Sunday, March 1, 2009

Meatless in Manitoba: Day 28 and beyond

OK, well my grand experiment is over. I went a whole month (even if it was the shortest month of the year) without any meat. As we speak Jobina is cooking our first meal with meat - tuna casserole. Honestly, I approach this meal with dread. First, because of how my stomach may react to the meat and secondly because I'm sad to abandon my experiment. It was a very cool experience. Yet now, just anticipating the meat, my stomach feels "off." Alas.

It's powerful to change one's routine, just for the sake of changing it. It reminds us that we are still captain's of our own destiny, that we truly can choose to do things that are against the norm. That's what this experiment was for me. Could I do it? The answer was yes, and I'd say it wasn't even that bad (giving up chocolate for a few months was much, much worse). Yes, I had the occasional cravings, but only when I was very hungry. I felt better (about 15-20%, depending on how healthy I ate) and felt less gluttonous, gross, overfilled, etc.

I am grieving the loss of my experiment and feel confused. I kind of want to continue it, kind of want to end it, and kind of want to do an even more radical experiment (whole foods vegan perhaps?). I became sincerely OK with not eating meat and it even became a little bit of my identity.

So what was it like? Basically it was like normal life - except without meat. Except for the banquet that I spoke at where we were offered prime rib, I didn't feel any significant social pressure anywhere. Because Jobina was on board I didn't have to even think much about changing my eating habits because she did most of the work (thanks Babe). Honestly, I probably thought about meat maybe once or twice a day, and that thought was usually fleeting. I dropped about 5 or 6 pounds which is nice (although unnecessary for me) and I think that if I'd eaten healthier that would have gone down even more. Besides feeling better, I'd say the best part was getting to eat some new delicious foods that we probably would not have tried unless we tried this crazy experiment. My favorites were pizza veggie subs, various curry dishes, lentils, and this shell thing. I also realized that I hate beans and never want to have them again! Thanks everyone for your interest, questions, encouragement, and questioning my masculinity - it was all part of the experience and much appreciated. If I decide to go back on the meatless thing (or go vegan for awhile), I'll be sure to post about it.

Jobina just send the boy downstairs to tell me dinner is ready. I must go . . .

5 comments:

Michele said...

Glad to hear that the vegetarian experience was a good one for you! I'm interested in reading Jobina's take on the whole thing.

Enjoy your tuna!

Elayne said...

Next time I see you I'll make beans for you and then you'll be begging for them!!

Jay Boaz said...

I don't see a reason why you can't continue to eat vegetarian meals if you like it so much. Take a veggie only lunch to work, for example. It's not like you have to go eat nothing but meat now.

Mark said...

Jay: That's kind of what I am doing. I'm slowly integrating a little bit of meat but going to mostly stick with "meatless" and some fish. Funny story: Yesterday I told Jobina that I was thinking of going on a vegan, raw diet. She got all upset and said in dramatic fashion "Well, don't expect me to cook a raw food diet for you!" I laughed hard about that and reminded her of it all night.

Jobina said...

I think what I said was actually, "I am NOT going to cook raw food!" Which just makes it worse, really.