When I was little, I hardly ate any vegetables.
My poor parents tried all kinds of strategies, though! Right down to the punishment and the threat – by far, that is probably the worst method.
I am traumatized for life by the tomatoes I was forced to eat.
I was a complicated child. I preferred not to eat anything rather than the vegetables in the canteen, where I was deprived of bread so that I could finish my plate at all costs.
In short, as much to say, it started severely in terms of diversity and food balance.
My meals were mainly composed of proteins, meat and starches.
This habit followed me until I went on a trip around the world…
In 2015, I discovered other tastes and cuisines. In Byron Bay, I found gluten-free and organic cooking, almost vegan. But I was going to buy myself muffins after meals.
I was always hungry. My body was hungry for fast sugar and fat!
“Ideally, I don’t eat meat anymore.”
February 2019, I am writing this message to my grandmother, where I will have lunch tomorrow. 4 years later, my relatives designated me as the family’s vegetarian.
I was already a bitch not to eat vegetables. Now I’m the one who no longer eats meat… Never like the others!
What happened in 4 years???
In 2016, I watched DiCaprio’s last documentary, “Before the flood,” in Quebec. I went for a walk, annoyed. One more documentary that drives home the point, but this time I’m getting into action!
Overnight, I decided to stop eating beef for climatic and environmental reasons.
A few episodes of deficiency, loss of energy because I go a week without meat but do not adjust my diet to compensate… First stupidity! Otherwise, the beef is not lacking at all!
French gastronomy does not make it easy for me.
2017, back in France, it’s more complicated. Granny’s good meals, mom’s forever cooking, daddy’s good steak. I still don’t eat raw vegetables, but I relax on vegetables step by step.
Fortunately, in my new circles of friends, many are already far ahead! Organic, gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarians, vegans… Everyone finds their balance.
The first few times, I was even ashamed of being opposed to their healthy eating. Yet, they don’t judge me.
They didn’t try to convince me or prove anything to me!
As soon as I tried to convince someone of my cause and my vision, they stepped in. And that’s what happens when it is done to me too. It’s normal. It awakens our resistance.
Wanting to force an idea into someone’s head is not the best method in the long run.
To generate ideas in the other, envy, is the key!
They gave me a different way of doing things. They explained new dishes to me. We cooked together without pressure. It was delicious! It’s greedy, otherwise.
The truth is, if I had to kill the animals I eat myself, I would be a vegetarian.
This truth jumps out at me. A cat brings back its prey in front of me, kills it, beheads it, opens its entrails and eats them. Nothing will be left of the mouse. I turn my eyes, the tears rise. It’s disgusting and cruel. I know I couldn’t do it! Not if I have enough to eat.
So why leave this heavy task to others?
Like nothing, this whole process that puzzles me takes place in the shadow of my consciousness, far from my sight and principles.
This is followed by shocking videos that appear on my Facebook feed against my will. I insult those people who post these kinds of videos that keep me awake. But deep down… It’s me that I blame.
I can still hear that pig’s cries—the violence embedded in my retina.
In front of the meat in the supermarket, I remain frozen, disgusted. I don’t buy any more.
I don’t miss the meat. I adapt and discover new ingredients. I cook my little gourmet dishes rich in small vegetables and spices from around the world. I’m finding out how to cook tofu and all kinds of weird veggies for me. Some, I try to make them organic.
I almost gave up on the milk. I didn’t drink much of it already. Not cheese, nor dairy desserts. Replaced by the coconut milk that I love! Flavored vegetable yogurt too.
I’m taking trips to new Naturalia, Biocoop, New Robinsons stores and discovering new things!
Miracle, my skin problems have significantly reduced!
I allow myself a few deviations, aware of my choices.
Sometimes at a restaurant, with friends and family, I eat meat. Knowing that it is easier for me – for now – to eat fish than animals with 2 or 4 legs, this is often the choice I make. I have to eat meat once or twice a week.
I like to honor prepared meals when I’m invited. It’s hard for me to tell my grandmothers that I wouldn’t eat their meals when it’s an act of love for them. I am aware of it.
As I have done in other countries where I was disgusted by what was presented but which out of respect I ate.
And if there are no vegetarian options, today I choose to eat meat occasionally. In that sense, it was not a radical and firm decision that I made.
Between flexibility and free will! I listen to myself and move at my own pace.
For me, it’s crucial to make these choices conscientiously. Each time, I ask myself the question:
Do you want to make this dish and eat meat – or is it a reflex, an old habit? Why are you doing it?
I never liked extreme and radical choices. For me, it lacks consistency. I want to be in tune with my current needs, with my values, with my body. All of this can evolve (the proof). Nothing is frozen!
I realize that this is not the perfect diet the way you look at it. It’s my diet, and it’s the right one for me so far.
The goal is not to become a constraint that pisses us off daily and makes our lives unmanageable. I adapt.
What I take away from this evolutionary journey:
Listen to yourself, go step by step, at your own pace
Rebalancing your diet is not enough to cut out the meat.
To be in tune with yourself at all times
To please yourself! Vegetarianism is not a diet either.
Never say never. Anything is possible!