Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well, at first I was gung-ho, head-on, full-tilt, let's go, let's go, ra ra ra. Then I began to question whether or not the decision was one I could live with for an extended period of time, let alone for life. Then, I fell off the wagon. The veg wagon. My decision to become a vegetarian came back to mock me. OK, it's not like I ran out into a field and bit a chunk out of a cow's backside. Truth is, at this point, the thought of eating beef, pork or chicken still kinda skeeves me out. However, last night I got hit (smacked down, more like) by a mad craving for hot dogs. We happen to have turkey hot dogs in the house, along with turkey chili. Oh, and turkey bacon. Soooo....I had two turkey hot dogs, with onion, mustard and um, some turkey chili. This morning? Turkey bacon. I suppose I'm not the first person to "slip". Making a conscious decision to become a vegetarian to me, is much like going on a "diet". I am changing the way I eat, which is pretty much exactly like changing your diet to lose weight - only that wasn't the goal here. Well I suppose this wasn't a totally conscious decision. After all, I was following the signals my body was giving me. Meat had started to lose it's appeal to me, so after trying to eat chicken or ground beef a few times and finding I could barely choke it down, I stopped fighting it. But then...this. Perhaps because the hot dogs and bacon weren't in their more "natural" form, I found it easier to forget what I was eating. Still I feel kinda guilty and stupid. I'm not sure why - it's not as if I did this for anyone else. It was my decision and I am the only one I'm accountable to. I suppose I just need to find the right balance and not expect too much of myself right now. Until I learn to cook in ways that satisfy my nutritional needs and my taste buds, I should just take it slow. I'm also reminded of something I read on another blog. The author used the term "flexitarian". I believe she was getting at having a flexible approach to eating and not limiting yourself completely. So, maybe that is how I need to approach this. I can live without meat, and I know there are tasty alternatives out there. For example, the veggie burgers I've had so far (Morningstar) were quite good! Beyond that, I shouldn't be too hard on myself. I'm making the effort and that is what counts. One step at a time. No one changes their lifestyle overnight, after all. If they do, their fricken super-powered!!!

1 comment:

  1. No worries! You're doing fine! It's a process...you'll get there. A website that is incredibly helpful for ideas of tasty foods is vegsource.com . Go to the recipes area (left hand column) and post a question for Chef Deb...tell her what you have in your pantry/fridge and she'll help you out. She can vegetarianize any recipe. Tell you how to make meat alternatives you don't even know how to pronounce. She's the best.

    And rely on your previously converted friends. We surely are a good source! (Veggie dogs with vegetarian chili is awesome! And there are some pretty decent vegetarian bacon out there, too!)

    Once you get some good staples in your house (and know how to cook them), you'll be whipping up vegetarian feasts that leave meat-eaters not even realizing they didn't have meat! Just remember you didn't learn to cook meat dishes overnight, so it will take some time learning to cook meat alternatives.

    Some suggestions to play around with: TVP (textured vegetable protein)...this can be a ground beef alternative, ground turkey/chicken alternative and just all around filler, so your protein needs are being met. It is tasteless, so it can be flavored (with vegetarian "beef" or "chicken" broth powders) to suite your needs. We make a most excellent "chicken" salad with it.

    Seitan is another great high protein food that can be made to taste remarkably like beef or chicken. Texture is great, too.

    There are some very good store-bought frozen "meat" balls out there and even better tasting recipes for "meat" balls...since you love cooking, I'm sure you'd prefer that.

    Okay, okay...enough for now. I've got tons of suggestions and ideas and websites...but just check out the vegsource for now. Hang in there! You've not failed!