have you back!

adidascan said...

I understand how you feel. I had done really well eating vegan for about 6 months then I started nursing school full time. I work full time also. And live in central Illinois that is not very vegan friendly. If I didn't have time to plan to cook and pack all my meals ahead of time I would end up with limited choices at school and work. Eating some form of potatoes and an iceberg lettuce salad defeated the purpose of trying to be more nutritious. My diet will always be mostly plant based and when I graduate maybe I will move somewhere that is more vegan accessible. Take care of you and yours!

Beckah said...

Love your blog! Hadn't been back in a while, glad to see it's still going strong! Congratulations on the new love and thank you for the wonderful perspective!

jan in nagasaki said...

brave and bold post.
and in the words of my father who taught me so much...

"and above all else... to thine own self be true"

(he borrowed them from someone else.)

bravo and yay for you!!!!

Laura Innis said...

I'm a little conflicted reading this post for a couple of reasons. I've recently become vegan and your blog has helped me to see nutritious and tasty ways to eat without eating animal products, but I don't share your belief regarding animal products not being unhealthy (and thus being healthy) but also, I agree than vegan doesn't automatically equal healthy. I could eat a lot of potato chips, remain vegan and have consumed a lot of crap.

I don't believe you're copping out as some commenters do, and you have to do what is right for you, but I will admit a little disappointment in hearing you're going back to animal products. I agree that the processed/refined sugars and starches are bad for us and I also choose foods processed as little as possible for that reason. I've become even more conscious what goes in my body and how I choose to live since becoming vegan - it's heightened my awareness of my world and my part in it.

I won't presume to know what's right for you - no-one can, and we can only make the best choices for ourselves that we can. I hope your choices in what you consume do work for you, though - what we eat based on what our bodies tell us was the way I've always tried to live, and if you feel good about what you're eating, then good for you, even though I do disagree with parts of it.

I'm super-happy to hear about your new relationship, too! Good for you, and I hope you're both enjoying being together. Your previous partner doesn't sound at all supportive, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

I'm still a fan, though - that won't change - and as long as there are animal-free recipes here, I'll be cooking them. Thanks for your very candid sharing, and being brave enough to stand up for what you believe in, especially in the face of folks who do disagree.

Janet Glaser said...

I am adding nutritarian to my vocabulary. I think it is important to eat healthy but not be a vegannazi--adding that one too! Great information on your blog. Thanks.

hally said...

Geesh...some of the post you have got sounds like you would have turn to omni.

I just peaked in to see if there would be post for the new year and happily found two new postings from you. And wow what news...happy to hear that you are happy and even more happy to see new postings. I hope that we see new stuff from you in future more. This blog has been inspiration to me and still is. I'm struggling with my own lifestyle choices with diet and other things too just now and it's great to see that someone has courage to be what she is even knowing that there will be bunch of judgmental people giving their two and half cents. But happy to see all that support what you have got too.

Happy new year and hopefully there will be more blog posts during next year!

Tomdan said...

While I agree that many vegans are not healthy and will eat vegan junk food which is not the best choice, I don't think that being a nutritarian excludes veganism. The diet discourages the consumption of animal products. It definitely is not stated in the diet guidelines that any animal products should be consumed and the writings explain that plant foods are much healthier than animal foods. I have looked into the diet and I find it to be a goal worth reaching for but it is even stated that the nutritarian diet can be vegan as long as care is taken to get the correct nutrients (all vegan diets should strive for this). A vegan diet that is based on whole foods will fulfill nutrient needs, and the nutritarian diet is based entirely on whole foods.

That being said, your diet is your personal choice and I myself have struggled with health issues so I understand that you need to do what is best for you. I'm a vegan but I am not one who will reprimand others for their diet and life choices. I own both Vegan Lunch Box cookbooks and thoroughly enjoy them. As long as your recipes are vegan, I will still frequent your blog.

Congratulations on your new relationship and I hope you are successful in your quest for health!

Paula said...

I'd like to thank you for your wonderful recipes and congratulate you on your new relationship. As a vegan cookbook author and blogger, you did a great job of helping to educate people who might otherwise have packed factory-farmed meat and dairy products in their kids' lunches, and your recipes have inspired even long-term vegans to create healthier, home-cooked meals. You've also modeled honesty and courage in "coming out" about your choices. However, I can't support the idea that a totally vegan diet is unhealthy, nor that humans should put their own convenience over the rights of animals. I am vegan because a plant-based diet is healthy for me and for the environment; most importantly, though, I am vegan because I feel compassion for other creatures. While you have every right to take care of your own health and happiness, I can't personally support your choice to eat meat and dairy products. For this reason, I will not be returning to your blog or buying your cookbooks, but I do wish you well.

Ward said...

Awwww Jen, this is so sad to hear (the not being vegan part, congrats on the finding new love etc).

I think a lot of people realise that not all vegan foods are healthy (eg. oreos), and that most sensible people who are not supplementing their diet adequately need to make some adjustments, and not have a 'live by the sword, die by the sword' attitude to veganism.

However I am upset to see such an icon as yourself (someone who I have looked up to for a while), no longer promoting veganism with the passion that you once did.

I hope you will reconsider and continue to live an animal friendly, healthy and happy life.

~ A Vegan and a Vitamix said...

I love your recipes and your blog! I just made an acorn squash soup and posted it to my new blog. I'd love if you'd check it out and try the recipe!

http://agirlandavitamix.blogspot.com/

Sherrie said...

I'm a little late to the party, but it's so good to see you posting again!

Congrats on finding a supportive, loving relationship! That is not an easy thing to find and I wish the two of you much love.

Peace!

Susan said...

Hi - can you please email me the pear cozy in both knitting and crocheting? Thank you so much - so cute, adorable!!! seanderson1027@hotmail.com

K said...

Dear Jennifer,

I have been reading this blog off and on for a few years now. I wish to express my condolences that things did not turn out as you'd hoped when you got married but I rejoice for you that you are happy and pursuing a path that will lead to more happiness.

You don't write much personal information on the blog but whenever your husband was mentioned, I hoped you were getting what you needed from that relationship because he certainly did not sound supportive of your concern for nutrition (Not that I would judge how your marriage was based on a infrequent blog comments, but I did hope for you happiness).

Thank you for continuing your blog. It is quite inspirational.


K

Ellen said...

Good grief - this is one of the most hijacked comments sections I've ever seen. Jennifer, you are a better woman that I - I would have moderated those comments right into oblivion. Congrats on your relationship! How exciting - how is Schmoo dealing with the changes? I'm glad you're happy. I am a vegan 10 months out of the year. In July and August, when I train and race in triathlons, I consume a daily serving of red meat. I learned this about myself (after being vegetarian for 15+ years and vegan for 10+) three years ago, after collapsing on a training ride. My iron stores were completely shot. And I am a mad greens eater. Anyway, I am glad you are doing what you need to do to feel your best. Please, oh please, get rid of the negative posts. What's the point? Stop hogging the airwaves, you nay-sayers.
All my support,
Ellen

unclegreenmush said...

I've been watching your blog on and off for the past three years or so, and I've always loved it. I am so impressed with this post. Lifestyle diets like veganism and vegetarianism are really, really important parts of someones life, especially if they've been at it for years. I'm not a strict anything, but it's been about five years since I ate 'mammal' meat, and I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be if I realized I had to start eating it again to help my health. Plus you have tons of followers, so that's a whole other pressure I can't wrap my head around. I know it's not the same thing, but I hope it makes sense. I really, really admire you for making a change that's best for you, despite all the pressure around you, and for posting about it here.

I really wish you luck with your girlfriend, your son, and just everything in particular. I'm very happy for you, and can't wait to see more from your site, as always.

Liora said...

Jennifer, It is not easy to change your label and you seem to have done a lot of label-changing lately (vegan to nutritatrian, married to divorced etc.) I am happy to see that you chose to follow your heart.

We are all different, and what works for one person might not work for another- you chose your way based on your health and happiness- that is great.

I love your books and your blog posts, and despite me being vegan, I will continue to follow your blog.

I chose to be vegan from health and ethical reasons, but I do not enforce my way of life on anyone. When people ask, I tell them about my choice in a respectful, non-judgmental way. In fact, my husband used to be an avid meat-eater. As time went by, he transitioned to eating less meat and now he is a vegetarian. The point is, he got to it all by himself. I was there to provide awesome food and information, but he chose it on his own. That is how things should be.

You made your choice, and you are happy-- that's all that matters right now. None of us--not even vegans--have the right to judge you for what you eat or what you choose to do in your life.

Best of luck to you and I hope to see some more delicious meals soon!

Elisabeth said...

I had to add a comment to the "we're all adults and we can choose to eat whatever we want" attitudes.

Um, that must be nice. We're solidly in the middle class, BUT we have food allergies in the family. My daughter cannot eat gluten, dairy, or peanuts. My husband cannot eat dairy. I cannot eat crustaceans. My mother (who lives next door)cannot eat any legumes (that means no peanuts, no soy, no beans). Suffice to say, we don't eat out much. And we make a lot of food from scratch. And we eat meat, especially if we're eating all together. But with no dairy on the menu, if we eat meat-free, we typically eat vegan.

I have adored your lunch books because with two dairy allergies, the standard cheese and yogurt lunch suggestions don't fly.

Thank you.

gila said...

You continue to amaze me. As a long time silent lurker, I have to say something. I stopped looking at your site when you vanished for a while, but I wanted lunch inspiration today; instead I just found inspiration, period. I'm a long time reader - from the first months of Veganlunchbox - who went from a) loving the recipes but feeling put off by thinking of you as a perfect mom with a perfect life, finding the shmooisms gushing and twee (though when my kids were very little, I bet I was exactly the same) to b) admiring and liking the virtual you immensely when you wrote so honestly of familiar struggles, being married to a meat-eater, or shmoo at one point having weight issues - and then showing off those gorgeous tattoos - that was it. Hooked. Fabulous healthy meals from a fascinating woman. Now I peek in and read this (obviously, I've been missing out for a few months) and I'm just speechless at your honesty, integrity and the elegance of your writing. Your partner is lucky on so many fronts (and I trust you're lucky as well!) I hope you and she and Shmoo are all thriving. And as always, every photograph is mouthwatering. I''m not vegan - not even vegetarian, I'll always eat fish and very occasionally a little meat. But coming to your site always leaves me revved up to stick to veggies and grains more than I might otherwise. I wish the judgmental in this crowd would realize how many meat-eaters lives you've touched and changed, they should be applauding you, not chastising. Veganlunchbox never seemed a place to me for Vegans only - that's why I keep coming back, and as long as you're posting, will continue do so, rooting for you.

Jennifershmoo said...

Aw, thank you so much, gila, for all your kind words! You've made my day!! :-)

Clare Cecil-Karb said...

Your blog is awesome and inspiring, your honesty is awesome and inspiring... I have been following you since about 2006 and I've loved getting to know you.
Congratulations on finding health and happiness!

figureinthefog said...

Wow!
I'm glad you're doing well, and glad your life is going in a direction that makes you happy.
I'm sorry for all the drama!

You have not only made vegan meals easier and more appealing to the masses, but you have focused on lunch boxes, meaning that many of the vegan meals you have inspired have been prepared for CHILDREN. These children will grow up thinking that vegan food is tasty and awesome.
In doing this, you have done more for the vegan cause than the folks who only preach to the choir, so thanks. <3

RUASYNNER said...

I have been following you blog for many years now. Not to mention I own two of your books. I'm so proud of you and all that you have done for your family and (very importantly) your self. Do what you feel is best for YOU and not what people think is best. I will continue to follow your blog as long as you keep writing in it. Love you girl!

Meridith said...

(I'm a bit behind the times, but still feel the need to comment....)

People who are passionate about animal rights are passionate. I doubt Jennifer was expecting 100% support in her decision. People have different reasons for eating plant-based so there are different motivations at play for some.

I am a bit saddened by your decision - it's hard to imagine how animal products would be necessary in someone's diet....but I'm not living your life and I'm certainly not in a position to judge. I'm just glad you are going to continue to promote vegan lunches.

And most of all, I'm glad that you are happy. You deserve it. :) Keep up the good work.

VeggieGirl said...

bravo! not a vegan anymore either - my health comes first. don't listen to the crazy haters! your blog was the first one I EVER read, back in early 2007 :)

Dori said...

Thanks to a break in my job (public school teacher) I finally get to catch up and was happy to read this post. Thanks for your honesty. I too was a vegan food blogger and then I began teaching nutrition. I still embrace a plant based diet, but do not veganelize (I like that word!). When students ask about veg diets I say that any diet can be healthy and unhealthy. If you are going to be a vegetarian, be a smart one and know you are getting the proper nutrition. Likewise if you are going to be a meat eater, be a smart one and make sure you get the nutrition you need.

I appreciated reading your post and will continue to read this blog! Taking your own lunch is good economical and ecological sense!

Elizabeth said...

I thought this was a beautiful and wonderful post - I was so sad somehow to read some unfriendly comments :( To me, veganism is about doing our best to live a life that is healthy and good and kind, taking into account our earth and all of her creatures. We can never be perfect at this, but the idea is to try to move toward that as much as we can - in our interactions with our food, with non-human animals, and with humans too! I have found your blog helpful in moving toward this in packing lunches and I am very thankful that and for your honesty about how you live and who you are. With much thanks and care, Elizabeth

mochafrapswirlz said...

Hi Jen! Ignore the haters out there. I'm happy to see you finding happiness for yourself. I, too, fell off the vegan bandwagon a month ago and I'm back to eating animal products because I don't buy the goods and no one wants to buy local organic produce. I've seen people write: since being on a vegan diet their hair has fallen out, they're weak, they're sick, and they are deficient in nutrients. There must be a connection between processed soy and illness since there are numerous claims as to the poor quality of health, and the number one substitute that people reach for is soy in the processed and unfermented form. I too am experiencing a low quality of health but it's between the vegan junk and the omni-fast-food-junk. Really. Beggars can't be choosers. Much love, Mocha.