I finished my month of vegetarianism this past weekend. I had chicken and scallops in my meal at Ghengis Grille down in Knoxville for the inaugural meat meal. I have a deep and abiding love for that restaurant; it was like love at first sight, er taste.
I really recommend trying this experiment for yourself. After a month I wasn't craving meat. In fact, I only had one or two days during the month that I really wanted some meat. One of those days was when Josh convinced me to tag along with him to Chik-Fil-A. Not a good idea. I feel like I have more energy when I am not eating meat. This weekend when I was having chicken and scallops I felt kind of heavy and lethargic after the meal. I know that I ate more balanced as far as fruits, veggies, and grains go.
The whole point of this experiment was to get away from some of the chemicals and steroids we get as part and parcel of the meat we get from the grocery and to see how much meat I could do without, without feeling totally deprived. After a full month of this, I've decided to stay vegetarian at home, but that I will eat meat when I go out to restaurants. As far as the quality of the meat, that is probably backwards from what I should do. The reason for this is two fold. In the first place, since I cook most nights of the week and we eat in, I will be getting about 5-6 days a week that are meatless. That is way better than eating no meat in restaurants but eating it at home as far as quantity goes. The second reason is that it is difficult to find meatless dishes around here. Even trying to order pasta with no meat is a challenge at some restaurants. Eating out is also where I feel the most "deprived". I still want to enjoy life and eat good, tasty dishes, I just want to be healthy too. That and I just don't think I can totally give up on Chik-Fil-A and the chicken gnocchi soup at Olive Garden.
So that's the wrap up on my month long experiment. I hope you try it for yourself! Even you decide to go back to meat full-time (for lack of a better phrase), it is a good way to detox your body and get some great fruits and veggies in for a time. I even discovered veggies that I like now that I didn't like as a kid from trying to diversify my dishes.
Up next in the food realm is trying to find some good vegetarian dishes that can be staples for both me and Josh. Right now I am either cooking two meals (sort of) or trying to munch on a couple side dishes. I think I can find some recipes that he would like too and we can have one meal that we can both eat and smile about. :)