What I Learned When I Ate Vegan For Months

I love cheese. Pour its saucy goodness on pasta, chunks of cheddar with crackers, gooey pizza goodness. Oh so yummy.

As part of the tools of my faith fasting throughout the year is a common occurrence. So I had to learn to cook and eat differently. It was hard, expensive, and a lot of pasta initially. I remember thinking: ‘I don’t know how to cook meals with meat without cheese or other dairy.’ Okay, I did, but my favorite and most cooked meals included dairy or some sort of cheese. 

It’s amazing what you can do without once you get used to it.  Months without meat and dairy and then when you can have it again you find the desire has left you.  It feels indulgent.  You’ve gone for so long on less.

Why do we think we need so much? 

We get used to less and then we get used to more and the temptation of luscious foods entices new meals to be cooked when a plain sweet potato, beans, and some vegetables likely would’ve sufficed.  Where is the line between extravagant and simple in cooking?  Is cooking with spices or complicated meals too much?  Is cooking with lots of ingredients or sauces too much?  Is simplicity of food really about the meal itself or about the heart and spirit behind the meal?  Are you grateful and aware your food comes from God and do you say a blessing?  Do you spend for extra ingredients often or do you try to use what you have and stretch one ingredient over many meals?  I think simplicity with food is acknowledging what we truly need, being thankful for what we have, and not living beyond our needs.  Cooking a cheap meal with lots of spices and a sauce isn’t luxurious living. 

I need to remember that even with food God should be the center.  If I become so focused on the recipe then I forget the purpose of the meal to begin with, to nourish my body.  It is at this moment that I have lived extravagantly and lost sight of God as my provider.  I have let the food take over my thoughts. 

May you be mindful of God as you provide for your family and recognize His part in your nourishment.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Do I show thankfulness for my food through prayer?
  2. Do I show simplicity of heart by not buying extravagantly while shopping, only getting what I need?
  3. Do I consider what it is I truly need and what it is I want while shopping? 
  4. What steps can I take to be more appreciative of the food at my table? 

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