Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

Vegetarian for a month: The experiment


As we get older, and some of us even get a little wiser, inevitably the topic of preserving our good health creeps up in our thoughts and conversations. In a way, it is funny to see the former party crowd acting all grown-up and everything, but you gotta do what you gotta do. A lot of these thoughts are going to food and I see a trend of giving up meat.

After yet another close friend said she had stopped eating meat and feels fantastic, I decided to try it – for a while, as an experiment. My friend also said that she lost 8 kilos without even noticing and since I experience the force of gravity a little more strongly than the average person, I am always on the lookout for ways of dropping a few (while making cheesecake on the weekends).

Remember the Friends episode when Phoebe is pregnant and she craves meat and Joey, being the great friend that he is, says he will give up eating meat while she does, so the number of animals not being killed for food would be preserved? Phoebe was quite surprised, but then Joey said, “There’s no meat in beer, right? So no problem!”

So, after making sure there was no meat in chocolate, ice cream and wine, Vesko was on board and we decided that we won’t eat meat during the whole month of August.

Here are a couple of observations:

  • On one hand, this made eating out much easier. While normally I have a hard time picking between 5 dishes, now whole sections of the menu were just flipped over without consideration.
  •  On the other hand, being a vegetarian in Bulgaria is really HARD. Man, we love our meat in this country! The hardest seems to be pizza – you’ve got the Margherita and that’s about it. In this regard, as in many others, my favorite pizzeria in Sofia fails to disappoint as nearly half of their choices are meat-free. Well, maybe not half, but there’s quite a lot of variety.
  •  The habit sticks with you. The first pizza I ordered after the month was over (yes, yesterday) was Quattro fromaggi.
  •  August was one very carbohappy month – something you usually don’t see in the AG home.
  •  The thing I missed the most, to my greatest surprise, was ground beef. Because of things like nachos and stuffed peppers. I could have sworn it would have been bacon, but, alas! – I didn’t even think of bacon!
  •  People’s reactions varied between “wow, great!”, “WHY?” and “what the hell is wrong with you”. A little heavy on the what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you end of the spectrum.
  •  Total pounds dropped: 0. Looking back, perhaps we should have been less cheesecake-crazy.
  •  Well … even though I didn’t really miss meat, I love it.

The best thing about this for me was making a promise to myself and sticking to it – something I have great difficulties with lately (it seems all my willpower was consumed by quitting cigarettes and staying quit). In fact, if it wasn’t for Vesko, I would have broken it on day 12 – it was super easy while we were at the sea-side for vacation, but it got incredibly difficult when back in Sofia – mostly because August is the month during which most of our friends are back home and we go out almost every night.

In terms of how good it was for us – I really can’t say. While I do believe it was a decent form of detox (since most of the food toxins come from meat), I cannot say I felt any different. My face skin seems a little cleaner, but honestly, that’s about it.

So basically, I found out that I can be a vegetarian, but I don’t really want to. The one-month thing though … it may become an annual habit.

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