It has been a very busy weekend.
I knew that this was coming, and even thought for a while about waiting until today to start one week without meat, but I became concerned that you, my dear readers, would find something else to occupy your time in the meanwhile and forget all about me. Well, if you’re still out there reading this, my fears have been abated.
Amid some turbulence at my day-job, my boss and I moved out of the office over the weekend to continue working from elsewhere. As a result, I now find myself in possession of an extra desk and chair, and being that it feels like Miami Beach in Nashville right now, I’ve decided to make nature my office:
At any rate, One Week Without Meat has gone just OK thus far. I do have a confession to make though, and it saddens me to bang these words into my Macbook keyboard. Friday night, after attending some friends’ concert at the famed Nashville hotspot Exit/In, I arrived home with a bit of an inebriated saunter and proceeded to tear through the kitchen. I quickly came upon a large box of Two Boots pizza that a roommate had ordered earlier that evening and wolfed down the two remaining slices with the reckless abandon of a pack of ravenous weasels.
Only once the slices were already working their way through my innards did I realize that the pizza was topped with hot chicken (a Nashville delicacy made famous by our own Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack; the story goes that a housewife, upon learning of her husband’s infidelity, added ten tons of cayenne pepper to that evening’s fried chicken seeking revenge. Well, he happened to love it and the recipe stuck). So it goes.
As penance for this I will be continuing my one week without meat through this Friday night so that I can say I made it a full week in earnest. In all honesty, I’ve been so busy these past days with a number of things that, though I’ve stuck to the meatlessness with only this one transgression, I haven’t had the time to prepare the tasty meals I had dreamed up, so these extra few days will do me and my appetite well.
At that, and despite this all, I have learned a few lessons thus far in this week’s challenge, which I shall share with you now:
1. It isn’t very hard to go without meat
Because I’ve been running around town like a chicken with its head cut off I’ve been forced to eat most of my meals on the run. As it turns out, in this day and age almost every restaurant, fast-casual, sit-down, or otherwise, has vegetarian options which are both delectable and quite filling. My favorite thus far was a plate of black bean, spinach, and mushroom enchiladas from Chago’s Cantina.
2. Going without meat is not necessarily healthy
Somehow I hadn’t fully realized this at the start of the challenge, but there are a great many things that are extremely unhealthy which are also amenable to a vegetarian diet. A few examples: cake, ice cream, candy, tater tots, Little Debbies™ Oatmeal Cream Pies, etc, etc. It’s also possible to eat virtually only fast food and still be vegetarian. Lesson learned: just because you aren’t eating meat does not mean you’re eating healthy (in some corners of the internet I’ve even heard the term “obesitarian” thrown around towards just this purpose).
3. I graze like a farm animal
Although going without television was difficult at times, it was at least an easy objective to keep fresh in my mind. In these past few days I have caught myself on three separate occasions less than an inch from shoving meat into my mouth:
- On Thursday a burger “died” at the restaurant, making it up for grabs to all employees. I snagged it and literally had the burger halfway to my gullet before I remembered that I couldn’t eat it.
- Yesterday, the restaurant was working on making house-made corned beef to prepare for some special St. Patrick’s Day items, and the head chef offered me a piece. Before I could think I had it in my mouth and I had to spit it out at once, lest I further taint my integrity as a lifestyle-experimenter-blogger.
- I don’t really remember what the third one was but it happened at some point over the weekend, I’m sure.
Fortunately, it is now the beginning of a new week and I can reset and get going on creating the recipes I had planned. Coming up soon: Avocado & Cheddar Quesadillas, Black Bean & Onion Burgers, and Pistachio-infused Falafel. As per usual, feel free to ask any questions or share your own stories here, on Twitter, or via email at email@example.com, and as always, thanks for all your support.
may we all get better together.