Tuesday, August 9, 2011

[050] Interview 01: Jenny

To kick off the interviews, I'd like you to meet Jenny, a personal friend of mine. We met a few years ago through a mutual interest in online gaming. I've had the opportunity to meet Jenny in person during a spring trip to Utah in 2009 (before either of us decided to venture into vegetarianism). I'm very excited to have someone with such a fresh perspective on going veg... or close to it. I hope everyone enjoys what she has to share!

Pescatarian (also pescetarian): "is the practice of a diet that includes seafood and excludes other animals. In addition to fish and/or shellfish, a pescetarian diet typically includes all of vegetablesfruitnutsgrainsbeanseggs and dairy. The Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the origin of the term "pescetarian" to 1993 and defines it to mean: "one whose diet includes fish but no meat"." -Wikipedia- Pescetarianism

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[Interviewed via e-mail August 7, 2011]

Jasmine: First off, thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Tell the readers a little bit about who you are and how you heard about Vegging for Health.
Jenny: I’m a 24-year-old vegetable addict. J I work as an accountant at a sod farm and attend the University of Utah. I heard about VfH from you Jazzypants.

(Fact: my pants certainly are jazzy!)

Jasmine: Are you a vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian? How did you become interested in taking on this lifestyle?
Jenny: I am pescatarian. I’ve been wanting to increase my vegetable intake for at least a year just for the health benefits, but it was always easier to eat out (and eat meat), so other than adding salads once a week, it really didn’t happen. I came to the conclusion that in order to actually increase my vegetable intake (instead of just talking about it) I would need to make a drastic change. The desire to make the change came during the July 4th holiday this year. My boyfriend and I went to visit my BFF in CA, and we ended up eating a LOT of meat. By the end of the weekend I was craving vegetables and some kind of cleanse. I decided to make a change for 30 days minimum, and then evaluate if I want to continue at that point. I thought about going full vegetarian, but I knew that would be such a dramatic change I would probably fall off the bandwagon before my 30-day mark. Plus, I love sushi more than any person should, and I just wasn’t willing to give it up. So I decided to try being pescatarian for one month to see how it goes. Today is the end of my month long trial period and I’ve decided to stick with it. The first couple of weeks were the hardest, but now I feel so much better I can’t imagine going back.

Jasmine: How long have you been vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian?
Jenny: Today is my one-month anniversary.

Jasmine: Do you think it is easy to adopt vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian or does it require a lot of changes in your life style? And how did you make the change?
Jenny: At first it was very challenging. For me the hardest part was finding super quick and easy meals to eat with my busy life. I relied on Burger King’s Veggie Burger and Chipotle far more than I should’ve the first couple of weeks. But, the way I see it is those were still better options than what I had been eating (Whopper, anyone?). Once I started browsing vegetarian recipes online and gathered the courage to try some of them, things became much easier very quickly. I then began to convert meat dishes I used to prepare into vegetarian dishes, and now nothing is impossible! My boyfriend actually likes my vegetarian cooking better than my meat cooking, even though he hasn’t given up meat.

Jasmine: Are there difficulties with being a vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian?
Jenny: Eating socially can be hard sometimes. Many places are adopting vegetarian options, and if you do eat fish that can make it easier, but I’ve had my moments looking at a menu and thinking why does every item have meat?

Jasmine: Do you still eat fish? And how did your diet evolve from when you started to the present?
Jenny: Yes. My diet when I first started was very heavy in animal products (fish, milk, eggs, cheese, etc) until my body gradually got used to the program. Now I eat fish a couple of times per week and my cow product usage has dropped off significantly.

Jasmine: Describe yourself as a vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian today.
Jenny: It’s the best lifestyle and I’m so happy to be living the dream.

Jasmine: Do you feel you have influenced the rest of your friends/family?
Jenny: Yes, definitely. In my search for fresher, better quality, cost effective, and higher variety of vegetables my friends and family have started eating better as well. They can sense my excitement and everyone knows it’s a good idea to eat more veggies, the key is how to do it.

Jasmine: Some people seem to think that vegetarian food means breads, boiled veggies and spices. What would you like to tell them?
Jenny: That’s a very boring perspective… If it really was that way I wouldn’t want anything to do with it! All we’re doing is removing meat. We still have plenty of ways to cook things.

Jasmine: Do you think vegetarianism/veganism/pescatarianism is a passing fad or is it here to gain more strength?
Jenny: It’s here to stay, for sure. When done properly it is the healthiest way to live!

Jasmine: What are your favorite meals/dishes? (Homemade, store bought, restaurant.)
Jenny: Eggplant Parmesan, Sinigang, Cilantro-Lime Rice, Chipotle’s Veggie Burrito Bowl, Vegetarian Pot Stickers

Jasmine: Would you like to share your favorite recipe(s)?

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Eggplant Parmesan:
2/3 eggplant, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2qt baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer the eggplant, mushrooms, Parmesan, and mozzarella 2-3 times and then cover with spaghetti sauce. Cover with tinfoil. Bake for 30 min. Uncover and top with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella. Bake uncovered for 5 min or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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Vegetarian Pot Stickers:
½ pkg firm Tofu
3 mushrooms
2 green onions
½ head of cabbage
4 stalks baby bok choy
4 Tbsp grated carrot (1 carrot, 5 baby carrots)
¼ cup soy sauce
5tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper
Wonton wrappers

Place the tofu between a few layers of paper towels and apply pressure so the moisture is released. We don’t want soggy pot stickers! Leave the tofu in the paper towels while you prepare the other ingredients.
Dice the mushrooms, green onions, cabbage, and bok choy very finely and put into a mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper and mix. Chop the drained tofu finely and add to the mixture.
Place ½ tsp of mixture in wonton wrapper. Use water along the edges and press firmly to seal the wonton. Repeat until the mixture is gone.
To cook the wontons you can boil them or steam them for 10 minutes.
I’m sure you can also fry them like traditional pot stickers, but I haven’t tried that.

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A huge thanks to Jenny for being part of Vegging for Health! If you enjoyed this interview, look forward to more interviews coming soon. If you, or anyone you know, would like to be featured in a VfH interview please contact me at veggingforhealth@gmail.com.

Happy vegging!


  1. The further into this I read, the more tempted I am to try being vegetarian. I was when I was little, but stopped.

  2. Vegetarianism is quite the adventure. Even if a person can't commit to going veg full-time, it's nice to eat veg-friendly meals for a week. I found myself eating more like a vegetarian before I completely dropped red meat and poultry from my diet. :]

    P.S. thanks for commenting!



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