101in1001, Food

Vegetarian Week

Day Zero project list item #5 – “Eat like a vegetarian  for a week”

I added this item to my list, frankly, just to see if I could do it.

Technically I ate like a pescetarian – one who does eat fish. But I tried to keep the fish to a minimum (3 meals in my week had fish: crab wontons, shrimp poboy, and fried fish at Luby’s).

I’ve never been one who could diet for long periods of time (my most successful period was 8 months on Weight Watchers when I lost 15 pounds). I just can’t do it. I have this philosophy about food that it is more important to enjoy life than to count calories and be hungry just so I look better in photographs.

Fried green beans at PF Chang’s – they have a wide menu of Vegetarian & Gluten Free options

My experience

The closest I’ve come to vegetarianism is giving up meat on Fridays for Lent in high school. I wanted to see if it made me feel closer to God. It didn’t really, but I like the idea of disciplining myself for a higher purpose. (More on my thoughts on the traditions of Catholicism in this post if you’re interested.)

I’ve read many blog posts written by vegetarians –  some heartfelt, some academic, and each lay out similar reasoning for avoiding meat: health, environment, and/or animal cruelty.

A recent study found heart disease 24% lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians. Vegetarians also tend to live healthier lives and live longer. Honestly, I think this is as much related to the food vegetarians eat as much as the fact that they are extremely aware of everything they put in their body. Over the last week, I thought and planned every meal before before I ate it, and wrote down the details afterward. In the daily “where should we eat?” discussion in the office, I spoke up and had an opinion (unlike my usual “whatever you want”). I read candy labels to make sure it didn’t include gelatin (made from animal bone marrow), I made sure I got enough protein… I took ownership of my choices.

What I learned

I hope I learned to pay attention to what I put in my body. Think about the ingredients: where they came from, if they are good for me, etc. I hope to continue this trend as I go back to “normal” life.

Some of my favorite vegetarian resources I’ve read –

Crossing this one off the list!

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