Wednesday, April 4

Three years without meat

Broccoli, beans, and kale growing
in a straw bale in our garden.

Three years ago this month, after I noticed a correlation between meat consumption and an increase in joint pain, I became a vegetarian. The extreme pain disappeared pretty quickly. And I have not been prevented from getting out of bed in the morning by major stiffness in my legs. I'm not saying that all my arthritis-related pain is gone but eliminating meat has made a world of difference.

It has, however, been a bit of a journey learning how to live without meat and fish. A few observations:
  1. I've not once given any serious thought to going back to eating meat. Even if someone figured out a meat that would not affect my joints I no longer have taste for it. I have lost all desire for meat.
  2. Fortunately, I have always enjoyed the plant-based foods. So the transition hasn't been hard.
  3. The taste is in the preparation. As one person put it, “I realized I didn’t like the meat I was eating. I liked the way it was prepared.”
  4. I have discovered lentils and quinoa. They are wonderful!
  5. Most every restaurant has something I can eat.
  6. I've been able to get a veggie burger at a Burger King anywhere I travel.
  7. Surprise! Denny's has the best veggie burgers.
  8. The hardest part about eating vegetarian is the feeling that you're making things difficult for a host who wants to feed you.
  9. It's not easy having to explain that you don't eat meat -- especially in a cross-cultural setting.
  10. Some meat-eaters are hell-bent on interpreting my diet as some kind of an attack on their dietary preferences. I don't quite get that.
  11. Don't expect to lose weight on a plant-based diet.
Eliminating meat three years ago was a good decision for me -- certainly no regrets.

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