in april 2009, i went vegetarian as a challenge. i wanted to see if i could do it, and if i would feel good.
my family hasn’t always had the best health track record. so i thought if i could adopt this diet, along with some other things, i might be able to help myself out.
it was a challenge. i loved steak, and seafood, and everything, really. it was fun to find new foods and experiment. i found myself reading about new foods online, and talking with my healthy friends about it. i found myself blogging a year later about it.
i would venture out to whole foods or trader joe’s once in a while for things my family thought were crazy. i started ordering hippie foods online.
i discovered tofu and tempeh, a ton of amazing black bean dishes, chia seeds, green smoothies. and i felt pretty good.
and then, it wasn’t fun anymore. and it felt like a challenge again. i think i got lazy. i got tired of cooking just for myself.
i was using a lot of soy substitute equivalents from the freezer. and while they’re a great once in a while option as a vegetarian, simply using these in place of whatever original meaty meal isn’t a great choice all the time. i felt like i was eating processed mile-high ingredients lists instead of just the one thing i was substituting.
i found myself eating a lot of cheese and pasta when i was out to dinner. and more of the same when i was home. (though, this will obviously need to continue being part of my menu sometimes. just look at this gnocchi.)
it took a long time and a lot of jokes about myself to realize that it wasn’t the right fit for me any more. i was a vegetarian, but i wasn’t a healthy vegetarian, which is the first reason i jumped into this.
so, recently, i’ve gotten away from this diet. i’ve tried chicken… sometimes it’s great, and sometimes it’s just too meaty. i’ve also eaten seafood. that one is about as exciting as when i jumped into eating vegetarian. i have missed seafood.
i think this is going to be a bit of a process. i want to adopt meat back into my diet, at least partially, for health reasons (yes, again, in the opposite direction). so i don’t want to start eating boneless buffalo wings all the time.
but ordering fish and vegetables at a restaurant instead of creamy pasta? that felt awesome. (not to mention the first time i ever baked fish myself. yeah. that happened last week.)
of course i still think a vegetarian diet is an amazing choice for, well, anyone… if they’re doing it right. but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. and i feel better with some extra protein options. right now, that means a huge streak of seafood, and some chicken, as well.
as much as a waiver over every decision (and think and rethink everything), i went in to vegetarianism five years ago essentially on a whim. i left it just as easily. and i’ve been pretty happy with both of those decisions.
on to the next journey.