Monday, August 29, 2011

My first meatless social weekend

So far my transition to a diet with no meat has gone much easier than I expected.  Considering I originally set out to gradually cut out meat and replace my food stock with meat free and unprocessed foods, the fact that I unexpectedly went cold turkey (no pun intended) has not been difficult for the most part.  This weekend was my first time eating socially since I made my vegetarian-ish decision.  Friday was my first "test" so to speak.  I played at a field hockey game with the pep band.  They started handing out free boxed meals from Penn Station Subs.  My initial reaction was "hell yeah i'll take a free meal!", until I remembered I was no longer eating meat and stopped myself.  I'm sure those initial reactions will gradually change.  It's funny how much we are creatures of habit.  I did however snatch a couple Doritos from someone.  That's the best part anyway. :-)

Saturday was the Brew at the Zoo.  It's a fund raising event where you taste various beer, wine, and food vendors, mostly local.  I was a bit concerned going into it.  Once you get a few drinks in you sometimes you forget your good intentions!  I was happy that I had no trouble sticking to my guns.  Although they had several items such as wings, barbecue, burgers, etc., I stuck to the meatless options and was very satisfied!  I even tried an appetizer with a small piece of ahi tuna, which i'm normally not a fan of, and it was actually pretty good!

Sunday Tim and I went out to dinner for his birthday.  I wasn't concerned about finding something meatless, as most restaurants have several dishes (although most people probably don't even realize that until you stop and think about it).  I decided to try a roasted mushroom and goat cheese panini, something I normally don't get because the mushrooms don't have a lot of flavor much of the time.  I figured worst case scenario I would just pull of most of the mushroom.  They actually knew how to prepare roasted mushrooms however, and it had a great char grilled flavor!  We also had some fried pickle spears as an appetizer, which is my favorite fried food of all time.  Thank goodness I don't have to give up that!  LOL

Today at work was the first time I actually had to tell someone that I was no longer eating meat.  I'm not making a big deal out of it since I don't believe in preaching my decisions and/or beliefs to others.  In my experience observing others who were vegetarians deal with this I know people can be really judgemental and/or weird about it.  I just casually mentioned it to a coworker as we were getting lunch, and to my surprise they weren't judgemental or weirded out at all.  We had a good conversation about what vegetarians eat (her daughter has not eaten meat for a while now), and what meat substitutes were good and not so good.  So far that's been the general attitude i've come across.  Although there are many people out there that are so anti vegetarian they'd eat an entire side of beef to prove their point, I think Americans have come a long way in the last couple of decades on alternative ways of eating.  I feel lucky to have made this decision after people have become more accepting and supportive about vegetarianism.

I am trying a meat free Italian sausage from Morningstar Farm as my new food item for the week.  This kind of happened out of default.  I picked up a package a couple weeks ago because I was intrigued (i've been a big fan of their vegetarian sausage patties for years).  After making the decision to go meatless I remembered that my BFF was having a cookout for my birthday this weekend, with hot dogs and all the trimmings.  Oops!  Although I like many of the veggie burgers on the market i've never  been a fan of the veggie dogs.  I have seen some good reviews on the Italian sausage so i'm hoping for the best!  Plus they will be cooked on the grill which makes a huge difference in even regular burgers and hot dogs.  We are also having a sundae bar for dessert, so worst case scenario i'll just pig out on ice cream.  That wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit! :-D

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