I figure a good first blog post should include a few standard things:
1. What you’re writing about.
2. Why you’ve chosen to write about this and what makes you knowledgeable.
3. A little background about yourself.
4. Possibly why you’ve decided to write a blog in the first place.
So to start this list (and this blog) off… I want write about the challenges of being a (mostly) vegetarian (will explain more later) in a world dominated by a meat based main course. And, to further complicate my situation, we’re going to add an uber-meat eating husband to the equation.
Ever since I was little, I’ve disliked meat. I would eat it because it was on the table in front of me and my father always used guilt to get my two younger brothers and I to finish food we didn’t like (“there are starving kids in Ethiopia…”), but meat was always the last thing to disappear off my plate (unless, of course, canned spinach was involved….yuck!).
Mostly it was the texture…and the weirdness….that bothered me. I hated biting into a piece of chicken and pulling a bone out of my mouth. Even today, if I’m eating fish and I find a bone, it’s pretty much meal over. I didn’t like meat that was chewy. I didn’t like dark meat. I didn’t like the way it got all stuck in my teeth and stayed there forever. I couldn’t handle fat.
When I was eleven years old, I learned about vegetarians. Not only did they not have to eat meat, but the magazine article I read also said they were healthier overall. It sounded like a good plan to me! I told my mom right away, and being the supportive, tolerant mother that she was, she began making a meatless version of whatever she was cooking for dinner every night. She packed peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches in my lunch instead of turkey or ham and if the main course was strictly meat (ie. BBQed chicken or meatloaf), she’d make sure to have extra veggies for me.
My mom thought this would be a phase. Seventeen years later, and she’s learned I’m not giving it up anytime soon. And I don’t miss it. On occasion, a meat-based dish will offer me a tantalizing aroma, but I’ve never felt the urge to eat meat since.
There is, as I mentioned, one exception: seafood. For two reasons. #1: when I was about thirteen, I had to go to the doctor because, well, I was 13 and I knew nothing about proper nutrition. I figured it didn’t matter what I ate as long as I didn’t eat meat. And it was making me sick. I decided to compromise with seafood because… reason #2: my dad is an avid fisherman, and he catched all of his own salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp, tuna, etc. Knowing where it came from, that it was fresh and that he’d take all the bones out of it for me was a sufficient compromise. Plus, it’s delicious!
Fast forward to today, and I’ve been married for three weeks to a man I love and adore and who would do anything for me…including eating meals that are either meatless or contain soy-based products modeled after meat as a substitute.
Uuber-Goobers, Stephanie and Jim
So as we forge our new life together, meeting challenges such as when to have children and where we are going to live, we also face the daily challenge of “what’s for dinner?” And I plan to share some of these challenges as well as some of my (and Jim’s!) favorite meatless recipes here for friends, family and the occasional “lost vegetarian” as I was once called to find and enjoy.