When Andrine Nichols decided to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle nearly 20 years ago, she admits that it was quite a challenge at first.
“Whenever I went out to eat, I’d have to order a pasta entrée or salad and tell them to hold the meat, and it really bothered me to have to pay for meat that I wasn’t even eating,” says Nichols, who lives in Maryland. “These days, it’s a lot easier; most restaurants, even steakhouses, have at least a few vegetarian dishes on the menu.”
This summer I’ve spent a good deal of time upstate in the Catskills where my boyfriend manages a 2,000-acre estate. (Two and a half times the size of Central Park!) This Gilded Age estate includes a once grand 20,000-sq-ft mansion and riding stables. Needless to say, it’s paradise for me, Nature Gal. The abundant wildlife (including bobcat and bear), fresh air, pure spring water and total lack of light pollution has me ‘blissed out in the boonies.’ I believe nature is our ultimate healer, which is the reason I incorporate all things natural into my design work. And I have never felt healthier or happier in my whole life than I have this summer, enveloped in this magical kingdom.
I will never forget the day I explained to my then four-year-old son that steak is really cow. First he cried, then he asked why we don’t eat dogs like our lab Lewis, or at least the lost dogs at the pound. I didn’t have a very good answer for that one. Which really got me thinking.
I was a lousy vegetarian.
Though I enjoyed being able to look a cow straight in the eye, the truth is I missed burgers. And steak. And, occasionally, roast beef.
But, hard as it may be to believe, it isn’t our gas-guzzlers that are the biggest climate culprits, it’s the gas emitters. As in cow burps and farts.
Last week in my blog about responsibly-raised meat I mentioned Barbara Kingsolver’s wonderful book about eating local, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, as well as Mark Bittman’s newer book on his own forays into the messy world of our nation’s food supply, Food Matters.
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Girl Scouts Perform Energy Audits, Prove Their Future Value
Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday of the year. There’s no stress of gift-giving, there’s no major decorating to contend with (and dismantle afterwards), and it hasn’t been ruined by over-commercialism. Nope, it’s just about being with family and friends and, of course, having a huge and delicious homemade meal.
Between watching our waistlines and watching our budget, both my husband and I try to avoid going out for lunch. After all, you can easily spend as much as $10 on a sandwich or salad that is way too big, which you inevitably end up eating anyway and then feel uncomfortably full for the rest of the afternoon.
You might recall that my husband Chip was a vegetarian for, like, six years, until a freshly grilled hot dog at a barbecue melted his last resolve. Me, I’ve always loved eating too much to rule out an entire genre of food. Plus, when you write about food and cook for a living, it’s hard to have too many restrictions on what you’ll put in your mouth.