30 Before 30, Food, Goals

30 Before 30: Living the Flexitarian Life

I have a list of 30 things I’d like to do before I turn 30. I’ve got at least 25 items left on this list, and since I turn 30 in just over a month, I think it’s safe to say that I won’t accomplish everything on this list. However, since today is October 8, 2012, that means one thing:

I have officially gone six months without eating beef, pork, or chicken!

Initially, I put this on the list just because I wanted to challenge myself. I set a start date of April 8, 2012 and spent weeks gathering meat-free meals on Pinterest.   Although I allowed myself to eat fish and shellfish, I eventually found myself making mostly vegetarian meals– and enjoying them!  It’s been a challenging, rewarding experience.

What have I learned?

Chicken grosses me out. I do not miss it at all.  It is highly unlikely that I will ever eat it again.  My mom, who I affectionately call Marvs, baked some chicken the other day and the smell of it made my stomach lurch.

I never ate much pork to begin with; Marvs doesn’t eat pork and only cooked it for my dad. After they separated, we were a porkless environment.  The only pork I ate before this challenge was bacon, and honestly?  Bacon makes everything taste better. So I’ll probably eat bacon again. Sparingly.

I missed red meat the most. Marvs, again, doesn’t eat red meat. But dining out when I was a kid meant that my dad would get a steak, and he’d let me have a few bites, and I loved it. I love steak, I love burgers.  I just do.  It was the only form of meat I’d craved. So I’m taking myself on a lunch date to Uncle Jack’s this Friday. I just hope my stomach isn’t too angry with me.

In all likelihood,  I will not return to my meat-with-almost-every-meal ways.  I just like how my body feels when it doesn’t have to work as hard to digest what I put into it.  And eating like a vegetarian wasn’t that difficult once I got into a groove.  It forced me to be creative with my meals, to really think about what I was eating.  Eating fast food is nearly impossible when you don’t eat meat (which is great, because who really needs to eat fast food anyway?).  I won’t cook meat in my home…but I don’t think I’m opposed to eating meat on an occasional basis, perhaps every 3 or 4 months.  I guess that would make me a flexitarian?