counting down, philosophizin’

The Lent season is coming to an end (54 hours and 2 minutes), and so is the vegetarian challenge. For the 2-3 of you that are still following along, this was hardly the hardship that we feared it might be. And it opened our eye to some things that we otherwise just wouldn’t have really thought of beforehand. Necessity is the mother of invention.

  • Vegetarian vs vegan.  Giving up cheese would be damned hard.  I found that we didn’t use as many eggs as I thought we might, so that wasn’t really an issue.  We don’t really drink much milk, but the losing the flavor that butter brings to vegetables would be something I’m sure I’d miss.
  • Without question, we found ourselves eating more carbs, so the challenge there was making sure that outside of our consumption of ethyl hydroxide (sorry I married a chemistry major), that we limited our high glycemic carbohydrate intake.  Less bread, pasta, candy, sugars, etc. and more whole grains, brown rice, wheat, etc.
  • One thing that I gained an appreciation of is the relative indifference we exhibit with regard to the source of meat in our average diet.  While I’m not here to push any particular religious ideal, what I think is relevant is to ask:  where does my meat come from?  If you don’t know, should you eat it?  I won’t answer this one yes or no, but it’s a worthy question.
  • Tofu is only as good as what it goes with.  Sorry, that’s been my experience, and if anyone knows better, I’m all ears.
  • As I mentioned before, ethnic food is far better suited to vegetarianism than what we’re accustomed to as an American diet.
  • Greek yogurt and Kashi go lean cereal provide about 40% of RDA protein requirements.  Just sayin’.
  • Keep in mind, this is done during the time when the produce availability is pretty thin.  My farmer’s market is reduced to about 5-10% capacity in comparison to what they have in the summer and fall.  With a bunch of fresh herbs, squash and tomatoes, it should be easier.
  • I think it was an even split between missing fish more than red meat.

I suppose the biggest question is how will it change us?  I’m not sure yet, it may not.  I can imagine that we’ll revert back to comfort as we most often do and resort to things that are easy if not poorly thought out.  What I do hope we leave it with is a greater appreciation for the source of the things we eat, particularly meat.

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