Sunday, September 28, 2008
Vegetarian Week Roundup
Not having eaten meat since last Sunday, I thought I should summarize a few things. First, one of the questions I have been asked the most is what have I been eating this week. Because I still ate eggs and dairy, breakfast and lunch have stayed pretty much the same as always (cereal for breakfast, lots of toast or leftovers for lunch). However, here is a rundown of what I've been having for dinner:
Monday: The ever delectable Zucchini cakes with mushroom ragoût. They're cheap, they're easy, they're fast, and we are definitely making them for Nick's birthday party in a couple of weeks.
Tuesday: Sweet and Sour vegetables over rice, courtesy of Teriyaki Stix. Except I paid for it. It was fine and good and whatnot, but I think it's also the kind of meal that most people assume vegetarianism is all about. I felt like I ordered it because it was the only option, not because it was something I specifically wanted.
Wednesday: Pasta with pesto and feta cheese. My cute mum gave me this recipe (cook pasta of your choice, add 3 tablespoons of pesto and mix in crumbled feta) and insisted I try it for vegetarian week. So I did. It was very tasty, but I think I would add some halved cherry tomatoes next time.
Thursday: Guru's Veggie Curry Bowl, containing, amongst many other tasties, vegan classics tofu and edamame. This was my entire brief flirtation with vegan food, and it was kind of a mixed bag. I liked the edamame a lot, and the tofu was super tasty while it was still crunchy and hot on the outside, but got pretty uninteresting and slimy as soon as it cooled down. I loved all of the vegetables, but was a bit disappointed with the flavour. The vegetables were cooked in a spicy coconut sauce, which sounded really good, but somehow managed to maintain the blandness that some vegetarian dishes have.
Friday: Cheese fondue - and probably a vegetarian slip up. This was at a party, and while I didn't specifically eat any meat, I'm pretty sure there was chicken broth in one of the fondues. I ate it anyway, though.
Saturday: Cheese sammich at the Relief Society broadcast. Nothing too eventful.
Sunday: Vegetables over couscous. Anyone who has ever lived with me knows that this is a total staple of my diet, and there is no way vegetarian week could have happened without it.
Another thing I wondered about before I started this week, was if I was going to notice any obvious difference. Would I feel amazingly healthy, or would I feel crappy due to malnutrition? Would I feel deprived, or would I like it so much that I didn't want to go back? While one week is only so long, I think I can say that what I experienced lies somewhere in between those things. Physically, I felt pretty much the same as usual. Maybe a little more energized than usual, but I could also attribute that to other things, like spending more time at the gym. Other than that, the only difference is really only that I've mostly felt hungry more often.
I haven't felt deprived or like I've been missing out on something I crave at all. A lot of that, I think is that I've been eating foods I enjoy, which isn't really hard, seeing as I just like food. The only times it was harder, was when I wasn't cooking for myself, and couldn't control what food was on offer. At restaurants and parties my options were limited to what was on the menu, and the vegetarian option wasn't always what appealed to me most. At the same time, as the week is over, I don't feel like I'm dying to go out and chomp down a hamburger, and wouldn't mind at all if tomorrow's dinner was a meat free one. My grandmother eats one or two pieces of chocolate every night, and she'll be 95 next month, so perhaps this week's take home lesson should be one of moderation?