Thursday, February 3, 2011

How I Became a Vegetarian (For a While)

Wow, I am so surprised/pleased to see that Oprah's "Vegan Challenge" has caused quite a stir on the internet and many people are trying it out for a week! I thought I'd pitch in and give some tips since I did go vegetarian (pescatarian actually) for a while and it was great.

I never liked red or dark meats. As a kid my meat of choice was chicken (just the breasts part). I did eat a lot of processed kielbasas and hot dos, but I'll choose to believe that back then they were healthier!

I stopped eating pork years ago. I can't actually remember why! Now I have a couple of reasons. First of all, pigs are too cute to eat! Second is they are dirty animals. Third, I never ate breakfast bacon, pork sausage, ham, etc, I think they are super greasy, fatty and gross in general (sorry). 

I never liked/ate lamb, veal and whatever other meats are there. Didn't even have to cut these out. I did like foods made with ground beef - burgers, tacos, etc. But that went easily. 

I almost didn't want to stop eating chicken until I "discovered" PETA's website and watched a video on a chicken slaughter house and how they are treated in general. That did it.

The point here is, don't drop every single food at once. I think your body will go through stress and you'll just feel depressed. Cut out one type of meat at a time. 

I don't think I can leave without fish & dairy. But like it was said on the show, go with what you think is right for you, not what fits under vegan or vegetarian titles. Experiment with different meatless items and dairy-free products. I like veggie hot dogs and burgers. I like Earth Balance "butter" spread and Coconut Bliss "ice-cream". I didn't even know these products were dairy free until I read the labels at home. Most importantly, I love veggies, fruits and grains (and dairy and seafood).

I turned back to meats when during pregnancy my iron levels were really low. I obviously didn't eat a proper vegetarian diet. I do actually want to go back to being a vegetarian/pescatarian. I think about it every day and every time I eat meat. I do only buy free-range/organic meat, but it's still not clicking with me. I can't forget how happy I was without meat and how good my body felt! 

Something to think about anyways.

What's your take on this?

P.S. All I can think about lately is food, so don't be surprised to see a lot of food-themes posts :)


Fiona said...

I've been a pesco-vegetarian for ethical reasons for 15 years. I'm very used to it and can't imagine changing, except under a very specific set of circumstances. That would be, if for some reason I was living up north where the environment doesn't support fresh vegetables. In that case, I would eat wild meat but I don't know if I could actually bring myself to learn to hunt (maybe hyprocritical but I probably wouldn't be good at it so it's better if the animals are killed by a good shot!)

Some time this year my boyfriend and I are planning to be living together for the first time. Although he likes to eat healthy he is not a vegetarian and I wonder how that will go. He has an unreasonable prejudice against soy foods which I'm hoping I can convince him out of. At the same time, I kind of suspect he is hoping he can convince me to eat like him....

Jen M said...

Fiona, that's my problem at the moment. My hubby is a big beef eater. And he somehow turned me into a beef eater as well, and I don't even like it. He stopped eating pork when I told him how I think pigs are so cute, so that was the greatest for me. I really want to go back to not eating any meat. But how do you do it when you have a family? Tell them that if they want meat they should cook it themselves? I guess that's one way!

I don't think anyone can be convinced to like something if they don't. While I wasn't eating meat, EVERYONE told me that it's weird and it's not right. They were trying to get me to try something. I was refusing for years, until my hubby convinced me to try a bloody steak. I felt like throwing up after a tiny piece, I don't know how people can eat blood. Obviously, I wouldn't convince them otherwise and they can't tell me that I'm wrong.

I personally will be super happy with just fish. Hopefully I can somehow go back to that!

Going to my little brother's birthday in a couple day. Already planning on ordering a veggie burgers. I really miss those! Gonna change one thing at a time. Very slowly :)

nicolthepickle said...

:) Have you ever read The Pioneer Woman's story. She has the best blog ever. It's a good story. She was a vegetarian too. You should google her and read it.

Small Footprints said...

We became vegetarian a long time ago ... we went "cold turkey" (excuse the pun). What really did it for me is that almost every disease known to man is somehow associated with animal-based foods. I really didn't think I could give up meats but we decided to do it for 30 days (one can do almost anything for 30 days, right). Well, we never looked back. The amazing thing to me, is that I never missed meat ... and I was a pretty dedicated meat-eater. Now, I feel so good ... it even helped my allergies.

Since becoming vegetarian, I've learned that eating meatless meals is also very Eco-friendly. So ... good for us and good for the earth. :-)

I've posted a vegan recipe on my blog today ... it's yummy:

Have a great weekend!

Jen M said...

Your recipe looks delicious. I'll definitely try it :)
Thanks for your story as well!

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