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Life List #87: Eat vegetarian for a month.

Life List #87: Eat vegetarian for a month.

I’ve had this conversation with myself many times over the course of my life: I could be a vegetarian. Well…maybe a pescatarian. Oh, but I’d have to be able to eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Hmm, I forgot about bacon. And you know I really like hamburgers…

Always the same progression in thought.

Tonight was the last night of my month-long meat free experiment. I officially managed to eat a vegetarian diet for a month.

At the beginning of this I set out a few rules that I didn’t exactly follow. I didn’t do any of the vegan baking I said I was going to do. But that was more so because in looking through recipes more of them had me buying random flours and extras that I just didn’t want to pay for. And I only made it to one restaurant. Well, I technically also ate at RAW, but I had eaten from there before.

But that’s OK, because I can still do those things eventually. And the real goal was simply to eat vegetarian for a month. And that I did. I avoided all meat. I avoided anything cooked in meat. I avoided anything made with a hint of meat essence.

In all honestly I am surprised at how easy it was. Sure I had a few cravings here and there. And yes there were times that I wanted a pork taco or a hamburger. But I was never tempted to cheat and as time went on actually started craving veggies more and more.

But don’t get me wrong. I like meat. I don’t want to give up meat for good. And that was never the goal of this exercise. I think I learned a little willpower. I think I learned that putting my mind to something and just doing it can work out. I think I learned a little bit about meal planning. I learned that I don’t like imitation meat and that many restaurants offer slim meat-free choices. I learned to really like salad.

To celebrate my last meal as a temporary vegetarian Chelsa and I went to dinner at Green Zebra, a nice contemporary vegetarian restaurant in the Ukrainian Village-esque area. It was a good choice for a meal. A lot of vegetarian places I saw were heavy on the dishes that resembled typical dishes but with the fake meat. This place was all about just creating good food.

After a shooter of soup and some wheat bread Chelsa and I shared a Grilled Heart of Palm and citrus salad with a little guacamole.

Eat vegetarian for a month - Grilled Heart of Palm and citrus salad with a little guacamole at Green Zebra restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

And then I had the Slow Roasted Shittake Mushrooms, crispy potato, and savoy cabbage. It was almost like a little sushi roll.

Eat vegetarian for a month - Slow Roasted Shittake Mushrooms, crispy potato, and savoy cabbage at Green Zebra restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

And thus it ends. With some potatoes and some cabbage and some mushrooms. And maybe a little stop at iCream…

“Eat vegetarian for a month” was number 87 on my life list.

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