herbivore tales from an by Jordy Byrd photo by Steve Rodenbough In some ways, I'm happy to be done with the holidays. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy friends, family and traditions just as much as the next person. What I'm happy to escape, is the communal holiday trough. T hat's right, I said trough; as in the holidays are a great excuse to saunter up to your favorite slop bin, drop snout and eat like a pig. This holiday over-indulgence is fine if a: you actually are a pig (hooves and all), b: you have an overactive metabolism or c: you welcome a slow death of heart disease and high cholesterol. Unfortunately, I find myself in none of these categories. So as cliché as it sounds, each New Year I vow to become a healthier person. I know what you might be thinking. You're a vegetarian right? Doesn't that automatically qualify you as a healthier person? This friends is a stereotype. The public and media like to caricaturize vegetarians as health nuts who in essence are meat, fat and food hating monsters. I may be a monster, but if anything, I am the food monster. I love it. So, according to popular opinion (which I never like to follow anyway) I am the ultimate oxymoron: the unhealthy vegetarian. I understand the title "vegetarian" suggests a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables; and for the most part it does. What's unrecognized is that food like cookies, potatoes chips, and cheese pizza are also on the vegetarian menu. The dark side of the vegetarian diet if you will. Thankfully, I've completed the first and most difficult step. Acknowledgement. I tend to be an unhealthy vegetarian. I said it. But most importantly, I'm sure that if I don't watch myself, I'll end up on a slippery slope of late night binges, where the only vegetables I eat are covered in either ranch dressing or cheese. So in order to combat my unhealthy tendencies I plan to do two things. First, don't eat fewer sweets; instead replace my sweets with healthier substitutes. Secondly, I need to eat more variety. Every book and dietician will tell you to eat the color wheel of fruits and vegetables. A diet filled with red, brown, green, yellow, purple, est. vegetables and fruits is the healthiest of all. So now that I know what to fix, the trouble will be overcoming two of my most stubborn body parts. A picky stomach and an oversized sweet tooth. _____________________________ Jordy Byrd received her B.A. in Journalism from Washington State University, and is now in Spokane enjoying long seasons, good friends and family. 2 | January 2009 | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | www.qviewnorthwest.com