Here I am, 13 years after starting this blog, drafting my first ever recipe with chicken. Woah! Because my passion for plants, while ever-strong, no longer defines me.
It took me almost two years to share this story because I didn't want to make it "a thing." It honestly wasn't that big of a deal to me; I saw it coming, and it felt vain and silly making a hullabaloo about it.
Breaking news: Alexis is an omnivore! Sigh.
But as I started writing that chicken recipe, the words came pouring out of me. I quickly realized these truths were worthy of their own chapter in the Hummusapien book.
I know in my heyday I inspired a lot of people to go vegan, and then to consider wellness culture's role in perpetuating eating disorders. Even when it's hard, I've always been honest in hopes that it'll inspire you to look deeper.
So how did I get here, you ask?
Rewind to the summer of 2022 when I laid eyes on a burger at my friend's wedding and proceeded to eat it (after not eating meat for a decade).
Yep...the end to my meatless days was as simple as hearing what my body had to say and finally listening.
I'd always said that if I felt the desire to eat something, I wouldn't let a label stop me. But I did. I just told myself otherwise.
I followed a plant-based diet for years, driven by a passion for its impact on overall health and the reversal of chronic disease.
And that flame hasn't burned out. It's just not my life's fire anymore.
Reflecting back on my journey, I can say with the wisdom of having healed from disordered eating that labeling myself was an invisible wall protecting me from having to choose. From losing control.
We tend to tell ourselves stories and live and breathe and see the world through the lens of those narratives.
I was safe in that box. The story had been told. I am plant-based. But am I?
In all honesty, I missed eating the food I grew up with. I wanted to share the foods my friends were eating when we ate out. I wanted my own kids to be raised as confident, open-minded eaters. And oh the glory that is eating the same thing as my husband!
I truly enjoy meat now. It feels freeing (and kind of surreal?) to say that and experience the difference of it not being riddled with questioning or guilt or an identity crisis.
"If I just eat all the things, do I matter?! Who am I if I'm not this label?"
But I know exactly who I am. My life now is messy and loose and spontaneous. It keeps me guessing, and I love that so much. I can continue to surprise myself.
Funnily enough, this journey has been cyclical; how I eat now is most similar to how I ate growing up. It's led me home.
Home in my body. Home in my thoughts.
Nutrition will always have my heart, but it'll never hold a candle to the passion I feel when creating beautiful food. I care deeply about quality ingredients, but to me, delicious is the most important thing.
I want to taste and experience everything. I can no longer be caged in by the dogmatic inner voice barking the "whys" and "shoulds" behind my choices.
The quiet, the trust...it has humbled me to my core.
Posting solely plant-based recipes now feels inauthentic when in my daily life I'm eating everything.
Rest assured that posting meat doesn't mean we're kissing plant-based recipes goodbye. There is room to love them both!
We will all continue to evolve. Such is life. I am certainly not who I was when I started this blog at age 21.
My brother's death changed me, too. Hardened me.
I don't care as much what people think of me anymore. I've been through a lot, and every challenge I thought would break me turned me into a braver, stronger, and more resilient version of myself.
And I like her a lot.
Getting this all "on paper" has been one of the most cathartic experiences I've had in years. Thank you for giving me a platform to do it.
Moving across the country, eating meat again...what will this wild woman do next?! I can't wait to find out.
Please be kind in the comments. Know that I'm being vulnerable in sharing my personal story, which probably looks wildly different than yours. We are all on our own journeys, and that's worthy of celebrating.