Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Reprise Surprise

The last time I was vegetarian, my parents fretted and my dad even cried because they were concerned about my health. I finally broke down and started eating meat again, and did so - with enjoyment - for about 12 years.

So I’ve delayed posting this news or mentioning it to my parents because I didn’t want to upset them. But sometimes it’s better to get things out in the open - in the most cowardly way possible, of course. My pseudonym is Eclecta, and I’m a vegetarian. Again. I think. I’m pretty sure.

But things are pleasantly different this time. For one thing, I live in Toronto, and the support and the products for vegetarians is a lot better than “back in the day” in a small town.

I’m not dogmatic about vegetarianism. I’m not about to preach to anyone what they should do (even with cigarette smokers I try to wheedle, guilt, and persuade rather than preach LOL). I don’t even want to discuss my very personal decision why, about a month ago, I chose to change my eating habits (though I hope it goes without saying that the decision was made for sound reasons and not because of any person's influence). There are lots of reasons to forego or even just reduce one’s meat consumption – see One Hundred & One Reasons to Go Vegetarian if you’re curious.

It’s true that I’ve struggled somewhat with my anemia in the past month (I’ve been quite anemic for years), but I’m taking extra iron supplements while I learn about good alternative sources for iron, such as legumes, dried apricots, and mushrooms (who knew???). On the other hand, with a new focus on my diet, I’m eating healthier foods and reducing my caloric intake (in a sensible fashion, of course). And I’m actually cooking most of my own meals again! (So if you have any words of encouragement or healthy, meatless recipes to share, please contact me!)

And Dad, don’t worry … you know how much crap (hormones, antibiotics, rendered animals) goes into meat these days anyway. :)


Abi said...

Very exciting! Although I'm not a vegetarian, I love vegetarian food and have am about to finish a 16 week vegetarian cookery course, which I have very much enjoyed.

The recipe I liked the most was beanburgers with basil tzatziki, very "veggie food" but delicious!

And we made this one in class too, was delicious:

Abi said...

Oops, too long...

I try again with my excellent HTML skills!
Aubergine and Black Bean Chilli

Tuco said...

I had iron problems a few years ago when I first went veggie - I was also cycling like a maniac at the time and I had moments of dizziness at work when I almost thought I was going to fall down.
That was a long time ago though. I take an iron supplement and a Vitamin B complex supplement (to get the B12) and everything is fine.
And as far as protein goes - it is AMAZING how much protein there is in seeds! A small handful of pumpkin seeds for example has as much protein as most powerbars!

Eclecta said...

Hey Abi! Thanks for the post! The recipe looks amazing! I will definitely try it out. I would also be interested in the beanburger recipe, if you could send it my way!

It's very cool that you are taking a veggie cooking course. Reducing meat intake is a very good thing, in my humble opinion. Maybe I should check to see if there are some good courses in veggie cooking here in Toronto ... Or better yet, I could visit you in the U.K. and you could teach me what you've learned! :)

Eclecta said...


Thanks for your post too. Good to know I'm not the only person who's had a few transition troubles, but yours sound far more dramatic than mine! Glad it's all worked out for you.

As for the pumpkin seeds, thanks for the great tip! I have added them to my shopping list for the next time I go to The Big Carrot. :)

Abi said...

I think cookery courses are really good fun, I'm almost tempted to do another one!

More recipes...

Beany Burgers with Basil Tzatziki

Basil Tzatziki:
- 350g greek style yoghurt
- handful of basil, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- sprinkling of paprika
- dash of extra virgin olive oil

Mix the yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice and basil together. Sprinkle with paprika and olive oil to finish!

I love the tazatziki with the burgers, makes it divine!

ZenDenizen said...

I'm a lifelong vegetarian but I never preach to anyone either. Hope you're enjoying it more this time around!