Meatless March is over. I won’t lie, I snarfed down pizza at midnight. O, I missed thee, cheese. It was as delicious as I remember. I also have a freezer with a bunch of frozen meat just waiting to be eaten.
So what am I to do?
One of the things I noticed about this month was the reaction of people to my decision. (Also, how many confused the idea of “doing this for a month” with “lent.”) There were many comments of “why?!” and “Are you nuts?!” to “Are you going to keep doing it?” There was not a lot of support out there, really. I mean, several friends did (Susan, Katie, Kerry, Addi..), but most people were just flabbergast and seemed to figure I was just lusting after animal products and the end of the month.
They were partly correct. I did want me some cheese and other dairy. Or a burger. But while I did miss it, I did not find my diet lacking. I learned to cook tempeh and saitan. Even tofu. I experimented with veggies and beans. Seaweed became a staple, as did broccoli and avocado.
Thoughts on eating: it was not that bad, totally doable.
There was also the immediate health results. I felt better, lighter, and more energized. I also lost a bit of weight, breaking my plateau and losing some of the weight I had regained. Now, I am willing to admit that this was probably also due to the the fact that since I wanted to do vegan “right,” I ate a lot of veggies and beans. I did not eat a ton of processed food. I also hit the beginning of the month hard on the exercise front. Those two things probably contributed. However, exercise excluded, it was easier to stay away from processed foods because almost all of them contain animal products. This made them off limits.
Thoughts on health: Either directly or indirectly, it had a positive effect.
Now, the big question: Will I continue down this hippie-tastic path?
Yes and no.
For one, I have lots of frozen meat in my freezer that needs to be consumed. I also love cheese and sushi and chocolate. It is also extremely inconvenient to be vegan at most restaurants.
The solution to the problems vegan eating present? I will be vegan five days out of seven until the meat in my freezer is gone. After that, I will not buy animal products (dairy or meat) for my home (unless I need them to cook something for an occasion). After that, if I am out, I will reign in the inner hippie. Also, if I am eating at someone’s home and they prepare non-vegan food, I will eat it happily. I will not be fussy.
I think that this will be the best for me. So in the end, I will be an omnivore with vegan tendencies.