Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meatless In Manitoba: Day 12

Well I guess it's time to do an update on my vegetarian experiment. I was going to update more often, but I thought that I really needed some time first to see how this was affecting me (or not). So here goes:

First of all, it's really not that bad. Except for when I pass McDonald's (I know, I know, it's disgusting but McDonald's food smells pretty good) or when I got a plate of prime rib at a recent banquet, I haven't had any really intense moments of temptation. In other words, I'm not craving meat. It makes me wonder; was most of my meat eating before just a habit? Or is it still too early to tell? Jobina is fixing us both all meatless food this month so I rarely think about what I eat at all. Two days ago I had a bit of a nutrition epiphany: some foods are just as good or better without meat. Jobina made us some veggie pizza sauce subs that were out of this world amazing! Seriously, they were fantastic. I was so shocked that I didn't miss the meat - at all! I still miss certain meat dishes occasionally, but not in a way that causes me any real grief. Its just not that bad. Plenty of my favorite dishes (especially pastas) don't have meat in them anyway.

As far as my body goes my stomach felt a little off during the first 5 or 6 days. Lots of gurgling in my stomach as well I was "more regular" then usual. After the first few days my stomach felt normal again - or even better then previously. Its difficult to explain but I almost never experience that "overfull," "gross feeling" that I used to . Also, I have to admit that I feel more awake during the afternoons - less likely to feel that overwhelming need to doze. Is this due to my diet - I'm not sure. Over all physically I'd say I feel about 8-10% "better" then I did before. I'm eating a little less but feel better about what I do ingest (and rarely do I feel any guilt over what I eat). In case you are curious, it wasn't a goal or anything, but I've lost about 2 or 3 pounds.

Socially, I find it interesting. I try not to make a big deal about it, calling it an experiment, and not trying to push the idea on anyone (we all know some annoying vegetarians who are forever spreading the good news). Some people look at me like "you poor, poor man" and think I must be insane. Others seem genuinely interested and ask questions - but usually as soon as I start telling them why I'm doing it they look a little freaked out - or profoundly sad. A few rare souls get excited about it and tell me about their own experiments or desire to try going meatless. Its fascinating how what you eat influences your connection with those around you. I'm temporarily not part of the "meat clique" anymore but I'm not really a full fledged vegetarian either. I'm like one of those "floater kids" at high school - hobnobbing with several cliques but not really a member of any of them. Men especially find it difficult to understand the meatless thing and many are seriously disturbed by the idea of it. I think that many of us men connect part of our maleness to eating meat - the more manly you are the more meat you eat. To spurn meat is like spurning contact sports, power tools, or action movies - how can you do it and call yourself a man? Food is so much more a part of our identity then I previously knew. Insights such as these are making my little experiment that much sweeter. Only 16 more days to go!


Coach Dueck said...

Hey, I was on of those floater kids at school! LOL.

I don't even like most meat anyways, so going meatless for me would not be that hard. I think it would miss hamburger and all the dishes I could make this that... hamburger soup, shepherds pie....But I hate burgers, so that would be no problem. Unless they are McDonalds burgers. They are not gross, I think they are so good. Unhealthy. But good.

RLE said...

I LOVE meat! I think I would miss it a lot. Maybe not so much in winter, but in summertime when you get a good grilled chicken breast perfectly marinated or a steak cooked to perfection. Mmmmm! I am making myself hungry just thinking about it. Sorry if I made you hungry too, Mark! It really wasn't on purpose. Delete my comment if you need to. :)