Something Different.

20 Feb

By Terra Kreiner

If you ever see me outside of SLUDA meetings, you may think to yourself, “Why in the world does that girl look like a drooling St. Bernard?” Well, it’s more likely than not that I am eating, thinking about, or smelling some of my favorite foods.  You may ask yourself, although we all know you could probably care less, what these foods are.  I’ll tell you anyway, because I never pass up the opportunity to talk about food.  The foods that bring warmth to my heart, a fire to my eyes, and a meaning to my soul are: ribs, steak, wings, chicken fettuccini, and lasagna.  What do all these foods have in common?  They are all meat—tender, juicy, warm meat.  Well, it may come as a surprise to you that after 20 years of eating my favorite foods, I would give them all up for six months and become a vegetarian.  Although this post isn’t dramatic enough for your chin to be touching your computer right now, with wide eyes, I hope you can relate to the anguish I am going through.

Okay, that may be dramatic, but here’s the story: A little over a year ago, I was doing research for my freshman Hot Topics class.  We learned that nearly ½ of the world’s population is vegetarian—which, to me, is hard to believe.  I thought to myself, though, that if I want to someday advise people on their diets, I should know what it’s like to put together all vegetarian meals and find alternative sources of protein.  I thought it would be a neat endeavor, as well as show some self control, to be vegetarian for six months.  I began this journey at the beginning of this year, so I am about a month and a half into it.

Finding alternative sources of protein and making delicious meals has not proved to be much of a problem, as I expected.  However, I have found that the hardest times come when I see food that I love, but can no longer have.  It takes an awful lot of self control, but I feel like it’s worth it because I am learning so much!  For example, I tried eggplant parmesan for the first time and even made it myself!  I also made my very first veggie burgers that were unbelievable.  I have tried so many new foods, but I also eat a lot more cheese.  The cheese is irrelevant, but it does make every meal better.  I like to eat a variety of foods, but a typical day for me looks like this:

Breakfast- Eggs or Cereal

Lunch- Whatever vegetarian meal Fresh is having (yeah, I use a lot more flex)

Dinner- Pasta, Quinoa, Vegetables

Snacks- LOTS of candy, chips and hummus

Okay, so not all of my diet is necessarily “healthier,” but I do feel like I have more energy.  In recent semesters, I needed about nine hours of sleep every night.  It always felt excessive, but I would crash around three if I didn’t sleep enough.  This semester, I rarely get more than seven and I always feel energized.  I also feel more motivation to work out and do activities rather than feeling that “blah” feeling.  This may just be in my head—or it may be the vegetarian diet.  If you would like to test this observation, try it yourself.  I have a bit over four months to go, and I feel that I am going strong.  The day I can eat meat again, I plan on eating a meal consisting of EVERY one of my favorite foods—then I will wrap myself in a cocoon and die.

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