Temptation came knocking at 6:45 a.m. this morning, when I awoke to the smell of bacon wafting upstairs and into my bedroom. Not a bad way to wake up, 325 days out of the year. It took mere seconds for the smell to hit my nose to remember a decision I voiced aloud yesterday evening: I gave up eating meat for Lent.
I know that a while back I said I could never be a vegetarian, but here I am. I gave it up cold turkey; bad pun intended. No meat for 40 days.
I am not Catholic but I am a Christian, and I know people from many denominations who observe Lent. For me personally, it is a time where I can sacrifice something I like or enjoy and instead use my energy and desire for that object as a means to strengthen my faith. In recent years I've given up Facebook, diet drinks/sodas and desserts, and I've stuck to all of them. I suppose I could have given up coffee, but I like having friends at work and wouldn't want to jeopardize that.
Growing up in Texas, having an aunt and uncle who live on a ranch and raise cattle, and a father who is a pro on the grill and smoker; I have eaten a lot of animals. Steak and good barbecue were probably invented here and in my humble opinion are better in Texas than anywhere else.
I love chicken in any form (Chick-Fil-A, I miss you already), turkey on sandwiches, hamburgers and the occasional steak. Since thinking about filet mignon is a sad prospect at the moment, I started making a list of all the non-meat meals I enjoy, and found a common denominator: cheese. Not a bad denominator, in my book. My main concern is a good source of protein, and thus far it looks to be black beans and avocados. I go through phases with peanut butter and considering the number of people who have gotten sick from it over the past year, I'm inclined to continue avoiding it. I cannot eat large quantities of eggs because the texture goobs me out. That's the only non-word I can think of: goobs.
Assuming the role of vegetarian is making me look more carefully at menu choices and will cause me to try different things at my usual haunts. I'll be forced to inspect and to find something new and conducive to this lifestyle. In most instances, the choices are healthier. I had coffee, toast and grapes for breakfast; a veggie pita and sweet tea for lunch. I had a Pilates lesson after work (I'm six weeks in and I love it- though I'm beginning to think that my instructor is training me for Cirque du Soleil), and I even had some organic vegan enchiladas for dinner (there was tofu involved) that were surprisingly good. Since when am I so granola? I draw the line at Chacos... there will not be any wearing of Chacos.
I've been telling people so that they can hold me to it. So when I call someone and nonchalantly and ask, "isn't a cheeseburger exactly what you want right now?..." they'll tell me to lock it up and go get a Jamba Juice.
Because obviously Jamba Juice is the vegetarian equivalent of a cheeseburger.
Maya: What's the boy word for slut?
Will: They still haven't come up with one yet, but I'm sure they're working on it. You a vegetarian this week or not?
Maya: Yeah, I am.