Monday, January 26, 2015

a vegetarian recap

It's been a little over five months since I mostly quit eating meat. The only real lapses were some sausage at Thanksgiving and some prime rib at Christmas, and they both made me feel pretty sluggish. I have had a few fish sandwiches, and I had fish & chips this weekend, but those are just fine; fish isn't a trigger for either my pseudo-gout or a contributor to kidney stones. I'd actually feel free eating a lot more of it, but I do live in Ohio. Fresh seafood is a rarity.

For a pretty big lifestyle change, you might think it would be a struggle to start and to maintain. Yet it's been pretty easy throughout. I have, however, learned a few things in the process:
  • I've had to move up two belt I'm clearly shrinking. Strangely enough, though, the scale still says I'm as gargantuan as always. I've gotta figure this out.
  • I have, for the most part, avoided meat substitutes. I don't wanna become a crypto-carnivore. However, I've had great luck subbing tempeh for ground beef and tofu for chicken in some old stand-by recipes. I've also discovered a very good veggie chorizo and am experimenting with a veggie andouille (both from Tofurky). So I've had to give up very few of my old dishes. Still no good options for getting my BLT on, however.
  • When I'm adapting any old recipe, I've found out that soy sauce is a magic ingredient. Missing the meat sensation? Dribble in some soy, and you're there. It did wonders for the red beans & rice I currently got simmering.
  • I've had to subtly shape my eating out away from anywhere where the veggie option is either a salad or grilled cheese.
  • I'm now much more able to pick up chemicals and additives in my food. I always used to like McDonald's french fries. The last time I tried some, they tasted dreadful, like they had been bathed in lukewarm grease and iron shavings.
  • I'm realizing how much many places rely on meat to overcome low quality vegetable purchases. My favorite pizza place? Remove the meat, and the food just doesn't taste all that good.
I still haven't adopted the holier-than-thou "you're still eating formerly living things? You should be morally pure like me" attitude...and I hope I never do.

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