I haven't felt much inspired to post recently. Spring/summer fever perhaps?
For the sake of getting a new post up, I thought I'd answer a request posed a couple months back in a comment.
What is the story behind my vegetarian years?
Well, when I was about 7 years old I made the solid connection that the chickens running around in Annie Frost's coop were the same thing as the chicken on my dinner plate, I pretty much was grossed out big time. I'm sure I knew that meat came from animals, but I'd never really thought about what that meant exactly.
It wasn't an animal rights issue. I wasn't worried about the poor beasts being slain for my consumption. It was the thought that I was eating the muscles of something that really got to me. *shudder* It still grosses me out a bit. That's why I still have an incredibly hard time eating meat off of bones.
I guess I couldn't be called a true vegetarian because I would eat meals with meat (like lasagna or something), but I'd pick the meat out. I never, ever expected my mom to make me something special. It just didn't work like that at my house. I'd also use chicken or beef broth to reconstitute my TVP meat substitute or eat regular soups but pick out the meat. I'd very occasionally eat thin meats like bacon or lunch meats. Those were easier to forget that they were animal flesh.
My family ate roast and potatoes (and lots of other stuff) every Sunday growing up. My little brother loved to torment me. "Ooooohhhh. Yuuuuum. This cow is de-li-cious!" and then he'd take a big bite of the roast. I think I was supposed to eat a bite of it because I remember often having one or two tiny shreds on my plate, but it wasn't strictly enforced or anything.
What did I eat?
In the way of protein, I ate lots and lots of cheese and beans, peanut butter, eggs, and meat substitutes (though this was more later high school and college). I liked pasta well enough, but it wasn't a main staple for me. I ate lots of salads or wraps with eggs and meat substitutes. Honestly, for lunches I often ate meal replacement things from whatever MLM my parents were in at the time. In Jr. High I had an Amway food bar every day for lunch. In high school I came home for lunch, so I often had quesadillas, burritos, or nachos always accompanied by salad made by my mom. In college I had Nutrition for Life SlenderAge shakes and bars for 1-2 meals a day for sake of ease and time. Now I drink Isagenix shakes maybe every other day for a lunch. The SlenderAge probably tasted the best, but I feel the best after Isagenix.
Why did I start eating meat again?
Well, I started dating Matt my freshman year of college. He asked why I didn't eat meat. When I said I didn't because I didn't like the texture or taste, he asked how long it'd been since I'd really eaten it. When I said about 10 years, he said I ought to try it again and if I didn't like it I could continue not eating it. Sure, that made enough sense. I didn't really try to eat it until he left on his mission and I left for China. I was in a situation where I couldn't be as choosy about my meals, so I'd try some meat here and there. It was fun to write Matt and tell him I'd tried different meats. I started very, very slowly with small amounts and worked my way up to eating a full chicken breast at a meal after a couple years. I still wouldn't touch or prepare meat when we were married three years after we met, though. I only started touching raw meat after I became the cook at a residential treatment center called New Haven in UT in 2004. I cooked for 25-35 people 5 days a week for 2 years. Couldn't avoid using meat in that situation. So, I've gotten pretty good at cooking and eating a variety of meats.
Do I like meat now?
It is nice to have more variety in my meals, but I did not grow to like the taste (or texture) of meat very much. I will eat most meats, though steak and other thick slabs or anything with bones still grosses me out and I avoid them. Ground beef and chicken are probably my most used meats since they're so versatile. I actually still hate the taste of all meats (except salty cured meats like ham and bacon) and won't eat them unless they're well seasoned or marinated and have no "meat flavor" left. I still only eat a very small slice of turkey on Thanksgiving. I don't like roasts unless they're crockpot cooked and shredded. I've tried to work fish into my diet as well, mainly for variety (neither of us like seafood much). The only fishes I will actually use regularly are halibut and tilapia since they're so mild.
If I'd married a vegetarian I am positive I'd have continued with it with no problems or regrets. We still eat "meatless" dinners a couple times a week. I'm very lucky that Matt's not one who needs meat every night. The last couple months I've not really wanted meat, but I force myself to use it occasionally for Matt's sake and so I don't become anemic while pregnant.
That's the long answer. Good job if you actually read the whole thing! Questions? Comments? Concerns? ;oD