Posted by: nancykenny | January 13, 2010

Convenient Veggies

Here’s a little something you may not know about me. Since probably August/September, I’ve been making a conscious effort to have at least one “meatless” meal per day. There are a couple of reasons for this:

– I have a guilt factor when I eat meat. Ever see that Simpsons’ episode where Lisa becomes a vegetarian? “Liiiiiiiiisa, I thought you loooooooooooved me.” Yeah. That.

– Consuming less meat has been shown have great environmental and health benefits, as I learned from the absolute authority that is Wikipedia.

– A surprisingly large number of my friends are vegetarians which makes it easy to enjoy a meal.

– But the number one reason I’ve been cutting back on meat? It’s just too expensive. Yeah, I know, I’m a great humanitarian here. Just worried about my bottom line. The ends still justify the means though, right? Or did I miss a memo?

Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself a vegetarian. Fish and seafood don’t count as “meat” in my book. And, well, over the holidays, all bets were kind of off when it came to what I ate.

That said, once I was back in town, the lack of meat in my fridge and the ready availability of vegetarian restaurants around my workplace (I’m kind of drooling as I think about Viva Loca’s tomato, cheese and pesto panini on jalapeno bread), means that I’ve suddenly realized I hadn’t eaten meat in the last four days (and the last four days before that). Didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.

My reason for talking about all this now? Yesterday was Tuesday. Tuesday is typically wing night with a good buddy of mine. I had trouble finishing my wings this time. The guilt factor was stronger than usual (Was that a tendon? *gulp*) and there was an odd rumbling in my tummy. Perhaps the early signs of revolt. Some of it even looked undercooked, though I was assured that was all in my head. Either way, I couldn’t finish my plate and so passed it on to my friend. A few hours later and I’m having problems. Problems that require the most immediate access to a washroom.

This morning, I’m still not feeling all that well, but we’ve got a media call today for BASH’d so I’m trying to ignore it (I’m so smart aren’t I?)

Now, to be fair, just when I was ready to lay the blame on all of this on the evil chicken flesh I ingested into my body, I got twittered this PSA from the City of Ottawa (yes, the City is on Twitter!)

It seems something is going around of the gastrointestinal variety although, I had actually made sure to thoroughly clean my hands yesterday because we were at the dirty Oak.

Then again, who knows? I just wanted to get a bit of a conversation going on the merits/demerits of eating meat. Feel free to get things started below.



  1. I have dabbled with vegetarianism off and on for the last 10 years or so. I didn’t eat any meat for the year and a half before I got pregnant with my son, although I did eat fish (don’t ask me to give up sushi–not gonna happen).
    I remember a couple of times doing a cleanse, where I was eating a lot of vegetables and rice, primarily, and then coming off of that, and getting similarly sick.
    I think sometimes when you don’t have meat for long periods of time, your body forgets how to digest it, and then when you have it, well…

  2. I used to eat a lot of meat. In fact, I used to eat a lot of everything. Thanks to cooking school, I’ve tried things many people haven’t (and in some cases, wouldn’t want to). If it’s legal to eat in Canada, I’ve had some.
    Last year, I went vegan.
    Milk and eggs left my diet a couple of years back, when I finally realized they weren’t playing nice with my system. After spending some time in the company of a complete vegan, I gradually phased the rest of it out of my diet: meat, fish, poultry; the lot.
    I felt, and feel, better, and I don’t miss it.
    The saying is that “vegans taste better.” We certainly smell better; you don’t know how much of your body odour is due to the meat you eat until you drop the habit.
    That being said, I don’t recommend it to everyone. Try it. Your mileage may vary.
    I do recommend watching Food, Inc., a documentary film about how food (not just meat) reaches your table and what happens to it beforehand. It’s quite graphic, but… so is what happens to food. It may not turn you away from a good burger, but it may send you to the farmer’s market for your vegetables.

    And yes, when you stop eating meat, after a while the enzymes required to break it down aren’t produced anymore. The same thing happens if you stop eating potatoes (which has caused problems for people spending time in Asia and then coming back to North America).

    I think your experience here is more a result of what normally happens to chicken wings in a restaurant kitchen. Having been on that side of things, there are certain places I wouldn’t eat meat at all if I still did.

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