Friday, October 12, 2007

Trying New Things

I've always liked the idea of vegetarianism, but I never thought it was for me. I come from a meat and potatoes, everything-covered-in-coordinating-gravy kind of family, and amidst all of the beefy, creamy foods, I never grew fond of vegetables. And how can you go vegetarian without liking onions, cauliflower, and green peppers? I'm still not entirely sure that you can, but recently I decided to try anyway. Not because I wanted to save the poor, defenseless animals (although I think it's good reason), but because I wanted to feel healthy. I needed to set boundaries. I needed affirmation that I was in control of my body, and what better way to do it than trying something I had admired for so long but never thought I could do?

The plan was quite simple; don't eat meat for a week. I chose a week because I didn't really plan on becoming a lifelong vegetarian, and I figured a week was long enough to see how my body and mind would react to the change. Finding the right combination of nutrients my body needed was a little harder than I had anticipated, but I think I did alright. I definitely ate more fruits than vegetables, and I may have gone overboard on the carbohydrates. My week long attempt at vegetarianism consisted of mostly whole grain wheat bread and crackers, beans, fruit, soy and dairy products.

The week has come to a close and what surprised me the most was how well my body and mind did react. I never felt hungry. I never felt deprived. I didn't miss eating meat. In fact, I still don't, which is why I've decided to ride this thing out. Maybe I'm floating on the wave of success in proving that I could do this, or maybe it's because of all the junk I avoided putting in my body this past week, but I feel happy. I felt happy the whole time. How can I possibly stop only because the week is over when it has made so many positive changes? Perhaps it would be different if I dreamt of hamburgers and fried chicken each night, but I didn't. Instead I searched for new recipes and ideas, and I got all excited about the next trip to the grocery store and all of the meatless meals I could make next week.

Jon, who joined the meatless bandwagon with me, is supportive, but he admits to being apprehensive about making such a drastic change. Unfortunately, he did start looking forward to the finish line about mid-week, and while he likes the idea of implementing healthier foods, he has no interest in going vegetarian. And I'm okay with that. I may be looking at this through rose-colored glasses, but I don't see why we wouldn't be able to find common ground. He's agreed, at least for the time being, to let me ride this out and see how far it will go.

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