When I was writing this post earlier (blog posts can wait, dinner cannot), there were eggplant steaks sizzling in the pan and I finally got the chance to listen to the new M83 album on Spotify. If you haven’t checked out M83, I suggest you do very soon if you like lush, electronic music. It’s sad that I was only introduced to them this summer and apparently they have been around for a while.
But yeah- I’m taking a break from my hot date with some GRE review books. This is how exciting life is going to be until December 30th…but as much as it kinda sucks and I miss hanging out with my friends (especially after being away for 2 months!)…it’s all good. From what my career has shown me, your true friends will let you do what you need to do and after your task is done, you’ll pick up right where you left off.
I’m happy to say that my body is finally getting the hang of my new diet. I decided to cut back on eating meat. Ever since I started this, a lot of people have been asking why I would so such a thing. There are a ton of reasons why I’m doing this:
1. Earlier this year, I started to study commercial slaughterhouse practices after watching this amazing documentary called Kill It, Cook It, Eat It. After viewing it and doing some research, I said that I wouldn’t buy meat that wasn’t humanely raised and killed. In the beginning of the year, I was AWESOME at it- but then life got busy. I was living in Saratoga and was commuting to Albany to work and I fell prey to eating quick and cheap again because it fit my lifestyle. Sometimes I would be too busy in the morning to make lunch and it was so easy to go to Irongate to get a yummy sandwich full of delicious meat. They do have vegetarian sandwiches but I always find them to be so oily and unappetizing. Then when my job assignments came up, I was too busy to start a new diet, and I was on the road a lot, so it was very convenient to eat fast food…especially at Chick-Fil-A.
2. My family has a history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Since I’m already genetically predisposed to my ticker filling up with guck easily, I decided to be proactive and eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Taking red meat and poultry out of my diet seemed like a good way to do it. My job assignments are very stressful and I put my body through a lot. This time around, I would feel chest pains from time to time and I don’t know whether it was because of the stress or the fast food I was eating but my body didn’t feel right. I decided that maybe it’s time to switch things up.
3. It’s easier on the environment.
At first, it was hell. I would have meat cravings so bad that I would wake up in the middle of the night because I wanted a juicy hamburger. My mornings were worse- I would wake up feeling completely drained of energy, which isn’t me at all. A few friends told me to start taking vitamins and I have to say, that did the trick. Along with coffee, once I take my One a Day for Women, I feel like I can take on the world. Grocery shopping was bad too- I had no idea what to buy and it got so frustrating. I decided a good tactic would be to ask other vegetarians in the vegetarian aisle and that was a good strategy. They were more than happy to direct me to right tofu to buy or tell me what the best meat substitutes were…even though I haven’t broken into the Chik’n Strips or Veggie Sausages yet.
A week and a half later, I’m starting to see the benefits. The most remarkable one is that I find that I digest foods better now. When I was 10, I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant. I thought it was the end of the world, seeing that I come from a big Italian family that owns a pizzeria. I never cared about limiting my dairy though- cheese and ice cream are just too good to give up so I decided to live with the consequences for the last 14 years. Now that I’m on this diet, I eat more cheese and yogurt than ever before…and I haven’t felt any symptoms of lactose intolerance, which is insane for me…in an awesome way. Now I’m wondering if it was really lactose intolerance all of this time or if it is because my body doesn’t digest fatty foods well? Whatever it is, I don’t want to change what I’m doing. I have never felt this healthy before.
However, I will never call myself a vegetarian because I don’t believe I can be one. If anything, I’m a better omnivore. I come from a very traditional Italian family and it would break my Nonna’s heart if I refused to eat something she made. Same thing goes if I’m a guest at another person’s house and there is meat dish. I’m not going to refuse it. Someone took the time to give a meal to me. I’ve got to respect that. Additionally, I can’t see myself giving up seafood. I love mussels, calamari, fish, lobster, crab, and clams too much to take them away from my diet. I was also thinking about my life a few years from now, when I have children. I would not raise them as vegetarians because your body needs to get used to digesting a wide variety of foods. I feel that vegetarianism is a personal choice that one needs to make for his or herself.
Well- it’s time for bed for me.