90% Vegetarian, By Accident (Part One)

It didn’t happen on purpose.

It didn’t happen intentionally.

It didn’t happen because I am a good person concerned about the well-being of animals.

It didn’t happen because I disliked eating meat or was concerned about being healthy.

It happened because I am stubborn and strange and like challenging myself by giving up something for Lent every year, even though I am not Catholic.

My family isn’t Catholic and my friends aren’t Catholic (as far as I know).  I am just odd.

But somehow, 40 days as a Vegetarian actually changed my taste-buds.

I became MOSTLY-Vegetarian, for reals. And a year later, it has still stuck.

via: troubleintulle.com
via: troubleintulle.com

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT IN 40-DAY INCREMENTS:

I have written before about resolutions and how I generally dislike them. Most habits, good and bad, are developed slowly over time. I don’t believe in suddenly waking up one day and declaring, “I Shall No Longer (fill in the blank)!!”

That’s not how my mind works at least. I like to have realistic and attainable, if still lofty, goals in my life. Which to me are then accomplished though little changes and constant growth. Step by step, you can improve yourself little by little.

And this is why I like Lent. A forty-day challenge is completely manageable. You can do (or not do) anything for just over a month in my opinion, if you have the willpower. And there is a clear end date which always helps. It really is a sprint, not a marathon, the finish line always within view.

So a couple years ago I got into this whole Fake-Lent-Kick and usually try and pick something that I think will be vaguely good for me and fairly easy to give up. (ie: I probably won’t ever give up cheese, because no one wants to be around me if I am going through dairy-withdrawls. I am not a pleasant person without cheese in my life.)

In the past I have given up a variety of things, almost always food related: prepackaged foods, fast food (or anything from a drive-through), soda, bread, french fries, desserts, hot chocolate (that was a rough one), etc.

I do it for me, and to push myself, and to be slightly obnoxiously unique… not for particularly religious or lofty purposes.

Via: gilroydispatch.com
Via: gilroydispatch.com

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THE CHALLENGE:

So last year, feeling particularly lazy, I decided to pick something that I thought would be a walk in the park…

Meat. Any and all, fish included. I would completely give it up and become vegetarian for 40 days. (Once again, not vegan because of my strict-cheese-dependencies.)

Afterall, especially being single and living alone, I rarely cooked meat besides the occasional chicken breast or crock-pot pot-roast/pulled pork/chili, primarily cooked for a dinner party.  Most of the animal I consumed was when eating out, which to be honest, I probably did too often anyways.

I felt like I really didn’t eat meat that often, so giving it up would be easy-peasy, mac-and-cheesy.

I did research on being vegetarian to see what I needed to keep an eye out for regarding getting the necessarily protein and nutrients for my health. I Pinterest-ed a ton of easy make at home vegetarian options.

I was ready to phone these forty days in, like a lazy rock star.

via: londontimes.us

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EASY AS YOU PEAS:

At first, it was just as simple as I thought it would be. I was cooking a ton of new fun dishes at home, bringing lunches in to work and enjoying this delicious new endeavor.

I fell in love with kale and quinoa and spaghetti squash, soy and any/all legumes.

My confidence with whipping together tasty and multi-faceted meals and accompanying Pinterest boards, began to grow exponentially.

Being a vegetarian was EASY, guys! It was amazing and tasty (and totally played into the mis-impression some of my co-workers have of me being a hipster). I started to wonder why I had waited this long! Why had I ever eaten meat? Meat was dumb and boring and ugh and sat so heavvvvvvvvvvvy in your gut.

Veggies were happy! And sunshiny! And tasty!

And then Day Two of Lent began.

via: pinterest.com
via: pinterest.com

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TO BE CONTINUED….

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6 thoughts on “90% Vegetarian, By Accident (Part One)

  1. I’m interested to see how this plays out! You seem a lot more determined than I, but I remember one time my sister challenged me to be vegetarian for a week. (By the 6th day we were both struggling).

    For me, embracing vegetarianism is more strategic.

    Poor student + expensive meat = mostly vegetarian diet

    I was wondering if you’d like to share some of the veggie recipes you’ve discovered?

    1. Thanks again, @stepherz08.
      So it looks like this is turning into a three parter, so below is a link to my Pinterest food board, which is all delicious vegetarian dishes.

      I will certainly include a couple of my favorites in part three, especially some that are great on a budget.

      1. Wow is it love or is it vegetables, thanks for sharing. I am currently wiping the drool from my keyboard as I scroll through your pinterest.

  2. Thanks for reading my silly little story! I always find it interesting to hear from others who have tried the whole vegie thing, for whatever (moral, financial, etc) reasons.
    And I will most certainly include some recipes on Part Two when I finish up my tale. That is a wonderful suggestion… I have this kale/tomato soup which is the best.
    Thanks for your comment!

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