Thursday, April 5, 2007

I have been working all day on my new vegetarian cooking website. There is so much to learn along the way. I am trying to figure out how to best promote my site. It is turning out to be a long slow process, and I have to keep reminding myself not to get discouraged. I am working on submitting my site to search engines, which has not gone too well yet. And I am trying to get other sites to link to mine, which is apparently a crucial part of site promotion and search engine ranking. So far, I think I have managed to get one site to link to me and one search engine to include me in their index. I guess I have a lot of work ahead of me. I keep running into mentions of "meta tags" as something I need to include on my web pages, but I have not yet figured out what they are or how to go about including them. Oh well, I am determined to prove that someone as computer illiterate as myself can still manage to create, promote and maintain a successful website. I look forward to the day when my site, and my new blog, will be getting daily hits, and my readers will be responding to and interacting with me. I have always enjoyed writing and cooking, so being able to have an outlet for both of those interest would be great. I am also hoping to someday be able to design a money making business around all of this, but that is still somewhere in the future. For now, I am just happy to plug away at my site development and learn everything I'm going to need to know. I am really having fun experimenting in the kitchen and developing new vegetarian and vegan recipes. I am learning new things about myself along the way. I have always been the main cook in my family, but since beginning this project I am discovering that I really find a lot of pleasure and satisfaction in cooking, and in succeeding in creating a new recipe that actually tastes good! Plus, this is providing me with the motivation to try new foods and broaden my own family's eating habits. When we first made the transition to a vegetarian diet one of the biggest obstacles we faced was the "What do we eat now?" question. At first we were eating a lot of beans and rice, mostly in the form of burritos, and too many processed meat alternatives and soy products. Over the last few years I have learned a lot about the art of vegetarian and vegan cooking, and I have added many more foods to our diets. However, in the last few months, as I researched and worked on this idea I had for developing my own vegetarian website I have gained a tremendous amount of new knowledge regarding nutrition, food pairing, cooking and the many benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet. Much more than I think I ever would have bothered to learn if I had not begun this project. Now I am excited to begin sharing all of this new found knowledge with the rest of you. I am enjoying myself immensly, so I guess that makes this all worthwhile whether my sites ever gain any popularity or not. I am actually enjoying myself so much that I am beginning to have thoughts of someday writing my own cookbooks. Do people buy cookbooks from self-taught cooks? Hmmmm. I guess it's something to think about anyway. Another great thing that I am gaining from my efforts is that I am discovering and developing more vegan recipes. I have not yet made the transition to a vegan diet. I still have a terrible love affair with cheese. However, as I work on new recipes I am developing more and more vegan meals. As my family and I find more vegan meals that we love, we find it easier to replace the meals we were eating with the dairy or eggs in them. I believe that it is a lot easier to replace something with something else just as satisfying than it is to simply deny yourself something. When my family first decided to become vegetarian we had a lot of days when we missed our favorite foods. Over time we discovered new vegetarian foods we loved just as much. I think that if we had learned a lot of vegetarian recipes before actually making the change....if we had systematically replaced our old favorite meals with new vegetarian favorites....we would have found the change easier and more pleasant. So, that is how I am facing the transition from vegetarian to vegan. I am learning new vegan meals, and eating them more often, while still allowing myself to eat the dairy and eggs in other meals. I hope to someday make the transition completely, but I have decided not to pressure myself. I don't believe in being a fanatic. I made the decision to become vegetarian for my own reasons. I will make the transition to veganism in my own way and my own time. I also do not criticize or "freak out" on people who are not vegetarian. I don't want to force anything on anyone. I would like to think that maybe I will change a few opinions through my own example, and I am more than happy to share my own opinions and beliefs when people are willing to listen, but I won't attack you for having your own beliefs. I am not the confrontational type.
"We must become the changes we want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Ghandi

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