In August, I challenged myself to eat vegetarian and I went two entire weeks which isn't really that long but it was enough time to realize that eating vegetarian made me feel very different. Different, in a very good way. I felt lighter, which might sound a little silly, but I mean I felt like I had more bounce in my step and more energy. I didn't feel weighed down, not even after eating a big meal. Gone was the heavy, slightly bloated feeling that I often experienced eating something as simple as a hamburger on the grill and corn on the cob. And the oddest thing? I didn't even realize I was feeling like that until I wasn't feeling it anymore.
Then, just two weeks after eating vegetarian, I abruptly stopped and returned to my former ways. I told myself it that it was necessary because I was going to Columbus in a few weeks for a food blogger tour. It seemed a good idea to be 'used' to consuming meat before embarking on a culinary tour where there would be many delicious things to eat. I'm glad that I decided to eat meat while in Columbus because there were so many wonderful things to try like Thurn's Meats, tacos and pork belly.
However, back at home, I started to notice that after certain meals that 'heavy, bloated feeling' was present again and it began to bother me. I tried to ignore it but it persisted in nagging me. After much thought, I've decided to pick back up with my 'Vegetarian Challenge' and see where it takes me.
Fresh fruit & veggies
I don't expect to ever be a hard and fast vegetarian. The other day, I was at a restaurant where the owner and chef were sending out all manner of things for Rick and I to try. The one dish had chunks of chicken sprinkled on the top. I didn't turn away from the dish but I did push the chicken to one side for Rick to eat. It seems as though a more dedicated vegetarian might not touch any food that meat has touched but that's not me. Right now, nearly ten days in, what works for me is not eating meat but not becoming obsessive compulsive about it. If I was eating dinner at a friend's and learned the rice was prepared with chicken broth I would continue to eat it. And when Thanksgiving comes, there's a fair chance that I will partake of the turkey. No Tofurkey for this girl!
If I were to be invited to another culinary tour or event, I would happily indulge in any meat proffered because I think that's how I shall treat meat: an occasional indulgence. And let's face it, I've had some of the best meat ever when someone else is preparing it!
I still have much to learn about vegetarian cooking and would love to hear any tips, recipes, or websites/blogs. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email with anything you'd like to share. It would really be appreciated!