Happy Vegiversary to VT Reader Betsy Smith!

Each month, we highlight a different reader's "vegiversary"—the anniversary of when they went veg. Read this one, then share your own.
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Each month, we highlight a different reader's "vegiversary"—the anniversary of when they went veg. Share yours at vegetariantimes.com/vegiversary.

Reader Name: Betsy Smith

Location: Exeter, Calif.

Vegetarian Since: March 1999

What motivated you to go veg?
Wanting to eat healthier. Diabetes runs in the family, and when my mom developed it at 50 years old, I wanted to do what I could to avoid it.

What's your favorite vegetarian restaurant, and what do you order there?
My new favorite is Cornbread Cafe in Eugene, Ore. The Chicken Fried Tempeh is a special treat.

What fruit or veggie best describes you, and why?
Artichoke—a rough, tough, handle-anything exterior, but with a kind heart.

What’s your most treasured piece of cookware?
My grandmother's spatula. It's the only one I can flip eggs and pancakes with correctly.

What’s your best advice for new vegetarians/vegans?
Don't just cut out the meat! Do research, and learn how to eat right.