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Vegetarian Month

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.