this particular experiment is about 7 months in the making. it all began last september when i went to the festival of lights at the hindu temple in spanish fork (i’m tempted to abbreviate it to SpaFo. SpaFo:Spanish Fork :: SpaHa :: Spanish Harlem). whatever. we were upstairs listening to a surprisingly young krishna? talk about his faith and answer general questions. after listening in earnest for close to an hour, i sort of lost interest and headed downstairs, when i stopped mid-stair to read a poster. it caught my attention because of the huge animal teeth, snarling at me unexpectedly in a building full of pacifists. the poster was all about vegetarianism, and how humans, physiologically, are not equipped to eat meat. something about our pores, and the placement of incisors, et cetera.
anyway, i read the entire thing with genuine interest and then proceeded down more stairs. the others had started eating, and i wasn’t hungry nor did i want to spend 6 bucks on a cup of rice, so i just meandered around and thought about trying on some indian vestments. against one of the walls they had all these long posters with pictures of LDS general authorities, which commanded attention just because it was so unexpected. turns out, many of the early apostles were vegetarians. a lot around the turn of the century. they had various reasons for abiding by this diet/lifestyle, but a lot of them based their decision on health and the word of wisdom. anyway, i know that americans eat too much meat as it is, and definitely not just “sparingly” or in times of famine, so i decided right then i’d go without meat for a week, just to see how i felt and to prove to myself that i could in fact do it. i ended up doing it for about three months. this was last semester.
anyway, i decided about two months ago i’d start it up again. for a medley of reasons (cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli):
a) i feel healthier. i need this because other parts of my body are on a transportation strike, namely Right Knee, making running an impossibility
b) i've yet to accept an offer, and i'm likely to fall into pauperism at any moment
c) there is plenty of more-than-adequate veggie fare in this city. i really like vegetables.
d) i wanted to be a hippie and/or people thought i was a hippie for a lot of years. it might get me in with the hippies. plus i hate wearing a bra so this new lifestyle seems to support (or maybe not support?) this image
now as someone who has never subscribed to the book of dieting even amidst roommates on atkins and anti-atkins, i had kind of always thought that giving yourself overly stringent dietetic limitations (such as cutting out what is considered by many an entire food group) was silly. i'm more about intuitive eating, except that's not always safe either as my intuition tells me it's "perfectly fine, nay normal" to eat funfetti cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (here is where i thank this blessed creature for returning from provo this weekend with this cake mix in tow, since i can't locate it in manhattan).
but seriously, both last time and this time around this whole vegetarian thing is totally doable. i don't even crave meat. really, after a while your body just adapts. i can easily resist the temptation of all my old meaty vices. corndogs. chicken marsala. that pimento loaf stuff with the tiny bits of cheese tucked into a cozy bologna bed. not that i eat that much meat anyway. but i feel so much better without. now, to be fair to all those red-blooded americans out there, yeah, who knows how much of this falls under a displacement theory— since i'm not eating meat i am eating a lot more whole grains and vegetables. but i felt and still feel tons better have way more energy. and i really don’t have a protein deficiency due to my obsession with creamy peanut butter. and pistachio rice pudding.
what i have learned: there is something smart about being conscious of what you are consuming. and cutting down on meat probably isn't a bad idea for anyone. to the word of wisdom i say word. oh, and milk does a body good, too. that includes milkshakes. and the occasional burger supreme, which i will be visiting come april.