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  1. Challenges Need not Be So Challenging

    February 13, 2013 by betaman

    So, why go vegetarian? I mean, aside from the health benefits and positive impact on our planet. Why me, when I’m relatively healthy and love a good piece of meat so much!

    Someone near and dear to my heart, who wishes to keep such matters private, will be undergoing painful treatments for the next 24 weeks or so. Others I love have vowed to make their own personal sacrifices during this time to show their support. I considered a few different ways to do the same but nothing felt just right. Then I decided to give up meat.

    Nobody has challenged me to do this but myself. I am my own coach, judge and scorekeeper. And rather than look at it as a sacrifice with challenges to overcome everyday, I have decided to make this a game I can enjoy.

    Yesterday I could’ve had a hot pastrami sandwich, an all time personal favorite. Yes, I may have enjoyed eating it at the time, with my new goal clearly in my mind I felt even better saying no. Besides, I enjoyed some of the best Dim Sum I’ve had in a very long time instead. And the proud feeling I had after picking out and tossing the succulent center of my steamed pork bun has lasted much longer than the temporary bliss I would have surely enjoyed by tasting it.

    I would much rather reign triumphant over these tiny things than feel like a failure for a moment of physical pleasure. So I play this game to win. And every time I pass on the tasty meat dish, I score.

    Challenge? Bring it!


  2. Weighing In on the Vegetarian Diet

    February 12, 2013 by betaman

    For the record, I am not doing this for dietary purposes. Though I do understand the great benefits of consuming less animal based protein and fat. There is a difference between nutrition and diet. And I am more concerned about healthy nutrition than what I allow in my diet.

    For the record, I am not nor have I ever been considered obese. But I have definitely never considered myself slim either. I have, however, always had a gut which I hope to reduce in size as a result the change in my dietary changes over the next few months.

    For the record, today I officially weigh 200 lbs, a number I have hovered just below for the past few years. They say muscle weighs more than fat, but I’m not fooling myself. The pants have definitely felt tighter for quite a while now. That’s about to change.


  3. A Little Help Helps

    February 11, 2013 by betaman

    As my wife told me, I couldn’t be in a more challenging place to try going vegetarian. But as Yoda once said…

    “There is do or not do, there is no try.”

    I have always liked visiting my wife’s family and enjoyed her mom’s cooking. But eating vegetarian is not easily done in this house, where every meal includes some sort of sweet smelling meat. The challenge, however, is not so much about the abundant choices at hand, but the serious lack of moral support.

    When I mentioned my plan to stop eating meat, the first reaction was one of utter confusion. “I guess you’ll have to cook for yourself then.” Then came the pork chops.

    Shortly before I had my vegetarian epiphany, I had taken a pork chop out of the freezer for dinner. After I decided to give up meat, I offered it up instead of throwing it out. Tonight it was prepared, along with four others – for two people since I was making a Caesar Salad for the wife and myself. “You’re missing out on these pork chops,” was the first discouraging comment. Followed by “So and so gave up on that eating vegetarian…” Sigh.

    Some people just don’t get it, and never will. Luckily, my wife gets it and is offering plenty of encouragement. I didn’t expect anything less, considering she’s been a vegetarian for 20+ years. Watch her now try to go vegan again. Sigh.


  4. Day One

    February 10, 2013 by betaman

    Left on my own in a home full of meat and dairy products, while my wife and her parents were away for the weekend, I figured it might be tough starting down my path to vegetarianism. Not so much.

    Soyrizo Vegan SausageI scored by finding some Soyrizo and leftover potatoes. Since eggs are not on my list of forbidden foods I enjoyed another yummy meal on my first day as a vegetarian. And since I’m used to eating salads for dinner a few days a week anyway, today was no different than any other…

    Except for the fact that when I grabbed a Summer Sausage while rooting through the fridge for some cheese, I put it back with a grin instead of cutting off a big hunk to eat with my salad.

    Score one for the vegetarian.


  5. The Last Supper

    February 9, 2013 by betaman

    Bok Choy Ink on Paper by Wu ChangshuoIf you are vegetarian, do you recall your last meat meal? Was it memorable, or a mistake?

    I didn’t want my last meat to a mess of nachos I made with some leftover short ribs, refried beans and mounds of cheese that didn’t quite agree with me. I also didn’t want the premium popcorn chicken from Schwans that I had in the freezer to go to waste.

    Knowing it would be the last meat I choose to eat for at least the next 24 weeks, I made myself a scrumptious sweet and sour sauce chicken dish and a huge plate of baby bok choy lightly braised with a dash of soy sauce, sesame oil and loads of garlic.

    Satisfied, and feeling good, I enjoyed my last supper knowing that there are plenty of yummy meals yet to be enjoyed, without the meat.


  6. The Epiphany

    February 8, 2013 by betaman

    We all must make sacrifices.

    People in third world countries sacrifice basic necessities like clean water without even having a choice. Cancer patients sacrifice quality of life for more time with their loved ones. Diabetics will give up an appendage, or sometimes two, for the lifestyle choices they make.

    I have my own personal reasons for giving up something I enjoy so much. Meat.

    fresh organic grass fed lamb chops

    Organic Grass Fed Lamby Chops

    One would think that after living with a vegetarian for 17+ years, this would be easy. But don’t underestimate my love of a tender charbroiled pink chop from a grass fed lamb I knew by name.

    This journey of better health and dietary contentment may not last forever, that is not my goal. But we shall see what happens over the next 25 weeks as a vegetarian.

    These are the chronicles of a meat lover gone veg.