Saturday, December 31, 2011

What is 2012's New Year's Resolution?

I woke up this morning and realized that a year (just shy of 1 day) has passed since I made the decision to start a New Year's resolution that many would never consider and actually stick to it. Some of you may not know, but my 2011 New Year's resolution was to not eat meat from a factory farm - something that my family and I have come to describe as "happy meat." For those that don't know, this whole idea began after I watched "Food Inc." - a documentary that opened my eyes to how our food gets from the farm to our plate. I will spare you the details, but as an animal lover and a very emotional person, I realized that by buying and eating these products, I was saying that what occurred at these factory farms was ok - and it's definitely not! 

I was hoping to keep this blogging thing a monthly endeavor so that I could document my progress the whole year. Well, as life tends to get in the way, things began taking priority. Sad to say, I let things like TV and pure laziness take over. To those who looked forward to my posts (if there any of you left!), I'm sorry. I honestly love expressing my thoughts and feel somewhat let down that I did not continue posting. That being said, I hope to post more in 2012 - maybe I should make it one of my New Year's resolutions???

2011 brought about new beginnings in my life. As if changing my diet wasn't a big enough change, I became a college graduate and one of many searching for a full-time job. I had hopes and dreams that I would find a job in the Nashville music industry and be on my way to a long-lasting career in Nashville by this time. Well....that didn't happen - not yet at least! I did find a job and move to Nashville late August - something I've been wanting to do for years now! Yes, it's not the "dream job," but I like what I do and who I work with and for. I absolutely love the city life - the big city lights, the fast-paced lifestyle, the music scene (and man it's good here!), the beautiful scenery and architecture, the fact that there's always something to do or somewhere to go, etc. I could go on and on about why I love Nashville! I guess I'm officially a city girl now!

2011 also brought about new struggles in my life. This new "diet" I adopted was something that required some research, extra money, and long talks with Lindsay, my sister-in-law, who's a vegetarian. I realized that buying non-factory farm meat was something that I'd have to seek out. I found a list online that listed meats that came from factory farms vs. meats that did not. Needless to say, the meat that did not come from factory farms was very short. I realized that only Publix (not all of them though), Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and Trader Joe's were my options for this type of meat...and as many of you know, it's super expensive! Therefore, my focus turned to only eating that meat when I could afford it, which left me with fish as my only means of protein. This ended up turing me into a semi-vegetarian as I like to say. I began eating a lot of Morning Star and Boca products and actually liked them! I began seeking out more and more vegetarian recipes, and before I knew it I would go weeks without meat. It became something that I realized I didn't need. 

I will say this, though. It is very hard to make sure you're getting the right amount of protein and vitamins. I almost fainted in the shower at the beginning of the year, and I came to realize it was probably due to me not getting enough protein. I also began craving sweets, which I never did before this year. I found out that was probably due to a lack of iron and B12 in my diet. Needless to say, it was a struggle to figure out everything...and still is! It is so worth it, though. As of January 1, 2011 I can proudly say I have not consumed any meat from factory farms! For the first time in my life, I was able to stick with a New Year's resolution, and not only stick with it but make it something that I want to do the rest of my life. I had lost passion in my life. Between school and work, I really just felt like I was going through the motions of life. Since I've adopted this new diet, I really feel like I'm making a difference, and it feels great!

So now the big question is what's my 2012 New Year's resolution? Here's a few I've thought up:

1) Finally get down to a healthy weight
2) Exercise
3) Blog more
4) Buy local fruits and veggies
5) Get a job in the music industry
6) Get a hobby and stick with it

I know - it seems a little boring, but I made such a big step with last year's resolution. I think I'm due for a little boring in my life! : ) To end things, I just want to say thank you to those who listened with an attentive ear during my long talks about why I'm doing what I'm doing and for going out of their way to prepare food for me that I could eat. You guys seriously made this process so much easier for me, and I really appreciate it. Happy New Year everyone! Here's to hoping 2012 will be full of resolutions kept!

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