Not Martha

May Birthday Giveaway: The Butcher and the Vegetarian

cover of The Butcher and the Vegetarian

About this: My site started ten years ago this month and to celebrate I’m giving away something each weekday. Because I like you.

Today I’m thrilled to have a copy of Tara Austen Weaver’s book The Butcher and the Vegetarian to give away. I read this book when it first came out and I’m running late as I type this so I hope you don’t mind if I quote myself:

Tara takes us through the time in her life when she, raised a vegetarian, is advised to take up eating meat to help solve some chronic health troubles. The stories of her trying to figure out how to buy and cook meat are both hilarious and filled with a thoughtful exploration of how to balance the personal and environmental ethics of eating meat. She gets very close to the subject, visiting ranches and farms that are gentle to both the land and the animals, going through some of Michael Pollen’s arguments and spending a day at Meathenge. She finds some very good food and people. Tara doesn’t take any more virtuous than thou stances, and approaches each question looking fairly at all sides. That makes it sound boring, I admit, but I assure you it’s not, the book takes a journey that moves along briskly. I love it when I find an author whose words ring very clear in my head, and Tara is one of those.

If you’d like grab this book please leave a comment with this post. And if you’d like answer this question: Have you ever made a big change in how you eat? I’ll go first: In the past few years I’ve been eating what would be considered healthy and I discovered that it’s far more delicious than processed food, something I admit I would not have believed before I made the switch. Ok, you’ve got until 10 a.m. PST Saturday, May 7th to enter, the fine print applies, good luck! Closed! Thank you for entering!

· comments [237] · 05-6-2011 · categories:books · food ·

237 responses so far ↓

  • 1 KathU // May 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Three years ago, my doctor told me to stop eating all animal protein to try to eliminate my horrible kidney stone attacks. Being raised with a father who ran the meat department at our family grocery store, I was raised on red meat, so it was a challenge. Eliminating animal protein worked and I am now kidney stone free. :-)

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway. I look forward to reading your blog on a very regular basis.

  • 2 Dawn Richardson // May 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I was vegetarian between freshman and junior years of high school. I was vegan between junior year of high school and sophomore year of college. Then one night I had a few too many red plastic cups of cheap beer at a big kegger bbq and the guy I had been flirting with went to get us a plate of food. That cheeseburger was in my mouth before I even thought about it and I’ve been back to omnivore status ever since.

  • 3 Anna // May 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years (since I was 11). I’m now married to an omnivore, but he doesn’t mind what I cook. I’m worried I might have to stop being vegetarian one day for health or something. This book looks really interesting.

  • 4 Courtney // May 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I became a vegetarian when I was 9 because I also developed rheumatoid arthritis and chewing meat hurt my jaw. I remained a vegetarian until I was about 17.
    The biggest change in my adulthood is that I no longer eat food that comes out of a window.

  • 5 Katie // May 5, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    We’ve been making a gradual change to overall eating more mindfully, but no drastic changes.

  • 6 lulu // May 6, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Hiya, Not sure if your generosity extends to darkest Africa, but thought I would take a chance!! I love your blog and read it daily!! Love the links.
    My DH and I have been diagnosed as diabetic recently, so HUGE changes in eating habits. Not too difficult for me, but he HATES fruit and veg and LOVES starch and chocolate!! I hide veggies in almost every dish – zucchini and carrots are a godsend!! I grate them up so he cannot tell they are there!
    Thanks again and congrats on your blog anniversary! lotsa love, lulu

  • 7 Jen W. // May 6, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Never a BIG change, but after having kids, I’ve definitely become more mindful about what we eat around here. I can’t insist on healthy food for them, and still eat it myself. So we’ve really gotten away from processed foods.

  • 8 Jacquie // May 6, 2011 at 3:34 am

    When I met my future husband, I was a ‘veggie’ and he definitely a meat eater!

    now that we’re married, I’ve been eating meat, but not as much as I would like. I make a lot of vegetarian meals, but have to make something meaty on the side for my husband. This would be a great read for my husband and I!

  • 9 Kate // May 6, 2011 at 3:37 am

    My husband has been a vegetarian for years. While I have considered becoming one for a while, I have not done so yet. I have stopped cooking meat at home; it has become the rare treat when eating out.

  • 10 cora // May 6, 2011 at 3:49 am

    this book has been on my wishlist for years! it really strikes a chord with my own experience…

    i had been a vegetarian for most of my teenage/adult life. by my late twenties, i had lost my enthusiasm but didn’t know the first thing about meat so i just stuck with what was familiar. i was underweight (many vegetarians are perfectly healthy but i don’t particularly care for bread, pasta, milk, soy products, or beans. with all these limitations i was simply not eating enough food) and bored with food.

    then, at a bbq hosted by a mutual friend two years ago, i met a man who was (and is) a full-fledged meat lover. i had a brought a chocolate-bacon-stout cake as a birthday gift for the host (cooking with bacon was quite an adventure, as i never had before! i didn’t eat the cake but i’m told it was delicious) and he won me over with a story of how he saved a lost wild bunny ON easter.

    despite the fact that i had just sworn off romance after a string of horrible relationships, we started dating. he was different. and i decided maybe i could try some fish. then some chicken. then a small piece of steak.

    two years later, we’re engaged to be married this fall… and i can make a steak with the best of them! along the way i’ve even gotten him to eat a vegetable or two. i still don’t like bacon, which astonishes him. but i’m a healthy weight, i have much more energy, and i’m deeply in love.

  • 11 Katrina // May 6, 2011 at 3:58 am

    I have been making the change from more processed foods to ‘from scratch’ cooking. It’s been wonderful. I think the switch to homemade salad dressings have been the most surprising. I always thought it would take more time and really wouldn’t be worth it. I was SO wrong. Even my 8 year old son requests my homemade ranch dressing over the store bought stuff.

  • 12 Johanna // May 6, 2011 at 4:01 am

    I had to do the switch to gluten-free twice; first, when I was diagnosed at 10 with a “wheat allergy” (that we thought I grew out of) and then at 30 when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. At least now it’s “fashionable” – and HOORAY for the internet!

  • 13 Mikki // May 6, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I did try vegetarianism for a while when I was younger, for quite a long time. I did go back to eating meat though as I do enjoy it. I try to buy good meat rather than meat produced in dubious conditions. I’d prefer to eat it less often and eat better (and usually a bit more expensive) meat when I do.
    I also try to make everything from scratch rather than buying processed versions of things.
    great giveaway and congrats on the blogiversary :)

  • 14 Holly C // May 6, 2011 at 4:17 am

    i’ve never had to make a big change in my eating, but in the last few years i’ve gotten better at cutting out a lot of the junk

  • 15 Tina // May 6, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I’m not good at changing my eating. I love food! Especially the sugary, fatty, salty stuff…

    Lately I’ve been thinking that I would like to start cutting out meat because I don’t like the idea of animals dying for the sake of my dinner, but I don’t know where to begin and the sheer inconvenience of it is overwhelming.

  • 16 Connie // May 6, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Though I try to cook and eat healthy, I know I could make some better changes to my diet. Sweets are my downfall. And it’s hard when my husband is a bit more finicky than most. But summer is near and fresh veggies will be more available, so that’s always a good start.

  • 17 Michelle // May 6, 2011 at 4:48 am

    i stopped eating ridiculous amounts of cheese. which i think we can all agree is a huge and difficult change. i still eat cheese in things, but i don’t allow myself that entire block of cheese that I can just sit and eat all day by myself.

  • 18 Beth // May 6, 2011 at 4:50 am

    I changed when my daughter became vegan, when she was home. It was challenging. But for myself, I changed two years ago when I began eating only free-range chicken. The difference it taste and texture (like when I was a kid) is amazing and I will never go back. I count myself blessed that I can afford the good food that I get at our local farmers market every week.

  • 19 Julianne // May 6, 2011 at 4:53 am

    I eat a lot of vegetarian meals and have joined a CSA this summer, so I can eat more healthy.

  • 20 Yabby // May 6, 2011 at 4:57 am

    More as a budget and savings measure, I looked at my grocery bill and realised I was spending more on food than I was on rent or entertaining! You could really tell, as each week, I’d go through the fridge and have to throw out a soggy lettuce, squishy peppers or less than fresh cheese or sliced meats. As a result, I started buying less, and using (and eating) produce when I bought it. Now, my Monday night roast chicken feeds two of us for 2 nights (and two lunches for me), the roast veges get rolled into another dinner, and the bones go into the stockpot for a paella on the weekend. Biggest change? Eating better, saving money, and being a bit more respectful to the animar (or farmer) that brought us the goodies!

  • 21 Ruth Ann // May 6, 2011 at 5:00 am

    I’ve made some changes to how I eat over the yeras. Mostly it’s been a matter of how I cook having to change based on what’s going on in my life. When things get crazy busy, I do more cooking on the weekends, which means more things that work as leftovers. When life is calmer, I cook more regularly. I guess it’s not as much what I eat that changes but more how I eat…or cook.
    This does sound like an interesting book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • 22 Marla // May 6, 2011 at 5:07 am

    My family and I are currently in the process of switching our kitchen over to local/seasonal food as much as possible. Right now that means mostly salad greens. It’s been a struggle to think up meals, but I have so much more energy!

  • 23 carly // May 6, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Being engaged to a butcher, we do eat a lot of meat. After awhile you find yourself not liking the cheap cuts by buying grain feed quality that you know the farms really take care of their animals and not fill with water.

    I do love bacon, beef and lamb but I don’t like pork, most places sell very old pigs and that’s the sour taste. But I cannot eat fish, not just the taste but fish are friends not food.

    We are very lucky to live in an area with lots of options for fresh produce.

    My change was as a very small eater to try and eat small portions of everything and not stop after three mouths full.

  • 24 Hilary // May 6, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I was a vegetarian for 12 years, but not a particularly healthy one. I didn’t watch my complementary proteins and all that important stuff; I mostly ate pasta and Mexican food. I’m much healthier as an omnivore!

  • 25 kb // May 6, 2011 at 5:22 am

    My husband is a meat eater and I’m a vegetarian. The hijinks have been happening for almost eleven years!

  • 26 Laurie // May 6, 2011 at 5:25 am

    I have been moving gradually in a vegetarian direction, and for the last couple of years have been flexitarian. I eat meat at restaurants but rarely cook it in my own home.

  • 27 Katherine // May 6, 2011 at 5:30 am

    We went vegetarian for a month last summer, which has resulted in our eating a lot more vegetarian dishes regularly.

  • 28 Beth S. // May 6, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I have started using only whole wheat pastry flour for baking(and cooking). It is light and fluffy and I am so used to it now that when I have something with white flour I really don’t like it or want it. I also have been using natural sugars, basically nothing white. The kids complained at first but everyone is getting used to this new way of eating!!!

  • 29 Emily // May 6, 2011 at 5:36 am

    About a year ago, I cut out all simple sugars and went completely whole grain (not just whole wheat – WHOLE GRAIN). I’m a teacher and before I would eat a sugary snack in the afternoons to keep me going. I found myself have horrible sugar cravings where it didn’t matter how much I ate I never ever felt satisfied.

    After cutting out all simple sugars, my stomach feels happier. I have more energy. I haven’t had a single craving. I’m satisfied after eating normal portions. It is amazing.

    Growing up in rural Colorado ranch country, I’m interested to see what Tara has to say about eating meat. Red meat has always been an integral part of my diet, but I’ve recently been trying to be more responsible in my consumption of it. The book would definitely be an interesting read.

  • 30 Rhey // May 6, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I haven’t gone completely vegetarian, but I no longer eat red meat or any kind of pig.

  • 31 Janine // May 6, 2011 at 5:37 am

    I recently started baking from scratch. It’s not much, but I am constantly surprised that the baking is almost as easy as a pre-mix but it certainly always tastes better. Well worth the effort.

  • 32 Laura // May 6, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Growing up I would not touch a vegetable. Well, I pretty much wouldn’t touch a lot of food. I was the pickiest eater. Then I got to college and discovered the world of ethnic food. Indian, Lebanese, Ethiopian, etc. Also now, I’m pretty much a vegetarian. Mostly just because I love vegetables so much more than meat!

  • 33 Meg // May 6, 2011 at 6:06 am

    I haven’t made any big changes. Just little ones – more cooking from scratch, shopping at the farmer’s market, joining a CSA. I don’t think I’ll ever give up on meat, but I certainly know how to cook more yummy vegetarian dishes than I did a few years ago.

  • 34 kristen // May 6, 2011 at 6:09 am

    I have not made any big changes in my eating habits but i would love a copy of this book

  • 35 Seanna Lea // May 6, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I’ve been a vegetarian since 1992 (I was 16 when I switched) .

    When I was in the SCA I met someone who was a vegetarian who was told to eat meat because her cholesterol was too low. I spent quite a lot of time panicked that I might end up in the same boat!

  • 36 Natalie // May 6, 2011 at 6:21 am

    less processed; more home-made!

  • 37 Sara A-G // May 6, 2011 at 6:22 am

    No big changes here, but I love eating locally and organically.

  • 38 Meg // May 6, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Absolutely I have! Two, in fact: one was six years ago when I wanted to lose my post-pregnancy weight. I made a complete lifestyle change that involved prioritizing fruits and veggies above all else. Then four years ago, I read Alice Waters’ “The Art of Simple food” and my mind was blown – I love cooking fresh, good food.

  • 39 Anna // May 6, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I am trying to eat more local foods. Ladst summer I signed up for CSA and I love it!

  • 40 Anna // May 6, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I am trying to eat more local foods. Last summer I signed up for CSA and I love it!

  • 41 Kara // May 6, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I haven’t made huge changes, but over the years I have been eating less and less meat. I don’t have any health or social reasons for it, I just don’t LIKE it as much as beans and rice and pasta and veggies and cheese and all that yumminess.

  • 42 Lily // May 6, 2011 at 6:28 am

    I have recently been trying to stop eating as much sugar. I’ve successfully cut out soda, and am working on cutting out as many sweets. its tricky, but I feel way better!

  • 43 Amy H. // May 6, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I’m on what my mother calls the “Fins and Feathers diet.” Fish and Poultry only- but it’s more fun to say it the F&F way. No four legged animals for this lady. It started out as no beef, and then no pork. It actually makes decisions easier at restaurants because I can be a bit indecisive at times. It is annoying at holidays though when my mother makes a big deal that she has to make an extra chicken because I won’t eat the ham… probably why I haven’t gone completely vegetarian yet.

  • 44 Melissa // May 6, 2011 at 6:34 am

    No, but I’ve thought about it a lot.

  • 45 Hillary // May 6, 2011 at 6:35 am

    I was a vegetarian for several years after a horrifyingly bad bout of food poisoning from a burger. But now I am back to being a burger-lovin’ fool.

  • 46 Pam Gotcher // May 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

    One major change this year was the incorporation of sprouts in my diet – not just the ones you can get in the grocery store, but I found a website online called sproutpeople with lots of good recipes and an incredible series of mixes of seeds (mostly organic) – now I am working to be sure that even with sprouts, I have warm foods – meat? occasionally – but I am much pickier. I just seem to prefer veges.

  • 47 Jillian // May 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

    I’ve toyed with the idea of being a vegetarian, but I just enjoy meat too much! Now I focus on having a more veggie-centric meal, and I only eat meat when it’s something I really want (not just to fill the plate!).

  • 48 Jackie P // May 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I have! About 6 years ago I started having allergic reactions to gluten. I still can’t eat it, but the result is that we eat much more homemade food and a lot less processed and prepackaged food. It took some getting used to, but I feel much better now.

  • 49 Erin // May 6, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I became lactose intolerant at the age of 12. My cheese, milk, ice cream loving ways were in jeopardy. I learned how much I could eat of each thing and just sort of adjusted, or suffered. Now with pills and lactose free milk…and soy milk too! I can enjoy everything. Mmm! (Cheeses aged over 6 months have less lactose than other varieties…so sharp cheddar is my friend)

  • 50 Kristin // May 6, 2011 at 6:53 am

    I definitely have not made any dramatic changes like many of the other people who have made comments- I grew up on made-from-(mostly) scratch meals every day. My sister started not eating red meat or pork when she was in high school (and we didn’t eat fish), so while she was living at home our family replaced much of our red meat meals with chicken and turkey. I’ve definitely gone through stages in my own cooking- started making my own bread, trying to make more from the raw ingredients to avoid preservatives, eating fresher and more organic. But I’m still trying things out and love to read about others’ food experiences.

  • 51 Elsa // May 6, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I became a full-on vegetarian as a teenager when I left home for boarding school (so I no longer had to coordinate my dietary requirements with a family of seven). Cutting out meat was surprisingly easy, even in a school environment that was decidedly not catering to vegetarians or other special diets.

    These days, I eat meat once in a while (though our household is pretty nearly vegetarian, which suits both me and my husband, a vegetarian of 20+ years).

  • 52 Katharine // May 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

    We’ve always eaten fairly well but recently were trying to eat fish twice a week if we can and to eat meatless once a week. That’s partly to vary our food and explore new flavors and textures.

    This book looks fantastic. Thanks for the giveaways and Happy Birthday!

  • 53 Mary Mihaha // May 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Count me in please!

    I’m trying to eat more veggies & try new foods in general. My pallet is very limited. It’s time to be a grown-up and try new things!

  • 54 Rachael // May 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

    I was a vegetarian for ten years, but like commenter Hilary, I didn’t do it well – I just didn’t eat the meat parts of meals, so I was eating a lot of veggies and starches but not enough protein. I started eating meat again a year or so ago, and I’ve been very mindful about what I eat, so I feel a lot healthier these days! My nails used to be super brittle and would split a lot, and they’re so much stronger now, and I have so much more energy. I think the book sounds great!

  • 55 Celia // May 6, 2011 at 7:06 am

    I became a ‘flexitarian’ last year. I eat meat, but sparingly. Since cutting down (and not eating meat every single day), my taste pallets have changed and I’ve discovered a newfound love of vegetables and real homemade dinners. It’s been great!

  • 56 jeanne // May 6, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Would love a copy of this for my library! Thanks for being such an active blogger. I tune in everyday!

  • 57 Jessica // May 6, 2011 at 7:08 am

    This book sounds fascinating.
    I’ve been a vegetarian for a few years, now, although I occasionally eat sushi! Living with a non-vegetarian partner makes it more interesting, although I’m the primary cook in our house.

  • 58 Danielle // May 6, 2011 at 7:13 am

    The book sounds great!
    I’ve never made drastic changes to my diet, but I’m always working on eating better and incorporating more healthy foods. I started a blog this year to help motivate myself – and hopefully, others – eat cook more regularly at home. Some weeks are harder than others, but I’m still chugging along!

  • 59 Rachel // May 6, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I became a vegetarian almost 15 years ago but have gradually been adding fish back into my diet in the last few years because my body seems to benefit from it.

  • 60 Jody // May 6, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I’ve just been diagnosed with chronic anemia and I don’t know how to cook red meat! A friend who loves meat and is a great cook is going to get me started.

  • 61 Katrina // May 6, 2011 at 7:17 am

    This has been on my to-read list for a long time. I was a vegetarian for awhile in college, then began eating meat again when I moved to the Dominican Republic, and was never able to go back when I moved back to the States. Recently however, I’ve decided it’s time, so I’m finally back to my sort-of vegetarian status. I say sort-of because it’s a very qualified version – I eat meat I know has been raised in humane, healthy for me and the planet ways – which means the meat I eat generally comes direct from the farmer, and I don’t eat much of it. This time around I’m also allowing myself to eat meat if someone else has bought and prepared it – the one time being a vegetarian was a problem for me before was when I could go to dinner at someone’s house and couldn’t eat what they’d prepared. In general, I like being a vegetarian because I don’t like the treatment of animals in our industrial agriculture system, or what that system does to our health and to the environment. If I’m eating less of it, and not giving my money to systems that create the worst problems, I feel a lot better about that.

  • 62 Higgy // May 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

    No drastic changes really besides cutting out all almost all soda (the occasional Sprite) which was done a long long time ago and I’ve never looked back. I imediatly started feeling healthier and started dropping weight.
    As for other eating habits, I am not too concerned with. I never cared much for fast food and although I am a meat eater I prepare all my food at home and do not keep much junk food around unless it pertains to my horrible sweet tooth.

  • 63 Michelle // May 6, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I haven’t made any big changes. I’ve tried both vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and still have vegetarian and vegan days but the most permanent change I’ve made is just being more conscious about where my food is coming from.

  • 64 Brooke // May 6, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I’ve gone back and forth with being vegetarian/vegan/omnivore. I don’t know much about cooking meat, either, so this book sounds right up my alley. These days I’m trying to simply eat more mindfully. Except when I eat poutine (french fries and cheese curds and gravy, oh my!)

  • 65 Sally // May 6, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Sounds interesting. I’ve been a regular eater, a vegetarian, a kosher eater, and am working towards moving my rare meat meals to kosher / organic meat. The book sounds great!

  • 66 Erin // May 6, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I became a vegetarian about 3 years ago and it changed the way I look at food, and the way I feel. I love vegetables more than ever now, and feel good that I’m doing something for the planet as well by eating primarily plant-based.

  • 67 Melissa // May 6, 2011 at 7:32 am

    No big changes, but when I moved in with my boyfriend we agreed not to buy many processed foods, especially meats. So I think I have been cooking and eating better than before. =)

  • 68 heather // May 6, 2011 at 7:34 am

    oh what a fantastic giveaway! this book has been on my to-read list so long that i forgot it was there. winning it would most certainly take care of that ;o)

    i have made some pretty big – for me – changes. i’ve had my fair share of medical challenges in the past 5 years, so last year i committed to giving the organic & natural (and local, when possible) ingredient world a whirl. go figure – it worked! the added bonus is that everything really does taste better :o)

  • 69 Line // May 6, 2011 at 7:36 am

    No big change, but we are trying to eat without disrespecting our environment, just a small drop in the ocean!

  • 70 Britt // May 6, 2011 at 7:41 am

    A little over two years ago I stopped eating gluten as it was causing a whole host of major health issues for me. It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve actually found the restriction to be liberating and inspiring. I’ve also spent some time experimenting with vegan & vegetarian diets. I do eat meat now, but only occasionally. I’ve found I just feel better that way.

    I love Tara and have been meaning to read her book for so long. What a great giveaway!

  • 71 Liz S. // May 6, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I too have taken processed foods out of my diet (whenever possible) and now that I grow my own vegetables, I have learned to eat more varieties!

  • 72 Robin // May 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Avoiding processed foods is definitely the biggest change I’ve made – there were a lot of ding dongs in my childhood!

  • 73 Michelle // May 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Oh I would love to read this book! I stopped eating meat for a couple of years (except for seafood) just because I stopped craving it, but in the process it taught me to eat more whole and natural foods. I’ve since gone back to meat, but I’m trying to find a balance between just having it when I crave it (sometimes not at all and sometimes I’m ravenous for it) and still being conscious of environmental impacts.

  • 74 Monica // May 6, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I have made a few changes, such as avoiding processed foods, buying organic whenever I can, trying to make most things from scratch, and I am really happy to have made this choice for myself and my family!
    Sounds like a hilarious book!

  • 75 Kate // May 6, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Joining a CSA a few years ago was a big change for us, and we’ve never looked back.

  • 76 Courtney // May 6, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I grew up on processed food and casseroles…the norm for many of us. Over the years I’ve become aware of where my food comes from and the path it takes to get to me. I try to make concious decisions about eating fresh, seasonal food and buying from local farmers. This summer I hope to can a bunch of stuff so I rely less on things like canned tomatoes from the grocery store next winter.

  • 77 mrscharlemagne // May 6, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I only realize how healthily my husband and I eat when I visit friends and family. We have made an effort to eat less meat and more beans and veg in the last year, and I am continually amazed that “food” [processed stuff] I used to eat just doesn’t taste good any more. Like one commenter said above, though, if I am a guest in someone’s home, I will gratefully eat what they have prepared, even if it is not something I would normally make myself.

    This book looks great – thanks for this fantastic month of goodies!

  • 78 Rachel Noel // May 6, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I learned a few months ago that I’m lactose intolerant. I’m still a bit in denial, but overall it’s going well and I feel so much better!

  • 79 Priscila // May 6, 2011 at 7:58 am

    When I started to learn music, and started to study Bel Canto, I had to reduce (almost to zero!), the milk products… It makes my throat weird, and definitely change my voice…

  • 80 Jen // May 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I’ve been meaning to read this!

  • 81 Patsy // May 6, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I (we) are taking the approach of trying to eat with in season. I would rather have an amazing apple in fall then crappy ones all year round.

  • 82 Nicole // May 6, 2011 at 8:07 am

    9 years ago, I started becoming extremely ill after my morning meal of a bagel and juice. After being bedridden with horrific stomach pains, rashes, and fatigue, I was sent to a specialist, and after invasive procedures, they have no clue what is wrong with me. I cannot eat gluten, nuts, dairy, sugar, seeds, or soy. I have had to completely change my life, as I cannot simply grab a bite to eat while out and about. I also do not eat red meat or pork, but choice. I did have to start eating chicken, much to my dismay, because there was simply nothing left for me to eat. This book would be a wonderful help for me.

  • 83 Flora // May 6, 2011 at 8:08 am

    After a stint of working crazy hours (aka eating lots of takeout), I found out my triglycerides are out of whack. So I’ve been trying to ingest more veggies and fish, less takeout.

  • 84 Katie S // May 6, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I was given a diet by my rheumatologist years ago which meant changing to eating very little processed food and low sodium. I no longer eat cheese or dairy or wheat. The rule is 1 lean meat to 2-3 veggies and fruits. I have felt so much better since switching to this lifestyle, though sometimes it makes eating at other peoples’ houses difficult!

  • 85 Lynn // May 6, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Hmm, I never made a huge change, but I have been thinking about it due to my total cholesterol count. Thanks for all the giveaway chances!

  • 86 Christine G. // May 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Though I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater, joining a CSA had a pretty big impact on our cooking and eating habits – we’ve become a lot more adventurous and creative with our vegetables (and have become kind of snobbish about out-of-season produce…) I definitely would like to read this book, even if I don’t win! Thanks for introducing it to us.

  • 87 Wendryn // May 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I was a vegetarian for six years, which didn’t work out very well health-wise. I’m back to being an omnivore now (though light on the meat, more due to expense and taste than ethics) and I do enjoy meat now and then, but I think I would really enjoy this book!

  • 88 Sarah // May 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

    A few years ago I attempted a cleanse. Although it was mostly a failure as I added food back into my diet I learned I was highly lactose intolerant (oh! That’s why I feel so uncomfortable) and red meat didn’t agree with me so much. From that point on my eating habits changed forever.

  • 89 Amanda // May 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I made a small change a few years ago where I tried to eat a salad with spinach leaves every weeknight for dinner in an effort to lose a little weight. I kept with it for a couple of months and while I can’t remember if I lost weight (I probably didn’t), I do remember that my hair and nails started growing faster and seemed to be a little healthier.

  • 90 Sarah // May 6, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I gave up red meat when I was 14 and have never looked back. Well, except once while pregnant. Eh, weird cravings.

  • 91 Cassandra // May 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

    In 6th grade I gave up meat. My amazingly patient parents supported the change and cooked great veggie meals for me – then I went off to college, and not having any idea how to cook, starting eat meat again because all we ever did was go out! One day – I always tell myself.

  • 92 Kate // May 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I’ve really gotten into green smoothies for breakfast – with spinach and kale. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy but I swear they make me feel great!

  • 93 Cynthia // May 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I went pescetarian 8 years ago, and haven’t looked back. The healthiest aspect is that it all but eliminates fast food from my life!

  • 94 Minerva // May 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

    To go the entirely other direction, a few years ago I took part in a medical study comparing the Atkins diet with the Dash diet (heart healthy low-fat diet). I was on the Atkins side of the study and ate A LOT of meat. It worked, I lost weight, but the cravings for toast and carrots were incredible. When the study ended? All those little pounds were back, and they brought a few friends along!

  • 95 Amanda // May 6, 2011 at 8:39 am

    We’re making an effort to eat more whole grains and less meat. It’s difficult with a meat lover for a husband, but so far he’s being a champ!

  • 96 Delia // May 6, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I’ve never made any major changes, although learning to cook for myself after graduating from college was a bit of an adjustment.

  • 97 Torie // May 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I think the biggest change I ever made was in high school when I just decided to eat more healthily. I started cooking my own dinners. Now I like food too much to give anything up, I try to enjoy everything in moderation. :)

  • 98 Jessica // May 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

    The biggest change for me was switching from soda to water. It was amazing how better I slept and how much better I felt overall!

  • 99 Nette // May 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I have been drifting between vegetarian and conscious meat eater for the past 15 years, and have changed for a variety of reasons. It never seems a major change, though, just a long drift back and forth…

  • 100 Katie // May 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I stopped eating red meat when I was thirteen – now fourteen years ago. I intended to continue to occasionally eat poultry but by Thanksgiving it just didn’t sound good. I have always eaten fish/seafood…growing up in the Seattle area it would have been tough to quit that! A few years ago, poultry sounded good to me and I made the decision that I would eat what appealed to me, but only if it was clean. So I really don’t eat poultry any more now than I did then since it’s so hard to get good clean meat here (I live in oil and gas country in northeastern BC).
    The other major change was made about four years ago when I was trying to lose weight – I made the switch to whole grains and started eating less sugar, more veggies, etc. It worked! :)

  • 101 Wylie // May 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I would love to read this book. I have been close to being vegetarian for many years, and recently (the past two months), have consciously made the change completely. The book sounds wonderful!

  • 102 Isabel // May 6, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I went from not thinking about it much to lacto-ovo vegetarianism to veganism and back to omnivorism all in the span of around 11 years — and those are just the macro changes… lots of micro changes on a smaller scale. Diet is one of those things that isn’t constant. I’ve been dying to read this book for a while! :)

  • 103 Scarlett // May 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I’ve been vegan a few times, but my love of cheese never stops taunting me enough to do it for long (even though I know when I start eating cheese again it will initially make me feel sick). So no, not really. I’ve been a vegetarian all of my life and have never eaten meat.

  • 104 Denise // May 6, 2011 at 9:01 am

    About 12 years ago I gradually made the shift to a vegetarian diet. I’m always asked if I miss meat and my answer is no, not at all. I can’t imagine going back and it would be interesting if I was faced with doctor’s orders to do it!!

  • 105 Jamie G // May 6, 2011 at 9:02 am

    The biggest diet change I’ve made was doing the grapefruit diet for two months. No fun. I have a more balanced, healthy approach now, but sometimes I do behave bipolarly with food–too restrictive or eating too much junk. It would be nice to read about someone who found balance!

  • 106 Megan // May 6, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I used to be a no-breakfast eater and a few years ago forced myself to eat oatmeal every morning. It sticks to my ribs and overall I eat WAY less throughout the day as a result. I still eat my bowl of oatmeal every morning, no matter what. Thanks for the chance to win this book, it piqued my interest!

  • 107 Jess // May 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Returning to eating meat after being a vegetarian for two years revolutionized the way I view the world and the way I eat now. I feel more healthy and balanced than ever!

  • 108 Katie // May 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Would love to read it!

  • 109 Kat // May 6, 2011 at 9:19 am

    My new years resolution has been to eat more healthfully and perhaps not in 15-year-old boy portions. I’m still carrying this along, am down two sizes, and appreciate fruit more than I used to. when you cut out a lot of sugar, you really taste the difference!

  • 110 Miranda E. // May 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I’ve had to completely cut out caffeine, Doctor’s orders! It’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. With a very active two-year-old boy, some days are a real struggle. I freely admit to driving past a coffee shop and drooling.

  • 111 Alison // May 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I just read the book “Eating Animals”. I am currently working on making a very sudden and drastic change from carnivorous eating to a vegetarian/vegan. It has been trying but, after a week I am already feeling better….hope to make jump from vegetarian to vegan after a while.


  • 112 Heather // May 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I used to eat a lot of crap. For real. Now, I eat less crap and I’m trying to become more educated about what to eat. Due to a tiny health problem, I tried to cut out all sugar for a while and did it for two weeks, which was nice but a lot of effort. I love to bake and I hate hate HATE artificial sweetners, so it was problematic. But mostly I try to make one meal a good choice per day.

  • 113 Julie // May 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I’ve recently become MUCH more selective in the type of meat I eat. Eating only meat that I’ve carefully sourced and feel was raised and treated well. I’d love to read this book.

  • 114 Out2lunch // May 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I tried going vegan once, but decided life without cheese isn’t worth it.

  • 115 Sarah G. // May 6, 2011 at 9:47 am

    After watching “Food, Inc.” my husband and I committed to a lifestyle of local, organic produce. We joined a CSA this year and started to order all our meat through a local farm. What really helps (the diet, not the budget) is living right across the street from Whole Foods! When we can move into a house someday, we want to plant a garden and keep chickens. It’s been fun to pursue this as a team, and we eat quite well, and healthy, doing it!

  • 116 Holly // May 6, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I have never made a drastic or sudden change in what I eat, but I have definitely shifted my focus to as much organic as possible, and more recently have been paying a *lot* more attention to the source of the meat I buy. I have noticed that I am a lot less interested in candy and junk food than I used to be — I can resist now — but that might be because I am getting older (sigh) and my body just does not want the calories.

  • 117 Rosa // May 6, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I’ve got many vegetarian and vegan friends, but have always been a meat eater. There are so many delicious non-meat options these days though! Half the time I eat fake meat stuff just ’cause I like it…

  • 118 amanda // May 6, 2011 at 9:52 am

    it’s a slow process, but we are working to eat as locally as we can, and it feels good!

  • 119 gwen // May 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

    We’ve been growing a garden and learning to rely more and more on it for daily sustenance rather than the grocery store. It takes some timing and skill, but I’m enjoying reaping the rewards!

  • 120 Elis // May 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I have transitioned between omnivorism & vegetarianism, and currently our household is buying as much as possible (80%, I’d say) of our food directly from the producers. That includes our meat, eggs and produce. Soon we hope to have a home where we can grow our own produce as well…

  • 121 Andrea // May 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I’m working on eating more organic fruits and veggies and have just started to get the New Shoots Organics veggie boxes delivered to my apartment here in Seattle. Now I’m working on getting myself to try different applications for all the veggies I get every other week.

  • 122 Liz // May 6, 2011 at 10:09 am

    One summer I went on a vacation with a boyfriend’s family and they made fun of me for only liking chicken. The following year I made an effort to try everything I was offered – and I’m sure glad I did. I now love all sorts of fish and love trying new things!

  • 123 Lisa LeBlanc // May 6, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I heard about this book when it was first released and was interested in reading then as I was a strict vegetarian. Since then I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer and recently finished radiation that damaged my taste buds. Now I eat anything I can taste (Ham esp. for some reason!) just to get some enjoyment and for protein.

  • 124 Sare // May 6, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I’ve tried changes here and there, but they’ve never worked out well. I guess I was raised eating pretty healthy to start with.

  • 125 Karly // May 6, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I have made several BIG changes…

    at 10, I gave up eating meat (I always thought it was gross, and when my older sister went vegetarian I finally had an excuse to do it too!)

    at 12, I gave up eating seafood (environmental reasons… can’t support an unsustainable industry!)

    and then, at 20, I was forced to give up eating wheat, which has been by far the hardest. Probably because it has not been by choice – my body won’t digest it and it has made me mildly sick most of my life. But the results of giving it up? I am happier, healthier, more energetic… it’s worth it.

    That said – if I had known at 10 that I couldn’t eat wheat, I would have seriously reconsidered my choice to give up meat. But after so long being a vegetarian I just don’t think I can go back! It would be fascinating to read the story of a woman who did… I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it every now and then.

  • 126 Simply A. // May 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I would like to eat a lot less meat and a more plant-based diet; am working on finding ways to balance out my eating habits/wishes with that of my husband (who does most of the cooking) and son. A tricky road, especially when it comes to budgeting. Bacon vs. beets and spinach? Hmmm….

    Also a fan of Tara Austen Weaver’s blog, and would love to own the book.

  • 127 ALFO // May 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I have been veg since I was a little kid (22 years), when I realized that chicken on plate matched up with chicken bawk bawk. It freaked me out then, and it still does. My husband eats everything but loves the “crunchy” diet we usually adhere to. From college until I met him 6 years ago, I only cooked healthy and from scratch for others. Now I make my own almond milk, bread, everything.
    Also, I recently gave up soy to see if it would help regulate some hormonal issues…unfortunately it looks like it’s working!

  • 128 chandel // May 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I became a vegetarian approx 19 years ago and i became a vegan about 14 years ago, people always ask, “well what do you eat then?” My reply, “I don’t eat anything that had a mother” :)

  • 129 Ashley // May 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

    For nearly 10 years, I was an on again off again vegetarian. Being an omnivore once again, I only eat meat if I know where it comes from. I also have my own little garden and try to buy local. I really would love to read this book!

  • 130 Becki // May 6, 2011 at 10:37 am

    After more than 6 months battling with a variety of illness in my final year of university, and after countless doctor appointments where i heard more “we don’t know see someone else” than any other comment, it was finally suggested to try a gluten free and lactose free diet.

    It was a daunting change as i searched round the supermarket, all my usual shopping was off the menu and eating out seemed impossible.

    After a few bad weeks, things did improve but it can be difficult when people offer you food or drinks (either at their home or at work); and you either always look slightly rude for refusing or spend a while trying to explain.

    Some free from foods are great but it requires a lot more cooking from scratch to have food i can eat.

    But on the plus side i’m a lot healthier now -no biscuits or cake! :)

  • 131 mollysusie // May 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I’m been a semi-vegetarian/vegan for all my adult life. (I say semi because sometimes I will eat fish, and I don’t always check to make sure broths, etc are veggie based when I eat out.) I often wonder if vegetarianism is healthy, if we can truly get all our nutritional needs from plants. But being an animal lover, and strongly against horse slaughter, I wonder if I could ever be personally comfortable eating meat. I’m very happy and excited with the expansion of new veggie/vegan grocery items, especially loving the almond “dairy” products. This book sounds really interesting … think I’ll put it next on my list. Thanks for all the giveaways! Happy Blog Birthday!

  • 132 oneplaidaunt // May 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I try to healthier on a regular basis. Sometime I succeed and sometimes, I’m afraid, I don’t…

  • 133 kelly // May 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I have been a vegetarian for almost 19 years. No meat, fish, poultry, no flesh at all. My father and I both stopped eating meat at around the same time, and he just recently switched back to carnivore. Our family has a terrible history with diabetes, and he has had better health in that regard since he started eating meat again. I wonder about myself, if one day I am confronted with the same thing, how will I react? I was 14 years old when I stopped eating meat. This book sounds interesting…

  • 134 Leslie // May 6, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I try to eat more veggies and teach my kids about good eating habits

  • 135 essbee // May 6, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I’ve changed my diet in fairly major ways several times. I’ve been vegetarian, vegan (in Minnesota!), and most recently switched from vegetarian to “flexitarian” (or rather, sustainable omnivore) when I moved to California.

    I’d love to have this book on my nightstand!

  • 136 Hanne // May 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I have recently discovered I’m allergic to milk, and cutting dairy out of my diet has been a big change! I’m still learning what and how to substitute and discovering the world of non-cow cheeses.

  • 137 Tara // May 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

    That book sounds great!

    I once worked at a “fat camp” for rich people. I was an intern in the kitchen and by the end of my internship I ate so healthy it was amazing. I wouldn’t even let myself eat things that were not whole grain and certainly nothing processed. Now I do eat some not so great things, but working there definitely changed my diet.

  • 138 Emily // May 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

    This book looks great! I’ve just started thinking about switching to grass-fed beef.

  • 139 Kelsey // May 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Oh, I would love to win this book! Tara’s blog is the best, isn’t it? About two years ago I started dabbling with a gluten free diet when my friend was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I’ve been amazed at how much better I feel!

  • 140 Aimee // May 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

    After suffering with some stomach issues, I tried a gluten-free diet for 6 months. You’d be surprised how many things have wheat gluten in them! I felt a lot healthier, and I had more energy, but after my issues went away I went back to a normal diet. It was just so much work to make sure everything was gluten-free.

  • 141 Karleen // May 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I toyed with semi-vegetarianism the last few years for health reasons, but was struggling. Last summer after watching Food Inc. I’ve been eating a lot more meat, but making sure I’m only eating natural meats. It’s a nice compromise to be able to eat what my body craves, but know I’m feeding it the only very best.

  • 142 Claudia // May 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I was a vegetarian for nearly a year and then I found out I was expecting and it kind of got thrown out the window :( I did really enjoy being vegetarian, I don’t know why I haven’t made the effort to go back since!

  • 143 Sarah // May 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t eat gluten, shellfish, red meat, nightshade family plants (potatoes, tomatoes), dairy, chocolate, and keep to a low sodium, low soy diet.

    I have four or five chronic illness depending on how you count and I’m allergic or intolerant to all of the above except the last two. Sodium for congestive heart failure and soy for thyroid. Big sigh. Sodium is the hardest, really.

    I also eat pretty low sugar, but am working on no sugar. Also headed toward almost zero meat, too.

  • 144 Meghan // May 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    11 years ago I moved to Paraguay and immediately changed my diet to one that was completely seasonal and almost entirely non-processed – not out of choice, but because of the available food choices. I really ended up enjoying that way of eating, but after 8 years back in the US I’ve found it quite difficult to continue, at least in the winter. I know that its doable, but takes more energy than I have right now with two small children.

  • 145 Terri Ann // May 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I stopped eating meats all together in my teens and in my early 20’s my health started to suffer for it. I started re-introducing meat back into my diet, mostly fish and chicken at first but now I dabble with some red meat, though only ever when cooked at home! Plus having a chef boyfriend makes that an easier transition! I have never felt healthier in my life. I sleep better, I have more energy and I’ve even lost weight eating burgers ;)

    The best thing is the lessons I’ve learned by seeing both ends of the spectrum. It’s all about being aware of what you are eating. Be smart about your food and lifestyle, put the best in and you’ll get the best out of life!

  • 146 Kelli // May 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    A few years ago I started eating low sugar foods as much as possible. I love my sweets, so it’s been a challenge, but it’s amazing what a difference lowering your sugar intake can do. That doesn’t mean to say that I don’t splurge from time to time. :)

  • 147 Linda J // May 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I haven’t made a huge change in what I eat lately, I’ve just been slowly shifting to eating less processed, more locally grown food. More delicious and supporting small business!

  • 148 MaryWynn // May 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The way I eat has evolved a lot, but the most significant change came after I spent a period of time living in Ecuador. After not eating any processed foods for months, I was given a Hot Pocket ™ on the flight home and was sick for a week. This, after cheerfully doing all the things they tell you not to: drinking tap water, eating street food, blithely not peeling my fruit, was a revelation.

    It took me six months to re-acclimate to “American” food without getting ill every time I ate a piece of “American” cheese or the like. I gave up most processed and prepared foods for good; the Orange Food Exception means that I can occasionally have Kraft Mac, Cheetos and orange soda. However, as I get older my interest in even these has waned.

  • 149 Sarah // May 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I should add that all these restrictions are hard but possible and I eat well. I take a lot of supplements, but mostly because I don’t eat enough food in general–I have to eat small portions due to my health.

  • 150 Erica // May 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I haven’t set out to make a change, but lately I have found that the only meat I crave is seafood. Red meat and poultry don’t appeal to me much, maybe my body is trying to tell me something.

  • 151 Rebecca // May 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve never made a big change to my diet, but I probably should…

  • 152 Sarah Rose // May 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    About 3 years ago, I started trying to be more conscious about ingesting animal products, largely for environmental reasons. Learning how to incorporate more vegetables into my diet was like discovering a new world!

  • 153 Laura J // May 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I’m considering eating primarily organic (as opposed to conventional, I guess).

  • 154 Karla // May 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I switched to eating whole grains instead of anything processed for health reasons. I thought was going to be horrible, but I ended up really taking to it. Now regular pasta tastes plain and flat to me, which I would have never thought could happen!

  • 155 Misty // May 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I stopped eating meat 3 or 4 years ago – I began to dislike it, and like to listen to my body, so I stopped eating it. My husband has tried twice, since he’s more on the ethical side of vegetarianism, but he just can’t do it. At this point he’s forgoing mammals though.

    I’ve read some about this book and its on my list of to-reads!

  • 156 cheryl // May 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    After having gained more weight (298) and then reducing (now 250), we have changed the way we eat. Looking for better food choices led me to this blog, and the husband and I are changing the way we eat and live. Hoping to reach goal weight of 150 by the end of 2013, we are now enjoying meatless Monday, Fishy Friday, and “take a walk”. Love to have the book!

  • 157 tawnya // May 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Yup. We went no processed (well…mostly) and whole foods (local, etc) a couple of years ago. Best decision.

  • 158 Andi // May 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Wow. I’d been a vegetarian for 15 years until last fall when it was suggested to me that eating meat might help me with some health issues. I visited farms, read Michael Pollen, talked to farmers, and eventually bought half of a cow. The ethics are something I’m still struggling with. If I don’t win this book, I will certainly be reading it!

  • 159 Tia // May 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I’d been vegetarian twice in my life; the first time I read a PETA magazine when I was 12. My family was very supportive, but honestly, I missed my grandma’s cooking and her attempts to vegetarianize several dishes just didn’t compare.
    The second time I was a student in college, and let me tell you, eating the cafeteria’s vegan entree, as repetitive as it was, beat the pants off the other food. Lately I’ve cut down on meat eating in general, saving that time for when I want to drop the extra $ to get local grass-fed, organic “happy” animal meat.

  • 160 Jennifer // May 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    This sounds like a great book– thanks for the giveaway! My diet isn’t always great (soda is my vice), but I try to eat locally/sustainably whenever I can. I’ve recently started eating small amounts of meat again after being vegetarian for several years, & it would be great to read about Tara’s experience figuring meat out.

  • 161 Jen R // May 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve never really made any big changes in what I eat, with one exception: Every year I give up all junkfood between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The month without sweets makes Thanksgiving dinner and dessert SOOOO much more worth it!

  • 162 Chantal Fournier // May 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I can imagine that cooking meat for the first time must be quite daunting for a vegetarian. Sounds interesting!

  • 163 sangeetha // May 6, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I have incoporated a lot more vegetables in my diet now

  • 164 Colette // May 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    A few years ago my husband (finance then) and I decided to cut out all red meat & polutry. We would eat fish rarely. But we created lots of fun recipes like spicy black bean soup & grilled bleu portabella burgers that we still use today. We’ve since incorporated red meat and poultry back into our diet but since the birth of our first son have become more mindful of local, organic, and free range products. And I agree that less processed = better tasting.

  • 165 elena // May 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I made the decision to eat only organic/non hormone/grass fed, etc meat several years ago. Since then I’ve been moving toward only local, organic, non processed food….little steps toward the bigger goal.

  • 166 Elise // May 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve never made intentional dramatic changes, but I have noticed that my eating shifts a lot depending on who I live with. I was nearly vegetarian with my last roommate, did a lot of small meal grazing before that, and I think it’s gotten a bit unhealthier now that I live alone :( – need to work on that!

  • 167 Amanda // May 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    How interesting!! I’m currently in the process of starting to eat meat again and have been searching websites, etc. for information on what exactly to do. Having never eaten meat before it seems like some secret world where everyone knows all the terms, how to cook it, buy it, etc. and I’m just not in the know! It’s so confusing. I’ll definitely have to look into this book. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • 168 Laura // May 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for all the great giveaways.

    I was vegan for a while, amongst some vegetarianism – I actually liked how it made me feel physically, most of the time. But socially it was really isolating; it was hard to go out and hard to cook things that other people would like to eat. I do appreciate veggies and vegetable dishes more now. I actually think it would be harder for me to give up the occasional processed and fast food than it would for me to be vegetarian again.

  • 169 Elizabeth W // May 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    The changes that I make in how I eat… don’t stick as well as I wish they did. I’ll tell myself I want to eat healthier, drink less beer (my main vice), plan meals better etc etc. I’ll manage for a week, or almost a month, and then I slip… slip some more, and revert. I’ve cut out wine, liquor and ice cream… and I eat more fruits and veggies. But nothing dramatic.

  • 170 Deb // May 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I have recently retired and realized that I don’t need as much food as I used to. THAT is a big change as I am a farm girl with a big appetite. Gradual changes – small ones – are coming but oh so boring…

  • 171 Jane // May 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Interesting looking book! I recently went gluten free as an investigative process to resolve my migraine. My head is significantly clearer, my migraines have been leaving me alone(don’t want to curse the success); and at the same time, been finding myself eating a lot less animal protein. At the same time, I became friends with my neighbor’s sweet, soft chickens. If nothing else, I am making the choice. I like that power.

  • 172 Jackie // May 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    When I was dx with type 2 diabetes last year I cut out sugars and simple carbs. I also managed to lose about 60lbs. Still constantly working at cleaning up my diet.

  • 173 Maj // May 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Ok so nothing new here but it’s working for me. I’ve cut out all snacks. Only eating 3 times per day. it’s amazed me how such a simple rule can have such dramatic results. I recommend it to everyone :)

  • 174 Hollis // May 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I have been both a vegetarian (10 years) and a vegan (six terrible cheeseless months) and now I am a committed omnivore.

  • 175 Jessica // May 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I wouldn’t say I’ve made a big change, but over the last seven years I’ve made small changes in how I eat and shop – my goal: to be a smarter food lover!

  • 176 mel // May 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I became a vegetarian, for a few years, in college. That ended when I moved back home and my dad made ribs for a week straight.

    I’ve attempted an elimination diet. Felt amazing! Alive! Abundant energy without caffeine! What? That ended when I dropped five well needed pounds in a week and gained the heroin-chic look. It’s all fun and games until your collarbone pokes out someone’s eye.

  • 177 Steph N // May 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I went vegetarian during college, and, having been raised in a house of meat-eaters, it took some adjusting. There were only a few vegetables prepared a few routine was in our house, so I had to broaden my horizons quite a bit.

  • 178 Jean // May 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Sounds like an interesting book.

  • 179 Darci // May 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    This was on my library hold list but I forgot to pick it up…

  • 180 Marissa // May 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I would love to read this. I was a vegetarian for many many years and have been hoping to find new inspiration to go back to that. :)

  • 181 Ana Rocadas // May 6, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I did try vegetarianism for almost a year (in college, natch) but I mostly just ate French fries, so when I left college and moved out on my own and started eating meat again, I had to learn to cook real food for myself. There was a lot of inedible trial and error.

  • 182 Hillary // May 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    My husband and I tried being vegetarians for 30 days in college. We actually did pretty well and we enjoyed it. I would love to try it again as a more permanent thing but he’s not on that boat with me :( bums.

  • 183 Keely // May 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    My biggest change was a bit gradual. It took me a while to realize I have IBS and what my trigger foods are. So I now eat no or very low fiber; No whole grains, no pineapple, no strawberries. All things I love to eat, all “healthy” but for me they make me ill. I still sometimes eat them because I really do love pineapple but I have to remember strong moderation or I’ll pay later.

    This book looks interesting, thanks for sharing. Happy Bday- mine is in May too!

  • 184 pey // May 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve changed my eating habits for weight loss and it’s difficult at first, but I agree with you that healthier foods are truly more delicious than overly processed foods…

  • 185 Heather // May 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Yes, I made a switch in how I thought about food and it filtered down to my eating habits. Less processed, smaller portions, learning how sluggish some foods make me feel.

  • 186 Julie // May 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    It started slow, but in hindsight there’s almost no correlation between how I used to eat and how I eat now – besides quantity! I still love to eat! I used to not cook and eat out every meal. When I did throw food together, it was processed. And I rarely ate meat – hated it, and I was pretty picky I general.

    Then I learned to cook. Slowly but surely from food blogs. And I started exercising. A few years later I am 70lbs lighter, and a killer cook and baker! It was a real transformation. I am now so off of processed foods that eating them actually makes me suck to my stomach. I don’t metabolize fake food well at all. All the better I say!

  • 187 Emily // May 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    My fiance was recently diagnosed with Chron’s and the process of learning what he can and can’t eat has definitely challenged our culinary abilities and forced us to change a lot about how we think about food and cooking.

    This book looks fascinating though!

  • 188 Joelle // May 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I grew up in a kosher home, and always ate kosher style outside the home. I keep kosher now, and it’s always a drastic change during Passover when everything gets even *more* restrictive.

    So the one time on the beach in Chiapas, when it was just me and my friend (gringas) and 9 grody Mexican fisherman who were offering us the freshest, most beautiful crabs that literally just came out of the sea…I ate them. Because if you’re ever going to break the rules, try something different, SIN…then the best time to do it is when they are the most succulent.

    Ironically, my brain overwhelmed my body and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what they tasted like, except for *guilt.*

  • 189 Erin // May 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Moving from a large city in Texas to a small town in California with fantastic farmer’s markets has made all the difference. I don’t remember the last time I had fast food.

  • 190 Lee Montgomery-Garvin // May 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    My husband and I moved from the city to a smaller city with a really thriving local foods marketplace, so we pretty close to local all the time. I haven’t been to a McDonald’s (other than to pee) since 2008!!! We make really healthy food choices, even on the occasion that we eat out. It was tough at first, but we both feel loads better. Matter of fact, we are running our first 5k this weekend in Philadelphia!!

  • 191 EmilyM // May 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Yes! Due to my extremely terrible vegetarian diet (white carbs and sugar) several health issues kept bringing me down. So on drs advice I really tried to increase veggies and eat some animal protein every once in a while. What a difference in the way I felt!

  • 192 Amy // May 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    My husband is a “meat & potatos” kind of guy but we’ve just started doing 1 or 2 vegetarian meals a week.

  • 193 MJ // May 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve done vegetarian, vegan and meat-eating… Now I’m veggie +/- shrimp. Whatever that’s called, that’s me. I’ve been meaning to read this book for awhile now. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention.

  • 194 lisa // May 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I too have given up all processed food (for the most part- I admit I bought pringles today) and since I’ve done that and started running every day- I’ve never felt better!

  • 195 Christina DV // May 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    We recenlty found out my husband was a diabetic. So we went from having rice at every meal (he would eat 6-8 cups at a time), to tinier amounts and recipes with loads of veggies that incorporate some carbs. He was alreay skinny and now he’ lost even more. Poor guy. I of course havne’t lost a pound : )

  • 196 Sara // May 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I think the biggest change occurred when I became braver in the kitchen and more willing to try something completely new to me. This shift resulted in a less processed food and no more fast food.

  • 197 Cara // May 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I’ve never really made any major changes… for awhile in college I went vegetarian, but couldn’t really keep that up, so I’m back to omnivore.

  • 198 Molly // May 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I think that this book would be an interesting way to learn something new! My big change in eating took place by taking vegetarian cooking classes in which natural grains were stressed. I tried many new recipes with ingredients that were strange to me, with delicious results!!! Thank you.

  • 199 margo // May 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    a son who is….i am on my way… losing taste for meat as I grow older anyhow. However will still have a problem with portion control ==============

  • 200 amy // May 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Learning to cook was probably the biggest change I’ve made to my eating. From age 21 – 27 I got by on a few recipes I could make for potlucks, eating very simple things at home (spinach and a baked potato was my usual meal) and, mostly, eating out/ordering in. When I learned to cook-through the power of cookbooks and blogs-a whole new world of food opened up to me. I am definitely healthier (there are more vegetables out there), wealthier (only eat out two meals a week now, one weekend dinner and Sunday brunch) and wiser (I’ve learned so much about food, cooking techniques and great chefs) because of it!

  • 201 koroshiya // May 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    not huge changes, per se – small ones. the one huge thing i did was give up caffeine for a bit, but i started again once i’d determined that i wasn’t feeling hugely different.

  • 202 Katie // May 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    In the last year I’ve been much more serious about eating organic. I’ve made it a priority. All the chemicals out there are pretty scary! I’ve also made a big effort to eat locally, joining an HSA and getting my eggs from a local farm.

  • 203 Jess // May 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    In 2008 I drastically changed the way I ate, and ended up losing 35 lbs. My husband came back from deployment and I slowly put most of it back on. The worst part is when you eat garbage, you feel like garbage. I stopped treating my body like crap and now I feel much better and the weight is coming back off. Its awesome how easy that is.

  • 204 Jen // May 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    My rule: you have to try it before you can say you don’t like it. That, and less sugar.

  • 205 Marion // May 6, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    As a person raised vegetarian but now semi-eating meat because of her husband, I am SO going to read this book. Thanks for the reminder about it, I’ve been struggling with this issue a lot lately.

  • 206 Shelly Westerhausen // May 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 8 years and it has been a great adventure that has pushed me to try new things like tempeh, seitan, etc.
    After realizing how fun it was to constantly trying new things and feeling like I’ve mastered the vegetarian world, I’d made it a goal (it’s been about a year now) to go vegan for one week out of the month. This has helped me to think outside the box when looking at alter recipes and to try new substitutes and vegetables I would have never even though of.

  • 207 Mary Ellen // May 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I have not made any huge changes to how I eat. Vegetarian for Lent one year, more fruits, more veggies. When I’m not living with my parents (and thus, eating the food that their hard earned money is purchasing), I’d like to cut out things like aspartame and look to get less processed foods in my diet.

  • 208 Kirstie // May 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    A few months ago, I was diagnosed with one large gallstone and was forced to immediately change the way I ate. No more large dinners, no fatty foods. Which, really, is a good change. I’ve since had my gallbladder out, and have gone back to my old ways, even though I was hoping to stick with the change. Still hoping I can manage to find a happy medium that gets me healthier, without my needing to go to bed hungry.

  • 209 Jennie // May 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I stopped eating artificial sweetners after basically being raised on equal and diet coke… a big switch, but so good for me!

  • 210 r8chel // May 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    A few months ago I made a big change in the amount of food that I eat, and though I’ve always eaten pretty nutritiously (VERY well compared to a lot of people), I’m currently working at eating even better.

  • 211 jenney // May 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I was a vegetarian for five years, ages 15 to 20. In Santa Cruz, CA, where I was living, it was pretty common not to eat meat but some health issues drove me to add some meat to my diet. Those got worse in my 20’s with my first pregnancy and so I added meat consistently to my diet. Learning to cook it was fraught with disaster and I’d love to read that book and compare my story with hers!

  • 212 Kate // May 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I planted a garden…. we eat so many more veggies when they are in the back yard!

  • 213 Margi Hansen // May 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    for a long time during college and after I didn’t eat any mammels. If it nursed it’s young I didn’t eat it. I’ve thought about returning to that way again-but I love some yummy mammels

  • 214 Aja // May 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    While I am currently a bit of a lapsed vegetarian and have been so on and off for about 15 years. I tried eating vegan for about 8 months in college. It was hard, but not as much as I had imagined.

  • 215 Sheri // May 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I have definitely changed my eating habits after moving out of my parent’s place. Much less processed food and less meat.

  • 216 Shelley // May 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Reading “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser changed my attitude towards fast food, especially burgers. Scary stuff. I am not a vegetarian, but am definitely mindful of what I eat.

  • 217 Lindy // May 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I am 21 and am about to reach my one year mark on a no MSG, artificial anything, preservative-free diet. I initially did it as an experiment to see if I could get rid of my chronic headaches and, believe it or not, after YEARS with daily headaches, the first day on my new diet my headaches were GONE! I love learning about nutrition and would love to read this book! (Recently found your blog! Loveee IT!)

  • 218 Jessica // May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Oh, I have wanted this book since you first featured it on your site! As for a dietary change I’ve made, I have been a vegetarian since my pre-pubescent years, and have recently started questioning my choices. I wonder if eating over processed, resource draining fake meats is really a better choice than eating a fish I caught myself. I’ve yet to make the change, but it’s something I’ve been wrestling with. I do know that if I do make a change, I will only eat meat that I have killed myself- no having someone else do my dirty work for me.

  • 219 Callie // May 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    A few years ago I set a goal of going two months without eating fast food. I had gotten into a deep, deep fast food rut, and breaking it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. But it also ended up being one of the most worthwhile. Getting back into the habit of cooking helped me in so many ways. I wish I could say I haven’t had fast food since, but at least now it’s only occasionally. :)

  • 220 Kristina @ spabettie // May 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    oh, I would LOVE this book! I love books, I love all things food!

    I have changed my diet – because I feel better when I do, I eat a mostly anti-inflammatory diet. I juice at least once a day, which I love!


  • 221 Joanna // May 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I only eat at a restaurant or cafe three or four times a month. I used to eat out almost everyday, so it was a big change for me. I’ve noticed that I am such a light eater! And I appreciate food way more now.

  • 222 Susan // May 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I’ve actually just recently switched in the other direction, to vegetarianism. It was for health reasons, and also due to the fact that I have no clue about cooking meat anyways! I’ve only done it in the past to appease a meat-eating man in my life.

    I think the co-mingling of romantic themes, meat naivete, and a new lifestyle change would make this an enjoyable read for me.

  • 223 Adrienne B. // May 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    No drastic changes for me. For a brief time frame I gave up carbs. My mom is vegan, so when I stay with her I pretty much give up meat and dairy.

  • 224 Boo // May 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I’d been vegetarian for about a month when I traveled back to South America to visit old friends and my hometown. I didn’t want to be a bother and I didn’t feel that committed to being veg yet, so I decided to eat meat and fish for the trip. Every bite was made thoughtful and by the time I came home I’d made up my mind and I haven’t eaten meat or fish since.

  • 225 Karola // May 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

    The book seems very interesting, I’d love to put my hands on it!
    When I turned 18 I eliminated meat from my diet (I do eat fish), I just never liked it. It’s been almost 10 years now and I don’t feel like going back to it. I think quite a few people can’t imagine putting meat aside because they imagine the food they eat now, but without it. Which is so wrong, not eating meat makes you be far more creative in the kitchen and gives a chance to try foods and spices you probably never tasted before!

  • 226 Natalia // May 7, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Not really, never a big chance (but I should try it).

  • 227 Alison // May 7, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I changed my eating habits at uni. living in a city centre near several supermarkets meant i could get food as i needed it and not food that will last.

  • 228 Jackie // May 7, 2011 at 5:19 am

    I was a vegetarian for nearly 10 years and recently started eating meat again. I’m still not completely use to eating non-vegetarian dishes in restaurants.

  • 229 Renee // May 7, 2011 at 6:05 am

    I’d love to read this book, and also to pass it along to a few friends.

  • 230 katrina // May 7, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I was a vegetarian for years until I went away to college. Sadly, being a small private school, the veggie choices were low, so I had to go back to meat to get the iron and such I needed. Now I at least try to keep to organic/low cruelty meats and products.

  • 231 Betsy // May 7, 2011 at 6:45 am

    We went vegan at home for a while (we called it flexitarian because we weren’t strict about it, ESP when eaten out). We still do a lot of things veg or vegan but dairy and eggs have def been reintroduced with a toddler in the house.

  • 232 cindyAz // May 7, 2011 at 6:55 am

    I haven’t made any huge changes. I just eat less when my clothes start not fitting.

  • 233 Sarah // May 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

    My husband doesn’t eat beef or pork so I’ve had to adjust all of my recipes to chicken and turkey. I’ve become so used to the taste of ground turkey in everything that the one or two times a year I make something with ground beef I’m so surprised at the taste!

  • 234 Rachel // May 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I have been making my own bread for a couple years. I try to remember to make my own yogurt since I like it so much better. The biggest is trying to avoid corn syrup and partial hydrogentated stuff.

  • 235 herschel // May 7, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I hope I’m not too late!

    Meatless Mondays are the easiest way for us to change — just one day without meat.

  • 236 Robyn // May 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

    After watching Fast Food Nation, I stopped eating meat. That was a little over two years ago. I wish I had the will power to give up my biggest vice, CHEESE! I don’t know if that will ever happen. :)

  • 237 Alina // May 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    My biggest change in how I eat was definitely when I became a vegetarian 11 years ago. Since then I’ve been making small changes that made most of my diet much healthier.