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For years I've been something of a default vegetarian. Over the past few months, though, I've been trying to make a conscious move to more overt vegetarianism. I've been eating more beans and rice and veggies, I stopped buying meat and chicken entirely. I've been sequentially trying out vegetarian foods from the grocery store. Last year, a Whole Foods opened within striking distance, so yesterday I went there to check it out.

They must have thought I was an idiot. I kept circling the aisles and reading labels -- sometimes reading the same labels over and over, trying to figure out what I was looking at. The vegetables were amazing -- but a lot of them are imported from quite a distance (given that it's winter here), which makes me wonder if I'm defeating my own ethics.

It's slightly discouraging. For instance, my new thing is to try being dairy free, but I've realized that dairy's been a big staple in my diet. I've managed to develop a taste for soymilk, but I eat a lot of cheese and plain yogurt. Last week, I tried O'Soy yogurt, but first of all, I thought it it was disgusting. Disgusting and sweet (and let me tell you, I'm a gal who likes sweet, so if I thought it was overly sweet, it's got to be extreme). But worse, when I did my reading up on it (because a lot of this involves seeing a product then coming home and researching it), it turns out it's got milk cultures in it. I've been buying Stonyfield Farms yogurt anyway because it's organic, but now I find out that because they're primarily a dairy operation, they're not really as... um... earth-friendly as their marketing might suggest.

I have a quart of Silk soy yogurt in my refrigerator, but then I read somewhere that Silk soy yogurt has issues, too (and at this moment I completely forget what they are). (And I have a terrible feeling that it will be disgusting anyway.)

Soy cheese? Yuck! (Maybe it's like the soymilk, which I used to hate. Maybe I can train my tastebuds to like it.) Soy ice cream and Rice Dream? Yuck! Actually, the Rice Dream wasn't so bad, but when I tackled the label with a magnifying glass, it turns out it's just not very good, either. There's no nutritional value to it. And anyway, in addition to trying to be be vegetarian, I'm counting calories anyway, since my weight is now on the downslope of its triennial undulation. So frozen sweet stuff is out.

Anyway, I'm finding the whole thing extremely difficult to navigate. I guess it's like anything else: just trial and error. But if anybody can recommend a good website or publication that might spell things out through all the marketing, I'd be grateful for the heads up. Or really, if you have any advice at all, let me know.

In completely unrelated news, Erin Underwood interviewed me over at Underwords. Thanks, Erin! That was fun!

In Oscar news... oh, who the hell am I kidding? I didn't watch the Oscars, and I haven't seen most of those movies. I do like the morning-after fashion blogs, though.


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eljaydaly

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