Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's not easy bein' Green

I wish had some grandiose epiphany anecdote to explain my recent adoption of the vegetarian diet, but I don't.  Really, it's been a long time coming, ever since I read Skinny Bitch a few years ago, and since I've slowly but surely been paying closer attention to what I put in my body.  I also have this weird abhorrence for eating food that looks like the animal from whence it came that has gotten worse the older I get, so my enjoyment of meat has been dwindling for several years.  About a month ago I finally decided I would take the plunge and see what all the fuss was about with a vegetarian diet.  Here are a few things I have noticed so far:
1. Bonus number one, I am eating way more fruits and vegetables.  I mean, you have to replace the meat with something, right?
2.  My taste buds have changed, and since I've made a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies, a pleasant bonus is that I have discovered some new fruits and vegetables that I didn't used to care for, I tried again, and realized suddenly that I now like them. (Cucumbers and Blueberries are two)
3.  I am also eating less carbs (read: no bread for the non-existent sandwiches),  so this is also a plus, but as a result of eating less carbs, I am also getting hungrier sooner.  Let's face it, a salad just does not stick to the ole ribs for long!
4.  Just being honest- how many overweight vegetarians do you know?  I have put back on some weight in the last year, and I want to get back into my skinny jeans, and I figured this new eating regime might help jump-start that.
5.  This is something I'm passionate about:  Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in this country, and kids form their eating habits for the rest of their lives in their early years (read:  Bradley's age).  So if I model good eating habits for him now, and he is exposed to good-for-him foods now before he has any idea what Coca-Cola is, he's way more likely to continue those healthy eating habits into adulthood.
6.  Eating more healthy is a trend that tends to be circular.  If I eat healthy foods during the day, I'm less likely to binge on junk food.  I don't crave it as much, or if I do, I'm able to keep the cravings in check by eating only small portions of whatever it is, or else I remind myself how well I've eaten today, and that I don't want to blow it.

7.  One negative is that I have noticed a HUGE DROP in my energy level.  Not enough protein or iron?  I started iron supplements a week ago, so now I'm waiting to see if I notice a difference.  I cannot keep going to bed at 9 o'clock.  Something's gotta give.
So now the question of the hour:  What the heck am I supposed to bring for lunch every day?  This has been one of my biggest challenges so far.  (Well, that, and trying to wrap my head around the fact that if I keep this up, I might never eat my beloved chicken fingers ever again).  My fall-back has always been turkey sandwiches, but now 2 slices of bread with mustard and cheese and no turkey is just not an appealing lunch choice.  
At any rate, I have been surprised to learn of so many closet fellow vegetarians coming out of the wood works to support me in my endeavor and offer up recipe ideas.  To those who have suggested I try quinoa... I'm a weenie, and I've been too scared to try it, but I promise I will!


Kim and Josh said...

I am not a vegetarian but one of my go-to lunches is a Ceasar salad roll-up. Or really any sort of salad with cheese in roll-up form... yum! And they generally include avocado because I'm a HUGE fan (but am not sure if you are). Also, I used to turn my nose up at egg salad, but if you experiment with it, it can be super tasty in sandwiches. And when all else fails, the classic pb&j will always do. Good luck and good for you!

Kim and Josh said...

And one more thing... pasta noodles with zesty Italian dressing and fresh veggies is a delicious easy way to make pasta salad. Ok, I'm done now. :) And hungry.