Going Veg (Again)

Because in this blog, I also talk about real life.

That “again” may be a bit misleading: in truth, I haven’t eaten cow or pig in almost a decade. That’s how it all started, really. I hated steaks. I hated pork chops. There is no force on Earth that will ever make meatloaf acceptable. So I stopped eating it. I made the decision to lead a more vegetarian lifestyle when I entered college. I was still eating chicken at that point. As a college student, my options were limited. The Gag (our aptly nicknamed dining hall) served 3 meals:

1) “Momma’s Line,” which usually consisted of what I think were slabs of meat, green beans, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, etc. Down home country cooking.

2) Pizza. Cheese, pepperoni, spinach (on the most delightful occasion, but it still tasted like cardboard).

3) Burgers. Yes, they even had “veggie” burgers, but honestly, they were more akin to hockey pucks.

They also provided a (mostly brown) salad bar, and on the rare occasion, a “specials” bar, wherein you could get such delights as chitlins and pigs feet. No. Not a joke. This event happened in celebration of Black History Month.

I stopped eating there in favor of the small on-campus cafe. The choices weren’t much healthier, but at least if they cooked/prepared it in front of me, I was reasonably aware of what it was made of. The trouble with college was my lack of ability to prepare food myself, which was solved when I moved in to the sorority house my sophmore year. Kitchen. Then I discovered my inability to cook. Aside from French Toast and the average bowl of cereal, I’m not exactly what you’d call a chef.

Somehow I survived off my PB&J sandwiches, microwave meals, veggie quesodillas, and the occasional chai tea latte.  The issue now is twofold:

1) I’ve gained back all the weight I lost in highschool, and then some.

2) I’m still a terrible cook.

I will openly admit to being a college grad, fresh from the press of papers and projects, living at home with her parents. It’s a nice situation (at times) and allows me to pay down my sizable college debt while working and saving money to eventually move out. I have a game plan. However, the issue remains that healthy eating isn’t really a “thing” in this house.

Sadly, my mother has never quite accepted my pseudo-vegetarianism, marked by her continuing to ask me if pork chops are acceptable for dinner. For her? Sure thing. For me? Where’s she been for the last decade? I’m flabbergasted by the state of my pantry. We have 4 boxes of Mini Cinnamon Churro cereal, but we don’t have a can of beans for me on taco night?

Yes, I know. If  I bought my own groceries, problem solved! Except it’s not. The things I buy “mysteriously” vanish. The other issue is my odd work schedule. Life as a cashier isn’t really friendly to the eating schedule. I don’t have set hours, so it’s not as easy to come home, make dinner, eat it, and go to bed, especially when your shift ends at 10.30PM.

Yes, I’m home three days a week for my internship. I could absolutely cook, but my family isn’t vegetarian (no matter how many times a certain someone has professed to adopting a more veggie-enriched lifestyle), and I WILL NOT cook meat. It’s not a vegetarian thing; I just find it disgusting. Especially chicken. Ew.

And yes, this is partly about weightloss. I’m not in good shape. I recently saw photos from an event that made me hate my body even more. I looked pregnant, and for those of you who know me, you understand. I want to look better. I want to feel better. I want more energy. Cutting out the unnecessary munching and exercising more than once a week in belly dance class will help me.

I’m in the diet rut. I’ve tried everything with no success, so I’m going back to the very basics. That’s not say I can’t have a chocolate bar or a small bowl of ice cream; it just means that better choices are better, and it’ll be a tough road in a house where 3/4 residents balk at the sight of something green.

I’m going to have to learn to cook, and to cook different things. I already make a killer low-fat fried rice, so other areas of eating should be ok. I’m cutting out chicken, but I’ll still eat fish for now until I find an alternative. Or not. Maybe I’ll stick with pescatarianism (that’s a vegetarian who eats fish! Why fish, but not cows? I have NO idea). Less computer, more exercise, but I’m taking it one day at a time. My goal this week is to use the treadmill 15 minutes a day (my hamstrings are wicked tight) and belly dance for 15-30 minutes every day. Three days are set; it’ll be the four I work at the store that will try me.

I guess this means I’ll have to update my blog twice a week now. I should really cut back on these novel-length posts.




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3 responses to “Going Veg (Again)

  1. Let me know if you need a diet buddy. I’s always easier with two. I’m in the same situation in my house – my mom is a killer cook as you know, but her idea of a really balanced meal is a meat, and two starches. Being a girl who likes a super low-carb lifestyle, it’s just difficult. I feel your pain. ;-(

  2. I’m glad that you’re getting re-motivated, but I’m curious: why are you a vegetarian? Is it the thought that it’s an animal, or what?

    • Tea-Stained Travesty

      At first, no. I simply didn’t like red meat/pork. Since I started researching more about vegetarian/vegan lifestyles and making more veg/vegan friends, it’s become about the animal rights issues. I’m not an extremist; if meat is your thing, enjoy. All I ask is that people know where the food on their plates came from. I believe there are better, certainly less cruel ways for those who do run slaughter houses. It’s the difference between slitting a cow’s throat while it’s kicking and screaming and administering anesthetic to put it under before it’s killed; grinding a chicken’s beak off and cramming it into a cage to get trampled to death, or letting it lay eggs when it’s time, with space to grow as a healthy animal.

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