Monthly Archives: August 2011
For the last 30 days I stuck to a vegetarian-only diet. Just for a month, just because I could, just to see what it was like. I started thinking maybe I should postpone since there were several reasons I could think of not to do it, but ultimately I decided to just go for it.
Some people thought it was a weird experiment. The most frequently asked question I got was “who is she?” But it wasn’t motivated by anything other than, well, I don’t even know what motivated it really. I just thought it’d be cool to do something for 30 days, every 30 days, and the first thing that came to mind was to be a vegetarian. No time to wait, starting from that moment. Yeah OK maybe boredom had something to do with it.
I am here to say I lived through the experience, but it wasn’t easy. Tofu doesn’t cut it for me. Neither do veggie burgers. I don’t think anybody likes those things. It’s veggies forced to be something they’re not supposed to be. And it sucks. Let the veggies be themselves!
While most restaurants have some kind of veggie option, it’s rarely anything too good if it’s just the one thing. Like veggie burgers. And if you’ve ever tried to get a veggie option at a Burger King Burger Bar…well it’s not easy. There’s some weird combination of buttons they push then go tell the kitchen then you get your grilled cheese and fries. But it’s not that great.
There’s a restaurant in Atlanta called Soul Vegetarian. In fact, it’s vegan. It’s interesting – I wouldn’t go out of my way as a meat eater, but as a vegetarian it’s pretty creative. Like the barbecued cauliflower. It seems it’s run by a religious group, but they dress more like a cult – all in flowing white clothes and white hats. Quirky but kinda cool.
Yesterday I had my first meat in over a month. First I had a Vortex burger. For those not in the know, the Vortex is one of the best burger joints in the country. It was delicious! The second meat meal I had was a Peruvian style roast chicken from Las Brasas. It also was delicious!
But neither of these meals tasted exceptionally special. It wasn’t like there was a moment of euphoria that came from eating meat after avoiding it for a month. Instead it made me realize that eating vegetarian just felt like something was missing. Many ingredients and whole sections of the menu were effectively off limits to me. I don’t think I’ve ever sought out meat dishes at restaurants, but meat is a staple in the kitchens and it pairs well with many other ingredients.
So the up shot of this is that I’ll probably eat more vegetarian dishes than previously. At least I’ll be unafraid of asking for them. But I won’t continue the vegetarian-only diet since it feels like it’s missing something. But I’m happy I did it and now I have a much better understanding of what vegetarians go through on a daily basis.
Research on eye movement suggests that there are some strange benefits to some eye movements. For example, there seems to be a correlation between eye movement and creativity. And there also seems to be a correlation between eye movement and memory. That’s an interesting finding considering that these eye movements roughly match what you’ll do when you’re reading an actual book. But it’s not the movement you’ll be making when listening to a book on tape, or (in my experience) reading on a computer screen where you tend to move your head not your eyes. Vive la papier!
From the movie The Producers, by Mel Brooks.
Bialystock: You think you’re not in prison now? Living in a grey little room. Going to a grey little job. Leading a grey little life.
Bloom: You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I’m a nothing. I spend my life counting other people’s money – people I’m smarter than, better than. Where’s my share? Where’s Leo Bloom’s share? I want, I want, I want, I want everything I’ve ever seen in the movies!
Bialystock: Leo, say you’ll join me.
Bloom: I’ll do it. By God, I’ll do it. I’m Leo Bloom. I’m me. I can do whatever I want.
You don’t have to be talking about breaking the law to talk about doing whatever you want. We all feel like we’re trapped sometimes in our lives. Prisoners to our routine. Making money for other people. Sweeping up a pile of money to be added to the coffers of old rich men. But this prison is safety. Trading comfort for satisfaction. It offers many freedoms, don’t get me wrong. But it also has many shackles that could be thrown off if it weren’t for the safety net offered by that grey little job, inside the grey little room. That’s why we voluntarily imprison ourselves. The shackles are light. But they’re still shackles.