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True Life: I’m Married to a Vegan

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FEMALE VOICEOVER: On this episode of True Life, you’ll meet one woman —

Me: Hi, so sorry. Would you mind saying “young woman”?

FEMALE VOICEOVER:you’ll meet one woman whose husband decided to dive headfirst into veganism and see how it’s threatening to derail their lives completely.

Me: Okay, that was … a little rude.

MTV True Life: I'm Married to a Vegan

Young woman with impeccably blown out hair, crying delicately on a Serena & Lily slipcovered armchair (this is me, btw): It started last June. He had been flipping through the documentary section on Netflix and started watching Forks Over Knives and Food Inc and listening to the entirety of the China Study on audio. That was pretty normal, you know, Jack really likes documentaries. When he said he was going to cut back on meat, I didn’t pay much attention to it. He’s always trying something new. I mean, last year he was researching different varieties of apples and he spent a couple of weeks figuring out which apple trees we should buy. This was surely a fleeting interest.

FEMALE VOICEOVER: But it wasn’t a fleeting interest. Jack quit meat cold turkey —

Me: Pun!

FEMALE VOICEOVER: and soon after, gave up dairy and eggs. What Roo thought would be a fading interest turned out to be a full-blown lifestyle change.

Young woman in a long drapey cardigan with leggings because leggings are pants, leaning against a kitchen counter, clutching a cup of tea: It’s been seven months. On our anniversary, we went out to my favorite tapas place. I ordered two desserts, figuring he’d cheat a little and at least have a bite. He wouldn’t. I ended up eating both by myself. The server brought him out a fruit plate instead. I ate that, too.

Camera pans to Jack chopping brussels sprouts: Every week, I make about three large salads. I keep it in the fridge and I’ll eat it in different forms every day. It’s kale, red peppers, farro, lentils, black beans, yellow peppers, cilantro, Brussels sprouts, and lemon juice. A lot of times I’ll throw it on a wrap with hummus and avocado. It’s really good.

Young woman with a perfected no-makeup makeup look, holding a frame showing a photo of a young couple in a happier time; a meat-eating time: I nailed Thanksgiving dinner. Cider turkey, citrus sweet potatoes with crumbled bacon, brussels sprouts also … actually … with crumbled bacon, fig and cranberry compote. It was so beautiful, I’ll never cook again. He ate all of the sides sans bacon with a black bean burger. We used to watch movies on the couch with his and her pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Now I tear down a pint on my own and he’s content eating alfalfa sprouts or whatever.

FEMALE VOICEOVER: Jack’s currently at the same weight he was in his early twenties, his skin is glowy like the cast of the Hunger Games (in the scenes where they’re working out, not like the scenes where everyone’s dying), and considering his family health history of heart disease and diabetes, he’s being proactive about his health, and like IDK maybe someone else in the same house could do the same? Roo eats pizza and the cheese plate at her favorite restaurant – the one with the really good Manchego – alone.

Young woman gazes out a window.

Jack massages some kale.

Young woman looks forlorn, despite keeping her cuticle game tight.

Jack sautees mushrooms: She actually likes the salad in the wrap thing.

Young woman hugs couch pillow: I said it was okay.

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77 Comments

  • Reply Mallory January 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    best thing on the internet today.

    i will eat pizza and a cheese plate (esp if there is whipped ricotta) with you any way.
    and i’ll bring cookies.

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      Done. Sold. Come on over!

  • Reply Jennifer Laura January 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    aaaaahahaha this is hilarious and so so tragic. What else is there to do at night after you put the kids to bed?? I’ve been trying to eat better this year, but I still sneak stuff at night (like it won’t count, who am I kidding??) Man, that is some willpower. Kudos to him. Here’s a snickers.

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      I love putting the girls to bed, cleaning up a little, and sitting on my couch with a cup of hot tea and some ridiculous dessert. Sigh. ♥ ♥ ♥

      But, to be fair, he doesn’t get all panicky during swimsuit season and I do, so.

      • Reply Britiney January 15, 2015 at 8:07 pm

        WHAT?? Hello!!!! I don’t know any man, even one who weighs 300 lbs, who gets panicky during swimsuit season. Sheesh. Men. *huff*

  • Reply Laurie January 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    So I take it that Jack won’t be joining me today to enjoy the Mississippi pot roast I’m making? You put it in a crock pot with a stick of butter on top. I can’t wait.

    Also, my skin glows too. Butter will do that for you.

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      A STICK OF BUTTER?! That sounds divine.

      I mean, FWIW, he’s in incredible shape and has a ton of energy / says he feels amazing.

      • Reply Jennifer January 15, 2015 at 5:11 pm

        I made the butter version for the first time last week. Prepare yourself… your life is about to change. It’s as amazing as you expect.

  • Reply Laura McClellan January 15, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Prayers. Lighting a candle in your honor tonight. You’re so brave.

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Send love and light, pls.

  • Reply Meg January 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Documentaries never lead to anything awesome. We watched some of the same….and then cut out cable so we could afford pastured, grass-fed, antibiotic/hormone-free whole cows/pigs/chickens/lamb straight from local farmers to horde in our freezers and eat year-round. My guest room is lined with home-canned organic veggies. And I eat my Sour Patch kids in secret…

    • Reply Jill January 15, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Sour patch kids are vegan :P

  • Reply Laura January 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    This was seriously amazing. Thank you.
    HOW can he resist all the deliciousness you are eating? That is some incredible will power.

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      He’s pretty badass.

  • Reply Nicole January 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for a lotta years (if I’d had a kid the same year I stopped eating meat, he or she could legally buy booze now), but I’ll be honest — I don’t get the vegan thing. I don’t see how they can face eating without the prospect of cheese. (An ex once swore that if I ever tried to give up dairy, I’d starve to death. He’s not wrong.) And I am not a huge fan of ice cream, but no Ben & Jerry’s ever? Why not just pitch a tent over a hole in the ground and hope for a swift, peaceful end?

  • Reply Arika January 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I love your writing. LOVE LOVE LOVE it

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Aw!! Thanks, Arika! That warmed me right up. :)

  • Reply Heather Laura Clarke January 15, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hahahahahaha, I love this! You’re awesome! (Also: bacon, cheese, and ice cream are awesome)

  • Reply MissCaron January 15, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    This. Was. Fantastic. Andplusalso depressing. Tell Jack, WWJD!?! Jesus would eat delicious roast lamb and yummy fish and yes, okay, probably some hummus. It’s totally fine to want to eat ethically but that doesn’t mean you need to give up everything. I mean, good for him… kinda. I’ll just be over here eating my huge bowl of chili with beans and ground beef and topped with sour cream and cheese over a big slice of cornbread. Try not to be jealous, Jack. Enjoy your salad. ;-)

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      He’s a really good cook, so he doesn’t feel like he’s depriving himself of anything. I’m super impressed by him; I still super love all the food. I kind of want what you’re eating right now.

  • Reply amanda January 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    This was hilarious, bravo! And a bigger bravo for dealing with it :-P

  • Reply Kelly {the Centsible Life} January 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    This is hilarious. I’ve cut back on all things meat and cut out dairy but I can’t give up the bacon. Bacon 4ever.

  • Reply Aya January 15, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    “His skin is glowy like the cast of the Hunger Games (in the scenes where they’re working out, not like the scenes where everyone’s dying)” I ROFL. You slay me :)

  • Reply Tessa January 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    HAHAHA! Sorry for the all caps. This is hilarity.

  • Reply Sarah January 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I DIED.

  • Reply Erica C. January 15, 2015 at 1:29 pm
  • Reply Erica C. January 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Yea that last comment was supposed to say SO. FUNNY. I’ll add that I’d like to see this in actual episode form!

  • Reply Allyn January 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I married a hawaiian with a dairy and nut allergy. And I’m Southern. When we first started dating, I basically stopped cooking because no cream? No cheese? WHAT DO I EVEN EAT?!?
    Then I reached deep into my hippie parent roots and started busting out vegetarian meal plans, and he freaked, because, no meat?! I’LL BE HUNGRY ALL THE TIME OH MY GAAAAAAH
    Now we eat a pretty healthy but balanced diet (the cheese comes out when he’s on a business trip. BOOM), but we like to stress each other out sometimes by adding a new healthy thing to our routine.
    Now come get some fermented cod liver oil.

    • Reply Lisa S January 15, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      HA!!! My nutritionist just put me on cod liver oil. I was all like “….” and “My mom tried to get me to take that YEARS ago!”

  • Reply Diane January 15, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    So sad. No meat? Maybe. If I had to. No CHEESE?? You’ve got to be kidding! On the other side, I’m trying to get my bf to eat healthier, cut back on meat & not have bread at every meal (totally LOVE bread!). It’s a struggle, because he does all the cooking & grocery shopping. And he’s an awesome cook! So what can I do? I mostly eat what he cooks. Kind of wish I had someone being a good influence, but no cheese? Not happening. So sorry, Roo…

    • Reply priya January 17, 2015 at 12:08 am

      YOU cook :)

      • Reply Diane January 17, 2015 at 2:09 am

        I’m not THAT desperate yet! I do cook occasionally, but no way is it worth interfering with an Italian man who loves to cook~ So I just have to eat less (smaller servings) & try to avoid the bread. It’s a struggle. ;-)

  • Reply Amelinda January 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Hilarious – I agree with the above poster, this is the best thing on the internet today! Also – with your crazy family food allergies, I’m shocked he can give up yet another food group! Shocked.

    Also – I could never give up cheese. I eat cheese with every meal. Yes, that includes breakfast. And desert.

  • Reply Lindsay January 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Crying laughing face emoji x 10.

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      ice cream emoji + face with eyes as hearts emoji

  • Reply gilly January 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I swear I read “I’m married to a virgin”…

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      That I could handle.

      • Reply gilly January 15, 2015 at 4:01 pm

        giggidy.

        • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm

          lolol

  • Reply alexa January 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    This was awesome. And seriously it’s wonderful he’s taking such a healthful lifestyle change…but no cheese, no cream? I can do no meat…but I can’t imagine life without dairy. And that recipe for his giant salad sounds delicious…got a linky poo? Or even a few more descriptors on quantity?

  • Reply Sandra January 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I mean… I don’t even know what farro is.

    I’m sure someone has already clued you in on the various super delicious vegan ice cream substitutes (Trader Joe’s chocolate coconut milk ice cream) and that Oreos and Nutter Butters are accidentally vegan, but it sounds like he’s given up sugar too. Which is just obnoxious, really. :)

    • Reply Roo January 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      It’s a … it’s a grain, I think?

      It’s kind of weird that Oreos are accidentally vegan, right? O___O

      • Reply Melanie January 27, 2015 at 1:07 am

        Whaaaaat?! That may be the most interesting thing I’ve read on the Internet today. Mind = blown.

  • Reply elaina January 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    But does he still randomly bring home fajitas for you? Because then maayyyybe you can look past this vegan nonsense….

    ps. I say nonsense but I have been considering it. Or a version close to it. Damn documentaries. Knowledge is stupid sometimes.

  • Reply Lisa S January 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    This is my favorite thing ever.

  • Reply laura January 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented before, but I am now in order to say this was hands down my favorite post of yours you’ve ever done. It caught me off-guard in an original way and I lol’ed. THANK YOU :)

    • Reply Roo May 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Laura, coming back to this months late to say I just saw your comment and thank you! Made me feel super good. :)

  • Reply Heather January 15, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Your amazing, this was priceless and now because I stood by you an old friend just bet that I cant go vegan for a month. I will be praying for you all month long girl!

  • Reply Anna | Gone Banannas January 15, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Roooooo, I love that this post was written like a MTV True Life episode. I like to add that into things here and there. “You were so cold on your run today that your eyelashes froze!?” “#TrueLife.” I was a pescatarian for a year (only meat I ate was fish) and then became what I like to refer to as a bacontarian where the only meat I really wanted to eat was bacon. So, obviously only the best kind of meat.

    • Reply Roo January 27, 2015 at 9:10 am

      Haha, I’ll have to start using the #truelife hashtag, Anna.

  • Reply Lesley January 16, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I could picture the whole thing. You should get into screen plays….

    I feel for the couch pillow in the end.
    Stay strong, it may be a phase.

  • Reply Leigh Ann January 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

    hilarious. I would never make it as a vegan.

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  • Reply Nikki January 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve been afraid to watch those documentaries for fear that this exact thing would happen to me! Keep fighting the good fight. ::raises fist of cheese::

    • Reply Roo January 19, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Documentaries, man. Killers of dreams.

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  • Reply Natasha January 17, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Girl, I got a steak with your name on it. And we can have friendsies gelato while watching Blacklist.

    • Reply Roo January 19, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      That sounds like a perfect evening. I’ll bring my sweatpants.

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  • Reply Steph Reiner January 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Okay so I’m new to the whole kale thing mostly because I’ve heard it tastes like {insert funny metaphor} but it needs to be massaged? What kind of food needs better treatment than I get on a daily basis? Is this for real? Because I’m sorta hoping its a typo but I don’t see how it could be.

    • Reply Roo January 19, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      It is for real. Kale is supposed to massaged. So high maintenance. Such a special snowflake.

  • Reply Christina @ homemadeocean January 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Oh. Em. Gee. The funniest thing I have read all week!

    I want pizza!

    • Reply Roo January 27, 2015 at 9:13 am

      You and me both, sister!

  • Reply Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni January 19, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh. So funny.
    We got a Costco membership last year and I’ve finally started buying the organic meat that I *so* could not afford before. I try and be conscientious about what I’m eating, but I don’t like beans/obscure ancient grains enough to become vegan. Props to him for his discipline (seriously), but I can see how that’s limiting for you. :(
    I made a killer meat lasagna for dinner tonight if you want to come over.

    • Reply Roo January 27, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Can I come over? I’d really like to. We had a Sam’s Club membership and we recently switched to Costco because they have a ton more organic options. I should have Jack guest post with a few recipes. :)

  • Reply Julie January 30, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Roo I haven’t read you in a while because of busyness but am so glad I came back! I blew snot (sorry!) at the eating two desserts plus the fruit and wheeze laughed at Jack massaging kale (yeah i’m not a pretty laugher). Thanks for making me giggle after a long week!

  • Reply Kristen February 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    hillarious

  • Reply Anna March 30, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Bawhahaha! How did I miss this post? I went vegetarian/ vegan three years ago. My Puerto Rican meat loving/meat cooking mother is still struggling to accept it.

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  • Reply Hannah Sacks April 14, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Am i the only one who is now tempted to go vegan? I’m a “no land meat” vegetarian, currently and pretty much avoid dairy (had a severe allergy to it growing up, so it’s just not ingrained in my diet)… but the allure of glowy skin to someone who’s 30-something-year-old skin could currently pass for a poor puberty-suffering teen’s might be worth ditching all the animal-made noms. IDK… brie tho!

    • Reply Hannah Sacks April 14, 2016 at 10:54 am

      this popped up on FB, and I didn’t even realize a) this is not a new post and b) i totally have read it before. lol. but i wasn’t vegetarian then… so it must not have struck the same chord.

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