Two Weeks Meatless…

Slices of Colorful Radishes from the farmers' market for our vegetarian month

…and I have to say I feel pretty fantastic. Since sitting down to grilled flank steak when we were on vacation in March, Allie and I haven’t eaten meat. We’re going to see if we can last a month. So far, so good. Strangely, I feel like I have more energy. This morning I forgot to drink coffee and didn’t even notice until an hour later. That’s crazy. Normally I can’t even put two thoughts together until I’ve had at least one cup, but today I was reading and writing on a bad night’s sleep and nothing but oxygen.

Could it be the meatless diet? Maybe. I definitely have more energy after meals. It’s hard to lapse into a food coma after a lunch that’s mostly lentils. You can’t get the meat sweats when you aren’t eating meat. After meals, instead of hitting a low, I hit the afternoon as hard as the morning. There are fewer lulls in my day, fewer dips in my energy level.

Which brings me back to an idea that has increasingly weighed on my mind: taste is just one dimension of food, and maybe one of the least important. Why would I care if X tastes better than Y if Y makes me feel better, costs less, is healthier, and is better for the planet and everything living on it?

Which brings me to another idea: a lot of the time Y (non-meat food) tastes better than X (food with meat). Cooking vegetables is harder to master than cooking meat. Once you know what you’re doing, non-meat food is just as good–especially when spring hits and so does the year’s run of vegetables, starting with ramps and asparagus.

Allie and I are nonchalantly working through Chez Panisse Vegetables, one of the great resources on how to cook vegetables. The book starts with the letter “a,” so we grabbed some asparagus this weekend and got started. Looking forward to learning the arcane bits of info that, collected, bring your vegetable game to a really nice level.

Wait, who is writing this post? If I could have read the previous five paragraphs two years ago, I would have said, “Man, I am a destroyer of barbecue and an inhaler of cured pork–what the hell are you talking about?” Right now, though, I’m feeling molto bene and thinking about extending this thing past one month.   -Chris

15 thoughts on “Two Weeks Meatless…

  1. hannahrose

    It’s amazing when you get to the point that the right vegetables with the right flavouring are all you need – and never have I made a terrible vegetarian dish!

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    1. Made in Rome

      Yeah, it’s a really strange thing. It’s almost like adapting to a new job or another country. Once you’re there and settled and in the groove, the way things were before feels a little alien. Thanks for the thought!

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  2. CookingforBello

    Bravo! Congratulations on your two weeks. For me, the less meat I eat, the harder it is to digest when I do consume it. Your inspiring me to try cutting out refined sugars and flours with your determination. I know not the same but paying attention to how your feel from what you eats tells you a lot about what your body doesn’t need. Cheers to trying something new. Looking forward to hearing how you feel one month in. Barley, Farro and Lentils – your new besties.

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    1. Made in Rome

      Yeah, we down farro and lentils like crazy. My brother rips us because, according to him, we eat chickpeas with every meal. It’s all great stuff though. Good luck with the sugars and flours. That isn’t easy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Made in Rome

      It sure has. I’d be curious to hear more about your experience. Are you going for a little or forever? We’re on target for a month. I can’t imagine this would be easy once the grills get fired up this summer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. MulberryInk

        Definitely been tempted, especially during Easter dinner and St.Patricks corned beed dinner. I am trying to go for as long as possible. I might try eating chicken again for iron purposes, but I’m trying to go forever without red meat, so beef and pork. However, I am going to Florence in 2 weeks and all bets are off there for vacation 🙂 It will be hard this summer, but cheating once and a while never hurt. Goodluck, can’t wait to read how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicola

    Good for you Chris. I think there is so much more versatility and variety in a veggie diet. It actually opens up more doors rather than just closing the meat ones. Glad your enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael Evans Photographer

    Hmmm, this is very interesting. I have been thinking about doing the same as my energy levels are not good, and I could do with losing a few Kg’s. We don’t eat a lot of meat anyway, but maybe I should just stop…food for thought (excuse the raterh bad pun…)

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  5. karmakitchen

    Just enjoyed the mozzarella article, and as a fellow Jerseyite-is motivating me to take a ride to Hoboken! I gave up eating red meat and pork as a teen, which in the 80’s wasn’t viewed as “healthy” in my family. I did it for health and my own personal ethical beliefs (after reading “Diet for a New America” and learning about factory farming practices), and was never tempted to return to that diet. I used that decision as a platform to try new foods and cook in new ways and several years later went to culinary school. I think that helped to shape my choices going forward about health, nutrition and lifestyle. I always read labels, buying organic or free-range foods, natural cosmetics and natural fibers used in the products for home and clothing. It is a funny thing how you notice the change of energy, and from there become very discriminating about what you put on and in to your body. Enjoy the journey!!

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  6. Karen

    Good for you…that is terrific. You mentioned eating a lot of farro and I know you shared your squash farotto recipe, may I ask how else have you been preparing it?

    Like

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