Yes! I am a vegetarian and so is my baby!
Ok, here is one of the topics that I wanted to address on my people.com blog but, I just ran out of time!!! There were soooooo many good things to discuss!! Thank you all for your passionate, thoughtful responses. We truly created a “little village” ourselves! For all you non-mommies out there, I believe this vegetarian information is good for you too. WHY??
1) Because I became a vegetarian in small stages starting at the ripe old age of 16 years old!
2)According to a study released by the United Nations in 2006 http:wwwmvegan-nutritionista.com/causes-of-global-warming.html which states that Animal factory farming contributes MORE to global warming than the Automotive Industry!!! I know! Don’t freak! Going with zero meat might be tough for some folks, so maybe just cut down the meat intake by a quarter or better yet half? Imagine if everyone did that? The world could be a “greener” place for our little ones.
3) I believe a nutritional balanced vegetarian will live a longer healthier life. Lord knows with these kids running around and Mommies having kids later in life we GOTTA be healthy!
Check out http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/13/benefits-of-vegitarianism_n_112431.html And so far it is working for me! Oh and Kent and Luna Marie too!!
4) Vegetarians Have Better Sex!!!!! Well, I can’t remember that far back but MAYBE do your own study! In your spare time!! HA! Just a thought.
Ya wanna know about my vegetarian journey? And why I chose to have Luna Marie be one too?
Well, just keep on reading.
My mom always said as a child I really did not show a big interest in eating meat she says that even my jar baby food- that had meat-, I would spit and spray all over her and the walls etc! The fruits and veggies were no problemo!
Don’t get me wrong, as I got older-still a kid tho, I ate my share of hot dogs- seriously in elementary school if I knew we were having hot dogs that day,, I would be in a happy mood ALL day!-, Also I ate my fair share of hamburgers, and steaks.. But I always felt so heavy and tired after I ate them so my hunger for them was less than the other kids. YES! They made fun of me! And if I knew we were having a salad at dinner, I would be happy and rush to be the one to prepare it. Cudos to my mom! She also did a good job exposing me to lots of different foods (whether I liked it or not!) As a child, for example she served us: Keifer, tabolui, artichokes, cow tongue (YUCK! Seriously why???) And much much more.. I did get a sense of exploring my palate was a good thing! Even if it wasn’t always yummy.
When I turned 16 I started to get a little freaked out if while I was eating my KFC, I looked at my chicken drum sticks too long. If I noticed the veins or cartilage etc. Or if there was a lot of blood in my steak ug… I started to see that it was once an actual living breathing animal. Double Ug. :/
So, then began my journey.
I decided first I would cut out all red meat, no more steaks, burgers, or roasts.. Of course, my family all teased me too. BUT I felt a lot lighter, and less sleepy. I was still eating chicken or fish instead. Seriously, it was like a 6 months before I really even noticed.
And so I continued like that til my late 20′s. Then while shooting the movie Selena on location in Texas. In one scene, I had to hold a chicken. I case you don’t know, when filming a movie, if a scene is complicated with animals or children and complicated camera work it can take ALL DAY!
This was one of those scenes!!! 3 chickens, 3 kids and me! For 12 hours straight!Oh Boy!!!
But, I digress, so here I am holding this chicken,,for HOURS!! FYI how you hold a chicken so they don’t scratch you to death is from behind thru the legs and cradle their breast bone. That’s right I cradled this chicken’s breast bone, and it FELT like any other chicken breast I ever felt BUT this one had a heartbeat!!!!!! Ug. And to top it off, the “chicken wrangler” was there telling me how factory farms treat them badly, they are kept with inhumane conditions, given steroids and antibiotics on a daily basis, etc!!!
That is when I decided I was going to try and eliminate chicken. I thought, “Let me see how long it takes me to miss that!” It also helped that I was dating Kent, who was already a pretty strict vegetarian. He supported me! Honestly, it was about 3 months before I even realized it was gone. Don’t get me wrong, I thought about it, but didn’t really miss it and remember this was in Texas! Or as I call it “Meat Central”.
Last but not least to go was fish! This I eliminated in my late 30′s because I was “trying to get knocked up!” (Check out that section on my site for more info)
This was pretty easy! I was on a mission to have a baby so nothing was gonna stand in my way!!! BUT if I was working out of town, and I needed protein, and there was none of the “Veggie Friendly” type, I have been known to eat a shrimp or two!
Ok, I know! I am not perfect!! Just so ya know, Shrimp does have the LEAST amount of mercury though.
Now, cut to: I have this beautiful baby girl and I have a choice to make. Do I feed her meat? Or no?
I went with my gut, I had learned over the years how to feed myself healthy, and made sure I got enough iron, so I would do the same for Luna Marie…
I knew nothing else.
Also, because I was an actress, I had been on the “Zone Diet” for Vegetarians before I was pregnant- to stay skinny for what literally felt like FOREVER- I took all I learned and applied it to feeding Luna Marie. Of course, after that trial time ya know, where you only feed the baby one new thing every 4-5 days to make sure she or he isn’t allergic. I fed her like so:
1) Each meal consists of a vegetable, a protein, and a carbohydrate. Some examples would be:
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, raisin toast and strawberries.
LUNCH: Steamed broccoli, sauteed lentils, and polenta with parmesean or avocado on top.
Dinner: Sauteed Spinach, Butter beans and Pasta with red sauce.
Everyone is always amazed at how she eats,, but honestly she knows nothing else. She eats like WE eat. Simple as that. And you know for sure she gets Veggie Dogs and LOVES them!!!! Because SO DOES MOMMY!!!!
Some helpful tips I learned are:
1) When feeding the baby, BE LIKE SWITZERLAND! Neutral. Don’t assume the baby is going to NOT like or LIKE anything. If they reject it at first. Just remove it and move on. Wait a few weeks and re-introduce… Same as before neutral. I was told you have to let them try something 15 times before accepting that they don’t like it. I just did 10!
2) Let them watch YOU enjoy the healthy stuff! And somehow naturally they just want it! I put this to the test when Luna Marie was about 11months. I sat at the table with a big bowl of broccoli in the center of the table with two plates. I served myself some and just started eating it. I didn’t even ask her if she wanted any,, and after she took in the scene for a few minutes, she realized I wasn’t going to offer her any she started to point at the bowl and started grunting like Frankenstein”EEENNNHHH! URRRRGH!!” Go figure, she wanted me to serve her! I didn’t let my inner smile show.. I just said “Oh? You want some? Ok..” And served her and we ate in silence…. But inside I did jumping jacks,!!!!!!!! I won!!!! No fuss, no muss.
Last month, I happened to just be curious, so I had Luna Marie’s blood tested to make SURE she was doing great. Seriously, her best interest is ALL I care about! If I HAD to feed her meat, I would go out, hunt down a cow and gut it myself!!! Well, maybe not, but I would buy the most earthy crunchy, organic, veggie fed, humanely raised cow I could find!!! So there! Well,I found out she was SO healthy on every vitamin BUT her “back up” Iron stores were a little low.. She wasn’t anemic or anything even close. I told the doctor what her weekly menu was and the doctor was impressed and really surprised that it was even an issue. After doing some family research, I found out, my mother and I as children- we were both on the anemic side….ding! I also realized I had made a little mistake and thought pasta’s and cereal were not a priority. When just the opposite is true! They are Iron Fortified!! So I went into over drive!! I bumped up her pasta intake and started to give her the Organic O’s cereal! Of course she LOVED the adjustment! Seriously, that kid can eat…. The doc said that was enough! But I of course am gonna have her tested in the next month or so! I gotta be 100 percent sure!
Oh! And a little trick the doc told me was to cook in a cast iron skillet! Apparently some of the iron gets into the food and boosts it up!!! Whew! That is easy!!!
So, to wrap up.. So far so good! Luna Marie’s weight is great she is happy full of energy! And in the spirit of full disclosure, SHE POOPS like a FIEND!!! Yep! She is a “regular” girl,!! Check out my past blog “Poop Pandemonium”
Well, That’s all for now!
Take care! And thanks for checking me out. I will try my hardest to keep up my tradition of posting on Wednesdays! Hump Day, when we all need a lil something to get us thru the week.
Be Well Ladies!!! (Oh! And Gents too!)