Recently I have started a new chapter in life entitled Veganism. Its not because of animal cruelty, which I do care about but I love the taste of tender juicy chicken, a spiritual quest, or anything else granola crunchy. Its for the simple fact of staying slim and trim and the within the first week of giving up carnivorous food choices I dropped five pounds. My body responded surprisingly well to the diet change and I have been going strong for over a month now. I had given up diary previously for the same reasons about 2 years ago, and that was huge for this capin crunch fruity pebble milk girl. But I quickly fell in love with soy and almond milk and never really looked back. Vegetables have become a staple in my diet, which is definitely a good thing considering their missing presence in most of my Southern fried chicken and grits upbringing. I was a picky eater and obsessed with Lil Debbie Oatmeal Pies, given I was an adolescent and had the metabolism to pull it off.
While watching Diners, Drive In's, and Dives last night, one of my favorite shows on Food Network, which is always blaring in my 4X4 city apartment, Guy mentioned he went to Knoxville on one of his food excursions. I was intrigued and consulted google promptly. Turns out he went to a joint called the Pizza Palace located on no other than Magnolia Street. Magnolia has a reputation in Knoxville of not being one of the fairest of fair streets in town but it seems like whenever food shows come to Knoxville they some how end up on Magnolia. Man vs. Food recently featured a BBQ joint in Knox located on none other than Magnolia. If you aren't from Knoxville or know about the east side vs the west side its funny these places are being featured on TV as some of the finest foods Knoxville has to offer located in somewhat of a slummy local. It just goes to show don't judge a book by its cover ANYWHERE you go.
Anyway in the episode one of the owners says "we carnivores down here, they ain't any vegetarians in Knoxville" , and I have to admit my heart sank. My Southern roots suddenly felt like they were plucked from the lush East Tennessee grass they were planted in. But the person I am now is different and my outlook on health and life I have is different and THAT'S OKAY. I am still that 4th grader who wants fried chicken, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, sweet tea, and an oatmeal pie for dinner, just not tonight:)