Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Steak or Beans

 if 5 years ago someone said
 ... you will consider going vegetarian ... 
I would have laughed them out of the room 
(and then locked the door.)

Lately, my body just doesn't seem interested in beef or pork or poultry or lamb. Even fish seems to be on my endangered list of things going in my mouth.

My body is just changing (along with those recently discovered arthritic knees) and it doesn't desire meat.  Even bacon ... that heavenly, tasty, mouth-savoring bacon ... maybe 2 pieces are fine, but not the fist full I used to be able to ingest before it registered in my mind I had swallowed that much.

In fact, that BLT sandwich (Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) I so loved ALL my life - that fed my pregnant body while I grew my son .... that sandwich I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner back then (and for snack if no one was looking) - that sandwich now sounds really better if I toast a hearty piece of bread, spread on full fat mayo, and layer on lettuce and tomato, skipping the bacon.

Something is changing ... I think it is a positive change.  Really ... at 66 how many positive changes can you really expect with regards to your body?  From where I sit ... watching my mom age and decline ... the answer to that question is NONE!!

So I will take it!  If I don't need meat - if that love affair has come to an end - so be it!  Onward - and fall in love with something else.

Like vegetables!

Does this mean I will become a zealot regarding the "wonders of a vegetarian life style."  Oh my no.  I still love and eat things like cheese and eggs.  I will continue to use chicken and beef broth in cooking.  I am not looking to go "low fat" or "low carb" or low anything else.  And since I am married to a "meat and potatoes" man, I will still cook meat - so at times - I will probably still eat a little of it.

This change is not the result of political concerns or environmental issues or animal rights.  I abhor the way our meat producing industry treats the animals, but I also accept the reality of that industry.  There are one heck of a lot of homo sapiens on the planet - and I believe we are both meat and vegetable eating beings naturally.

But I will make a sincere effort to understand the "no meat" point of view with regards to healthy options.  I have already started getting educated.  Here are a few titles I currently have in my arsenal to support my new food choices.

The China Study
 by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell
Comprehensive Study of Nutrition and the implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health.

Bean by Bean: A Cookbook
by Crescent Dragonwagon
An introduction to beans and other legumes with 175 recipes

Healthy at 100:

The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples
by John Robbins
This is not a cook book or a diet book.  This author takes you around the world to meet pockets of people who routinely live healthy active lives - typically over the age of 100 - many to ages of 120 and 130.  He examines their life styles and the foods they eat.  It is extremely well-researched.   He finds common themes that can influence and improve our own lives.  I am currently listening to the audio version and it is fascinating.  

VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00
by Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman is a prolific food writer.  
Six years ago he was overweight and pre-diabetic and was told to go on a vegan diet or go on medication.  His solution was to become a "flexitarian."   He adopted a diet heavy in vegetables, fruits and grains following a healthy vegan diet (no meat, dairy, or processed food) all day. After 6:00 pm he'd eat what he wanted, though mostly in moderation.  Beyond that, his plan involved no gimmicks, scales, calorie counting or point system.  There were no forbidden foods. Although the Vegan focus is not on my radar, I look forward to reading this book published in May 2013 - as his point of view seems to be similar to my own goals.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
This is a 3 inch thick book - and, yes, it seems to cover everything.

I have a few more books on my Amazon Wish List as well.  I really love the Mark Bittman books and will be getting more.  They aren't the glossy picture filled type of cook book, but they are filled with so much information that each volume almost feels like the encyclopedia of that topic.

If you are in-the-know with regards to other good authors or sources - books, pod casts, blogs,  web sites on the vegetable based diet - please let me know.


  1. If someone else would cook it for me...

    1. Well, I am still cooking - whether it is veggies or not. And now with just two of us in the house, I feel like I can honor my own desires more. After 44 years of marriage and eating the way my husband prefers, it is kind of refreshing to eat differently. And cooking for my husband pretty much means throwing the item in the frying pan or under the broiler. Easy, yes. Just not appealing to me now.

  2. It seems to me that you have found a great selection of sources on your new eating choices. Once again you are listening to your body. Good for you! And thanks for inspiring me to pay more attention to my own :-)

    1. I am not sure this was a conscious decision until just recently. All I know is that when I leave the table after dinner, my plate usually has most of the meat left on it. Just sort of evolved.

  3. I so understand when you said that you can look at your mom as you watch her decline and wonder about positive changes...I look at my husband and say quietly to myself 'who wants to live that long and be like that' and I reach for the chips and sour cream. Just humor my friend! But I have no interest in trying to eat healthy after this challenge I have been given

  4. Well you are right. It the life you live is not full and healthy, it is suffering that is almost inhuman.

    Actually I seem to be moving in this direction because it is what my body seems to crave. Crazy but true. And you will notice that I said nothing about chips and dip. I LOVE chips and dip!! :-)

  5. I tried it for a year a bunch of years ago but it wasn't good for me. I gained weight too and just didn't feel right. I don't eat a lot of meat but I do need to eat it once in a while! : )

    1. Well I am not doing this to shed weight. But feeling better is a goal and so far eating a reduced meat diet is better. Going vegetarian or vegan is not a goal. But eating more of a plant based diet seems to be better for me at this point of my life. I think everyone's body chemistry is different so what works for one isn't always good for another.


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