Tuesday, January 4

Coming out of the Vegetable Drawer

In the continued spirit of 2011 and the renewed marriage vows I made to my body, it is time for me to come clean.

I like vegetables.

What's that Marie? Sorry, I think you made a typo there. You mean beer, right?

Okay, yes. I like beer. (and tequila. and wine. and...) but in the spirit of a new year and fresh beginnings and yada yada yada, let's talk veggie tales.

Sean likes to refer to me as a "closet vegetarian"; someone who secretly likes vegetables more than meat but is afraid to tell people. He's mostly right. I'm definitely not a strict no-meat eater. I like meat. but in moderation. I like vegetables a lot more. The question then becomes: Why am I so hesitant in letting people know that?

Now don't get me wrong. I've never met a cheese plate I didn't like and the bread basket usually sees me coming and runs a mile in the opposite direction because it knows its about to be inhaled, but there's just something about vegetables that seems to be taboo. Subbing in steamed broccoli for your fries at a restaurant? Gonna cost you extra. Wanting just a soup and salad? The questions about if you're feeling okay start popping up. Why is it normal to eat a piece of steak the size of my head, but wanting an extra helping of cauliflower makes me weird?

The most ironic thing? I've been sitting here for the past 20 minutes trying to figure out what to say next about this topic. I keep typing things and then deleting them, afraid I'm being too this or too that. I'm being overly concerned about people getting the wrong impression. For Pete's sake, I'm talking about vegetables, not North Korea. Why is this so difficult?

As I started writing this post, a tweet popped up on my newsfeed that was exactly what I was thinking:

Perhaps Gracie is on to something here. Maybe the reason I'm hiding way down in the back of the vegetable drawer, afraid to come out and shout my love for all things green and nutritious is because of all the misconceptions that arise. There is a huge dissension between my "blog" world and my real world. And this confuses me. If my blog roll and twitter feed had a dinner party, I'd probably be the loud, drunk one who eats too many pieces of carob, sugar free, vegan cheesecake. But at a real world dinner party? It's another story. I feel like America is slowly starting to swing the pendulum toward healthier eating, but we've got a ways to go.

So where does that leave me? Is society making me feel like an outsider for loving vegetables so much or am I doing it to myself? To be honest, I think it's a little bit of both. As Gracie so eloquently put it, health and nutrition has become a political battlefield and I'm simply trying to avoid stepping on a land mine. But I need to step up and more honest with myself and those around me. I shouldn't be ashamed of my veggie loving ways.

(Maybe I should be a little bit ashamed of this totally phallic butternut squash and the 13 year old smirk and sense of satisfaction I take in holding it. Sorry Mom.)

so for 2011, I am going to make a more earnest effort to take my love for vegetables to the streets. I will shout it from the rooftops. I will start wearing a name tag. It will say:

Hi, My name is Marie. I like putting spinach into my breakfast smoothies. I also enjoy giant hunks of broccoli with my pasta. This does not make me a left wing health nut who wears patchouli. It also does not make me anorexic/bulimic/weird. It doesn't mean I won't eat meat and Lord knows I could never live without goat cheese dripping in honey. It also does not mean I can't kick your ass in a drinking contest (because I can). It just means that I like finding balance in my life. and balance to me means making sure those 5 pints of beer and 3 bars of chocolate are supplemented with a green bean or two. I also promise not to get overly defensive when you question my love of vegetables. Maybe you aren't judging me like I thought. Maybe you're just curious. Maybe you're secretly jealous because you know my garlic roasted brussel sprouts are dabomb.com.

Okay, so maybe it'd be more like a poster I'd wear on my back than a name tag. But then again, how awkward is that!? It'd cover up all my cute outfits and be a bitch to wear on the subway. Hmmm....

maybe I'll just tell this to myself instead. and next time I get invited to a dinner party? I'll offer to make the sides.


Anonymous said...

I love this! You are so right that it is all about balance. My friends were think I was on some weird diet or being obsessive if I ever replaced my fries with salad, but dammit, sometimes I want to!

Gracie said...

Awesome post, girl! I'm glad that my tweet came at the right time for you :) I think you hit the important topic that what we eat does not necessarily define who we are. Sure, food choices are a very personal thing, but for me, my food choices END at food choices. Does that make sense? :)

I often feel like I'm in this weird area of the spectrum. I do love vegetables and healthy foods, which sometimes means I don't "fit in" to mainstream society. Then again, I oftentimes don't feel healthy *enough* to fit in in the healthy living blog world. But I've come to terms with the fact that THAT'S OKAY!

I've got love for the vegans, the rawists, the gluten-free'ers, and even the so-often-scorned low carbers. That's just how I roll!

Marie said...

I feel the SAME way Gracie!!! Like I'm somewhere in the middle. Healthier than a lot of mainstream society, but not as healthy as the blog world. It's a tough spot! I think that is why this was such a tricky topic to write about! Thanks for your comment :)

Anonymous said...

Haha! I love vetggies too but people assume that because I'm a vegan I'm some sort of crazed health nut and are surprised when I reach for sseconds (ok, thirds) of pasta! (with loads of veggies and tomato sauce, even thought that's technically a fruit, I could drink gallons of the stuff).

Oh and would you share your gartlic roasted brussel sprouts?

Every Little Thing said...

Good for you! Veggies are so good but people always look at you weird if you order them at a restaurant...on purpose. Fruit is way more acceptable, maybe because of the sweetness. Eat what you like girl!

Jess said...

Amen sister. I'm the same way, in that I eat meat at times, and certainly enjoy it (well cooked, that is), but most often eat vegetarian and will order tofu over chicken any day. My grandfather told all his golfing buddies that I was a vegan....he doesn't even know what veganism is. That silly comment made for a long holiday season defending what I eat, and I eat EVERYTHING for Christ's sake!

Great post....I'm linking to this on my fbook. :D

Lizzy said...

I also love a good veggie and prefer them more than meat as well. But that doesn't mean I could ever give meat or cheese up... like ever! And I feel the same way about being in the middle of the healthy eating world... I workout to be healthy but really limiting what I eat/drink and counting calories is not my thing. Another great post!

Rachel Wilkerson said...

I love your name tag!!

Also, I love that picture with the squash. Its phallic properties are one of the main reasons I refuse to cook with it unless it's pre-cut. I just can't deal. Anyway, I feel like that picture perfectly sums up your attitude (and mine too!) toward health. Like...I like vegetables...sexified.

Anyway, I love this post, and I don't think beer and veggies are mutually exclusive. You can do both -- and should be proud to!

stephchows said...

I'm so excited you started following me on twitter, you are hilarious!!! It is so true though, I eat healthy... and in doing so get questioned! You rock :)

Laura Georgina said...

Amen, woman--it's so refreshing to see that you don't have to be all or nothing on the meat-eating question, or that you have to define your eating in any way for people to approve. I 100% feel you on the veggie-loving tip because, though I eat meat (and love it), I can't get excited about eating it every day (which makes visits with the ultra-carnivorous family interesting, i.e. I just get stomachaches). I'm also a bit lactose intolerant, so most of my home cooking ends up on the vegan side. I guess a button will never define my eating... but man, do I get to eat good stuff, and so do you!

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...