Here at Starr-Style we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary as Vegetarians! In May of 1987, Denis and I gave up our flesh eating habit and have lived happily since then knowing that we, in some small way, contribute to a more humane world and sustainable planet.
That first year as veggie newbies was challenging and exciting! We embraced the life style on every level. It was a sweet and spiritual time for us and that mutual commitment to such a major change has been a foundational element in our long and happy marriage. It was like “building our house on a rock,” from Scripture.
Veggie Newbies enjoying the natural beauty of N. Georgia (Summer ’87)
We made it to the Rainbow People gathering that year with our Mung Bean Sprouts in tow.
Our first years were full of experimental cooking and eating. We made weekly trips to Sevanandah, Rainbow Grocery and Unity Foods for wholesome pantry and produce items. Publix had not opened in Georgia yet, and Kroger was just catching on so their natural foods’ department was rather lacking then. Nowadays, you can find most anything in those two grocery stores, and, of course, the wonderful Whole Foods and Fresh Markets have changed the way we shop. I’m happy to say that both Sevanandah and Rainbow Grocery are still thriving.
In addition to the transformation in our kitchen, so then did our bookshelves. I filled mine with wonderful selections like Laurel’s Kitchen, Moosewood Cookbook, Diet For a Small Planet, How To Raise Your Child As A Vegetarian and, of course, I looked forward to receiving my new Vegetarian Times each month.
Denis got down to the nitty gritty, delving into the whole living handbooks popular at the time; Survival Into The 21st Century by Viktoras Kulvinskas, Naturama by Dr. Ann Wigmore and Healing Ourselves by Naboru Muramoto.
We joined GreenPeace, Better World Society, World Wildlife Fund, the International Vegetarian Society and others.
We gave up leather. We signed up for yoga classes. We burned incense. We even bought a juicer, a top of the line Phoenix.
And we made it a family affair!
When Monique and Philippe came for their extended stays over the years, they joined us on the veggie ride! Here they are showing off a gourmet masterpiece, a tofu lasagna that they built! Philippe would call it Toe Food Lasagna! We named the dish, appropriately, Pasta Pellerin. A story we often laugh about from those early veggie years is the time we were on a camping trip in south Georgia, we were in a country grocery store, and Philippe ran up and down the meat aisle exclaiming, “Dead Animals, Dead Animals!” We purchased our onions and left quickly.
After a few years we settled in to the veggie groove and were, for the most part, vegan. We were hoping to have a baby and we were in agreement that should we be blessed in that way, we would add a few more calcium rich foods in to our diet and embrace the lacto-vegetarian food plan. It was around this time that Denis invented his superb Mushroom Strudel.
(and baby on the way)
There was some concern from family and friends about my veggie pregnancy, but our little sprout arrived healthy and beautiful and 8 lbs 5 oz of pure love! Raised totally vegetarian, Adrien, at 21, still practices the life style.
First solid food – veggie, of course!
I’m not sure what this beautiful creature is, but we sure wouldn’t eat it!
In fact, to help Adrien explain his different looking lunch box items at school, he simply told his friends that he didn’t eat anything with a face.
There was a time when Denis thought he would like to be a Fruitarian. And then again, there was the time that he said he could live just by breathing – a Breatharian!
So the years just flew by and here we are 25 years later and still on the veggie trail. Our travels abroad and in these beautiful United States have afforded us samplings of veggie cuisine from the exotic to the simply comforting. We have gone back and forth between vegan, lacto, lacto-ovo, but mostly just plain vegetarian.
I’ve yet to find a pair of worthy vegan tap shoes, so I enjoy my Capezio K360′s and wear them out before I buy another pair. We still occasionally sign up for yoga, but it’s just as likely that you will find us in Salsa Class. Yankee Candles have taken the place of the incense and after 3 moves and always ending up stashed away in the dark corner of the deepest cabinet for the last 20 years, our Phoenix Juicer once again stands proudly on our countertop and we are green juicing again!
Nowadays, these are some of my favorites on the cookbook shelf. The tried and true Vegetarian Times magazine is always a go to resource for new ideas and yummy recipes. And just recently I added Victoria Moran’s newest, Main Street Vegan.
As a tea time enthusiast, I have created menus that I daintily call Vege-Tea-rian!
Most days my countertop looks like this as I prepare to cook something vegelicious for dinner!
And now every morning we toast to the good veggie life and sip our God & Goddess Green Juice!
And a Toast to another 25 Years of Healthy, Cruelty-Free and Deliciously Veggie Dining!
Peace, Love and Veggies,