Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Soy Burgers Suck

It’s the Fourth of July, probably the biggest day for grilling of the whole year, and I don’t eat meat, at least for now.

I haven’t eaten a single animal product (outside of cheese and milk) for about four weeks. Why? Do I think it’s cruel to eat dead animals? No. Do I have a moral issue with carnivores? No. Do I have issues with cholesterol? Yes. Do I have body image issues? Absolutely. Name one woman in her thirties who doesn’t. Name a woman who doesn’t at any age, actually.

So, there you have it. The real reasons I’m going vegetarian have less to do with ethics and more to do with vanity than anything else. I admit that my sudden vegetarianism is a thin veil for weight loss, a last ditch effort not to have to take up running again, not to get off my ass several fast miles a week like I used to.

Also, my annual check-up is scheduled for later this month, my birth month (DOB 7.20.75), and I owe my doctor a lower cholesterol count from last year’s check-up. I’m expecting an earful, plus a possible prescription for cholesterol lowering meds, like the ones my mother has taken since her 30s. Something tells me my last minute vegetarian cholesterol pullout tactics won’t make my doctor’s cut. The same goes for when I admit that I’ve completely abandoned running, yoga and even walking around the block.

Party tents are popping up all along the block. Coolers are being filled with ice. My neighbor painted her fingernails red, white and blue, her annual tradition. Soon she’ll make a vodka run for her patriotic colored Jell-O shots. When’s the last time I had a Jell-O shot? I feel old.

I just got back from that same neighbor’s house. I took a break from refereeing the kids with their older friend who slept over last night. Anyway, at my neighbor’s I helped skewer marinated beef between pineapple wedges, red onions and bell peppers. Ironic. The new vegetarian dips her hands in meat on the biggest BBQ day of the year (and finds herself tempted). The teriyaki marinade smelled so good.

The Lawyer asked me why “their side of the street” looks so fun, with all of its tents, grills and American flags flying high. “Why aren’t we having people over? Why can’t we have a barbecue?”

Because we just had one last night and Daddy doesn’t feel like it today.

“Man, we’re so boring sometimes,” The Lawyer shrugged.

Yeah. I agree. I wish we were having a big party today too. And, frankly I’m bored.

… Off to the café to work on an article. Thankful to have paying work.

Later I’ll take the kids door to door along our street’s block party. We’ll walk to the stand outside the neighborhood 7-Eleven for fireworks and blow cheap stuff up for kicks.



At 4:30 PM, Blogger Whit said...

My wife and I went veggie for about 4 months earlier this year. I never could eat any fake meat of any kind. I would rather just not have "meat" than freaking tofu crap.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a flexitarian (I eat chicken occasionally)for about 7 years- i ate salad and french fries the first year!! It took a good couple of years to really find my vegetarian groove- I am not a big fan of meat replacement products but I have found a few- and I make the best veggie stroganoff!! enjoyimg the summer??

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Kirsten said...

I say you can be non-meat eater and still BBQ! Gardenburgers are delicious! Watermelon is healthy! Grill some zucchini!

Sorry you sound so bummed, but hopefully you'll find your stride soon.

Happy 4th!

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fergetaboutit, have a steak and relax. All will be OK.
Love you.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Some food for thought

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Hi, just found your blog! I went veggie almost 7 years ago...started off vegan for the first 2 years, then added dairy back in during my first pregnancy. I did lose a little more than 20 pounds right off the bat...probably within 2 months, and have kept it off eating whatever i want. I didn't go veggie to lose weight, but I did have some extra weight that was definitely not missed! I went veggie first for the moral issue...not wanting to support the mass-farming of animals and all that entails including growth hormones, antibiotics, horrible living conditions, inhumane slaughtering, etc. But I stayed veggie for the health benefits. My cholesterol, which was never really a problem to be honest, is always around 140, my weight is stable and healthy, and I just feel good. The biggest hurdle is the first few months when you are getting acclimated to "what to eat"...visiting health food stores which are a huge asset to the vegetarian offering LOTS of choices. I've found a non-meat, non-soy meat alternative which is wnderful, even my meat eating husband loves it...Quorn! It really tastes just like chicken, and it comes in many forms. If you're having trouble going without meat, that's a good way to go. It takes time to adjust to a new lifestyle, but if you stick with it, it does get a LOT easier. I still sometimes smell meat cooking (especially the grilled kind!) and have an urge to eat it, but for th most partI'm very satisfied with what I eat. There really is more than salad and french fries!! Good luck!!

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

I saw your comment over at Kim's blog and wanted to stop by. :)

I haven't given up meat yet, but I hope to be working my way there. We have made a vow to include 2-3 meatless meals into our diet each week, I suppose as a slow transition. It's helped the budget as well as our health. I never knew how great beans could be! lol

I just wanted to say good for you and pass on some encouragement. Not that I can offer from personal experience, but I can only say that I am so surprised w/ the # of vegetarian meals out there! For an ydietary switch, I try to experiement w/ at least 1 new recipe each week. It keeps it from getting boring!

Good luck. :)

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Bill said...

I've been a vegetarian for 6 months and I haven't lost a pound, but I drink a lot of beer so...

At 10:42 PM, Blogger suburbancorrespondent said...

I lose way more weight leaving the meat in my diet, but cutting out the dairy. Not something I did willingly, mind you, but my firstborn turned out to be violently allergic to the stuff; so dairy-free has become a way of life. Except for the past 6 weeks - he went off to work at Boy Scout camp for the summer, and the rest of the family indulged in what we like to call a DairyFest. And I've gained a good 5 pounds. He comes home next week, so hopefully I will be shedding these pounds soon.

At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Rabboleth said...

Hated going veggie. For some odd reason, even with everything done right, my complection went all to hell. Didn't get better until I switched back to consuming sensible amounts of a wide variety of lean and healthy meats. Ah well. Seems "omnivore" is a continuum. Some are more carnivorous, while others are more herbivorous, and others still are near the middle.
Ah well. Whatever anyone says, even the so-called experts, if it works it's good.
Bon appetit and much luck, folks :D

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