What up? My name is Hally and I'm the author of this blog, The Odd Couple Eats. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona but now live in New York City with my husband, Johnny. My journey to veganism began in high school when I decided to try being a vegetarian. It lasted for about a year, but I was so young that I didn't do much research on how to maintain a healthy meat-free diet and mostly consumed cheese pizza, veggie burgers and fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. I had additional brushes with vegetarianism throughout my life, but always resumed eating meat for different reasons. In January 2010 I saw the documentary "Food, Inc." and watched Alicia Silverstone on the Oprah Winfrey Show discussing veganism. I gave up meat then and there and have not touched it since. I also tried veganism on for size for the first time and lasted a few months, but eventually went back to being a vegetarian. I had a hard time feeling left out of holiday celebrations, navigating dinners with friends, and having enough time to plan out and cook healthy meals. Eventually, I decided these reasons were pretty selfish and that veganism was feasible if I committed myself to it fully. I went vegan again in November 2010 and have successfully remained so ever since!
My relationship with food has been complicated. I have to say that since becoming a vegan, I have taken it upon myself to learn more about nutrition than ever before. I grew up being a bit of a junk food and fast food junkie and not paying much attention at all to my body's dietary needs. As a vegan, I can't rely on quick and easy meals anymore, so I'm forced to cook more and plan my meals and I have come to love it! I also have to make sure that the foods I'm eating provide enough protein, iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals which are things I never paid attention to before. While I did not experience any sort of major transformation upon becoming vegan (some people lose weight, their skin clears up, their hair becomes shiny, and they glow like an extraterrestrial) I can say without a doubt that I am far healthier than ever before.
People often ask, "No meat, no dairy, no fish... what do you eat?" And the answer is "a lot!" There are so many amazing vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits out there that I had never even tried before, and now they are a part of my daily diet. Veganism has opened up a whole world of nutritious foods to me including my favorites tempeh, kale, quinoa, and steel cut oats. Now at holiday meals my family allows me to share vegan dishes, I have wonderful friends who are open and willing to try new vegan restaurants with me, and Johnny, who is an omnivore, is an ever-supportive and patient tester of every vegan meal I cook. I am so very lucky to have such support!
The goal of this blog is to share recipes that are good for vegans and omnivores alike, to share the knowledge that I've gained through my journey, and to encourage people to go meat and/or dairy-free if it's something they want. I am not here to push my agenda on anyone. I sat down and had an honest conversation with myself and decided that I could not, in good conscience, continue to eat meat or dairy or support those industries. But if you've had that conversation and come out feeling fine about consuming meat and dairy, then I have nothing but respect for that. I DO take great issue with the misconceptions that vegans are "militant", "malnourished", "preachy", and even the r-word (I hate it too, Lauren Potter!) which are all terms I've seen tossed around the internet just in the past few weeks. I have a tough time not speaking up and defending myself and other vegans, but generally people who use those words are just looking for a reaction and not a conversation. The overwhelming majority of vegans I've come across are committed, passionate, mindful, peaceful, and involved and it's a community of which I am proud to be a part! (And feel free to call me a hippie, I wear that word like a badge of honor!)
Anyhow, that's me! Feel free to contact me if you ever have questions, suggestions, comments or concerns and...
Thanks for reading!