I have been vegetarian (pescetarian) for 8 months. Well, if you don't count the accidental bite of pork at Dim Sum. They said it was shrimp and chives and forgot to mention one crucial ingredient! So this sort of an update on how I have been doing and feel about being vegetarian and the reaction of others.
Lately, I have been thinking about if I was going to continue on being vegetarian. I haven't been craving meat but just considering my choice and if it was gong to be something I try or stick with long term. Sorry, mister. No weekend of meat! I am pushing on and sticking with it. Sometimes, it can be difficult.
It is something else that makes me different and people ask about it. I realize they are interested but usually the subject goes to weight. It is assumed that my change in eating habits is a diet and that I am trying to lose weight. Someone pointed out that I look smaller and inquired about what you can and cannot eat as a vegetarian so she can do it and lose weight too. I did not become vegetarian to lose weight. I do not deprive myself of food. I eat when I am hungry and make good choices and bad choices. But they are my choices and not a strict set of rules laid out in an effort to be thin. Marianne from The Rotound recently posted about how our food choices are ours and not for others to judge.
Which is another thing I am asked about, choices. Do I feel like it is hard to find something to eat? Well, it is no different than before. We all know what it is like for it to be 6 o'clock and have no clue what is for dinner. But my food options really are endless. I can eat almost everything I ate before but with a couple substitutions. If I want pizza, then I eat a veggie pizza. If I want breakfast, then I have meatless sausage and scrambled eggs. Salads, fish, sandwiches, casseroles, pasta, soup and so much more! I love ethnic food the most. My favorites are sushi, Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern and Greek. I find it very easy to order at these restaurants. But then even places like Gustav's, which is German, has a special vegetarian and pescetarian menu you can ask for. Believe me, I am not going hungry.
One of my other concerns I had was being invited to dinner at someone's house. I felt like I was inconveniencing family and friends and wasn't sure how to make sure they knew. Now the news usually travels before I get there. And if I don't feel like being a nuisance, then I just eat whatever doesn't have meat and bring something with me, like hummus or a salad. This usually works and I can offer something before asking what doesn't have meat in it. I went to a catered birthday party a couple months ago, and I was able to just ask one of the staff if she could point out which dishes were vegetarian. What I am still have trouble with is big potlucks. You can't ask just one person since more than twenty people cooked dishes. So you wait until the end of the line and poke and prod through each casserole and if you can't be sure, you skip it. One day, I am going to get there early and give everyone post-its to stick on their dish if it is vegetarian.
On the positive side, my mister and his family have been very supportive. We go to his parent's house each week and they always have the yummiest meals whipped up. I was a little worried because his father is a chef and they eat a lot of steak. Before August, we probably ate steak with them every other week. So for me to tell him what to cook was a little intimidating. But now I think they enjoy it. They like having a meatless dinner in the week and coming up with something fantastic. We have had open-face shrimp sandwiches, tuna casserole, baked portobello mushrooms and the best cheesy rolls. The mister eats meals with me and likes trying all the meatless meats with me. We have had meatless meat tacos, meatless breakfast sausage, baked apples with tempeh, meatless Italian sausage and tofurky. We are still trying to figure out how they got the gristle in the Trader Joe's meatless Italian sausage.
I feel very good about my choice. I am being true to myself and my love for animals. I am not having to spit out unappetizing meat into my napkin at restaurants or pretend to be happy that we were having steak, again. I don't have as many headaches or migraines. My heartburn is pretty much nonexistent. I guess I am going to be an herbivore for life!