Sunday, October 18, 2009

99% Vegetarian

Our diet has never been heavy in the meat category. Chicken, fish, the occasional pork or ground turkey would grace our plates; beef had been cast away for the past couple of years. Overall, Sara and I estimate that we were already around 75% vegetarian.

But a couple of weeks ago, we dove into the deep end and committed ourselves to a MMM (mostly meatless meals) lifestyle by ramping up to 99% vegetarian. The only hold out: bacon (for Sara) and the occasional fish. I've been totally meat-free for three weeks, so it will be interesting how I handle the next wave of seafood fare.

The two oldest kids (6 and 4) present an interesting dilemma. We have decided to not force them to give up meat -- both for dietary reasons and the fact that we want to encourage the maturation of their decision making. But they have been fine, taking in a chicken nugget here and turkey sandwich there. We're grateful that their young palettes are so willing to try new things.

All of the success so far goes to Sara and her prowess in the kitchen. It's amazing what can pull together; it keeps things interesting and far from routine. We've tapped into a few new cook books from the library, as well as getting some newbie tips from this starter guide at Vegetarian Times. The bonus: Our grocery bills are down a bit because we're buying a lot of staples (beans, legumes, rice) in bulk. And we're squeaking out the last bit of fresh veggies from the local seasonal harvest (and looking ahead to some of the winter time farmers markets to see how we'll keep the local stuff coming).

For us, this all makes sense: Healthier eating that is more in line with environment. The toll that the raising, slaughtering, packaging, and shipping of animal products is well documented. We hope our little bit of a MMM lifestyle will result in a win-win for our family and the earth.

For some added inspiration, I'm thinking of picking up a few books by Michael Pollan through the inter-library loan system. Has anyone read any of these? Thoughts? Is anyone else out there finding success with a vegetarian lifestyle? Feel free to share your story.


Anonymous said...

We have been pescetarians for over a year (plus) now. We dropped meat and poultry from our diet but still eat fish. We do eat some dairy and cage free eggs.

I also share the love of bacon and have somehow justified it in my mind that bacon is not meat, it is a gift from the Pig Gods that occasionally lands on my plate through no fault of my own on the salad or baked potato while dining out. I have not bought bacon in well over a year.

I am a big fan of Mark Bittman's books, Michael Pollan and others that advocate for sustainable eating.

Jessica G.

Tillerman said...

Yes, yes yes, read Pollan. He changed the whole way I think about food.