The Evolution of Eating

Part rogue’s gallery, part dean’s list, this is a quick, condensed sketch of what I’ve eaten over the past twenty-eight years of my life – from the time that I was more or less responsible for feeding myself.  Most of it isn’t pretty, but the story has a happy middle.  Getting curious about the food I was putting into my body caused me to make small tweaks over time.  The more I learned, the more my diet evolved.  And it’s still changing – for the better.

(Oxford, OH-Cleveland, OH)
Cafeteria food (need any more be said?)
Cream cheese bagels
Cheese Fries
Cheese pizza
Ramen noodle soup
Pepperoni rolls
Chocolate milk shakes

(Cincinnati, OH-Oakland, CA-Boulder, CO)
Buttered popcorn (a full bag of Orville Redenbacher’s butter variety at one sitting)
Haagen-Das Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream (sometimes a pint in one sitting)
5-way chili or coney dogs from Skyline Chili
Double chocolate chip muffins (a daily morning thing)
Matzo ball soup
Peanut butter crackers

(Boulder, CO-Moscow, Russia-Santa Monica, CA)
Pot roast
Roast chicken
Progresso Lentil Soup
Baked salmon
Tuna- and egg-salad sandwiches
Hot dogs
Fish tacos
Khatchapuri (cheese bread)

(Cambridge, MA-Washington, DC-Baghdad, Iraq)
Jello Chocolate Pudding (one daily)
Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Fried clams
Pepperoni pizza
Vanilla cake with frosting
Iceberg lettuce salads

(Washington, DC-Oklahoma; Vegetarian)
Whole wheat home-baked breads
Baked goods made with unrefined sugars
Vegetarian chili
Veggie & bean soups and stews
Salads with tuna (my daily lunch)
Cheese, yogurt, sour cream

(Oklahoma; Vegan)
Whole grain home-baked breads & baked goods (unrefined)
Green smoothies
Raw fruits, veggies and more raw fruits and veggies
Home made nut cheez
Overnight grains for breakfast
Brown rice, quinoa, hemp, chia
Spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, romaine

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50 thoughts on “The Evolution of Eating

  1. veganmonologue

    Wow- your diet changed so much in just 5 years. I love this list, it’s a pleasure to read. It would be funny if you posted a corresponding picture of yourself for each time period…haha. What horrible food do you miss the most?

  2. biggsis

    I like the idea of a picture for each time period – also interested in how where you were affected what you were eating. Did being overseas have any impact on your diet – long term?

  3. Somer

    I love this timeline! Way to go for cutting out more and more crap throughout the years! Also helps me to know that you didn’t used to be “perfect” Hehe!


  4. Kinenchen

    This is kind of amazing. One thing that’s been a staple for me for years I got from one of my Dads: whole grain cereal with frozen blueberries and bananas. The only difference is trading dairy for almond milk. :)

  5. Steve

    Uh Oh… Except for meat, I think I’m stuck in your mid eighties diet more often than not. Moscow and Baghdad huh…? Is this going to turn into an international Bond Style adventure – or is that another blog you keep elsewhere? LOL

  6. Shira

    Total inspiration on this onre Ann – this is pretty awesome to see! Are you still successfully growing wheatgrass? I am slightly envious…I need to get my husband back on it! :)

  7. veggiewhatnow

    Wow, thanks so much for this post. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to see this, very inspiring! It’s nice to know that healthy eaters weren’t always heathy eaters, & there’s always time to change & grow. :)

  8. Brittany

    I love this idea, the breakdown is fun. Great job on going vegan strong for two years!! You LOOK great and I am sure you feel just as great!

  9. tearoomdelights

    What were you doing in Iraq? And Moscow, come to that? (Did you use the underground? I would love to see it, I believe it’s pretty spectactular.) 2005-2009 looks like my diet now.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Well…in Iraq I was the office manager for the Ministry of Interior (worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority). Russia…long story :-) – we’ll have to have a cup of tea sometime and share stories. The metro in Moscow is beautiful and incredibly efficient.

      1. tearoomdelights

        Wow, you’ve had some exciting times. I would love to hear about Russia over a cup of tea. :-)

  10. Kammie

    Wow such a big change and shift for the better. I love that you posted this, the evolution is just as important as getting where you are currently. Congrats on becoming so healthy! Motivational, for sure.

  11. The Hearty Herbivore

    SKYLINE CHILI! Even if I’m eating healthy now, I always want to be eating vegetarian black bean burritos from skyline!

  12. annesturetucker

    Wow!! I would love to hear about the changes you have experienced since changing your diet!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

      1. annesturetucker

        Yes, I do feel a huge difference since I changed my diet to be plant-strong.
        Every story is unique though and I love peoples stories :-)

  13. 40 Fit In The Mitt

    Love this post, so crazy to look back at some of the thing we loved back in the day, that we would not EVER eat today. I use to eat bean burritos from Taco Bell in my 20’s, do not think I have had one 20 years. I would rather eat hummus or tofu today.

  14. Richgail Enriquez

    I could relate to your list. The progression was also gradual but steady. Thanks for putting this list out there. It gives us perspective not only about other people’s diets but also our own.

  15. Choc Chip Uru

    What an awesome read my friend! The steady progression into healthiness is amazing 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    This is such a great evolution and so similar to my progression. Moscow, Baghdad and Iraq? I’m so curious!

    Great post :)

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      It was very interesting and instructive to look back and take stock. I’d like to see your evolution. Yes, I moved around quite a bit for a while there. Wonderful experiences, but now I’m quite happy to be settled.

  17. Kristy

    What a great idea- to observe and recognize your own personal eating trends over time. I’m sure that was a really enlightening experience, and such a great example to those out there who may be doubting that they can make changes in their life to be healthier. So interesting, Annie!

    And geez- you have lived so many places! I would love to see a timeline of places you lived and what you did there!

  18. Sophie33

    What an evolution aka revolution you went through, my friend!
    Going from really bad & fried foods, snacks loaded with calories to becoming a real vegan & eating healthy foods & fruits!

    Well done! I don’t think that many people can go through this fenomal change!! xxx

  19. thingsmybellylikes

    Love this idea – everyone should do a diet retrospective once in a while to either give themselves a kick up the butt or a pat on the back! I think it’s important to listen to how your needs change over time. Having said all that, I did indulge in some pizza last night so I do revert to my teenage days occasionally :)

  20. laurenlisang

    Great idea to make a list like this. I’m going to try this and be thankful for the many blessings that have led me to the healthiest diet/lifestyle I’ve had so far!

  21. pilgrimageofhealth

    This is so interesting! It makes me think about what mine would look like. And what a funny coincidence, my last post was about why I shifted from a meat eating diet to what I currently eat!

  22. Rachel in Veganland

    whoa. what a great exercise! It’s crazy to think back at what I ate during different phases/parts of my life and it’s so much fun to read some of yours!!

  23. Lou Dwan

    Wow, you’ve lived in some pretty interesting places!

    I love finding out about other peoples food/health adventures – it’s quite an evolution/organic journey no? Even in the past year my eating habits have changed even more so… I am totally in LOVE with the vegan lifestyle – it’s so nice to finally have something “click.”

  24. Bridget

    What a transformation in such a short time. I’d imagined you being vegan for a lot longer. What was your turning point in giving up meat?

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  26. vegancharlie

    😀 reminds me of that history of dance video but with food. oh the food past is scary mine was the same! Im still evolving along lol I like this post its always nice to look back and see how things were and how much you have changed.

  27. Richa@HobbyandMore

    wow.. along with the food evolution i am looking at all the places you have lived:) also shows that change is overrated.. its easy to change and accept things that people imagine.

  28. erika

    So awesome! I love that you masterminded this post. Forward motion is a beautiful thing. My timeline would be pretty similar, only adding in two separate years of diet restrictions with colicky babies. And I am not a gumbo fan. Or historically consistent. Unless you count being consistent in my inconsistency? Anyhoo- when were you in Boulder and what were you doing? (I too was a Boulderite: 96-01)


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