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 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.

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 with 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 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:

Don’t call me a vegetarian.

Two more meals…twenty-seven to go…

I’m not giving up meat. I’m just delaying it.

It’s not delivery it’s DiGiorno.

Rabbit Food: Vegetarian Meals.

A tale of two vegetarian burgers…

Our fire alarm works.

Hiking & Camping at Turkey Run (and eating a veggie dog).

Four days to go…

Craving the Crunch: Making Salad and Risotto.



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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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