Not ‘Chickening’ Out on Vegetarianism

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Nine weeks ago, I began my journey into a meat-free world. What started as a project to blog has somehow become an entirely new lifestyle. One where I have eliminated eating anything that once had a heartbeat.

In being a Vegetarian, I’ve discovered just how much meat I was actually eating per day. I’ve never been a fan of red meat, but white meat was a regular part of my diet. Chicken and Turkey might as well have called themselves my boyfriends because I was spending so much time with them. But our recent break up has been a challenge. I’ve completely cut them out of my life…much like deleting that ex-boyfriend from Facebook.

I have also spent more time observing the grocery store and discovered the strangest things. I am determined to try every kind of lettuce sold–which may take a while. I’ve cut my shopping trips by a good 5 minutes now that I don’t have to spend time picking out meat products. “Tofu” is on the top of my list every time I jot down what I need and ‘Glee’ night is now ‘Glee and salad’ night.

The real challenge has been outside the vegetable-rich bubble I call my kitchen. The alternative to meat in most restaurants is usually something unhealthy like fried vegetables, pasta dishes and desserts. People assume a vegetarian diet is healthy, but it can be the exact opposite if there is no effort to find the right food. I recently visited “Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles” for the first time and was forced to miss out on half the dining experience. Yep, I wasn’t able to try the waffles. (Just kidding.)

When done right, vegetarianism can lead to some great healthy alternatives!And while my friends may have laughed when I ordered a Greek Salad instead of chicken wings at Native New Yorker, at least I didn’t need to ask for a wet-wipe at the end of my meal.

I believe in this lifestyle, despite what my hispanic grandmothers say (Something along the lines of “you’re insane”). I know that my lack of purchasing oven-roasted turkey slices won’t diminish the meat industry, but it’s one less customer they’re having to provide products to and one less animal sacrificed on the count of feeding me.

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