My name is Jodie Deignan, and I’m excited to be taking over the I Eat Plants column from my fellow blogger, JL Fields. I moved to the Lower Hudson Valley area in 2010, but it took until a conference in Portland, OR for me to meet JL last year! But I’m glad that I did, as her voice has helped me to navigate being vegan in in the Lower Hudson Valley.
I first went vegetarian in my mid-20s, at a time in my life where I was trying to eat healthier. As a consequence of eating more whole grains and beans, I found that I was eating less and less meat. I decided that if I could do without much meat, perhaps it was wrong to eat meat at all, and decided to give vegetarianism a try. After a couple of years, I became more aware of some of the issues with the factory farming of layer hens and dairy cows, and felt that I couldn’t keep eating those things- but I found it hard. Really hard. I failed more than once in my quest to become a vegan. I felt like I didn’t have the support and resources that I needed to get me over that transition.
It was actually a health issue that finally pushed me over the edge into veganism- and I haven’t looked back.
I started blogging just a few months after becoming vegan, just after a move to a much more vegan-friendly area than I had been used to. I was so excited about my good vegan fortune, I wanted to share it with the world! I’m now a much more seasoned vegan, and I’ve learned along the way how to make veganism work in my life, even when there’s not a vegan restaurant next door (though that would help).
Being vegan doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be depriving, and it doesn’t have to interfere with your social life. Have any questions, suggestions or ideas for a Lower Hudson Valley vegan? I hope that I can share with my readers what I’ve learned along the way, as I continue to explore being a vegan in the Lower Hudson Valley!
I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.