I’m often asked about how I eat and why my diet looks like it does so I thought I’d share a bit of a personal blog today. I’m also asked, about my intake of vegan donuts/cupcakes but that’s a whole other thing that I’m ignoring completely today… 😉 I often say that I’m “vegan-ish” which, of course, causes a little bit of confusion all around. The long version is that in our family, we have a number of food allergies. As in, if you give me milk products of any kind I will most likely go into anaphylaxis shock and not be near as chipper as I am currently. 😉 Add to that a few other serious allergies for myself and my children who are also synthetic dye free, dairy-free and gluten-free, we somehow to become your typical California food hippies (said proudly as a Californian).

Now the vegan “ish” part comes because well, you know. Bacon. Oh, and steak. Guys, a good steak? See my problem? My non-vegan friends think I’m a Vegan (aka Californian hippy) and my vegan friends are out on whether they think I’m a murderer. Cause, well, you know. Bacon.

To be fair, when I found out my son was going to have to be gluten-free, I joked that this was my worst fear as a mother. Except it wasn’t really a joke, at least not entirely. Food and food culture are some of my favorite things. I adore finding new restaurants,. I love exploring things I’ve never tried. If you find me a great Mediterranean restaurant, we’ll be super great friends. Ditto for Greek, Thai, Indian or Haitian. Actually, bonus points for great Haitian food. But when you start adding lots of food restrictions together, it greatly limits where we can and cannot eat, how much we can eat out and the flexibility of where we go.

Road trips are a little bit of a bust (unless we’re in California…praise hands for In N Out) because fast food is nearly non-existent for us. Although, I will say Chick-Fil-A deserves a shout out for caring about allergies as much as they do. They (and In N Out) are the ONLY fast food chains that I can get fries for my son. He’s 8, he needs access to fries.

Anyway, that’s the long story of my “vegan-ish” lifestyle and why.

One thing I will say in all of this, however, is that I’ve realized over the years that food is about far more than eating. Food is about family, and having room at the table for others. It’s about relationships and sharing life together. If you follow me at all, you know that I love a good independent coffee shop vibe. I love the feeling of a whole group of people busying themselves about their lives in a shared space.  It feels very life-giving to me. There are times when I leave my office to head to a coffee shop just because it can help me focus better. Plus, they have coffee. 😉

I love cooking, which I suppose is great because I get to do it a lot. 😉 But what I really LOVE is the feeling of sitting down with my family at the dinner table. Ed (my husband) and I make a point to sit at the dinner table as a family as much as possible. Our schedules are busy, I travel a lot, he works a ton, BUT our hope is that when the boys are grown, they’ll have sweet memories of sitting together, laughing, joking and of course debating whether they have to eat ALL the kale on their plates as if their lives depended on it.

Clearly, we’re training them to be lawyers. 😉 Here’s to food and the togetherness that it brings. Oh, and Vegan cupcakes. 😉

All Images by Erica J Photography
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