Feeling Strangely Fine

The Vegetarian Experiment

As the New Year arrived I vowed to get back to adventures in new foods with an emphasis on whole foods healthier living.  I apparently should have also vowed to blog more but I’ll focus on one thing at a time for now.  As spring creeps in making me all too comfortable that we have passed the possibility of a blizzard (you know a nor’easter is going to sneak up on us when we least expect it) I figured it was time to capture progress.  It’s not just the coming of spring that made me take to the blog, but it’s my one month anniversary of meatless living.

I am a horrible Catholic.  If weddings and funerals don’t count then I cannot recall the last time I stepped foot in a church but would venture to guess it was probably a Christmas mass some years ago.  Despite this, Lent remains a time of year that is a time of reflection; somewhat of a restart.  Much like the New Year, Lent comes as a self-assessment of how did I get here and what should I do to be closer to who I really am and want to be.  For me anyway.  This Ash Wednesday I made a decision to give up meat for Lent.  Why?  I have no moral judgment on the matter-humans have canine’s for a reason and there is a food chain in the animal kingdom, I get that.  However, I have over the years read books like Fast Food Nation and The Omnivores Dilemma, and watched movies like Food Inc and Forks Over Knives with interest and curiosity as to how we came to eat what we eat and how it’s impacted society and public health.  The personal choice to partake in this Lenten experiment was really to make myself be more cognizant and committed to the dietary choices that I make.

I live alone, I work a high-stress, thought consuming job.  It becomes easy to develop habits and grocery shop without thought; rarely trying new recipes or foods and eating convenient foods on the go.  So Lent took my whole foods New Year’s resolution to the next level-whole foods plant based living.

I must say one month came and went quite quickly and it’s easier than I thought it would be.  In the beginning I did spend some time looking for recipes to try and grocery shopping took longer as I tried to find new ingredients (once posting on facebook where do they keep the tahini? in a cry for help).  It also cost more the first couple of weeks as I stocked up my pantry.  Now, I have my go to bloggers like Fat Free Vegan, Engine 2 Diet, Healthy Happy Life, and Happy Herbivore for recipe ideas and I’m getting used to the grocery staples so shopping goes much faster (and is much cheaper).  One month in and I have a lot more energy, feel generally better, and am happy to be spending more time on me, planning my menus and cooking.  I’ve discovered a lot of recipes that are definite keepers and only a few that I probably won’t revisit.  I’ve even introduced the family to some new recipes by bringing some meatless fare to our St. Patrick’s Day celebration; the Shepherd’s Pie (with Lentils instead of meat substitute) and calcannon puffs were a big hit!

After this first month I find myself seriously considering continuing turning this adventure into a lifestyle beyond Lent.  I’ve started a Pinterest board to keep track of recipes I’ve tried or want to try.  Check it out and comment if you have other blogger/recipe favorites that I might give a try.  I’m really enjoying discovering new foods and new recipes.

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