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My Life as an Omnivore, Month One

Last month I announced my decision to abandon 20 years of vegetarianism and test out life as an omnivore.

Aside from a few friendly facebook outcries, most of my friends and family were both intrigued and entertained by the sudden change, and asked how I would go about being a meat eater.

Well, I thought, it’s pretty simple.  I’ll just eat meat.

Then the questions started coming:

What kind of meat would I eat?

Would I stick to fish and poultry, or enter into the world of red meat and pork?

How much meat would I eat?

And how often?

Would I cook it, or just eat it out? 

It quickly became clear that omnivore-dom was a little more complicated than I first thought – especially for someone who’s spent more than two thirds of her life ignoring large sections of restaurant menus and chowing down on appetizers and salads at friends’ houses and family affairs without giving any thought to what she wasn’t eating.  I’d have to actually go out of my way to add meat into my diet.  What a concept…

So, what have I eaten since making that decision a month ago?

-Roughly 5 cans of tuna (Whole Foods, chunk light, in water – something I’ve eaten every so often for a few years, usually mixed with whipped cottage cheese, or, more recently, hummus and brown mustard)

-Two turkey sandwiches (one with that first package of turkey salami, the rest of which went to waste because I forgot about it, and one at a Starbucks in a highway rest stop after July’s 12-hour race – it seemed like a good time for meat)

-A few forkfuls of grilled chicken (the day after Untamed ended – another instance where meat seemed appropriate… you know, post-race muscle recovery and whatnot…)

-A small bite of flank steak (last night, at a bbq with some teammates, when they asked how omnivore-dom was treating me)

I know, I know – a pretty weak effort so far.  And maybe that’s why the amazing results I expected to see – more energy, faster recovery, fewer germs – never materialized.

Then again, in my first month of omnivore-dom, I conquered my first multi-day adventure race, started running again five days later on fresh legs, and have yet to catch the head cold that Brent came home with last week (yep, I’m pretty sure I just jinxed myself).

So, who knows?  I’ll give it a little more time and see if it takes.

The other day, Brent declared me a pale imitation of a meat eater, and decided that each week, he would choose something new for me to try (hence last night’s flank steak).

I maintained veto power.

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5 responses to “My Life as an Omnivore, Month One

  1. Nobel4Lit August 29, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Funny, I just talked about this yesterday with the "other," about how raw fish is my biggest temptation. He told me that maybe I should consider just eating it once in a while. I don't know how I felt about it. I'm not even that purely vegetarian, either.

  2. Denise August 30, 2010 at 7:46 am

    at least you're taking baby steps! i wish i had trouble adding junk to my diet.

  3. ali August 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Here's my opinion on the matter… Granted, I was only a vegetarian for a year, well, kinda on and off for two. Honestly, in my experience, eating meat doesn't make you feel any better, more energized, etc. I feel better when I cut it out entirely, but I've decided to settle on a "primarily" vegetarian diet. Here's why… Yes eating meat may not make you Superman, but it can be fun (like trying something new and interesting… especially when I was abroad… crocodile and kangaroo were my first two cheats), it can be friendly (like eating something that's been offered to you by a host) and actually make you feel full (like getting a meal versus the grilled cheese and side salad when going out to eat). In conclusion, it's nice to mix meat in every once and a while so that when you do have one of the above three instances take place (like when Bruce hands you a piece of bacon in an adventure race), you don't have to worry about feeling sick or having weird side effects take place.Boom. Done. Have fun assimilating into omnivoredom!

  4. The Happy Runner August 31, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I was a veg for 5 or so years and I went back to omnivore-ism very slowly. There were things that just grossed me out at first so I just didn't eat them. I think that b/c I was a veg I now eat a more varied and less meat-centric diet than if I had never had that experience. Good luck!

  5. N.D. September 4, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    wow! I want to know how you feel and if anything changes from this new meat eating experience.

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