Posted by: vegevores | September 27, 2011

Wherein things get challenging!

by Samantha

I’ve been having a bit of a food identity crisis. I’m not a real vegetarian and I’m not terribly disciplined even in my pseudo-vegetarianism. Supposedly, I don’t eat any four-legged animals. But just you try to remind me of that when bacon is on the table. Or when my mom makes a pot roast. I would argue that I was trying to make the change from meat eater to semi-vegetarian realistic and gradual; however, I’ve been way too lenient with myself taking this from “realistic” and “gradual” to “lax” and “not really changing anything at all.” I’ve been eating this way for over a year, so it’s time to get real.

This food crisis was brought on by a couple of elements: I’m planning to start training to be a yoga teacher early next year and many people I know who are serious about yoga are vegetarians for spiritual and health reasons. I would like to explore how not eating meat will affect my yoga practice. Also, last night my family was rightfully teasing me about how my being a vegetarian basically amounts to my saying, “I’m a vegetarian” with a mouth full of bacon.

I would like to really and truly stop eating beef and pork. I’m leaving the chicken and turkey for one reason: Thanksgiving. My sister put it best, “You can’t really be a vegetarian; by February you’re already excited for Thanksgiving turkey.” Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I looooove a good turkey leg. So I will keep the birds until Thanksgiving and then…I will really try to be a vegetarian for six months. A real one. That is one challenge I have for myself.

But wait, there’s more!

I just discovered this:

Before I even decided to start eating vegetarian, I was making a conscious effort to eat more of a whole foods diet. I cannot emphasize how much better I feel when I eat unprocessed foods and I think no matter where my life takes me or whether I stay vegetarian or succumb to the call the turkey leg, I will always eat whole food. Then again, I got a cold last week and immediately went to the grocery store and bought canned soup and boxed macaroni and cheese. It’s another sad case of “Sam thinks she eats one way but, boy howdy, if her pots and pans could talk they would tell another tale.” So, while I’m allowing myself a couple more months of bird eating, I want to take part in this challenge and I encourage you all, regardless of whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or whatever, to do the same!



  1. I think that you should accept that you’re not going to do one absolute thing and go with it! Really, as long as you’re TRYING to get to where you want to be, that’s good enough, and you should feel good about it. For me, it was easy going veg because I really didn’t like meat and I wasn’t missing anything (and still am not missing it, 20+ years later) (good god, I am old). But I recognize that for most people, it is something they would miss, and in my experience whenever I try to deprive myself altogether of something I like, I end up consuming more of it than I probably would have if I hadn’t “stopped” eating it. I do better with “as little as I can manage” rather than “none.”

    I do love the idea of cutting back on processed foods, and I’ve been trying to do that myself. Still nowhere near 100%, but realistically that’s never going to happen unless it’s the apocalypse and we become subsistence farmers.

    Anyway, give yourself some credit! 🙂

    • Thanks, Anne! I do give myself credit for having cut back on my meat consumption and doing a better job of cooking for myself as opposed to eating out or eating processed food. The reason I want to ramp it up a notch is because I’ve made a lot of exceptions that I haven’t been very mindful about to the point where I feel like I’m living my life one way and saying I’m living it another so while I feel like I’m trying to get where I want to be, I’m not sure I actually am. I want to do the 100% unprocessed challenge to see what processed foods I’m still eating without being aware of it and I want to go completely veg for a while after Thanksgiving for the same reasons. So it’s more of an awareness thing. I fully believe in cutting back as opposed to cutting things out completely; I think you’re right that complete deprivation leads to eating even more of something than you were before and I hope to be sensible. For example, the unprocessed challenge happens during October and I am here to tell you I am eating Halloween candy. I’ve never gone for diets that entail completely cutting things out and I might even make some meat exceptions during the six months I want to be “completely” veg. It’s more about being aware of what I’m actually eating.

  2. That is very reasonable! I fully support your efforts!

    I will also be eating candy. 🙂

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