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 I could be 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 vegetarian for a month.
At the beginning of my vegetarian month 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 so many random flours and extra weird ingredients that I just didn’t want to bother to find and/or pay for. And I only made it to one vegetarian restaurant. Well, two: 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. Even in my meat-filled life.
And the real goal was simply to eat a vegetarian diet 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 to eat only vegetarian food for 31 days. Sure I had a few cravings for meat here and there. And, sur,e there were times when I wanted a pork taco or a juicy hamburger. But I was never tempted to cheat and, as time went on, I 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 giving up meat for good was never the goal of this exercise.
I think, though, that I learned a little willpower. I think that I learned that putting my mind to something and just doing it can actually work out. I think I learned a little bit about meal planning.
I definitely learned that I don’t like imitation meat. And that many restaurants offer slim meat-free menu choices.
And I learned to really like salad.
Or, at least, really tolerate 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 neighborhood. It was a good choice for a last vegetarian meal.
A lot of vegetarian restaurants in Chicago are heavy on the dishes resembled typical meat dishes but with the fake meat: chicken and beef and pork made from seitan or tofu.
The Green Zebra was all about just creating good food made from vegetables.
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.
And then I had the Slow Roasted Shittake Mushrooms with crispy potato, and savoy cabbage. It was almost like a little sushi roll.
And thus it my month long foray into vegetarianism ends. With some potatoes and some cabbage and some mushrooms. And maybe a little stop for ice cream…
“Eat vegetarian for a month” was number 87 on my life list.
Want to read more about my month as a vegetarian? Here are more posts about my motivation and my progress along with where and what I ate all month long:
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