Confessions of a Cheese-Lover

Morning!

I have no excuses for a lack of a post last night other than I was a li’l tired following Monday night’s workout and just sort of forgot- sorry!

I’m still new to this blogging thing and trying to find the right balance between work, life and blog 😉

As I’ve sort of hinted over the past few nights my stomach has not been feeling so hot so I was really not all that hungry for most of the day, but I still ate as I’m sure my body needed the nutrients and the energy.  I’d had a pretty decent lunch consisting of:

Grilled Cheese on multigrain bread with some mustard for dipping

Chopped Veggies

Tangelo

I brought along some Bocconcini cheese to munch on but I only ate one.

I decided to take a bit of a break yesterday from training, but I did some Yoga stretches to help keep my muscles limber.  It helped me relax a bit too as yesterday got pretty stressful- I’ve got a few projects on the go at work right now and I’m trying to keep them all under control.

Following my stretching I decided I probably better eat something but – with my sleepiness paired with my stomach giving me a hard time- I was in no mood for real cooking so I decided to make another tortilla pizza with sauce, zucchini, spinach, and a bit of cheese.

Breakfast this morning was some vanilla yogurt topped up with some sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, almonds, raisins and some almond butter for an extra protein and creamy kick.

I know what you’re thinking- she’s got stomach issues and she’s eating cheese!? But I just can’t have pizza without cheese.   I want to get something right out into the open.  As I mentioned from the beginning, I am a vegetarian and a passionate one at that.  But I don’t think I’ve ever given my true reasons “why” I am one.

Well, that is a long and elaborate story with a lot of twists and turns so I’ll give you the Cliff notes version for now as I feel it is an important part of my life that will heavily influence this blog and the content I post on here.

Essentially, growing up, I was surrounded by a meat-eating family (I still am to this day).  I have 2 wonderful brothers who would, probably, rather die than go a day without eating some kind of meat product, and I have a great Dad who probably feels just the same. My Mom could go either way, but we were outnumbered in the house so meat it was.

Every weekend, it was steak dinners, roasts with all the trimmings, bbq with kabobs, burgers, sausages, etc… You name it, my family probably ate it. Of course we always had an array of veggies and starches- my Mom is an excellent cook who provided the foundation to my interest in cooking and how to create recipes.

As I got older, I would really only eat chicken as I couldn’t stand steak anymore.  I would still eat roasts and some pork products but beef just wasn’t one of my favs. I remember long and hard-fought (and hard-lost) battles with my family on wanting to quit meat altogether.

When I headed off to university in my first year, I was lucky enough to get an apartment style residence with a kitchen to be shared between 4 people.  This is where my love for cooking really bloomed. I began experimenting with cooking techniques and recipes and I would invite my friends over for weekend dinners where I would cook amazing feasts.  Over the next 2 years I became known among my friends as the “cook” and my friends were always willing to oblige me with a taste-test of my latest concoction (believe there were some misses, but enough ‘hits’ to keep ‘em coming back). By my 3rd year I’d stopped eating pretty much all meat except for chicken, and by my 2nd semester of my 3rd year, I’d stopped eating chicken.  It wasn’t until a month had passed where I realized I hadn’t had a piece of meat in that amount of time, that I realized what I’d become- a vegetarian.

At first, my friends and family were extremely concerned- “but where will you get your protein!” (WHY is that always the first question people ask?) they would exclaim.  “How will you eat a healthy, balanced, diet?”

As the vegetarians and vegans reading this will chuckle to themselves, as they have all dealt with this conversation in one way or another, I’ll just assure you that there are so many other ways to get your daily requirements of protein and all your other nutrients without meat.  This brings us back to the “cheese” comment.

I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian- I consume egg and dairy products on a regular/daily basis.  The reason for this is: I still love dairy, and while I don’t necessarily eat eggs in their true form all that often, I don’t feel the need to eliminate them from my diet as I am a vegetarian essentially because I don’t like meat.  For the record I don’t eat fish either, I will on occasion eat shrimp and scallops but that’s about as far as that goes and it’s really once in a blue moon.

Over the past few years I’ve come to appreciate the health benefits to my diet and have made more adjustments such as consuming less soy and finding alternatives in legumes, nuts, and ancient grains.  But, I still love my dairy which is why I don’t think I could ever give it up.  While I appreciate the environmental and ethical benefits to a plant-based diet, and I understand completely that it is a healthy way of life, for now it just isn’t the way of life for me.  I won’t say never as people change.  All I can say is, for now, I’m very happy with the lifestyle I lead and with the food choices I make.  Though I probably shouldn’t have eaten the cheese on an upset stomach, I’ll just blame the French in me and claim it’s impossible 😉

Have a Happy Humpday everyone- I’ll talk to you all tonight!

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About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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