Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Vegetarian Experiment (Day 9)

I can't remember where I heard it, but it has been said that it only takes seventeen days to create a habit. This is day nine of my new way of eating and I think I just may be well on my way to creating a new habit.

All I know is that is been just a tad over a week, and I find that I don't really miss the red meat. Sure, I take a multi-vitamin just in case I miss something, but I have always done that anyway. I didn't think your palate could change even just a teensy bit that quickly but I think mine has a little. Vegetables that I always assumed didn't have much taste and where just bit players to the main course, now have a very distinct flavor.

I can say for sure, that I feel like I have more energy, and I definately don't feel bloated and tired after a meal. I take antacids daily for GERD, but I have not needed the pills as much. I have a bit of a gut gut, yet I have lost 8 pounds even though it was not the purpose of the experiment. And lets just say.....the digestion process from start to end is just generally better.

Reading package labels how now become a bit of an obsession. I have been trying to eat more fresh fruits and veggies, but when it's something packaged, I am a label fiend. If I don't see any real nutrional value, or contents that contain too many syllables, it doesn't go in the shopping cart. I compare one brand to another, as well as "regular" products as opposed to "light" versions. Let me just say from what I have seen so far, "light" versions of a product aren't all that light and from the ingredient list, use a lot of chemicals and things I can't pronounce. Given that choice, I'll take the product that has 20 more calories per serving that is more natural, and just keep the portion size down.

Speaking of portion size..... I'm finding it's easier to get full now, and feel satisfied without eating enough for two people. It wasn't something I was really trying to watch, but it seems to have just developed as a good by-product of eating better. Last night I ate two mushroom burgers on buns with cheese, brocco sprouts, ketchup, and french fries. Just for giggles I added up my estimate of the calories and fat for the entire meal and it did not even equal ONE burger I like to get from a popular chain. Since I like to get TWO of those burgers at a time with fries and sometimes a milkshake, that is a MASSIVE difference in just about any nutritional category you can name.

I have also found that I crave snacks a lot less. Maybe I was just eating mindlessly because I was bored and not in need of nutrition? I'm starting to think it is exactly that. I adore a certain sponge cake with creme filling whose name I shall not mention, but processed sugars that used to be a staple, are just not appealing to me right now. I didn't set out to avoid those products, but I don't seem to miss them so much either. I ate a few nacho cheese chips last night and they just didn't really taste good to me, so again I had to ask....why the heck was I even eating them? I have just decided if I have to ask myself "why am I eating this", then maybe I shouln't.

I still don't count calories, nor do I weigh everything or keep a food diary. I just figure common sense and moderation are pretty good rules to eat by.

I'm gettting ready to make Hamburger Helper using a meat subsitute, mostly because I am curious if they will even work together. I'll let you know later :).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Great (sorta) Vegetarian Experiment

Just before Christmas last year the wife and I decided that when Lent rolled around in 2010 we would go (mostly) vegetarian for that time. We decided we woud become pescetarians, which is vegetarianism, but we will allow ourselves, dairy, eggs, and very small amounts of fish. Will I stick to this after the observance of Lent? I don't know but I doubt it, animals are pretty damn tasty and I believe if humans were not supposed to eat meat, then why would we have canines and incisors? There only purpose is for the rending and tearing of meat. If we were mean to be true herbivores, then we would have square flat top teeth like a horse. Well enough of my preaching. I believe what I believe, and I believe everyone has the right to believe whatever they want, and that is just peachy with me.

We didn't enter into this as a religeous observance, but more as a way to try new foods, rethink what we eat, modify how we eat, and to see if we learn anything we can apply to our habits after the Lenten season is over.

We are looking to answer several questions for ourselves such as:
  1. Will we miss red meat and chicken?
  2. CAN we do without meat? We have been trained from birth to be carnivores.
  3. Can we get enough daily nutrition to satisfy the bodies needs.
  4. Will we be going hungry? Can a non red meat diet be filling?
  5. Can we learn how to balance health with taste?
  6. Are we being green in our food choices, and if not how can we do so.
I guess we are going to find out!

Among other sources we have read, we are also reading books by vegetarian Chefs such as Tal Brosnan and his book "The Conscious Cook"., and magazines such as Clean Eating, Eating Well, and Vegetarian Times.

Bon Appetit!

Mario Batali, if you are reading this, YOU ARE STILL THE MAN! even if we are vegging out for a while!