Saturday, November 19, 2011

Accidental Vegetarianism

Day 9 of 365 Tiny Changes

I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM, hungry.  No surprise, since I went to bed at 1:00 AM, hungry.

I am a vegetarian.  One of the things I dislike about being a vegetarian is that I’m hungry a lot of the time.  It’s not the, oh, I think I could eat a little something, kind of hunger.  It’s the, OMG, I am STARVING, kind of hunger.  This feeling comes about 2-3 hours after I sit down to a meal.  I get up satisfied, it just doesn’t last. 

I think, to be a good vegetarian I need to become more of a grazer.  I have a friend who does this.  She takes the time to cut up lots of different veggies.  She puts them in zip lock bags and carries them with her where ever she goes.  Whenever she gets the urge, she will munch.  She swears by this method.  Oh, to be as prepared and she is.  She must have been a scout when she was little.  I’ve never asked.

I am actually an accidental vegetarian.  I didn’t plan on becoming one, it just sort of happened one day.  About 2 years ago...(fade to black and white).

My Guy’s parents came to town.  When they come, they like to plan family gatherings with members of the family we don’t talk to, or think of, when they aren’t visiting.  I don’t even remember most of their names.  (Hey, it’s a big family.)

A few summer’s ago “The Body Exhibit” was in town.  This was to be the family event for this year.  I didn’t want to go, but nobody asked me, specifically, and my ticket was purchased for me.  Not one to like to be considered the family snob, I put on a smile and left work early to attend.

I am not a fan of the human body.  I should rephrase that.  I love the beauty of the exterior of the human body.  I took life drawing in college and aced it.  (Of course, most of the models were male.)  Moving on...

I am not a fan of the interior of the human body.  I don’t even like to watch when someone shows off their double jointedness.  It makes me queasy.  Any time that I have had to deal with any sort of injury or blood, I have to fight to keep my lunch.

When I was in 8th grade, I stoved a finger in gym playing basketball and passed out cold walking down the hallway outside the cafeteria, from thinking about it.  I wasn't even looking at the bruised, swollen finger, I was just thinking about it.  The bump on the head I sustained from the hard floor, didn’t help my queasiness at all.

Back to the exhibit.  It was actually a very interesting exhibit.  First of all, I just never realized that one could still see what race one might be without the skin, by just muscular structure, alone.  It makes sense, I had just never thought about it. 

There were a lot of really cool things to look at.  Lots of things about the body, that I had probably learned during some science class, but never really understood until I saw it in this exhibit.

I was able to detach enough from myself, and my queasy stomach, to really get a lot out of this show.  Little did I know it would lead to a lifestyle change for me.

I did mention that it was obvious that the specimens in the exhibit were asian.  In fact they were Chinese “volunteers”.  I don’t want to think any more about that statement.

Sometimes event planners don’t think.  I don’t mean the museum curators.  In this instance, I’m referring to the members of the family that planned this excursion.  After the museum visit, we met for dinner, at some of the planners’ favorite CHINESE restaurant.  Really.

I didn’t eat any thing but vegetables that evening.

The next morning I woke up and opened the freezer and saw a big roast I had stored in there, and that was it.  I swear, I had seen that same piece of muscle at the exhibit the day before.  I am forever a vegetarian because I can’t stand the thought of eating muscle.

I am really a horrible vegetarian.  Most vegetarians I know are waifs.  Me, I’ve gained 20 lbs. as a vegetarian.  I could blame it on my age, or too many hours sitting in front of the computer, but the reality is I eat too much pasta.  I could probably start a whole new branch of vegetarianism called pastatarianism.  I would be the princess of the pastatarians.

I have visited both the east and west coasts and have found that being a vegetarian is much easier there than here, in Ohio.  Living in the Midwest, it is not the easiest thing to be a veggie eater.  One would think with all the farms we have it wouldn’t be so hard. 

We Midwesterners love our meat.  Most of the restaurants I’ve been to offer very few, if any, vegetarian dishes.  If they do, 8 out of 10 times, its some version of pasta veggies, just pasta.  Perfect for pastatarians, lousy for real vegetarians.  They are sometimes willing to remove the meat from the dish, but don’t decrease the price.  I hate paying $15-$20 for a plate of food that only cost them $1.50 to prepare, including overhead.

I’ve determined if I want to stay healthy I need to get on the path of being a proper vegetarian.  I’m going to have to eat more vegetables.  Oh yeah, and fruit, too.  More vegetables and fruit, and a lot less pasta.

Tiny Change 10:  Eat 3 servings of fresh vegetables every day.

Looks like a trip to the grocery store for me, and soon, too.  I’m hungry!

Any tips anyone out there might have to offer on eating healthy as a vegetarian in the Midwest, I would gratefully accept.

Best Regards,



  1. Linda,
    I think you'd enjoy replacing some of your pasta with rice, tortillas, and other starches. I'm not vegetarian, but I don't eat much meat. One of my favorite veggie meals is the veggie burrito at Qdoba - grilling the veggies makes all the difference. It carmelizes them, and they taste great in the burrito with rice and black beans and a little corn salsa.

  2. Mary, I love the veggie burrito at Chipotle. I have been eating more rice and potatoes and have felt better. Thank you for the suggestions.