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Vegetarianism and the path not taken

I’ve always had a tendency to embrace the different, the abnormal, the path not taken.  I’ve been called white bread, main stream or even normal by those who haven’t taken the time to know me.  I’ve always felt that it was the 1 or 2 percent of the population that leads the flock.  Not that I’m part of that 1 or 2 percent, but those people are my heros.  In a flock of white sheep, I’m not the black sheep.  God knows being an out right radical would take too much energy and I’m already working hard not to be lazy.  If you understand that sentence, you understand me.  I’m more of a grey sheep.  The sheep who doesn’t clean up with the rest of the flock, the one who says, “hey, lets take this muddy path, the grass just might be greener”.   Yes, of course, 80 percent of the time, it’s just a muddy path, but wow, those other times are what make all the difference.

Some Day

I thought that if being my own boss, didn’t work out I’d just go back to being a normal sheep and get a job like everyone else.  Life is interesting.  Life doesn’t allow me to make easy decisions  like that, something always stands in my way.  I’ve always had a fear of the end, the long nap, the transition, change.  I guess it is more of a fear of the unknown.  I’ve known many people who have gone on without me.  My Great-grandparents,Grandparents, my Father, my brother, aunts and uncles, close personal friends.  Each a every one of us must deal with death in our own way and face it alone.  I’m going to be 60 this next year, too late to go back, my path has been chosen.  Twice in my life I was told I wouldn’t live to see that birthday.  Four other times I shouldn’t have lived at all.  God must have a purpose for me.  Please God, show me what it is.

My Path

I’ve had an amazing life.  A life very few people have or will be blessed enough to enjoy.  I don’t need a bucket list, because I’ve done most everything I’ve ever wanted to do.  I was given the gift of “jump” early in my life and in a small way it allowed me to be part of an elite group.  I’ve been a winner and I’ve been a loser.  I always learn more when I lose.  I’ve made a couple of good choices but I’ve guessed mostly wrong or was not given a choice at all in most of the changes in my life.  No regrets, none.

I digress

Sorry, my first bloody mary just kicked in and I lost my train of thought.  My point was vegetarianizum

To be or not to be

Vegetarian Times shows that there are roughly 7.3 million vegetarians in the U.S.  An additional 22.8 million are flexi-tarians, which means they try to be vegetarians but eat meat every once in a while.  Of the 7.3 million vegetarians, 1 million are vegans who don’t eat any animal based foods at all.  I’ve been a vegetarian for 88 days now.  It really hasn’t been hard, I’ve even cooked meat dishes for others.  I’ve come to the point now that I need a change.  I’m finding myself eating way too much cheese and dairy, which doesn’t allow me to reach my goal of reversing any plaque or heart disease I might have.

Today is Christmas day.  My Mother, my brother and his wife and my wife are all going to cook a nice Christmas meal together.  I’m going to join in the consumption of meat.  Today will start the next phase of my plan.  I am intending to take the next step.  After today, I will become a Vegan.  Yes, I can say the word now.  I plan on eating meat or dairy only 1 time per week and transition to eating meat or dairy 1 time per month for the entire year of 2012.  But my main focus will be strictly a plant-based diet with no eggs, cheese, milk or meat.

Wish me Luck

Wish me luck, is a line for those who still don’t know me.  I believe that luck is the point where preparation meets opportunity.

Conclusions

I’m happy doing this,  join the 2 percent if you dare.  What do you have to lose?  You can always go back, right?  Take it one day at a time. – jughandle

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL YOU FAT FARMERS OUT THERE.

Nov 1 marks 5 weeks of my Plant-based diet and counting

5 weeks

I told you that I’d weigh in on November 1 to let you know if eating a plant-based diet helps me lose weight as well as improves my health.  I just weighed in 14 pounds lighter than I was on September 27th when I started this thing.  14 pounds is no great feat, I’m well aware, but I haven’t intentionally tried to reduce my calorie intake.  All I’ve done differently is to not eat meat.  I’ve lost roughly 1/2 lb a day without trying.

Difficulty factor

On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being impossible to do, I’d say that for the first 3-4 weeks it was a difficulty factor of 3.   The last week I’ve been having cravings, mostly because I’m bored with the same old beans and greens.  Last week was a 7 on the scale.  I’m going to continue on my quest for clean arteries through the holiday season, which is going to be no mean feat because I’m going to be cooking for a family of meat eaters over Thanksgiving.  I’m going to feature a nice vegetable dish as the main course with side dishes of meat and fish as needed.  Of course I’ll cook a turkey for Thanksgiving more than likely.

Remember, I don’t have the greatest will power.  Because I’ve had cancer twice and have stared death in the eye, I truly believe that we shouldn’t put off enjoying living.  Life is short and the older you get the more you’ll realize just how short.  Enjoy yourself but don’t take unnecessary risks that might shorten your time on earth.  I don’t care if you believe in the “great void”, heaven, or reincarnation, you’ll only be in this body once, so make the best of it.

This is just an update so I won’t preach to you today.  More on reversing heart disease later in the week – jughandle

Plant Based Diet Progress Report

Three Weeks

It has been close to 3 weeks since I ventured into the realm of meatless eating.  The results so far have been surprisingly good.  I’ve told a few people that I’ve been meatless for 3 weeks and they instantly laugh, like that is no big deal.  Try it, I respond.  I’ve even been able to cook meat for other people without craving it myself.

Where’s the Beef

I haven’t missed meat in the very least.  I’ve been posting meatless recipes lately with the help of my followers and they are very good, not to mention, filling and satisfying.  Finding recipes and adjusting our family shopping habits has been more difficult than not eating meat.

System

My system has changed, and without becoming too graphic, suffice it to say that I am now very regular and seem to process my food very efficiently.  I actually like eating this way.  I’ve been drinking Matcha Green Tea, which has most definitely increased my metabolism and I still drink copious amounts of filtered water.

What foods I find to be Good

I have been eating a lot of beans and gourds.  We have found at least 5 different types of dried beans which have been the staple of my diet and we’ve eating at least 4 different types of squash.  I eat lettuce or cabbage at almost every meal.  I haven’t worried about being vegan since about the 3rd day, but I still avoid eggs and cheese when I can.  For snacks I’ve been eating dried fruit, like cherrys and cranberrys and also roasted peanuts. I have found tofu and other soy products to be “good eats” when prepared properly.  Flavorful sauces  and dressings are very important.  I am developing a bean and soy based burger patty and when I get it right I’ll post the recipe.

When will I Quit

You know, I’m not sure when I’ll ever revert.  If I do it will be to only add meat once or twice a week or only on special occasions like Thanksgiving or when invited to someone’s house.  I’m trying to clean my arteries of plaque and improve my chances of living longer by avoiding cancer causing chemicals.  I’ve had cancer twice, I’m avoiding a third strike.

Should You Do It?

No.  If you have to ask that question then you probably aren’t ready.  Eating a plant based diet is a life style choice.  If you are obese, like I am, and you show signs of other problems, like I do, then you shouldn’t be asking this question, you should be doing it for you and your loved ones.

Weight Loss?

Have I lost any weight?  I really don’t know, because I haven’t weighed yet.  I feel better and I feel smaller and people tell me I look better, but I’m not going to weigh until November 1, because that is not the main reason I started this “life style” change.  I don’t want to be disappointed if I haven’t lost weight.  I’d rather make the transformation first and worry about the results later.

 

Any Questions? – Jughandle

Day 1 – Egg Plant

Yesterday was day one of my journey into a plant-based diet.  I’m not calling it vegan or vegetarian.  That sounds too much like I joined a cult.

Expensive

We went to the new health food store near our house.  I thought they’d have vegetables and such but it was just a bigger version of every other health food store I’d ever been in.  You know, dried over priced, packaged, grains and sea weed.  We bought some organic vinegars and soy sauces.  I found my favorite pickles, Bubbies.  They had Kosher Dills and bread and butter chips.  We got both.  I got a honey lemon-aid and Darlene got a regular.  I did find black and white Quinoa and a couple of different rice mixtures, nothing special and it was 75 freak’n dollars.  Looks like the transition to a complete organic diet is going to be delayed for a while.

Lunch

I had Red Quinoa for lunch seasoned with soy sauce and rice vinegar.  I was satisfied then, I’m not so sure I can speak for another round today.  I do drink a lot of water, which seems to help fill me up.

Dinner

I tried to be interesting for dinner.  I fried egg plant slices in my newly acquired toasted sesame oil with sweet onions in rings and a clove or two of garlic.  I arranged a nice bed of alfalfa sprouts on a plate covered with rocket arugula leaves as a nest for my eggplant.  After pulling the eggplant from the skillet (possibly a little to late) I added the remainder of the Quinoa I had for lunch to the hot pan with the onions.  I tossed those around a little and seasoned everything with tamari sauce and plated it.  The meal was ok, but neither of us went for more and Darlene didn’t eat all of her onions.  I finished the meal with a pot of hot tea.  I was far from full, but not hungry either.  I didn’t photograph the process or the final product because I was embarrassed.

Conclusion

I conclude that there must be better, more satisfying plant-based dishes out there and I intend to find them.  If you have a special sauce or dressing for your greens, please let me know.  I don’t want to sound like a whiner but I’m pissed that the system has screwed up everything, even eating, and that I have to forage for food that won’t poison me or clog my arteries.  I’m in the first stage of grieving but I’ll get better.  Hang in there with me, I’ll still be looking for interesting meat recipes, I’m just trying to correct for years of improper diet right now. – jughandle