The veggie quest

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while, you know I’ve been slowly trying to transition myself (and sometimes Sean) into a less-processed, more plant-based diet. This is all based on research, documentaries I’ve seen, books I’ve read, blogs I read about other people’s lives, etc. In essence, I’m coming to realize that there’s no humane way to eat an animal.

Did you know pigs can make friends? And cows can hold grudges. While our worst enemies can do the same, we’d never kill and eat them. We’ve just been raised in a culture where we’re not taught to question food. Does it not strike you odd that we live with some animals (dogs, cats, even some birds!) and eat others (pigs, chickens [also birds], cows)? Who decided the distinction between in-the-house animals and in-the-tummy animals? Even more importantly, when did we decide which birds we would eat and which we wouldn’t? With genetic modification we can make the breast meat of any bird big enough to eat, right? Why chickens? Why turkeys?

These are just a few of the questions I’ve been wrestling with in my recent quest to understand the food industry and what I’m putting in my body.

So how’s it been going? Pretty well, I think. While I haven’t gone completely meat-free yet, I’m still managing meatless meals about 5 out of 7 nights a week. And while Sean is not going 100% with me, he’s managed to either meet me halfway or accommodate my meal choices. Some nights Sean straight-up doesn’t eat what I make. I appreciate him at least trying a few bites. Sometimes though, he looks at me with a bowl of veggies in his hands and says, “I just can’t do it.” And I understand.

Although, I thought this stir fry was pretty good.

Even before I started “The Veggie Quest,” I generally only ate meat during dinner. Breakfast consisted of turkey bacon maybe once every two weeks, if that. Other than that it’s cereal, oatmeal, toast and/or eggs. I’ve also found a place to buy Certified Humane eggs. Lunch is usually a salad, fruit, and Greek yogurt. All pretty healthy. Dinner was the only meal when I’d eat meat. My stomach generally wants something not salad. It wants something cooked. Something warm and dinner-like, ya know? And there’s not much more than stir-fry that I can make that’s an all veggie “meal.” Sure I can come up with a mish-mash of cooked veggies to have for dinner. My typical veggie meal: corn on the cob, green beans, salad. Boring, right?

Going out to eat is hard too, unless I really want a salad. Considering I eat one everyday for lunch, it’s usually not what I’m craving at the end of the night. See above. So far I’ve not been an effective vegetarian when I got out to eat. Sean and I went to Longhorn Steakhouse (not very veggie at all right? well we thoughtwe had a gift card), and I got asparagus and chicken with a salad. We went to Moe’s, and I got a chicken burrito.

My sad-face reaction to my own complete non-trying...

I don’t really like many vegetables, I’m discovering, at least, not the ones that seem to be a staple of vegetarian life. Chick peas make my stomach hurt. Seriously badly. Beans in general, other than green beans, aren’t my friend. I don’t like cooked spinach. I’ve never tried quinoa. I am a picky eater if you couldn’t tell. But my stomach is really picky too. As Sean can unfortunately vouch, my stomach mutinies in two ways: either I can’t go to the bathroom, or I can’t stop. It’s embarrassing. It’s unfortunate. It’s because of my food, I’m pretty sure (or I have IBS, but you don’t want to hear about that, now, do ya?).

This seems to be a major hitch in my problem. That, and the protein issue. I generally don’t get enough protein even when I eat meat. I don’t like a lot of nuts (unless they’re covered in chocolate). I don’t like protein-bearing beans. It’s going to end up being a three-way battle among taste buds, stomach issues, and my own conscience.

Let me know if you guys have any tips, recipe recommendations, or ideas to help me achieve my goal. I really appreciate your help.

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