I’m used to starting out each new year promising big life changes, whether it be for health, mind, home, relationships, etc., only to never fully commit to any of them. Sometimes I start the year strong but I have yet to follow through on anything. And I know I’m not unique that way. I’ve learned my lesson and have been honest with myself about how I am and didn’t make any false resolutions this New Years. However, I still want to take strides to enrich my life and hope that has a positive effect on my environment and my family. There are so many changes I would like to make but I must start small.
My husband and I have been “flexitarians” for years – I rarely cooked meat at home and when we did eat meat we usually stuck to chicken or fish (I suppose technically you’d call that a pesce-pollotarian?). Our meat intake increased when I was pregnant and my iron was low which resulted in daily roast beef sandwich cravings. And for a variety of reasons, it snowballed into cooking more and more meat at home until it became a staple in our diets again. I guess in my mind, as the working mother of a small toddler, I rationalized it as easier because meat becomes your main dish and then you just fill in the plate around it. However, I’ve noticed a few things since we’ve added meat back into our regular diet. We have gained weight, our daily ailments have increased (dull headaches, sore joints, just general feelings of ‘blah’) and our grocery bill is higher.
Now that’s not to say I blame meat for all of these things – that would be dumb. I could definitely exercise more, switch out more caffeine for more water and get back into couponing and extreme budgeting as I used to do. But, I do see heavy meat eating/cooking as my personal gateway to a slew of other poor behaviors and habits that have seeped back into my life.
For this reason, I have decided to try to go vegetarian for Lent. Now, some points of clarification:
- Although I was christened as such, I do not identify myself as Catholic. I just consider Lent to be a good block of time to measure by. And I’ve always liked the idea of a personal sacrifice with the goal of gaining more insight and self-awareness.
- I am not anti-meat-eating. As an aside, I do think Americans in general consume way too much meat to be considered a balanced diet which contributes to a large amount of health issues and ugly things no one wants to talk about like inhumane treatment of animals to meet demand.
- Notice I said I will “try” to go vegetarian. I don’t expect to be perfect and I’m not going to abide by strict vegetarian doctrine, but I will make my best effort to live 40 days meat free. Why? Just to see what happens.
I’m not sure how successful I will be, but I do hope that by being more conscious of my food intake it will influence other choices in my life and will lead to positive effects on my environment and my family.
I hope to document my journey here to keep track of my thoughts and experience and hold myself a little accountable.