Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Practicing to Eat
Three years ago I woke up on Thanksgiving morning and decided - I'm not going to eat meat anymore. I had a 25 lb turkey in the oven, but I didn't take a single bite. I just stopped - no white meat, no red meat. Just fish and vegetables.
People often ask me and look for a deeper explanation as to why I stopped eating meat -- but it was literally just a change in my mood. I didn't want to, so I didn't ... not only that, the smells of some meats (particularly chicken) started to make me feel ill.
A have a friend who is purely vegetarian. I never understood why people couldn't just accept that he was vegetarian (no fish either) ... but people often forgot. I never really understood how frustrating that must have been for him until I experienced similar things. Close friends of mine inviting me for dinner and not having any fish/vegetarian dishes ... I just didn't it ... but then again, even my family had a hard time remembering, or I would often get statements like: "Just try it, it only has a little bit of meat in it." Very frustrating indeed. (I'm sure you can remember the scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding ...)
However, in the past three years I have had some poultry/meat. When we went to Lebanon there was a local delicacy that my friend told me I had to try ... so I did. There were a few other occasions like that where something was unique, unusual, or extraordinary ... so I tried it. Since I wasn't vegetarian (or rather pescatarian) for any religious regions, not even for any specific health reasons, I had no problem trying foods that were highly recommended. Even then, however, I usually only took a bite or two. It's always just been for taste, never as a full meal or anything close to that.
Today, however, I ate meat.
Last month I was gifted a Crock-pot, so today I decided to try it out. I bought a fresh piece of New Zealand lean beef, and added it to some sliced potatoes, carrots, and garlic, and let it cook for 6 hours. Then I sat down and ate meat for dinner.
You may be wondering - why? Why after 3 years am I all of a sudden sitting down to eat meat?
The answer in a nutshell: Argentina.
Argentina is very well known for amazing steaks. I do not plan on traveling all the way to South America, with three enthusiastic carnivores, and sitting on the sidelines while they enjoy some of the best steak in the world! I highly doubt I will eat meat on a daily basis - I may even only eat it once ... but I will definitely have a steak when I go to Argentina.
So me eating some meat today is in preparation for my trip. The last thing I want to do is get to Buenos Aires, sit down in a great steakhouse, have my steak, and then get sick ...
Am I compromising my health by suddenly eating meat? Am I making a foolish move by 'practicing' to eat meat just to reach an end goal of actually enjoying eating meat?
I don't think so. Maybe others will have a different opinion. I know plenty of physically fit, health conscious people who follow no dietary restrictions other than being sensible about what they eat ... So is what I'm doing falling into the realm of being sensible? I think it's ok. I definitely believe that the refined sugars and artificial flavors in candies and cakes would do more damage than eating a bit of red meat ... but then again, I'm no nutritionist. Perhaps I'm just making up excuses to justify my decision ... perhaps. All I know is that after three years, I ate meat ... and it was good!!