On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Did you know I recently became a vegetarian?

That's right! I don't eat meat any longer! (Ed: well... sort of. Read on.)

I announced this proudly at the end of December only to be met with derision from my little brother. This one:

That's my brother with some of my healthy vegetarian supplies.
He said, "Why would you have to announce that you're a vegetarian? Why can't you just eat less meat and not be a douche about it, like the majority of the world?"

Well, duh. Because I want to be special. Labels, especially ones you can be self-righteous about, make you special.

Now, never mind the fact that the other day at work, I was craving chicken so badly that I seriously would have hurt someone for a wing. I have a (plastic, butter) knife in my desk and if I'd smelled any chicken, I would have used it. I'm sure this meat thing will stick. I mean meatless thing. Yeah. Besides, all the cool kids are experimenting with meatlessness. Will it make me faster, and thinner, and stronger, and magical? Nah. Will I stick with it? Probably. (Ed: definitely not. Shortly after a draft of this post was written, I fell off the wagon and right into Shake Shack. Je ne regrette rien.)

I said goodbye to my meat days in style, though, with a burger for lunch and combination steak and lobster dinner on New Years Eve. (Ed: goodbye, meat days... see you again in 12 days!) Then, that night to celebrate NYE, hopped up on red meat, I took a 90 minute bikram class.

90 minutes of meat sweats. Ugh.

The weirdest thing about this photo is not that it's blurry, but it's that my sister announced, in earnest, "Oh, you're really going to like this one!" after she took it.

On New Year's Day, she and I ran 11 miles in freezing cold weather with 30mph winds wipping at us while snow fell "down" horizontally. Driving home through the snow, she then took this photo:

She was also quite proud of this photo. Now, I'm no Mapplethorpe, but maybe my sister isn't, either. (Ed: is it weird that I think, "insert name of famous photographer here" and the only name the voice in my head can come up with is "Mapplethorpe"?)

(Final annoying editorial aside: after Shake Shack, there was Manhattan's first Steak 'n Shake. Then there was the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien. It's been a great week back in the arms of my dear friend red meat!)


  1. re: Mapplethorpe. Yes, that's weird.

  2. Yay! Welcome to the dark side :-) (Oddly enough, it was the meat sweats I got from making Rachel ray's Meatball Pizza that got me to go veg) Really though, I fell off the wagon many times in the beginning, and here and there I still take a peck of meat substances if it seems super appealing. No matter what though, even reducing meat consumption is a fantastic thing. Congrats on your "switch" :-)

  3. I even bought KALE yesterday! I have quite literally never prepared kale before.

  4. Kale is great, you should also get a juicer. You can get an OK one at Bed Bath And Beyond for like $60. Being strict vegetarian/vegan is tough, I sometimes cheat and eat meat, and so do some of my friends as well. Good luck!

  5. Just remember the adage "A Grain, A Green, A Bean" - those three things can make meal planning very simple and will most times ensure you are getting full nutrition. Many nights, a bowl of brown rice, beans and some sort of leafy green are what I have for dinner. I jazz it up with spices and stuff, but damn if if I don't find it super easy, super tasty, and I get full nutrition.

  6. God Tracy why are you so awesome. I love that you thought of Mapplethorpe. Come on over sometime and we can make KALE CHIPS. - Lauren

  7. Ha ha. I think you should eat meat if you want to. A lot of people think that not eating meat will make you thinner/healthier, and I have been proving that wrong for many years ;)

  8. We're going to have a long talk on Saturday ;) I don't think being vegan/vegetarian is for everyone. I also think even if you're vegetarian but still eating a lot of cheese/fried foods that's no better than eating meat. I go by how I feel. If I eat X and I feel good, I eat more of X, if I eat Y and feel like shite...I stay away.

    Also famous photographer: Richard Avedon.

  9. You don't have to be douchey about being veg. You just need to understand the many important reasons to do it, that will help you stick with it. Lots of people may eat 'unhealthy' veg when they are transitioning. They were probably eating unhealthy as carnivores. That's not the point. It's a process and the main thing is to keep on reading about why it's so important (cliche alert) for your health, for the planet, for the animals! Good luck!

  10. Thanks, everyone, for the support! I've been giving this a lot of thought, about what I want to eat/what I should be eating/whether I can accomplish this with or without meat. I'm definitely cutting back on meat, but I think it's true that what I need to cut back on is unhealthy, overprocessed foods, be they meat or meat free. Work in progress :)

  11. Good for you! I went veg for a few years. Body had a melt down from all the processed foods and it was a necessary change. Great website for recipes is: www.vegweb.com The Chana Masala recipie takes about 10 minutes and is fantastic. If you like Indian food.

  12. "Labels that you can be self-righteous about" What better kind is there? Dying laughing. You've made my gray rainy Monday morning.