This week will begin week number four of the Sweet Pea Family’s Lenten vegetarian challenge. The thing that has shocked me the most about our vegetarian journey? How little I miss meat and seafood. Perhaps it is because I know on Easter afternoon my Uncle Frank will serve up some of his famous glazed ham and it will be mine for the taking or knowing that the frozen scallops in our freezer can be seared up for a special dinner in April make it easier to go without now. But I don’ t think so. I think that living a vegetarian lifestyle is actually something I could do about 95% of the time.
I think back to how we ate when SPH was in school full time, only working part-time and we were on a tight budget. We ate very inexpensively at the time, relying primarily on beans and legumes for our source of proteins, as well as eggs and inexpensive meats. Our diet post-graduation really didn’t change that much, and now that we’ve tried the vegetarian diet, I truly feel this is something that is going to alter the way I cook from here forward.
You know the best part? I really have never felt better. Despite it being the end of winter, a prime time to feel a bit “blah,” I am a happy camper. I have more energy. I sleep better. I just *feel* healthier. Perhaps it is my slightly ramped up exercise routine as well, but whatever it is, I am anxious to keep this good feeling going.
This all begs the question that has been lingering in the back of my mind: how will I eat once Lent is over? I am not quite sure. When I think of a life going forward without any meat or seafood, that is a bit imposing. I do love seafood and I love the health benefits of eating certain fish. Perhaps our family will lean toward pescetarian? Have you heard of this term, “pescetarian?” It pertains to someone who eats only seafood and a vegetarian diet. Will this be how our family returns to eat after Easter? Maybe, but it could be tough to give up *all,* meat all the time.
Not having to make a specific decision yet gives me time to figure out how we will eat moving forward after this time of Lent. My guess is we will still enjoy a good pork barbecue or grilled chicken in our diet, but with more and more vegetarian options to further bridge the time between our meat meals.
By my count I have a little less than 4 weeks and counting to decide…