February 5, 2012

You Look Like a Monkey... And You Smell Like One, Too!

Guess what? The Odd Couple Eats is officially one year old!

::**~Confetti, Applause, Streamers, Vegan Cupcakes For ALL!~**:: 

Does the title of this post make sense now or was I the only one who added that verse to the end of the Happy Birthday song as a kid? Man alive, a whole year... It's been fun, it's been tasty! I've been taking a look back and wanted to share some of my thoughts on what has transpired and what my hopes for the future of this blog are. Settle in, friends...

If blogs got birthday wishes, this one would be hanging out in St. John right now... 
When I started this blog last January, I was new to veganism and was navigating my way through a crazy array of information regarding health and nutrition. I was constantly reading  books, web sites, and food labels. Honestly, it was overwhelming. I had just never thought that much about what I ate before. It feels weird to say that now, but it's true. Food was about taste and little else, so suddenly being confronted with a "limited" diet and restrictions was tough. I had to answer my own questions about veganism (Where do you get protein? How much is enough? What are the names of hidden by-products to avoid?) and simultaneously build my knowledge of health and nutrition from the ground up. And yes, I was dragging Johnny with me through it all. He is quite the trooper, isn't he?

Life is much easier these days. I navigate the grocery store like a pro, trial and error led me to discover which "healthy" foods I enjoy the most (and which Johnny will and will not abide), and I've finally found certain recipes that I can cook again and again and never tire of... You know how you think of certain recipes as "Family Recipes" because your parents made them so often when you were growing up? The fact that I'm starting to make my own collection feels really cool!

I always had second thoughts about creating my own blog. I had no idea how to build a web site or write a recipe or even dream up enough content to keep things interesting. Not to mention there were already so many awesome sites out there dedicated to vegan cooking... was it really necessary for me to add my two cents to the change jar? (It's a rhetorical question, don't answer that!) But I knew that if I was learning so much about nutrition for the first time that many others were in that boat with me. I think it takes a lot of people writing about the same topic to have an impact and a real reach. So I went ahead with The Odd Couple Eats and somehow it all just sort of fell into place.

This blog has been a way for me to share all this with you, but it's also been a touchstone for me, a constant reminder that putting the time and effort into cooking is so worth it. For the first time in my life, I feel like the decisions I make about food are well-informed and, dare I say, even political. I've found issues about which I'm passionate (animal rights, supporting local and sustainable companies, educating children about nutrition, etc.) and I'm not sure that would have happened without veganism and this blog. Cheesy as it may sound, it's empowering.

The absolute best part for me has been the tremendous support I've received. At the outset, I figured my friends and family would read my posts and giggle at my writing or be inspired to try tempeh for the first time. But people from all over the world have read this blog and that boggles my mind! A highlight was definitely when Alicia Silverstone at The Kind Life featured me last summer - her book was the whole reason I went vegan in the first place! And all the encouragement you've given me about my writing led me to the realization that writing is my passion in life. Why have I denied that for so long? It's given me the push I needed to return to school in the Fall to study Creative Writing and I don't think I've ever been so excited!  

So THANK YOU to everyone who reads this blog, who post comments or recommends one of my recipes to a friend. It's had a major impact on my life and it means the world to me.

That said, I'd like to take this blog in a bit of a new direction. In looking back over some of my old posts, I found that the most entertaining don't just focus on cooking, they give you a glimpse into my life. And likewise, the blogs I enjoy reading the most allow the readers to really connect with the authors. So going forward, I'm going to try and balance informative cooking posts with some that are just about my life: what I'm eating (even if I didn't make it), wearing, and doing for fun. I'm hoping to post more frequently (be prepared for crappy cell phone pics) and to try out many new things. There's lots in store, so stay tuned... 


  1. Congrats on your anniversary!!! Looking forward to many more years!!

  2. Congrats! I feel everything that you feel about blogging, it's really changed my life. It's so great that you discovered your passion for writing - congrats on going back to school! What an exciting endeavor! I wish you all the best and look forward to continuing to read your blog!


  3. Thank you, Maralin! I mean "Anonymous" ;-)

    Lauren, thanks so much! Congrats on your anniversary, too! I always love reading your blog :)

  4. Thanks, Breeb! I'm proud of you, too - I just started following your design blog! Can't wait to see all the fun stuff you post there!