On July 5th I decided I wanted to be a vegetarian. It was sort of out of the blue. It’s something I thought about when I was doing my juice fast, but it wasn’t something I was fully committed to doing. I have a habit of starting and stopping things like this. But for some reason this became really important to me. I was determined.
I’ve always said I couldn’t be a vegetarian because I hate most vegetarian protein sources. I realized pretty quickly that beans and legumes are not the only options. Plus there were some bonuses when it came to being a vegetarian. Suddenly I had permission to eat bread again. I love breads and pastas and have always thought they were pretty evil to my body. I still think I should limit them, but to suddenly have them back on the table (pun intended) was a good thing. A very good thing.
Of course I also failed at being a good vegetarian more than once. The two times I know about involved Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup. Why does Panera use a chicken stock instead of a vegetable stock for this? I’m learning about animal products in all sorts of things I never thought about. I decided to become a vegetarian for reasons related to my health and the environment. This leaves me (in my mind) a little more flexibility when it comes to things like soup made with chicken stock. (Although I still really wish Panera would create a vegetarian recipe for Broccoli Cheddar soup.)
My first serious challenge was spending five days in Chicago for BlogHer. It was back to back events. Lots of food. Lots of appetizers and grazing and samples. I wasn’t sure I was going to come home still a vegetarian. But deep dish pizza can be vegetarian. And although I’m not promising something didn’t sneak in (sort of like that chicken stock), to the best of my knowledge I remained a vegetarian the entire time. It actually made me try things I wouldn’t have normally selected and I found a few new favorite things.
Now that a month has passed I’m still not craving things like I thought I would. I’m feeling like I can really do this. I’m already thinking of the holidays and how that will go. (I’ll have to skip out on some of my favorite dishes if I’m going to stick with this.) Meanwhile, my next steps will involve moving towards a healthier vegetarian diet. (Less breads and ice cream, more vegetables and fruit.)
Have any favorite vegetarian recipes? Feel free to share them with me!