Loosen Up

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My world is really revolving around food this week, as it is for many of us. Bryce and I have been Netflix binge-watching a whole lot of Anthony Bourdain lately. As you may know, Anthony is pretty much the world’s biggest meat eater so the idea of two vegetarians watching his shows probably seems a little weird. That in combination with a recent article I read about loosening up on the vegetarian diet got me thinking. Bryce and I came to the decision that depending on the circumstances, we may loosen up on not eating meat ever ever ever again.

The article was written by a vegetarian that eats some meat semi-regularly. She asked the question, why does a vegetarian diet have to be all or nothing? I can’t say I disagree. I realized my only problem is with the label “vegetarian”. I hate being labeled as anything, but it’s helpful with social gatherings. At one point, in my department at work, there were two other vegetarians. One ate fish and the other ate fish and chicken. As you probably know, I am…a vegetarian. So I don’t eat fish or chicken. I’m not a pescetarian (eats fish but no other meat) or a flexitarian (occasionally eats meat). There are labels for all of these different ways of eating and irritating as they are, I find the labels much less irritating than explaining to my co-worker that no, I can’t eat the chicken salad she brought to the potluck even though the other vegetarian is scarfing it down.

Point is, what I did like about the article was the sense of freedom that I felt after reading it. Why do we have to be so strict? No one else is ever THAT strict in their diets. Let’s be honest, how many of us have legitimately stuck to a diet for 4 years? (OMG, it’s been FOUR YEARS?!) And why should we have to? In general, I eat intuitively, so why would I completely restrict myself from something if I eat intuitively with everything else?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a vegetarian. Meat just really doesn’t appeal to me and frankly, never really did. (And also a myriad of other reasons for why I don’t eat it that I won’t get into here because we don’t need to go there right now, mmkay?)

This story is totally embarrassing, but the other night, Bryce and I could not figure out what horribly disgusting smell had just crept into our apartment. It was sickening, we were both nauseous. Finally, it hit me. Our neighbor made bacon and the smell was wafting down the hallway. Yes, it’s been so long since we’ve had bacon that we couldn’t figure out what the smell was and it made us sick. Hah, yep, embarrassing.

So when I say we’re going to loosen up on our strict vegetarian diet, I don’t mean we’re going back to eating meat. I mean, if we are in Peru and we are at a restaurant with the world’s best ceviche, I’m not going to miss out on it. Or if we are in Paris and there is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime dish with meat in it, I’m going to try it.

But I’m still not eating turkey tomorrow.

I always find it kind of adorable when people feel sorry for me because I can’t share in whatever meat dish they are eating. Please, please don’t feel sorry for me. You are so sweet and I’m sure you are thoroughly enjoying your meal, but I am SO happy to not be eating that. I don’t like it and I don’t feel left out and I love you for caring. Exceptions are made for once in a lifetime experiences. It’s just nice to feel that tiny bit of freedom when I think about eating when I travel.

For any friends or family that got really excited during this post that they don’t have to worry about feeding us something different anymore, I’m really sorry. I know that we are a pain in your booty, but I promise we will try to make up for it in copious amounts of wine and desserts. I’m just too stubborn, and happy, to leave this way of life behind.

 

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