If somebody would of told us ten years ago that one day we would be vegetarians, I would of really laughed, I mean this was not in my realm of possibilities.
Mainly because not only at this time did we eat meat, but we also hunted and fished.
It all started when Aggy was in sixth grade, her teacher was absent for a week. No problem there. The dynamic young lady that replaced her launched the vegetarian challenge to the whole class. This challenge consisted of (you guessed it) not eating meat for a complete week… : -O
I don’t know about you, but a whole week without meat when it is a daily part of your diet is scary and complicated. But, since we like to take on challenges… we went for it… for a week!! ; -)
Dan had already started to pay more attention to his diet, therefore, he had slowly changed to healthier eating options and Aggy had never liked meat. When she was young, we had to be creative to get her to eat meat. So for these two it was okay to change.
Alexy didn’t like the idea, but it was just a week, it wouldn’t kill him . On the other hand I knew that I would have to use my imagination to get through it, however I liked the idea.
Like everyone I knew some vegetarian recipes. But, to do this for seven days in a row, and make sure it was food everyone liked. It was certainly an effective challenge.
In the end, it went well, we completed the challenge, high fives… Maybe we succeeded a little bit too well! My boyfriend and my daughter didn’t want to eat meat anymore, even though the challenge was over and done with. : -O
The real challenge
This is when the real challenge started
* Finding enough vegetarian meals so we didn’t feel like we were always eating the same thing.
* Getting to know and use new ingredients; tofu, leguminous, nuts, couscous, tempeh and so on.
*Collecting all the information necessary to make sure that we were eating the right things and also to guarantee that we weren’t missing anything such as: vitamins, minerals, and proteins … (An important change like this, that affects the daily nutrional value of your diet, should be taken seriously). It is very important to be well informed.
For a little while, we prepared two meals a night, one with meat and one without meat. I just could not resign myself to not eating meat. This, however, did not last. Eventually we all became vegetarians, at home at least . Alexy and I are what they call neo-vegetarians, that means that we eat meat occasionally. So if we go to a restaurant or have supper elsewhere, we will eat meat if we feel like it.
A few anecdotes
Since people are not used to this type of diet, it sometimes lead to some comical incidents.
*At the beginning, every so often our culinary experiences didn’t turn out the way we planned… Luckily, it didn’t happen too often.
*At first my father-in-law didn’t think it was funny… He had to get used to making vegetarian meals when we went to visit.
*Once we received an invitation for a wild game supper. When I reminded him that we were vegetarian, I heard a few choice words. Oh well, better luck next time.
*Sometimes we have to be careful of what is in a dish. Once I asked if there was any meat in the dish and the answer I got was “No, just a little bit of bacon”.
On a trip to Mexico we asked if there was any meat (carne in Spanish) in the meal that we were ordering. Since our Spanish is limited, we didn’t know that carne was mainly used for beef, and that chicken is not considered as carne…
*We are often asked: if you don’t eat meat, what do you eat?
*What about protein? … A lot of people don’t know that protein is found in tofu, leguminous, nuts, eggs…
*Now, it’s rare that I eat meat and when I do, I feel very full and it takes a long time to digest. So the less meat I eat, the less craving I have for it.
*In the end the week long challenge turned out to be a lifelong challenge.
It’s now my turn to give you with the vegetarian challenge….; -O for a week… or who knows, maybe for your entire life ; -)
Dane : -)