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Des Moines, Iowa
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Made it!

Geoff Wood

My cheese pizza from Zio's in Omaha last weekend

It has officially been two months since I last ate meat which means that I accomplished the goal I set out upon on Saint Patrick's Day. I've decided not continue on as a "vegetarian", per se, but I will continue to minimize meat within my diet.

Here's some things that I experienced and/or discovered throughout the past two months:


  1. I love cheese pizza. I was always a meat-lovers or supreme/deluxe deep dish type of guy but this experiment forced me to try cheese pizza and it's awesome. This will definitely continue.

  2. I had some of the tastiest meals ever. I particularly enjoyed Fado in Washington, DC. As a counter point, most restaurants have a very limited no-meat menu.

  3. It seems that most vegetarian meals use cheese to compensate for the lack of meat. I didn't keep track but I'm pretty sure that I didn't lose any weight through the process.

  4. I miss barbecue and grilling. This probably wasn't the best time of the year to try this since people were grilling left and right.

  5. I haven't been to a fast food restaurant throughout this time. Sorry chicken nuggets, McDonald's has no veggie options.

  6. Spaghetti sauce without sausage isn't as tasty.

  7. The only place I was really caught without a veggie choice was an airplane; I removed the turkey and just ate bread & mayo.

 

 

Establishing a no meat goal

Geoff Wood

Photo by val'sphotos from Flickr.

Still working on eliminating meat from my day-to-day diet (I think we're up to 10 days of no meat as of today). It occurred to me recently that because I'm not taking on a philosophical transformation (such as "I'm a vegetarian"), I'm just trying to change things up and maybe get a little healthier, too, that in order to be really successful with this that I needed to establish a goal. This gives me something to focus on working towards rather than focusing on what I'm not having.

The easiest goal I could come up with is to set an end date, basically, "I will completely eliminate meat from my diet until [some day in the future]". But, what date should I pick? 

I remembered hearing something in the past about the number of days in a row that one needs to do something to psychologically establish it as a habit. I quick google search, informed me that, almost universally, people think it's a mere 21 days. That doesn't seem too bad - but doesn't seem like much of a challenge either. So I upped it to a round two months which makes the goal May 17th, 2010. That's good timing since it's only a week or two before the Indy 500 - where they serve things like this:

Eric & his turkey leg at the Indy 500

5 days, 3 observations, 0 meat

Geoff Wood

Image from marcp_dmoz on Flickr

I'm now five days into my no meat experiment and I have three initial observations:

1. Some restaurants make great no meat food

I was worried that it would be hard to find food that I liked that didn't contain sausage, bacon or at the very least, chicken. However, on Saturday we watched the England/France Rugby match from Fado in Washington, DC, and had the Veggie Boxty Quesadilla and the Tomato Mozzarella Potato Bread and both were awesome. I don't know if flavors are more noticeable without meat of if the food was really that superior but these two dishes are my favorites, so far.

2. McDonald's is out

We're big fans of the McDonald's drive through while on vacation (and sometimes nights when we just don't want to cook). However, we tried to stop on the way back from our trip and I was disappointed to see that other than salads, there is not a single no meat option on their menu. It's probably a good thing for overall health, anyway, that we'll have to remove them from our list.

3. There a zillion types of vegetables

We picked out a few no meat recipes and I headed out to Hy-Vee to pick up the ingredients. I had never paid a lot of attention to vegetables before so little did I know that there is a multitude of types of potatoes, two types of parsley, about 8 derivations of portabello mushrooms, several types of carrots, that green onions and scallions are the same thing, etc. Unfortunately, we'll have to be more specific in grocery list crafting in the future.

I've decided to forgo meat

Geoff Wood

Partly inspired by friends Danny and Ben, mostly motivated by possible improved health, and somewhat certainly kicked off by eating the best pulled pork sandwich ever, I've decided to forgo meat.

Image by splorp on Flickr.I'm not going vegetarian, I'm just forgoing meat. I'm not excluding it completely, either. I plan to eliminate it from my day-to-day consumption but fully reserve the right to have turkey at Thanksgiving (if I last that long), have the occasional steak if someone I know butcher's a cow(1), or have BBQ next time I'm in Austin. 

I'm a meat lovers pizza-type of guy so I expect this to be hard. I'll have fish as a default choice if I'm stuck somewhere, but since I don't like fish or seafood in general, it's not much of a comfort.

I should point out this is not a Peta-like philosophical choice. It's borne from need for a change as opposed to a protest of how cows are treated in western Nebraska.

I'm not sure how long I'll run with this but, like any good blogger, I plan to share my experiences here on the blog. Wish me luck!

(1)For those not from the Midwest, this does happen