For as long as I can remember, I’ve been much closer to carnivore than the normal human being should be. When other kids were eating fruit rollups, I’d roll up slices of salami. When my friend would offer me some string cheese, I would decline and gnaw on my beef jerky. Steak was my best friend, and salad was my sworn enemy.
So earlier this summer, in an attempt to rid myself of my meat addiction, I decided to try being vegetarian for a week. And (I know I sound way too whiney when I say this) it was hard! At the beginning of the week, I always felt hungry. In the past, if a meal did not have meat, it wasn’t a meal—it was a snack. I constantly had cravings for burgers, pizza, and brats, and living on the top of State Street sure didn’t help. Quitting cold turkey (literally and figuratively) was not the most enjoyable experience.
However, as the week went on, I discovered that I was getting better and better at overcoming my meat craving. Though I would have preferred eating a burger, substituting for a portabella sandwich didn’t seem like such a chore anymore. To my surprise, I started feeling full after meals (you can eat a lot more salad than you can steak!), and it was even kind of fun, challenging myself to eat different types of foods, ordering things off of menus I’d never even thought of ordering before, and discovering that hummus tastes good on almost anything. Feeling healthier was pretty awesome, too.
After the week was over, I was not slow in getting back to my meat-eating ways; I still eat way more meat than I probably should. Since that week though, I find that a meal without meat is still a meal. I don’t feel stranded at home when I don’t have meat in the fridge, and when I go out now I willingly glance over the vegetarian section of the menu before I order.
I’m not saying that my one vegetarian week changed the way I view the world, but it did make me a little more conscious of my food options. If you are a carnivore like I am (or, was), try it out. Or, if pasta is your go-to food, try a pasta-free week just to explore what else is out there. Whatever is your weakness, try living without it for just a week and see what it does for you. You might be surprised at what you find!