Since day one of my pregnancy, I’ve craved protein. First it was hard-boiled eggs for weeks and weeks, then salmon for a few weeks, then avocados… which somehow eventually lead to turkey and chicken.
Now? Well now I crave chicken, specifically buffalo wings, to the point where I dream about eating them and even getting them delivered to the house. That latter part is only weird because the last time Kevin and I had food delivered to our place of residence had to have been in early 2004, shortly after we first moved in together after we got married.
Also, craving buffalo wings might not seem like a big deal, either, but maybe it will if I tell you that I’ve been vegetarian most of my life and vegan for almost 7 years before I became pregnant. Heck, to some of my long-term readers, it might come as a complete shock (and possibly disappointment) that I am not vegan or even vegetarian anymore. I’m hoping that you, my long-term readers especially, won’t think any less of me for “falling off the wagon.”
Truly, it wasn’t an easy a choice. I wrestled with the reassessment of my own ideals, values, and ethics for weeks before really coming to terms with the change in diet. Also, in the early weeks of trying small nibbles of ground turkey and bites of Kevin’s chicken legs, I still felt personal disappointment for “giving up” on being vegan.
After a while, though, all the guilt sorta went away and food became a part of my life, not a part of controlling my life.
See, food and I, we’ve always had a.. well… shall we say… unique relationship. It’s controlled me (I had milk & cheese allergies as a child and now am allergic to milk & wheat) and I’ve controlled it (I was a raw vegan for some time).
Recently, however, our normal dysfunctional and controlling relationship has transformed into one of peace and cooperation. I can now enjoy cheese & yogurt in moderation, certain meats (chicken, turkey and fish) and eggs without the normal guilt center in my brain firing off and belittling me for eating those particular foods.
On one level I feel like that rat, Remy, in Ratatouille, as I am also enjoying the taste, smell and texture of food like I never have before. Whereas I used to view food as pure nurishment to just keep me alive, now, I actually like food and enjoy savoring all that it has to offer.
After many years of proudly wearing my vegan/vegetarianism like a badge of honor, I finally feel as if I am more than just a “label” and have accepted my new found love of poultry as normal growth and change.
If you think about it, though, I haven’t changed all that much. I still eat lots of organic fruits and veggies, which is easy considering the world’s largest Whole Foods is in town. I still enjoy my wheat-free bread and other non-wheat carbs. Actually, I’m still relatively anal-retentive about what I eat, it’s just that what I eat now happens to include a variety of dairy foods (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, frozen yogurt), eggs, and poultry meat.
And, before any of you from the “you need meat to live” brigade start in with “Yay! We “cured” a vegan.”, you can just leave me out of your agenda. I want nothing to do with it, because, who knows? Someday, I might dismiss meat and eggs again and return to being labeled a vegan or vegetarian. Then again, I might not. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
As for now, however, I am enjoying the new (to me) foods that have awakened my palate. Now, let’s see, where did I put that take-out menu?