Sunday, September 21, 2008

They Way It Should Be

Today is absolutely gorgeous out, here in North Carolina. My favorite weather of all - cool, clear and sunny. It was so nice that I couldn't resist staying out with the chickens this morning and letting them run around the yard a bit before I went in to make breakfast.

This is the life that chickens deserve. Being able to spread their wings, scratch on the ground, interact with one another, eat some fresh greens and hunt for bugs and worms.

I have extremely crappy video capabilities on my little digital camera. This was low-res on the original video and even worse now that it is uploaded to YouTube. So, I know, you can't really get a good view of them.

What you can hear (and sort of make out) is Napoleon and the girls walking around and Napoleon finding stuff then making his little coo-ing sound to call the girls over, letting them know he found something good for them to eat.

It also shows him running over to me as soon as I got closer to the ground because he wants to jump up on my lap. He loves me.

I haven't really discussed this much on any of the blogs but we have changed to being vegetarians. I have actually wanted this for a very long time but it can be hard when you live with someone who is not totally ready for the change, especially if they do most of the cooking.

But Napoleon's attack really brought the issue and the disconnect home and we were both ready for this. And I have to say, no diet change has ever been easier. Or made more sense.

We are not completely vegan. We still each cheeses and butter and, rarely, milk, as well as the eggs we get from our girls. The hubby still eats fish. I'm a bit of a seafood snob in general so I didn't eat much in the past unless I was within an hour of the ocean. In terms of the cheeses, most of what we get comes from a local goat dairy, so we are very familiar with how the animals are treated.

With all of the great produce out there as well as the huge surge in recipes, menu choices and prepared foods, eating vegetarian is amazingly easy. And once you get past the mindset that a meal needs to include meat it's been simple.

One of my biggest hurdles was the milk issue. I love cereal and eat it a lot, generally. I always have - ask my parents. If I wanted a simple dinner, that was what I ate. So I was I bit leery of the Soy/Rice milk products. But when we decided to make the change we thought we would give them a try. How bad could they be, right? And if we hated them, we'd just dump them down the drain.

Well, we tried the Silk Soy Milk and LOVED IT. Seriously, I couldn't get enough. We have now tried the chai and chocolate flavors too. I like to have a glass of the chocolate when I get home from work for a quick "snack". The hubby uses it in his hot tea in the morning and to make scrambled eggs. If you haven't tried it, you really should. It's a little sweet but yummy.

The two of us have slightly different reasons for doing this but, hey, as long as we're together on the end choices, I'm fine with that. We're just at the beginning (just 3 months or so in) but I've never felt better physically or emotionally. It's kind of exciting.

I'm trying to convince the hubby to do his own blog talking about the recipes he's making and the products we find and try. I hope I can get him to do it because I think it would help to have someone share this change from a very early step. A lot of the vegetarian blogs and writers and podcasters have been on this for a long time, which can be intimidating. We're still learning ourselves but we're enthusiastic. What do you think?

We've been talking it up and, of course there are always questions. Our culture is so ingrained with how meals "should be" but once you get past that, you'd be surprised to realize that it's so easy.

And as I'm saying to everyone who is considering it or who we talk about it to:

You don't have to do everything; just do something.

That means, you don't have to make a 100% vegan lifestyle switch overnight. Ease into it. Give up chicken. Have 3 nights a week be vegetarian meals. Anything is better than nothing. I think you'd be surprised how much you already do and how much you like it.

Plus, if you want to chat or ask question (or follow my daily yummy meals on Twitter) I welcome it!

Hope to hear from you soon with your thoughts!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Respect the Rooster

I'm not one to buy a bunch of Rooster/Chicken themed items for my house just because we have them. I don't like to have a lot of collectibles or kitchy things around. I have enough dust catchers already.

But I am seriously in love with these bowls and plates from Sur La Table.

I don't need any more cute dessert sized plates but I saw the expressions of the Roosters and nearly broke down and bought them.

I had to leave the story immediately because I was too tempted! As it is, the fact that these are available online is making it difficult to keep away.

How cute are they??? Seriously, I love them!