I returned to work after my road trip and Cindy (not her real name) in claims had gotten a hair cut. Cindy has worked at my firm as long as I have and possibly decades longer. She’s had the same haircut that makes her look like a poorly tended labradoodle since I joined about six years ago. In fact, I’ve seen pictures of her from before my arrival and even then, she had the same haircut. Today, she had something different. Not a revolution, but something closer to a bob cut. It didn’t quite work but she tried something new and that deserves something. I decided to go vegetarian.
Sudden changes at my life seem to happen after road trips. My decision to become an actuary, my attempt at great weight loss, a return to dating, and now vegetarianism seemed to all flow from returning road trips. Maybe I have some hidden desire to show how the world has changed me or road trips are a convenient reset button. Either way, if there’s a life change you’re trying to implement, try a road trip to kick it off.
As of this writing, I’ve been a vegetarian for a little over three months with one or two off moments. I will still consume meat if it prevents it from going to waste and not in some lame way. For instance, party leftovers I won’t generally touch except in one case where a container of meatballs turned and I feared the second one would before my house mate could finish them so I threw myself upon that beefy hand grenade. I ate something like two Italian subs one evening when I was working late and housekeeping informed me they were about to be discarded. Otherwise, I’ve been good.
Here are some observations:
-Sam’s has no good plant-based alternative protein like tofu, seitan, tempeh. This is problematic as I do my grocery shopping there. Periodically they have vegan chicken nuggets which are surprisingly serviceable. My solution is that I will sometimes go to a suburban grocery store and buy literally all of their firm and extra firm tofu. My largest run was 24 packages from a single Giant. I’m glad I use ripstop nylon bags.
-Plant-based meat analogs do not have the obese vegetarian in mind. I’ve given up access to the meat menu at Fogo De Chao, do not give me 4 oz of flavored tempeh and call it a “vegan steak”. A vegan steak should be at least 18 oz and have fake sear lines on it. Work with me, people.
-Trying to add glutamic acid via monosodium glutamate seems to be hit or miss as a little is meh, a lot makes you want to chew your own tongue, but the middle amount will give a veggie burger the meatiness of about a turkey burger.
-Holy shit I like cottage cheese. Cottage cheese plus PB2 makes this sating concoction I call peanut spackle. Peanut concrete is PB2 plus Greek yogurt so that name was taken. If you mix in jam you have a PB&J flavored food puddle.
-Taco Bell’s online ordering can meet seemingly any dietary requirement as I once a week get a veggie burrito that contains seemingly an entire salad for under $5.00. And, because it’s Taco Bell, I can have them throw in Fritos for an extra quarter.
-Chic-Fil-A now holds nothing for me except a bagel with peanut butter.
-The Impossible burger is quite good.
-Going vegetarian has resulted in me shedding no weight.
I don’t anticipate going vegan as eggs and dairy are vital to me.
So why vegetarian? I didn’t want as much stuff to die for me to live. As a fat person, I can literally consume a chicken in a day without breaking a sweat (and have). Also, as a big person, eating my 3500 calories a day likely required something like 7000 calories in raw energy to produce. I’d like to bring that number down a bit. I wished to start considering both the price and the cost of what I was eating.