My Veggie Story & The Casual Veggie Launch Party!

 

Today is an exciting day for The Casual Veggie e-cookbook contributors because we’re throwing a LAUNCH PARTY! On October 19th, the e-book will officially be available to our readers, and that’s only a few short weeks away, so it’s time to get that party started… like… now! I’ve been sharing a few guest posts featuring some of the other contributors I’ve connected with, but today we’re doing a link party when you can blog hop around to ALL the contributors’ blogs. What an awesome way to discover even more amazing recipes and some extremely talented bloggers!

We’re all sharing a veggie-inspired story today as a precursor to our veggie-inspired cookbook. I mean, it only makes sense, right? I thought a lot about what to share and decided it was time to tell you MY veggie story. My story of how I became the whole-food obsessed, veggie lovin’, clean-eating fiend that I am today. I apologize in advance for the excess rambling 😉

 

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Is it strange to say I love the way I eat? That sounds kind of weird coming out but it’s SO true. I love loving veggies!

I’ve been a {mostly} vegetarian for almost 4 years now. In the grand scheme of life, that’s not that long, but it feels like I’ve been eating this way forever. It’s just so natural for me now— I truly believe it’s a part of who I am.

So how did this whole plant-based diet even start for me? I guess to tell you that, we’ll have to rewind back to my college days. Specifically the summer after my freshman year. You know what’s coming— a lot of fried food, pizza, ice cream, late night eats, and, uhhh, adult beverages later and I was not the same person that I was in high school. I had put on a little too much weight, felt like crap, and honestly had zero energy compared to my active pre-college years. What happened? Ohhh yeah, the dining halls did. And the social life. And the GROSS food. I didn’t feel like myself any more and something needed to change. Stat.

The good news was my mom is super healthy. She’s the kind of person who reads nutrition books FOR FUN and loves trying all the latest and greatest healthy recipes. She tried to share this passion with me before college, but my immature high school self was having NONE of it. I was naturally thin (since I danced competitively 5 days a week) and could eat whatever I wanted, I saw no need in changing my diet.

But things changed when I went to college and my lifestyle needed to change with it.

 

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{check out one of my favorite veggie dishes}

First off, I immediately stopped eating out so often. I learned very quickly that it’s so much healthier cooking for yourself than eating at restaurants every night. Next, I replaced my typical chicken fingers and pizza with fresh salads, veggie omelets, oatmeal, and quinoa. I still ate meat and fish, but completely cut out enriched flours and lowered my sugar intake drastically. I can’t even describe to you the difference I felt after just a few weeks of this diet change! Substituting lots of vegetables and whole foods for those terrible processed snacks and meals made me feel energized like I could never believe.

It got to the point where I felt weird if I didn’t have a vegetable in or with my meal. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed my guilty pleasures and dessert (and still do!)… sometimes too much… but I balanced it out with natural, healthy ingredients, so my body slowly got back to normal. After about 4 months, I felt good as new, was practicing a healthy lifestyle on the regular, and best of all, had the nutritional knowledge to continue to make healthy choices throughout my life.

By the end of college, I naturally found myself eating less and less meat, and eventually I just stopped eating it altogether. I didn’t plan for that to happen. I wasn’t purposely trying to cut meat out, but it just kind of happened and I was totally ok with it. I enjoyed getting my protein from other natural sources, like beans, nuts, whole grains, and leafy greens, and found myself craving those kinds of foods instead of chicken and turkey. I also began expanding my cooking repertoire, following plant-based food blogs and Pinterest boards, and absolutely loved experimenting with new vegetables in the kitchen. I went from a girl who rarely ate veggies, to one who based her meals around them— and it was wonderful!

 

My Veggie Story // pumpkin & peanut butter

{another fresh veggie favorite}

Today, I LOVE the way I eat. I LOVE planning my meals around fresh, seasonal produce. I LOVE creating new recipes with veggies as the star. Most of all, I LOVE feeling amazing each and every day I wake up.

So that’s my veggie story. You’ve probably heard one just like it a million times, but it’s so, so true. Food impacts your life so much, why not give your body all the fresh veggies it deserves???

So hop on over to one of the other Casual Veggie contributors today and discover some amazing content and some incredible personalities! Enjoy 🙂

 

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A Southern Grace

Cooking Up Clean

Family Food on the Table

Family for Health

Fitful Focus

Haute and Healthy Living

Hola Jalapeno
Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen

Key Ingredients

Parsley and Pumpkins

Toaster Oven Love

Treble in the Kitchen

Vermilion Roots

Where is my Spoon?

Will Cook For Friends

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

36 Comments

    • So funny! College can really do it to ya! I can’t wait to share it with you 🙂 You’re going to LOVE it!

  1. Hey Liz! Meeting you through the launch party. I, like you, changed my eating habits so much since college and even still I feel that they evolve more and more as I read, learn and experiment with healthy ingredients and recipes using fresh and seasonal recipes.

    • College really hits it home for a lot of us! I love learning more as I experiment with new veggies and cooking styles 🙂

  2. I love your veggie story Liz! I can totally relate to your feeling “weird” eating a meal without veggies. It becomes such a habit that each meal is full of delicious vegetables it seems strange if they’re not on the plate, like you’ve ditched an old friend 🙂

  3. Love your story! We just seem to have more and more in common. I love how you are (mostly) plant-based. I don’t like putting definite parameters around my eating style. My journey to a plant-based foodie was unintentional…it’s how I feel my best! I’m so glad to have met you through this cookbook!

  4. I loved reading your veggie story, Liz! I think it’s so incredible to truly be able to say you love the way you eat — that should be everyone’s goal! And what an amazing transition to make from your college eating to now. Such an inspiration!

    I’m so glad I’m getting to “meet” you, thanks to this cookbook. Can’t wait for the 19th!

  5. What a great veggie story! Mine is similar in that during and after college, and especially as I started working as a health and nutrition editor and learned more, I became more and more addicted to veggies! So happy to be part of this amazing cookbook with you!

  6. I loved reading your story too. Nice meeting you. And I love the name of your blog, two of my favorite things in the world!!!

  7. Thanks for sharing your story! Honestly, I am kind of like your mom…I love reading nutrition book just for the fun of it! That’s why I’m going back to school to become a Registered Dietitian 🙂

    • She’s gotten me into too 🙂 I realize now how important it is to be educated in what is best for my body!

  8. Your story is so inspiring! I think we can all relate to one aspect or another, and it’s those similarities that inspire us to keep at it! I definitely relate to feeling weird when there’s no veggies on my plate, especially when I eat out at restaurants. The meal just doesn’t feel complete without little veg action!

  9. I loved reading your veggie story! It is amazing how changing what we eat can so DRAMATICALLY change how we feel. A few years ago I developed a sensitivity to garlic and it is VERY hard to avoid in prepared foods and restaurants. It was one of several factors that pushed me more assertively into the kitchen and towards making my food from scratch. I don’t think it is weird at all that you love eating the way you eat. I love eating the way I do too…so maybe we are both weird 🙂 So exciting about your ebook!

  10. I love reading your veggie story. It is truly amazing how making simple changes to your diet can mean a world of difference in how you feel.

  11. I went vegetarian after college, too! It really helped me eat healthier and avoid stopping at fast food joints on my way home from work late at night. I’m no longer a strict vegetarian, but the 2 years that I was taught me so much about healthy eating – things I’ve carried through to today! So excited for this book 🙂

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