And on her tombstone will read…

“She ate many sincronizadas with avocado”.

(what we call a quesadilla, but with turkey ham as well as cheese).

Pretty much every. single.night. Why so many? I think it’s because my other option is usually fish…which I normally have every lunch. So…that’s that. That’s the food that is in the house. Sometimes I’ll have tuna. I should just go and buy my own ingredients for better salads too.

Food. I love love love food. And I also…feel…challenged to think of interesting different things to eat. In general, but especially here. I live in a household where they eat pretty much the same variations of things every week. Not much change. When there is, it’s so exciting!

Up until age 10, I ate pretty much what people would call a “normal” diet…meat, bread, pastas etc. Then when my parents joined a “spiritual community” when I was 10, suddenly we became vegetarian, which was a shock. It was mandated by the community, so it was followed. I remember, as a kid, because I didn’t get the choice, I’d sneak it occasionally. Once such occasion backfired on me when I went to McDonald’s when I was 13. Because I hadn’t eaten red meat in like 3 years, when I ordered and ate two double cheeseburgers, I almost immediately had to run to the bathroom and I had diarrhea. What I didn’t know at the time is that if we stop eating meat, we lose the enzymes to process and digest it. Thank you Grade 12 Biology teacher!!!

And, of course, having an Italian grandmother, it was hard for her to conceive of vegetarianism. In fact, the word “vegetarian” in Italian is simply “vegetariano”…like the silly stereotype of Italian goes…people say, Just put an “o” on the end of the word and it’s Italian! In this case, it’s true! Because the word barely exists in Italian!

For years, my grandma would try to “sneak” in meat. One such occasion I remember vividly. We were at my Zia Maria’s for lunch and soup was served. When I looked at it, I could clearly see chunks of beef floating in it.

So, I asked her, “Nonna…does this have meat in it?”

“Nooooo”, she said.

“But Nonna…what are these chunks of brown things floating around in this clear broth soup then?”, I replied.

“I don’t know,” she said.

So I went to and asked my Zia Maria, who I knew would tell it to me straight: yes, YES, that was beef in the soup. Hahha.

Eventually she warmed up and even started making her own homemade delicious veggie burgers!!!

I’ve thought about what it might be like to be vegan. Animal meat, I could live without. Right now, I eat turkey ham and fish, but that’s more from convenience. If there were good vegetarian meals made, then I’d prefer that. But, as it is, the cook is baffled by my just eating fish. I also really love cheese, ice cream and cheese. Did I mention, Cheese?

But, I also hate that animals are essentially tortured so I can get that cheese. I love animals and hate to see any hurt. Even like ants. I don’t believe we should be killing other living beings. Why do we have the right to do that? It’s not for survival anymore. We have many ways of getting the nutrients we need in a vegan diet. It takes more balance and is harder, but it can be done.

There is also the environmental aspect of it. We all want our cake and eat it too. We want things to be good (clean air, nice cars etc), but we don’t want to do anything to make that possible. Like eating less meat. If you love killing animals and have no qualms about that, you could think about how eating meat affects our Earth that we love on (in?)

I understand it’s hard though. It’s hard to change a way of life that has been done for so long.

I think the biggest factor nowadays is health. The way we eat is so hard for our bodies to process…especially, my biggest addiction: SUGAR. Processed sugar specifically. Not honey, maple syrup or fruit. I’m talking refined sugars. Now, an excess in any of it is hard on our bodies (which is why I don’t understand how there are some people who live off of eating raw fruits (and veggies). I feel like that would be hard for the body…unless there is quite a bit of exercising and way more veggies to fruit ratio. Hm.

I think my body would probably feel better with that diet, although it would take some major getting use to!

Something to think about.

But, until then…sincronizadas for the win!!! xo

*M

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