[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. This month, Emmy’s going 31 days without beef. Or chicken. Or turkey. Or….you get the idea.]
So, I’ve successfully made it through my first week without meat… and it hasn’t been too bad!
I’ve really liked that not eating things with meat has really forced me to try different foods and eat a more balanced diet, which is exactly what I was hoping would happen through this experiment. I’ve discovered that my school’s market actually has AMAZING hummus and vegetable plates that I’d never tried before. Like really, I don’t know what they put in the hummus, but it is madly addicting! I’ve also found a great vegetarian pad thai, a yummy Mediterranean veggie salad, and an amazing pesto tortellini all in just one of the campus markets! Who knew veggies could taste so good?
But I’m not taking any of this for granted. I’m lucky that my university offers so many Vegan/Vegetarian options and I know that not every school is quite as accommodating. If I had to exist on salads and plain noodles all month, I think I’d go crazy. Thank god I’ve got a variety of interesting and tasty options to choose from.
The only really difficult thing this week has been when I’m eating dinner with people who are eating meat. I never realized how good that stuff smells. Like the kind of smell that makes my mouth water and belly rumble. I feel like a Pavlovian dog… or maybe that dog in the Beggin’ Strips commercial; the minute I smell it I can’t get the craving for a burger or chicken or pepperoni out of my head.
For instance, last night, my friend was trying out a new recipe for Chicken Parmesan and it looked delicious. Obviously, I had to refrain from diving head first into the oven partaking in the yumminess because, as much as I wanted to pretend chicken wasn’t meat, it most certainly is. It wasn’t that big of a deal because I still had some delicious pasta and salad for dinner, but I definitely had a hard time refraining from taking even the smallest bite of that breaded chickeny goodness. I also felt really bad turning down a meal my friend had so graciously cooked. She knows about my challenge, but still…. I wonder if actual vegetarians ever feel that way.
Or if they ever miss chicken parmesan as much as I do. For real, I can’t stop thinking about it. I already know what I’ll be cooking come November 1st.
[Check out the other One Month Challenges we’ve taken on! And if you’ve got a challenge you want to tackle, email us and we could feature you next month!]