My goal was to spend seven days as a vegetarian. Why? Well, a number of reasons come to mind:
- Try out the new confidence with vegetables.
- Avoid the cost of meant
- Cut the extra calories
- And, just to see if I could do it.
In the last two weeks, I’ve only had one meal which I knew I was having meat, and two which were surprises (I’ll explain below).
In all honestly, switching to a vegetarian plan was not as difficult as I thought it would be. My breakfasts are often cereal or some baked good, I had some plans for homemade meals, and the Minneapolis sky-way has more than enough options to explore. Every once in a while, I had some cravings (pepperoni and hot dogs were the most common), but I did not succumb. As I said above, I had one meal I knew I was having meat in, and that was after I finished the Warrior Dash. I thought that warranted a burger with bacon and blue cheese.
So what did I learn?
Vegetarian food can be very delicious…
I’ve discovered that I enjoy vegetarian burritos. The local taco shop makes a decent one. I also tried Chipotle’s sofritas (spiced tofu). Not bad. Pasta without meat can be pretty good, though considering how much cheese I add I shouldn’t be too surprised at that. There were a couple of recipes I didn’t get around to trying, but there’s no reason I can’t attempts them in the future.
…but it isn’t always
A recommended vegetarian sandwich at a chain shop was very difficult to get through; not only was the bread thick and rough, but the filling wasn’t very good.
Both instances of unexpected carnivorous meals happened because of bacon. The first time, I ordered a salad without realizing that it included bacon bits (which, someone pointed out to me, might not have actually been bacon). The second time, little bits of bacon were in a soup. That time, I’m sure it was bacon.
It is amusing to consider that bacon has become so prevalent that it is used as a garnishment in many meals. It was the one meat I thought I would have cravings for over the week, but it wasn’t.
As I sit here, at lunch, eating a piece of Pepperoni and sausage pizza, I reflect on my experiment. I’m definitely glad I did this.
I don’t think I could go full vegetarian for long, but I’m certainly willing to try several days a week. Not only is it (probably) healthier, but it should cut down on expenses, as meat has been consistently one of the more expensive items on my grocery list.
About the only annoying thing was group events. When we get together for gaming or whatnot, we sometimes order food, as many groups do. I lucked out that when we did, we ordered Chinese food (where we each got our own thing), but I worried about having to order a pizza just for me, or having to avoid eating with my friends. In the future, I’m giving myself a pass for social meals.
I’ve made the comment to my friends before that there is a difference between knowing something (intellectually) and Knowing something (making it a part of your life). This experiment showed me that vegetarian food could be really good, which I knew, but had not experienced.
I’ll have to keep my eyes open for vegetarian options from now on.