It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I haven’t forgotten about the blog, though. In fact, it’s been a nagging thought in the back of my mind. I’ve been wanting to kind of start a new blog. ‘Almira goes vegan’ doesn’t really sound right since I’ve been completely vegan now for over a year. (Yup, I missed posting about my celebration. It was completely fantastic – my co-workers hosted Newton Physio’s 1st Annual Vegan Fest complete with vegan pizza, soy ice cream, home-made cookies, Indian food, Swedish berries, and many gifts for me.) In addition to making my one year veganniversary, another big change has happened in my life. I have decided to move to Edmonton, Alberta for two years this September. I will be attending the University of Alberta and studying to get my MOT (Masters of Occupational Therapy). This change seems like a good time for me to start fresh with a new blog style, or a new blog entirely. I want to post about veganism in Alberta, everything I’m learning in school, and my somewhat-newfound passion for running. So, for the rest of the time until then I might update occasionally, but it’s not my focus for right now. That being said, I needed to post today. It’s Mother’s Day.
My mother is fantastic. Everyone says this, but mine really is. I could say a lot about her, but I’ll keep this vegan-focused. About 14 years ago, I came home announcing I was a vegetarian. (A vegetarian who didn’t give up chicken nuggets and hamburgers right away, mind you.) Instead of freaking out, telling me I would die, and refusing to support me, my mom jumped right on board. Soon after, my mom became a pescetarian herself. She continued to cook about four meals each night, one to please each member of our family. She packed my lunch until the very last day of Grade 12, always making sure I had plenty of delicious and nutritious food, and I never once suffered from protein deficiency!
When I left home to start university, I truly realized how much work she did for me. I had to learn how to do a lot of things on my own (like cooking) and always loved coming home on the weekends to my favorite meals prepared just for me. One day, about five years later, I came home and announced I was going vegan. Just like 13 years earlier, my mom embraced this change with open arms.
She was the one who had to listen to me moan about how no one got it, about how the poor cows and chickens and pigs didn’t care whether they were free-range or not, about how Starbucks had no vegan pastries, about how my brother threw a steak at me (true story), etc… She received all my emotions on the matter because I knew she would love me no matter what.
The transition for me was fairly easy because I still hadn’t set my cooking style in stone. My style was more 1) boil water, 2) add pasta, 3) open jar of sauce, 4) mix together. But my mom had been cooking for a long time, had grown up in Switzerland (land of the cheese and the chocolate) and also had to feed my father and my meat and dairy loving brother. But, somehow, she found a way. She discovered Veganaise, veganized our favourite soups, learned how to replace eggs in our familiar pear muffins, and even tried nutritional yeast (and liked it!).
Today, she is about 99% vegan and definitely 100% amazing. I love her with all my heart and she truly is my favorite woman, my role model, and a dear friend. I will miss her incredibly when I move away, but will be comforted in knowing that whenever I come home there will be vegan versions of all my favorite foods waiting for me.
Happy Mother’s Day!