Technically speaking every day is Meatless Monday in my home, but I still find the campaign extremely valuable for encouraging non-vegans to discover amazing plant-based food. After all, any meal without animal products does the planet good 🙂

Our #meatlessmonday dinner was prepared last night by my lovely partner in crime. In my last post, I detailed the story of my vegan “conversion.” After viewing Earthlings, I felt like all of my nerve endings were exposed. There was a period of time where the sight of animal based products made me oscillate between nausea and tears. It was not uncommon to see me rudely giving family and friends the stink eye at meals (which I have since learned is NOT productive), but in particularly hard moments, I was always able to come back to my vegan home, which I share with my boyfriend.

JB was vegetarian before I was, and when I told him through tears that I could no longer be apart of ANY cruelty to animals, he shrugged and said, “Alright, let’s do this.” as if he had been ready to pursue veganism all along, and was just waiting for me to finally catch up with him. Not only is he a baby vegan as well, he is also self-identifies as a feminist [insert emoji hallelujah hands here], which means I can rely on him for an equitable split in household tasks, including traditionally “feminine” duties like making amazing dinners! Last night he made a barbecue cauliflower salad with a zesty ranch dressing. I’d post the recipe here, but I’m new to this whole blogging thing and am not sure the exact rules about etiquette in regards to recipe sharing… so, in the mean time, the recipe can be found here. It was so good. I’m always leery of salads as my dinner because I’m nervous that they won’t fill me up enough to carry me throughout the rest of the evening. After one serving, I was stuffed. The only thing to be on the look out for was that the barbecue sauce we chose was pretty watery (we did not make our own #lazy), so the sauce never really “dried” as outlined in step 3. Nevertheless, it tasted incredible, and I found that the extra bbq almost became like a second dressing. All in all, this recipe was a great way to enjoy that summery, barbecue flavor without all the baggage that typically comes along with it.

In other, non-vegan news, I’ve been listening to the podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” on the way home from work during the week. I listened to Episode 8 yesterday, and one of the thought experiments Gretchen (can I call her that? Is it too informal?) presented was to ask yourself what you did for fun when you were 10 years old. The idea is that something similar might make you happy as an adult. Embarrassing as it might be, I knew the answer immediately: at 10 years old, I loved playing with Barbies. Yes, still at age 19, It was all my best friends and I would do. I remember one neighborhood girl making fun of us when we were playing with the dolls outside, with zero shame, in my friend’s front yard. It seems that for a lot of girls, playing with Barbies was just about changing their clothes. The fun quickly wears off, but for us, it was about weaving elaborate stories. Our “games” would go on for days. I remember we spent one summer playing in a fantasy land that was the mashup of the jungle/the prairie because 1) Tarzan had just come out in theaters, so my friend was rockin’ the Jane doll and 2) We had just gotten done learning about the Prairie in school, and the developing neighborhood we lived in, I kid you not, allowed us to build actual miniature sod houses for our dolls. At this point, none of us had a knack for geography. When one of the Kens took an unfortunate vine swing across her playscape that resulted in a decapitation (he had to rescue Jane!), we held an obnoxiously loud funeral in an empty lot next to her house, much to our adult neighbors bemusement.

As we transitioned into middle school, I moved across the country. I kept playing with my dolls alone until about mid-seventh grade. After that, the fantasy worlds I was creating transitioned from being acted out with figurines into actual stories that I jotted down, both in physical journals and several rotating Xanga accounts. I loved to write, and I loved to fabricate tales, but as I got older, I became more and more self conscious about sharing them with other people. This blog is intended to chronicle my vegan journey, but it is also meant to rekindle something I have long-since given up on: writing.

Please bear with me and my excessive use of adverbs. My hope is that I will grow more concise with both practice and time.