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Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest blogger: Viviane from Montreal

Hello!  Here's another lovely post from my friend Viviane...  my ex-translator who is not too busy... but that's ok... I understand....  that's life!!! However, I did ask her to write something for me...  cause I know she's became vegetarian and is trying to simplify her life... I wanted someone "new" to all that to testify... and she is really young also!!! 

here's a picture of Anakin looking at his new found window - furniture been removed form there!

I always loved food. I love cooking so much! When I was young, I would help my mom bake cakes, cookies, bread. She makes everything from scratch! Even today, she is still an inspiration to me. I was raised in an average family, eating traditional food and, of course, a lot of meat. The thing is, I never really liked meat. I would eat it because I was used to eating it. Every time I would eat meat, even as a kid, of would force myself to eat half of the portion… and sometimes, I couldn’t even finish that half. It would always end up in my parents’ plate, or in my dog’s bowl. The only meat I would really enjoy, was chicken. But I hated it if it was too thick. Like a chicken breast, for example… As for the side dish, the salad and the dessert? No problem! I could eat a ton! I’m still like that…
I met Nathalie in July 2011. I got an internship in a biomedical engineering company as a translator. Nathalie was sitting right beside me. I’m a very shy person, so I don’t talk much. She doesn’t talk much either! It took a while for me to start talking to her. She told me she was vegetarian and somewhat, I was interested by her lifestyle, even though she was very private about it. I told her that I didn’t really mind meat, that I could probably stop eating it without having any regrets. She then introduced me to the “Meatless Monday” movement. How interesting! I didn’t always do Meatless Monday, it was more like a “Couple of random meatless days a week”. I started to discover why eating meat is not so good… A couple of months later, I was browsing Netflix with my fiancé. We decided to watch the documentary Food Inc. After that, my perception of meat changed. I didn’t “not care about it” no more. I didn’t want to eat it. But for me, meat was an easy thing to cook. When I didn’t have time to cook, most of the time as a university student, I would just grab pork or chicken in the freezer, unfreeze it and cook it. In the weeks/months following that, I would still eat meat, but not as much as I did. Then, an afternoon, on my way to a university class, I received an email from Nathalie. She sent me an article talking about the health benefits of a plant based diet. I found it very interesting. On my way to university, I couldn’t stop thinking“what if”. What if I became vegetarian? OK, it’s not a plant based diet, but it’s still a good start. OK! I had to do it! 15 minutes after reading that article, I decided to challenge myself! I would not eat meat for a whole week and see how it goes! You know what? It went so well that I didn’t eat meat in 8 months! And I don’t miss it!!! My fiancé didn’t think it would last. But it did. And I don’t think I will ever go back to how I was before. I’m still trying to figure out how to eat everything I need to, because it’s not easy. It never was, even as an omnivore. Recently, I decided to subscribe to a vegetarian meal planner. It tells me everything I should eat every day, and proposes recipes based on the weekly specials at the grocery store! Ain’t that nice? So now, I eat everything I need: fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairies, grains… And I save money! I now make almost everything from scratch, like my mom JI feel very proud of myself. Because of my life change, my fiancé eats less meat than before. Sometimes, when he thinks my vegetarian meal is not enough, he cooks himself a steak or a sausage to eat with it… I don’t mind! He still eats less meat. I’m happy to be vegetarian, I’m happy that my fiancé eats less meat, and I feel great! And my dog is now a tofu fan! I really think that he prefers firm tofu to steak! What a great dog ;)
I think I owe a lot to Nathalie, for helping me to become a vegetarian. She didn’t tell me to do it. She just pointed out some directions. Where to start. It helped a lot. I have never thought about it before, even if I’ve been working and hanging out with a vegan co-worker for 2 years before working with Nathalie…
I read every blog post she writes. I am not into the minimalist stuff though. I love buying new cooking appliances, clothes, toys for my dog… Still, every time I read what she does, I can’t help but looking around me. I live in a 2 bedrooms apartment with my fiancé and my dog. I have so much stuff!! After reading a couple of her minimalist posts, I decided to do a big clean up. Not only for me, but also to give more space to my big 70 pounds dog. I managed to get rid of 75 books, 20 DVDs, clothes, etc. I removed a big piece of furniture that was blocking the window. I placed my dog’s bed by that window, and he can now enjoy the view! He loves it J
Thank you Nathalie for your blog posts! You inspire me a lot, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one JI hope you guys enjoyed my story!
Here's Viviane's business card... in case you need a translator eventually!!!

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love and peace,

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